Here are the benefits of HRT:
- A significant reduction in heart disease and stroke (the most common cause of death in women post menopause)
- It reduces and often stops hot flushes and night sweats
- Reduces insomnia
- Reduces weight gain
- Improves mood disorders such as depression, irritability or anxiety
- Improves libido
- Improves vaginal dryness and urinary problems including incontinence
- Helps to maintain the collagen in the skin
- Reduces the loss of bone and invertebral discs
- Reduces aching joints and muscles
- Helps with migraine
- Helps with heavy or irregular periods
- Stimulates muscle repair with better mobility and power
- Helps with skin related issues like dryness, itchiness or tenderness
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Reduces accelerated furring of the arteries
- There is a possible reduction in Alzheimer’s disease
- It reduces the risk of colon cancer
Current thinking is that the risks connected with HRT treatment are minimal and the benefits are significant.
Why put up with all this when you don't have to? There is now no need to just get on with it - time to feel your old self again!
Please be advised that this Practice only prescribes body identical BHRT or rBHRT because it is regulated, tested and consistent in its dosage unlike cBHRT. For more information on this please read this blog post
"When I came to you in 2016 I was at my wits end having got nowhere with my GP.
Even as recently as early 2020 I was called in to the doctors’ surgery where they tried to persuade me to stop taking HRT in light of recent studies. When I said I did not want to stop taking it I was told I might have to sign a form saying I was aware of the risks involved. Since Covid, however, this seems to have been dropped. (I recall emailing you at the time and you were reassuring and supportive about me continuing to take HRT).
I must thank you again because without your advice and recommendations I dread to think where I would be today. I shared my story with friends, some of whom then went to their own GPs to request HRT. Like Davina, I am now happy to shout about my menopause from the rooftops!!
As you approach menopause in your forties your hormone levels become increasingly erratic and this is known as being in perimenopause. This time of life varies from woman to woman - for some it's 6 months, for some its 5 years. During this time women report
- flushes and sweats
- heart palpitations
- increased anxiety
- mood changes
- disturbed sleep
- reduced libido
Because these symptoms are intermittent and vary in intensity you may not realise that these are actually being caused by the wildly fluctuating hormones that signal perimenopause. Indeed it is not uncommon for these symptoms to be misdiagnosed as depression with anti-depressants offered as a "solution."
Fortunately you no longer just have to "get on with it" Research over the past 12 years has led to a change in medical thinking and the International Menopause Society now suggests that a low dose of hormones can provide more benefits than risks.
Coupled with lifestyle changes these not only help you manage the perimenopause more effectively; it can help you avoid some of the more distressing menopause symptoms you may experience in your 50's and reduce the risks of osteoporosis and heart disease in older age.
It's also suggested that those entering perimenopause with a strong family history of heart disease, stroke or osteoporosis should explore the possibility of taking low doses of HRT - even when there are apparently no menopausal symptoms
Technically menopause refers to the time in your life when you've not had a period for 12 months. Many unpleasant symptoms can present themselves at this time - and unfortunately some of these are ongoing.
This is because, as we age, there’s a naturally occurring decline in hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When these are out of kilter we can experience all sorts of distressing consequences
The symptoms of menopause are many and varied and you may not realise at the time that these very disparate conditions are actually connected to a fundamental change in your hormones.
I list these below and have covered many of these in more detail in separate blog posts. Just click on the link to read more:
- Hot flushes, and night sweats
- Poor sleep
- Anxiety or feeling irritable or depressed
- ‘Brain Fog’, or poor memory
- Vaginal Dryness and Urinary problems
- Loss of Libido
- Weight gain
- Joint Pain or Menopausal Arthritis
- Itchy Skin
- Tension headaches and Migraine
- Prolapsed uterus, bladder or bowel
- Hair loss
This consultation forms the basis of the effective and bespoke management of menopause.
During a menopause assessment, we discuss:
- all of your symptoms
- menstrual history
- medical history
- gynaecological history
- family history of significant illness
We look at risk factors for other conditions including heart disease and osteoporosis and your weight and blood pressure will also be checked
We then discuss the best treatment option for you.
After 4 weeks we have a short telephone call ( included in the charge for the initial consultation ) to see how you are getting on and discuss any concerns. We normally then review 3 months after the initial consultation. Thereafter patients are welcome to continue to see me or I am happy to write to patients' GP's for them to continue.
Mammograms and bone density scans can be arranged and blood tests if necessary.
Blood tests to be discussed during consultation. This ranges from baseline hormone tests to a full profile including thyroid tests, diabetic check, liver and kidney function, cholesterol levels, vitamin D levels and blood profiles for anaemia and iron deficiency
From £90 to £300
Follow up consultation after 3 months
Once established on treatment, patients will be reviewed annually
Patients must be reviewed annually if prescriptions are being issued.
Annual review consultations : 30 minutes
It's often easier to see things explained in a visual way so I have created a library of resources to help with your questions about the menopause, peri menopause and HRT. Click on the video below to find out more
Click on the subjects below to find each video.
I also hope you will get a sense of the kind of person you will be talking to when you make an appointment to see me.
There is more information on menopause if you click on my blog page and select the purple tag "menopause" at the bottom of the page. This will bring up all the posts I have written on the subject.
For many women the menopause is something they ignore until it is upon them and then it may be a real shock to the system.
Suddenly the body you took for granted appears to be playing you up physically, mentally and emotionally.
Strangely this does not seem to have been a subject discussed with the sisterhood in your life (maybe because they have also ignored its approach or perhaps because they feel they just have to get on with it) so at this point you may take to the internet for answers to your menopause questions.
But in searching to find answers to questions like “How long this will last?” or “How can I best manage this time of my life” or “Should I take HRT” you appear to hit a wall of conflicting information and half answers.
For all of these reasons I have gained qualifications which allow me to arm my female patients with impartial and practical advice about perimenopause and menopause. I also became an associate specialist in the menopause at a London teaching hospital.
However I have identified a still growing need to give more women up to date advice and information which enables them to make informed decisions and for that reason I now offer an outreach programme of webinars and talks on menopause for groups of 20 or more women in and around Central London.
- Are you running a membership association or a networking group?
- Are you working in an organisation with many women?
- Are you looking to add value to a specific occasion aimed at women?
- Do you want to heighten the awareness of menopause for a particular sector?
My talks and webinars are likely to appeal to mature women of 40 plus who are concerned that their business and personal life should not be affected. You might like to read about the success of one such talk here and please see some testimonials below.
Testimonial from a retailer:
What a woman!...Steph has literally changed lives by empowering women and dispelling the myths of taking HRT. Over three evenings she spoke to around 150 women at our lingerie shop in South West London, answering all our questions bar none.
Her professionalism, charm, and wit soon put us all at ease as she spoke about what the menopause actually is, what happens to our bodies and the many options available to get us through what can be totally miserable time! Steph, Thank you!
Testimonial from an online course for physiotherapists
It was wonderful to have you present. It really did anchor the course and it was a really strong section. I have listened to many people present and you really stood out. You have a wonderful easy relaxed style. Hopefully you will join us again next time.
Testimonial from a hotel and spa
I just wanted to pass on my thanks to you both for running an exceptionally informative evening at Limewood. I was hesitant about attending and the evening was extremely worthwhile. It made me feel normal and I felt that you answered all aspects wonderfully, listening to all the different points of view and having good answers that didn’t leave the audience confused. Well done.
Testimonial from a Women's Networking Group
Dr Steph did a fireside chat with Saska from Mpowered for our OmniwomenUk Chapter on the subject of "Why the Menopause is a 30 Something Issue" With 50+ attendees virtually it was an inspiring session where Dr Steph busted myths, reassured the concerned and helped educate those that really hadn’t considered what the Menopause could mean for them.
She made everyone feel confident to face into the issue, not be fobbed off and to look forward to celebrating this stage of life. The Q&A was amazing with questions ranging from “what can I do with my lifestyle now to help my body to prepare” to “what are the links between other conditions like POI & endometria with early menopause”.
Testimonial from an interview for an online magazine
"Steph is a fantastically engaging speaker, full of vital insights and information that you just don’t tend to hear elsewhere - and she really knows her stuff. Her words are genuinely empowering. One member of the Audrey audience said 'I watched the Dr Steph interview and it was so helpful - as a result I immediately rang my GP and got an appointment to discuss restarting HRT. Thanks so much for an eye-opening session. Without the Audrey Live interview I wouldn’t have taken this path, but Steph’s words gave me the confidence to take action'”
Testimonial from Webinar Attendees
“Absolutely brilliant hour listening to all things menopause with Dr Stephanie and a panel of experts. Certainly highlighted the issue that many women face, alone – and we shouldn’t, whilst going through the menopause. Dr Stephanie, was frank to the point and no subject was taboo”
‘Really enjoyed the session with Dr Stephanie and other experts. Very informative and provided a great sense of comfort for those of us going through the menopause – detailing symptoms and ways of managing these in a clear and non-judgemental way. I certainly wish Dr Stephanie was my doctor!’
“Dr Stephanie was honest, kind and reassuring. Her extensive knowledge on the subject of menopause made the discussion impactful whilst still providing the level of comfort needed to support women facing real challenges.”
If you would like to find out more please get in touch.
Why do many women consult with you about their menopause?
A valid question! I’m going to let one of my patients answer that
“The HRT together with my lifestyle changes has been utterly life changing! I no longer suffer from fatigue, aching bones, I am sleeping better (sex too!) my moods are regulated, I have more energy and I feel like I'm 18 again!! I feel more focused, my hair glossy and my skin radiant! I could go on but what I really wanted to say is - Thank you so much for everything you have done and for giving me the reassurance that I would feel better - which i do!
How do you make sure you are keeping up with the latest advice?
This is intrinsic to me being part of the teaching team at the Specialist Menopause Clinic in Guy’s Hospital and a British Menopause Society trainer. In terms of qualification, I hold an Advanced Certificate in Menopause Care
How long is a consultation with you?
Our initial meeting last for 45 minutes and the follow up lasts 30 minutes.
How do I book a consultation with you?
The most direct way is to phone the clinic on 020 7935 3351. You will then be sent a registration form and a symptom score questionnaire to complete.
I prefer a face-to-face consultation – is this possible?
Absolutely, this is my preferred method too. However, if you are not able to come in and see me I also offer remote appointments via video
Can I refer myself or do I need a GP letter?
Yes, you can refer yourself, but we like to have your GP details so that we can let them know what has been prescribed
Can I still see you if I am having periods?
Are you experiencing perimenopausal symptoms which are having a negative effect on your life? Things like anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, poor concentration or memory lapses. If so, a low dose of hormone treatment could help, and I would encourage you to get in touch
I live abroad, can I still consult with you?
Sorry, we can only see patients if they are in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. This applies whether the consultation is face to face or remote. This is also the case if you were in this area at the time of your initial appointment and then moved abroad
Will my medical insurance cover the cost of my consultation?
No, unfortunately it won’t
Do you prescribe bioidentical HRT?
There’s a bit of unhelpful confusion over this term. To help, I explain what I prescribe in this blog post
How long does it typically take for HRT to work?
We usually have a review meeting with you when 3 months have elapsed
Are there any side effects that I may experience?
Some women do feel bloated or have breast tenderness or have irregular (even sometimes heavy) bleeding. This usually settles down after a few months. If any of these symptoms worsen or others develop you should contact myself of your GP
What about the increased risk of breast cancer?
This is minimal and likely to affect only those who carry the breast cancer gene. The most recent research shows that for most women HRT helps to manage what can be extremely debilitating symptoms and is safe. Unfortunately, the media do not always give a context to their headlines. I talk about this here
Do you prescribe testosterone?
Some women experience a diminished desire for sex and find that it is less pleasurable than it once was. They may also struggle with depression, cognitive problems and less energy. For these reasons and other health reasons I do prescribe testosterone and explain more about this here
How do I get any prescribed medications?
These are posted direct to you by our pharmaceutical partner
Can you help if I need a Mirena coil or a DEXA scan?
In both cases we can refer you to have this done privately in London
Where can I find out more on the subject of menopause?
I share regular blog posts on my website. You can find these here You may also want to sign up to my monthly newsletter – the button is at the top right of the website.
What are the costs involved in consulting with you?
The initial appointment; written summary of our meeting; a recap of the risk and benefits; a letter to your GP and a month 1 follow up costs £400 (Please be advised we can increase fees without notice) Each prescribed item costs £14 per month
The 3-month review costs £205 and blood tests for testosterone (if required) cost £80
If you are put on testosterone you will need further tests at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. This will cost £205 for each appointment and £80 for each blood test.
I hope this has been helpful. Please don't hesitate to get in touch should you need further information