Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause I'm going to be talking about the HRT shortage and what you need to know about it.
Now, with the HRT shortage hitting the headlines in the UK again this week, it's no surprise that a lot of women have contacted me worried about where their next prescription is coming from and seeking advice on how natural remedies can help.
So, today I have filmed this video specifically about this concern and I am going to explain what you need to know and what you need to be aware of if you're thinking of trying natural remedies instead of your HRT.
Can natural remedies replace HRT?
The reality here is that natural remedies are not as strong as HRT so, if you are thinking of replacing HRT with natural remedies, you may find that they only help a little bit.
Now, coming off HRT is better if you can do it long-term because that helps your body to get used to lower levels of HRT, when you can then add in natural remedies.
But, if you've had to come off HRT really quickly, then starting straight away on natural remedies and supplements such as our Menoforce Sage tablets for hot flushes, or our Menopause Support for general symptoms, will probably just help to take the edge off your withdrawal symptoms.
The problem here is that HRT keeps your hormone levels artificially high. This effectively fools your body into thinking that you've got plenty of hormones, so you don't get those menopause symptoms.
However, underneath all that, your own natural hormone levels are decreasing so you are still going through the menopause.
When you come off HRT suddenly, especially if you have been on it a good few years, you're going to have a very swift fall back down to your own natural hormone levels. This is what can very often cause withdrawal symptoms and these will be exactly the same as your menopause ones.
Why you can get symptoms when using a substitute HRT
The other thing that can happen is that, for women lucky enough to get a substitute HRT, they may still get symptoms. They might find that they've got new ones or they might find that the ones they have had get worse.
Again, this is just because, if you are on a different combination of HRT or even a different make of HRT, then again, your body is going to suddenly have to get used to a different combination or a different level of hormones and sometimes that could trigger the symptoms.
In this instance, usually after a few weeks, your body gets a little bit more used to it. So, you should find that things will ease off that bit more.
What to do if you are worried about the HRT shortage
If you have any worries here about your HRT, about being able to obtain it or about having to change your HRT, then please get in touch with your doctor or your pharmacist.
I can't answer questions on prescribed medication, but if you have any questions about what remedies may give you that little bit of help while you are in this transition stage, then please do get in touch. You can either put comments in the section below or you can email me.
HRT shortage in the news
To find out more about the HRT shortage in the UK, you can read about it in this BBC News article: HRT shortage 'adds to the stress of menopause'.
Remember if you are worried at all about your HRT prescription, then please contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Coming off HRT
If you would like more advice about coming off HRT, then please have a look at my article which outlines information on the best way to come of HRT safely and ways to keep your symptoms under check while doing so.
So, I hope this has given you just a little bit more information on HRT and natural remedies. I will hope to see you next week, for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.