I thought that it would be good to do a bit of an update on how HRT patches are going for me. Mainly for myself as I do like looking back, but for others who may be curious too.
Background on me and HRT
Why I asked to go on HRT
So, for those who do not know, I am 44 years old and was having regular periods with no hot flushes. Did not think I stood a hope in hell of the doctor giving me HRT. But for a good many years my mood swings have been horrendous. Around 5ish days before my period is due my husband is an absolute saint for putting up with me. Mainly because I genuinely (at that time) believe that he is the opposite to put it mildly.
Previously a male doctor had put me on antidepressants. That didn’t work for me as it just made me numb. As time went on more and more symptoms appeared and I started keeping a bit of a list. As well as the mood swings this included very heavy periods, headaches, my hair falling out, facial hair, forgetfulness to name but a few.
Regular readers will also know that I have had this pain in my hip that travels to my back for well over a year too. One day someone messaged me and suggested that this was also part of peri-menopause so I added that to the list too.
About my HRT Patches
After discussions with the doctor I opted for the HRT patches. As I am still not menopausal (all periods stopped) and need to keep taking progestin (norethisterone). Originally I was prescribed Sequi which basically means the two types of patches I need come in one box. Due to HRT shortages I have to be prescribed them in two separate boxes. Either way I have to pay two prescription charges for them.
So there’s Evorel 50 and Conti patches. Twice a week I wear one patch (changing it on a Monday and Thursday) and the same again the next week for the other patch. After reading advice on forums I opted to place them on alternating bum cheeks.
How is it Going?
Things started off pretty great. Obviously they weren’t ever going to be a miracle cure but a lot of symptoms calmed down. At first the major ones – mood swings and heavy periods were still there, possibly a bit lighter – but no worse. Lots of others were loads better though. This was particularly good considering the hip pain that’s prevented me running as much and disturbed my sleep! Still getting loads of hair falling out though, not too much of a problem for me as I have really thick hair.
The brain fog is still a bit of a problem though. I’ve even started looking at word searches to keep my brain a bit more active. Using a calendar I carefully plotted out which days I should be wearing which patches. It was only when I read someone being confused about which patch that I realised that I was wearing an Evorel 50 patch but when I changed it should have been a Conti!
Advice was just to swap it to the Conti (I didn’t realise until the Wednesday night so it was due to be changed anyway) and carry on as if I hadn’t made the mistake. This week I have somehow forgot to take my patch off and not sure which is which! I had labelled which side (left/right) but both myself and my husband think it’s already on the wrong side. This was because it fell off in the bath and I had to use another one.
Also last month my period was much lighter and manageable. Unfortunately it also lasted for 2 weeks! Fingers crossed this was just due to the mix up with the patches!
My HRT Review was simply done by telephone. We spoke about how I was getting on and we agreed that it does seem that I am peri-menopausal and that the HRT is helping. It was discussed that it is the Evorel Conti patches that I am wearing when my mood dips and I reassured her that I wouldn’t try not to wear them because of this.
The doctor asked me if I was happy with the dose. Really I am not sure what changes of doses would actually mean for me anyway. This was on day 2 of the very long (but light) period and we agreed to leave it another couple of months to really give it a chance to settle.
So really that’s where I am now.