HRT and me: Down days in the search for the right hormone replacement therapy

First of all, an apology for anyone unlucky enough to be around me last night. And an apology for anyone unlucky enough to be around me this morning.

I didn’t want to be angry and raging at everything and nothing yesterday and nor do I want to be sitting here writing this in tears, with a deep sadness in my heart, white noise filling my mind and a raincloud over my head.

If it weren’t for the insomnia and itchiness, I’d go back to bed and not come out again, wondering why anything’s worth it.

But the desire to tear at my skin until it turns red raw is the reason I’m writing this: it’s a sign that my HRT (hormone replacement therapy) isn’t working and I’m back feeling all my old menopause symptoms.

HRT is touted as a wonder cure for menopause, but the truth is far from it. It’s a delicate balancing act of trying to get the right amount of hormones for you and that can take a while. You have to let the hormones get into your system over two-three months to see if they’re the right mix for you and if not, you’re back to the drawing board.

As I am.

I’m on Evorel Sequi, by the way – and if you’re on it, don’t panic! Just because it isn’t working for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you and I know many women who swear by it. Everyone is different and. like menopause, HRT isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

The ironic thing is: I knew before I started that Evorel Sequi wasn’t great because I’d had it before. But the *replacement was worse.

(*Not the replacement prescribed by my GP. That was unavailable because of the HRT shortages.)

However, when I went back to my GP to ask for something else, the shortages were worse. He actually phoned the pharmacist to see what they had or could get hold of and went through five or six different options only to be told they couldn’t be got for love nor money. Evorel Sequi was available and so I decided to go back to that, thinking it was better than nothing.

And to be honest, there was also a wee bit of hubris in there, too. I’d been doing my reading and figured that with a bit of yoga and some meditation, healthy eating etc, I could control the bad times a bit better.

Except that when the bad times start sneaking up on you – because they’re crafty buggers and don’t just suddenly jump out and attack – you start neglecting the healthy ideas. Life starts feeling a little more difficult than before and you’re tired, so you skip the parts that take a bit more effort where you can.

Tired and emotional

Which has left me here, sitting on the sofa after having no sleep, surrounded by soggy tissues and crying because my new cat is hiding under the bed.

I know this is my hormones.

Or at least I think I do.

Menopause is so under-reported and under-researched that I’m not really 100% sure. Perhaps I’m just going crazy.

I do know that under the present system, the answer is probably not going to lie with my GP – and that comes with a huge “I’m sorry” to all the GPs out there who are working really hard and want to help.

However, not many have a real understanding of menopause and we have to discuss everything in less than ten minutes, half of which I’ll probably spend crying and the other half he’ll probably spend trying to find out which HRT is available again.

And at the end of it, I’ll come away with another prescription and have to test it for another two-three months to see if it works and I feel better.

I suppose I could ask to see a specialist. After all, it’s only a five-month wait to get into my nearest menopause clinic…

No wonder I feel as if I’m going crazy – I mean, either I am or the system is. Women make up slightly more than half the world’s population and yet we can’t get the healthcare and advice we need for a condition that we cannot avoid. From the moment I was born, Mother Nature had me pegged for menopause (I’m starting to hate that woman. That’s probably the hormones, though. Sorry, Ma N.)

So it’s back to the GP to see what’s available and hope it’s what he wants to prescribe, too. The right combination is out there for me, we just have to find it.

And in the meantime, I’m going to push myself to make the effort and do the exercise, do the meditation and eat better.

I know this will pass.

But be a bit gentle with me until it does, eh?


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8 thoughts on “HRT and me: Down days in the search for the right hormone replacement therapy”

  1. I was prescribed evor else sequi but it wasn’t available. I had the evorel conti instead, it’s stopped the awful itchiness but I think I have a surge of oestrogen mid month, tender sore boobs, t hen progesterone kicks in with the emotional roller coaster. I’ve dropped to cutting patches in half. Upping my omega oil supplements (sea buckthorn and flaxseed oil) instead. 2 months in, I feel more stable… so far

    1. I know my Pausitivity Pal Clare Shepherd would be very happy to hear about your supplements!!!! She’s a nutritionist! But head back to your GP and explain how you’re feeling. You should be able to get an alternative HRT that helps. If not, at least you’re alerting the GP to the fact that this is how some women can feel on HRT. We don’t raise our voices enough.

      Thanks for sharing, Pauline x

  2. spookily timing as I feel like your words are practically identical to how I feel this week I’m on evorel sequi and about a year in every so often I feel a dip in effect.
    I was just texting a friend saying I’d call gp tomorrow.
    Thank you for sharing as knowing I’m not alone or crazy makes me feel better

    1. I am the same been on Everol Sequi a year this April.I’m still up and down and my symptoms sneak through still but not has bad before HRT therapy.I’m still not myself something is missing.I have a appointment with a menopause clinic next month,fingers crossed I find the right treatment.I think I also need testosterone too,Before starting my HRT therapy my menopause symptoms were so severe I couldn’t get out of bed most day, the anxiety,tiredness,palpitations.nausea,and the list goes on.I had at least 36 symptoms.I hope you all on here find the right HRT therapy so we can live a happier life and a better quality of life and return back to the person we use to be.Good luck everyone X

      1. Hi. I was just wondering what you switched to because I’m the same on Evorel sequi. Got appointment Monday wanting to change

  3. Sandra Lloyd hughes

    I had pmdd , I had chemical menaupause, I had a full hysterectomy,
    I am progesterone intolerant, mirena coil was very bad for my mental health ,
    I am now having problems with estrogen only hrt ( I don’t need progesterone as all bits taken out) . Very soon after having estrogen patches I was getting very bad allergy symptoms, extreme itching throat , running nose and also my exzema went very bad ,, thru my trawling thru Google I belive eostrogen is causing mast cells to produce too much histermin .. doc not understanding what im trying to say .. so he’s given me estrogen gel ,, day one today ,I’m keeping a diary of the reactions

  4. Thank you for sharing everything you experience regards your menopause and HRT responses which I identify with .

    I just wanted to add that my Everol Conti and now Oestrogen gel is not as effective when my Colitis flares up usually from not eating the right diet for me HRT Absorption ( shown on blood tests ) and symptom led has dropped as low as 60 when it should be between 200-400 !
    The most worrying thing for me is that I need my HRT above 250 to help with my osteoporosis which was sadly diagnosed last October . Oestrogen helps to stop my bone density getting any worse .

    Just thought this might help any other sufferers x

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