Health & Wellness Vlogcast

Understanding Hormone Replacement Therapy

July 24, 2020
Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hot flushes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, irregular periods – sound familiar? Many of us have experienced these symptoms with the onset of menopause.  Some women are fortunate enough to have mild symptoms but for those who are experiencing severe symptoms this time of life can be a living nightmare.

Welcome to Episode 6 of Conversations with Women Living Well After 50 and the topic for discussion today is “Understanding Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)”  

Please note that this discussion should not be taken as medical advice but rather one woman’s experience and to provide information. If menopause symptoms are bothering you  please seek medical advice from your doctor or Menopause specialist.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

I’m delighted to welcome my guest, Sally from FitFab Fiftyish to share her story and experience with Hormone Replacement Therapy.  Sally, is a woman who is enthusiastic and excited by life after 50. Her experience of menopause was difficult and she undertook extensive research to find ways to ease the symptoms.

I’ve listed the questions I put to Sally below and also included the link to the full YouTube interview.

  • Can you briefly describe your personal experience with Menopause?
  • What are some other symptoms of menopause?
  • You have mentioned to me in a previous conversation that Menopause for you was a very challenging time. What treatment options did you seek to alleviate the symptoms? Were there any side effects?
  • When I was going through Menopause, I had heard various opinions around HRT and some of it wasn’t good. Why do you think HRT has a bad reputation?
  • From your experience and research can you provide information on what some of the myths about HRT?
  • Some women prefer a more natural approach rather than the traditional approach. Are there natural remedies available?
  • Do you have any specific advice for women bothered by the symptoms during menopause?
  • What does being a Woman Living Well After 50 mean to you?

Links to HRT Resources mentioned in the interview

“The M Word” by Dr Ginni Mansberg

“The XX Brain” by Dr Lisa Mosconi  
 
Balance App for Menopause by Dr Louise Newson  

Find an Australian doctor with advanced knowledge in menopause:  

https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/find-an-ams-doctor 

Meet Sally

Sally writes about wellbeing in midlife at her blog Fit Fab Fiftyish. She’s passionate about encouraging women to be active, creative and joyful in this empowering time of life.

Sally lives in Melbourne where she works in a support role in healthcare. She’s an empty-nester, a yogi and loves nothing more than getting out on her Stand Up Paddleboard.

Connect with Sally

Website: www.fitfabfiftyish.com 

Instagram:  @fit.fab.50ish 

Email:  Sally@fitfabfiftyish.com 

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21 Comments

  • Reply Donna Connolly July 24, 2020 at 15:14

    Thank you Sally and Sue for this great information. So often this topic is difficult to talk about — but needs to be discussed. I greatly appreciate you sharing this.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 27, 2020 at 17:06

      Thanks Donna, I was very fortunate not to really have symptoms that made life miserable. I know that keeping active and eating well certainly helped. It was lovely chatting to Sally and we have much in common. I’ve made a new friend. x

  • Reply Joanne Tracey July 26, 2020 at 08:52

    Thanks for this. At 53 I’m going through some of it at the moment and have finally decided to do something about it – so the info was very timely!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 27, 2020 at 17:07

      I hope the conversation provided some information for you Jo and I think it is a good idea to do something to alleviate the symptoms. x

  • Reply Natalie July 29, 2020 at 06:41

    Thank you Sue and Sally for sharing this information. It’s helpful to be aware of the options and discuss them with a specialist if needed. #MLSTL

  • Reply Suzanne July 29, 2020 at 06:57

    Hi Sue and Sally, yes a subject that needs to be discussed and definitely not to be endured if the right solution is out there. I never ventured down that road and went eu natural. Though friends did and it worked out for them. All the best.

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee July 29, 2020 at 07:28

    I went to see Aurora with a friend and her mum and the mum said she went thru Menopause for 10 years! I had no idea it lasted so long sometimes….In that case you def don’t want to ‘endure’ it!! #MLSTL

  • Reply Jennifer Jones July 29, 2020 at 08:15

    I’m fortunate not to have suffered any of these problems but I have friends who have had a dreadful time. I’ll refer them to this post #MLSTL Sharing

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle July 29, 2020 at 09:23

    Hi Sue and Sally – great timing for a post on this topic as I’ve just tried HRT. Like Sally, I have been having a terrible time with menopause. I have just about every symptom in the book. I too decided to try HRT after trying all possible natural options. I was put on a high level patch first up and very soon after applying the first patch had uncomfortable side effects – severe bloating, very sore nipples, pressure cooker feeling like building for a period. I hadn’t had a period for 6 months at this stage. After 3 weeks on this patch I went back to the doctor and said I couldn’t cope with it any longer. She then put me on a lower level patch to try. The drop in Progesterone levels caused me to have a period and it was a doozy – very heavy and painful and draining. I decided to give this lower dose more of a chance though and continued with it for a couple of weeks after the period. I finally decided though to cease using it after the severe bloating just wouldn’t abate. It was disappointing because I had really hoped the HRT would be the answer to my problems. So now I’m just letting my body reset and I’m not quite sure what I’ll do from here. It’s lovely to see these topics discussed as they are a huge part of many midlife women’s lives and by talking to each other it is so very helpful. Thank you!

  • Reply Jennifer July 29, 2020 at 10:41

    I guess I’m one of those “lucky” ones who skated through with very few symptoms of menopause. I did have one odd symptom though that is rare, instead of hot flashes, I got cold flashes. It could be 80 or 90 degrees out and I would be shivering and covered in blankets. Not fun, but I guess more manageable than hot flashes on a humid day.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 3, 2020 at 18:19

      I was fortunate too, Jennifer with very mild symptoms.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au July 29, 2020 at 13:40

    Hi Sue – lovely to meet Sally as another wonderful guest in your series of interviews. Menopause is so different for all of us and I think we can never have too much information available to us. Knowing what’s available helps us ask the right questions when we face similar issues and symptoms. I know for myself, an ablation was a godsend – and so far I haven’t needed to go any further down the treatment trail – but it’s still early days!
    #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 3, 2020 at 18:18

      I was lucky and didn’t require any treatment, Leanne but it was good to share Sally’s story. I think the key message is to be informed and take control of the situation by learning all you can about various treatments and then discussing with your doctor.

  • Reply Samantha Smith July 29, 2020 at 18:13

    Hi Sue, great to meet Sally, although I wish I had heard this a few years ago. I went through early menopause, in my 40’s and really had a hard time with it. I’m thankfully well out the other end now and totally sympathise with anyone going through it as it was an awful experience for me personally, it was coupled with a very difficult time in my life so I have put it behind me and moved on, but I do remember that there was quite conflicting information about how to treat the symptoms, especially with HRT, to the point where I was prescribed it, got my first prescription of tablets, but never took them. I was scared of taking them. I decided to leave them and ‘put up’ with the symptoms using herbal remedies, which did calm me a little I guess. This interview would be so very helpful to women going through the menopause, well done for sharing #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 3, 2020 at 18:16

      Thanks Sam, it must have been very difficult for you experiencing menopause so young. For me, I was very lucky with minimal symptoms but my heart goes out to those who have extreme symptoms. Your personal situation wouldn’t have helped either.

  • Reply Debbie Harris July 29, 2020 at 20:52

    This is such great information to have so many thanks for sharing with us. We all need to know this type of info and unfortunately it’s usually too late when we find out! Thanks Sue and Sally, I’ve shared for #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 3, 2020 at 18:17

      Thanks Deb, I found Sally’s story very interesting and some of my friends are going through the same process now. For me, I was lucky but we need to be open and informed about treatments that are available and chat to our GP about it.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan July 30, 2020 at 09:31

    Interesting to read about this. I had a hysterectomy aged 38 and my ovaries were left so I would have a natural menopause. Which in some ways I did but also my GP at the time, decided maybe try ‘the patch’. I did but its effects were from the patch itself. I think, with all things like HRT, let yourself and your medical specialists be your guide. I did not have too many issues once I had my hysterectomy. Thanks Sue for continuing your education for women.
    Denyse #mlstl

  • Reply Deborah Cook July 30, 2020 at 09:44

    Great advice Sue and Sally. I didn’t end up taking or using anything. When I was pre/perimenopausal (in my 40s) I asked my doctor if I should get my hormones tested and she’s very much a minimal interventionist sort of person so she said, “Why bother? What’s knowing going to do?” So I just kept going. It’s been two years since my last period and I think I’ve probably been luckier than most. Not to mention that my moods are up and down all of the time so who’d know if I was struggling!!!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 3, 2020 at 18:14

      Hi Deborah, I was fortunate and had very mild symptoms but I was very interested to hear Sally’s story. She has undertaken serious research to find out about HRT and I was glad that she wanted to share her story. If you have a good GP I think that helps as well.

  • Reply Christine August 4, 2020 at 14:44

    This was very interesting to listen to and contained lots of useful information. I also did a lot of research into HRT including the trial Sally referred to and found similar things. Changes in mental health at this time is also an area that has an enormous impact on many women and I think this is under-reported and not talked about as much as it should be. Shared.

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