Riding and the Menopause

HelenBack

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I find it really frustrating that women have to fight to get HRT when clearly the impacts of perimenopause are huge on so many of us. I have been dismissed at my GP surgery too but thankfully have now found out that there are two female GPs there who are the "right" age so am finally making some progress.

Out of curiosity, is the risk of HRT any greater than the risk of taking the combined pill, which many women do for several years without any concern?

I also think there's something wrong when doctors are so reluctant to out HRT yet they will prescribe anti-depressants like they're Smarties!
 

myheartinahoofbeat

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I am 52 and lost my confidence badly about 3-4 years ago which i think was to do with the peri menopause as there was no other reason but I have finally got it back. I event at Grassroots level and am having my best season so far. Anxiety the night before the event is still a huge problem but then so is sleeping generally. My problem now is my memory, also a menopause thing. I've forgotten my dressage test 3 of the last 4 times eventing and lost 2 costly marks each time. I feel I have learnt the test properly but just go blank in the arena. I accept I am one of the oldest riding at the competitions and don't have the confidence of the younger competitors but for the moment, I am still enjoying myself.
 
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JoannaC

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I had a hysterectomy five years ago and have felt rubbish ever since but as I kept my ovaries and had been told prior to surgery that I was showing no signs of menopause I didn't connect at all! I've recently started taking Menopace and am feeling so much better. My anxiety has improved but I have no desire to ride really although I enjoy it when I do. Hopefully i'll get back into it in time just pleased my energy levels are on the up!
 

Asha

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I had a hysterectomy five years ago and have felt rubbish ever since but as I kept my ovaries and had been told prior to surgery that I was showing no signs of menopause I didn't connect at all! I've recently started taking Menopace and am feeling so much better. My anxiety has improved but I have no desire to ride really although I enjoy it when I do. Hopefully i'll get back into it in time just pleased my energy levels are on the up!

There seems to be very little information about the menopause after having a hysterectomy ( but with your ovaries still in tact). I feel its as though they whip it all out and then you are on your own. You have no clues about whether you are heading into it as you have no periods. Its only hindsight thats told me i must be heading that way.
 

JoannaC

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There seems to be very little information about the menopause after having a hysterectomy ( but with your ovaries still in tact). I feel its as though they whip it all out and then you are on your own. You have no clues about whether you are heading into it as you have no periods. Its only hindsight thats told me i must be heading that way.
Very true, I had one visit with my doctor after and nothing since. I assume they took my cervix as well as I don't get called for a smear test but I don't actually know for sure!
 

Asha

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Very true, I had one visit with my doctor after and nothing since. I assume they took my cervix as well as I don't get called for a smear test but I don't actually know for sure!
Its really poor. Im the same. No help/advice after, my physio was horrified to learn that i wasnt offered physio after. One trip back to remove the staples and that was it.
 
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I had an ovarian cyst which grew rapidly and led to full hysterectomy, everything removed via laparotomy surgery, so straight into surgical menopause age 45, 18 months ago. I have struggled ever since with mood, energy levels and lack of sleep. Lost my horse of 20 years early this year, brought an OTTB as a project..... he is happy but still sitting in the field... I just haven’t felt able to start riding him.... I was happy, confident, energetic , up for a challenge, nothing phased me before... my GP advised I “tough it out”. After reading this thread I have booked in with a private consultant and feel hopeful there’s a way forward somehow, fingers crossed, thank you everyone who had posted, I had thought I was going mad!!!
 

Midlifecrisis

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I went to the doctors complaining of serious fatigue and prickly sweats and was given HRT straightaway. It was amazing ..within a few days I was back to normal , but I developed lumpy breast tissue and abnormal mammograms which led to biopsies etc so I was advised to stop taking it. I decided to go “cold turkey” last October (after 5 years of taking it) and symptom wise I’m doing ok…yes I have the sweats and a bit of brain fogginess (recalling names/learning new names) but essentially I’m OK. But I recognise I am cautious riding..I hack with people not alone…”just in case”. I have caught myself wondering what would happen if “x”, “y or z” occurs but can override potential anxiety inducing scenarios ..currently anyway.
 

Reacher

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Thanks for this thread.
Just typed then deleted a long depressing post!
If this is me for the rest of my days....... *pfffft*
The knowledge you can never go "back to normal" is the worst bit I think.


Those on HRT would like to know what sort and how you got it, via GP or privately and what's the cost?
Have you had any pressure to stop taking it, especially if you never want to stop?
I had an early menopause due to a myomecomy (fibroidectomy) in my 20s.
Since I went on hrt (the synthetic stuff - I use ellest duette) I’ve felt great. There does seem to be supply shortage at times which is a bit strange. I get it on nhs. Cost is a double nhs prescription charge for 3 months supply.

I’ve been on it 10 years - am a bit worried a gp will start trying to take me off it at some point.

What are the bio- identical types mentioned that you can stay on “forever”?

Thanks to those posters above who highlighted the welfare issue of mares derived hrt for anyone not aware.
 

Bluewaves

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I'm 55 and have been on HRT for five years. I changed from patches to tablets i think to increase the oestrogen dose as doctor thought that would help. Mine is free on the NHS as I live in NI and we get free prescriptions.

I asked the GP surgery who would be the best doctor to speak to about the menopause and the receptionist suggested one who she knew had been on HRT training courses. She was actually great and put me on patches right away.

I then read a bit more and decided it might be worth seeing someone privately to make sure i was getting the best options. She just changed the prescription and wrote a letter to my GP to advise. I probably would have got the same advice from my GP if i had gone to her, I just wanted to make sure i was taking care of myself by going private for advice as she was a specialist in menopause.

Although HRT has helped me, i am definitely not the same person i was. I'm not such a quick thinker, i have put on weight (i have low thyroid levels as well) and have less energy. I also give less of a shit about things i probably should care about, like my job! I also do have different types of anxiety.

What HRT did help me with was getting rid of the rush of panic and anxiety i got that always preceded a hot flush. The hot flush itself wasn't as bad as whatever what was going on in my body to trigger the anxiety. It would just come out of nowhere. I know now its caused by a sudden drop of oestrogen. It is so unpleasant.

I would love to stay on HRT but I'll have to see how it goes.
 

SEL

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So sad how many of us have been fobbed off by the GP. I went when I was 42 and was considered too young. I might try again as I'm a couple of years on and the brain fog is not ideal for my job, which involves a lot of critical discussion.
I have another medical condition so GP blames everything on that. Now I've read this thread I'm either going to have another go at pushing harder or try and see someone privately
 

Alibear

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I'm jumping through the hoops to try and get it. Things have changed over the years, and specialists now acknowledge that the cancer risk is much lower for those with no family history of it. Especially if you go the patches or gels route, it took me 18 months to get the thyroid meds that sorted things out in a few weeks, and here I am again. I wish it were easier to get help, especially for something every woman goes through.
 

teapot

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For anyone younger did you ever get very far medical help wise? My issue is I have a pituitary condition too which messes up my hormones anyway. Currently almost cold turkey off my drugs to see whether it's the condition, drugs, or menopause, or all three. Fun times. o_O
 

Reacher

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I have another medical condition so GP blames everything on that. Now I've read this thread I'm either going to have another go at pushing harder or try and see someone privately
Thinking about it, I think the gp originally fobbed me off. Then I was having a well woman check up with a nurse who I mentioned the symptoms to and she did a blood test which showed I was menopausal and so the gp then put me on hrt
For anyone younger did you ever get very far medical help wise? My issue is I have a pituitary condition too which messes up my hormones anyway. Currently almost cold turkey off my drugs to see whether it's the condition, drugs, or menopause, or all three. Fun times. o_O
I was late 30s
 

Miszeemare

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I had 4 c sections plus sterilisation with the last one at age 39. Apparently that can trigger an earlier menopause. I was experiencing trouble with my periods and horrendous rages (having 4 boys didn’t help). GP suggested antidepressants but I wasn’t depressed so I asked to go on the pill to control the hormones. Wouldn’t consider as too old (although friend was on pill at the same age and had been for years🤷‍♀️) it so suggested a low level HRT. I was ok for a while but the last two years have been awful, with anxiety, sleeplessness etc. Wasnt getting very far with gp, then COVID hit. Was planning to go private but the nurse that had taken over the menopausal ladies at the practice persuaded me to stick with them as I had ”slipped through the net”. Did my researc, chatted to friends, basically told the nurse what I wanted and she agreed with me!

So please go to the GP and don’t be fobbed off. My friend pointed out that the gel we use is over £40 a bottle which is probably why they are reluctant to prescribe - one lasts me about a month.
 

Kat

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Have a look at the balance app if you are planning to go to the GP. It logs your symptoms and produces a report you can take to the doctor. It was designed by a menopause doctor for exactly this reason.
 

catembi

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I originally got my HRT from my GP but it was oestrogen only & tablets. Free apart from the prescription charge. I had to go there every 6 months & see alternately a dr or a nurse, I complained about poor sleep every time & also every time I got the veiled threats of being taken off it, plus I really hated going to the dr when I wasn't ill.

This is the service I used: Online Menopause Centre - The UK's 1st Online Menopause Clinic When I did it, you could get a free 15 min introductory appt to see if it's right for you. All the prices are on there. Not cheap & all the hormones aren't cheap, but compared with what I spend on 5 horses & running the lorry, and what price can you put on SLEEPING, renewed strength & energy, better skin & vastly improved anxiety? I also take Menopace Night & was advised to take a magnesium powder at night - the one recommended was Nutri Advanced MegaMag Night Formula.
 

southerncomfort

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I was just about to make a new comment but by the time I'd scrolled down to the the reply box I'd forgotten what it was! 😆

Oh yes! Going back to anxiety...I seem to suffer from a sort of displaced or delayed anxiety. As in I can do something challenging like hack out my bouncy youngster like I did yesterday, and feel fine. But I've spent most of today with that awful stomach churning and feel sick as a dog. Awful palpitations too.

I've realised this has happened a few times recently where I overcome fear or anxiety at the time but the next day I'm crippled by it.

Would live to know if this is a thing or if I'm just weird!
 

Jellymoon

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I was just about to make a new comment but by the time I'd scrolled down to the the reply box I'd forgotten what it was! 😆

Oh yes! Going back to anxiety...I seem to suffer from a sort of displaced or delayed anxiety. As in I can do something challenging like hack out my bouncy youngster like I did yesterday, and feel fine. But I've spent most of today with that awful stomach churning and feel sick as a dog. Awful palpitations too.

I've realised this has happened a few times recently where I overcome fear or anxiety at the time but the next day I'm crippled by it.

Would live to know if this is a thing or if I'm just weird!
I can relate to this. I can fight the fear and then get a delayed ‘what if’ reaction. Maybe it’s because it takes such a lot of effort to quash the anxiety, and then afterwards you relax, and all that suppressed adrenaline comes bursting out.
 

Jellymoon

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I collected my patches today, and have slapped the first one on. No change so far, just feel anxious about breast cancer now, haha! Hopefully in a few days it will kick in.
Those of you on Menopace - is that a natural thing you can take alongside HRT?
 

Jellymoon

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I am 52 and lost my confidence badly about 3-4 years ago which i think was to do with the peri menopause as there was no other reason but I have finally got it back. I event at Grassroots level and am having my best season so far. Anxiety the night before the event is still a huge problem but then so is sleeping generally. My problem now is my memory, also a menopause thing. I've forgotten my dressage test 3 of the last 4 times eventing and lost 2 costly marks each time. I feel I have learnt the test properly but just go blank in the arena. I accept I am one of the oldest riding at the competitions and don't have the confidence of the younger competitors but for the moment, I am still enjoying myself.
This is very encouraging, and inspiring. Thank you. What tips can you give to get your confidence back?
 

SO1

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"Generally, Menopace Night may be used along-side medications such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) because it contains only moderate levels of vitamins and minerals, and is free of any drugs or hormones. Seek professional advice before using if you are under medical supervision. For specific advice on taking Menopace Night with medicines, we recommend that you contact your doctor or pharmacist first."

Here is more information from the website - it has really helped with my sleep problems.

I collected my patches today, and have slapped the first one on. No change so far, just feel anxious about breast cancer now, haha! Hopefully in a few days it will kick in.
Those of you on Menopace - is that a natural thing you can take alongside HRT?
 

Bonnie Allie

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Awesome topic ladies!

I didn’t suffer anxiety but turned into a total dragon. Some days at work I just wanted to rip everyone’s head off. I became really intolerant with those who couldn’t turn out high quality work in a timely fashion - particularly my male colleagues. They really copped it but the uplift in productivity was amazing!

My husband suggested I begin wearing a large badge with an M on it to work as a warning to everyone!

Removed all symptoms by increasing my exercise, running and adding strength training and added Magnesium powder each morning post my run and one tablet of starflower oil (supposed to balance hormone levels).

This has ensured everyone is “safe” from my aggressive behaviour and all my symptoms have disappeared. But if I don’t run/exercise I can feel them coming back.
 

Reacher

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For those interested in going the HRT route and want as natural HRT as possible google about ‘bio-identical HRT’, rather than going on synthetic hormones or ethical concerns using horse mare estrogen derived from their pee.
Have to admit I’d never heard of bio-identical hrt and will be looking it up - this thread has been hugely useful , thankyou OP for starting it and everyone for their input.

In case it is encouraging to anyone who is not yet menopausal, I absolutely hated having periods and much prefer not having them 😊

PS I have just done some quick browsing for bio identical hrt - I need to read more carefully but there seem to be 2 types
“custom ‘compounded’ bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (cBHRT) and conventionally prescribed ‘regulated’ bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (rBHRT)”
-British menopause society don’t recommend the former

https://thebms.org.uk/publications/consensus-statements/bioidentical-hrt/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/alternatives/

https://patient.info/news-and-features/what-are-bioidentical-hormones-menopause-hrt
 

PurBee

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Have to admit I’d never heard of bio-identical hrt and will be looking it up - this thread has been hugely useful , thankyou OP for starting it and everyone for their input.

In case it is encouraging to anyone who is not yet menopausal, I absolutely hated having periods and much prefer not having them 😊

PS I have just done some quick browsing for bio identical hrt - I need to read more carefully but there seem to be 2 types
“custom ‘compounded’ bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (cBHRT) and conventionally prescribed ‘regulated’ bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (rBHRT)”
-British menopause society don’t recommend the former

https://thebms.org.uk/publications/consensus-statements/bioidentical-hrt/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/alternatives/

https://patient.info/news-and-features/what-are-bioidentical-hormones-menopause-hrt

I second your opinion on having periods…i was literally horrified when they happened as a teen, and then to discover it would happen every month! You can imagine my dismay 😂

I wonder why the BMS dont recommend the custom compound formulas? They are designed specifically to your personsl hormone levels, rather than just taking say, 5mg of each per day, which can come with their own side effects If too low or too high a dose.

You can get a test done privately which measures your hormone levels throughout the month. I’ve used canaryclub.org in the past.
.

For those interested in hormone testing - Here’s canaryclubs hormone panels:

https://www.canaryclub.org/shop/thyroid-hormone-full-panel-test-kits

…and here’s the specific one to test levels throughout the month:

https://www.canaryclub.org/shop/zrt-menstrual-cycle-mapping


When i had my worst symptoms that youve all described i tested hormones to find very low estrogen/progesterone and sky high testosterone! My life circumstances were very demanding, i wasnt going through menopause, as age 28-38 at the time, but had hormone levels of menopause. Periods stopped for 6 months due to stress. They returned and symptoms healed via a very unconventional route of a type of ‘counselling’ and ‘mind therapies’.

I had taken HRT and supplements before but i didnt feel a deep sense of ‘ease’ until i approached my life problems/issues/fears. I know this sounds ridiculous, how can our other life stuff mess with our hormones?….yet, i’ve learnt everything is connected, and tackling some major issues really altered my whole physical and mental health.
So do consider alongside HRT and supplements to also finding a therapist….a neutral person who isnt involved with your life - to talk things through.
Also, importantly, loving yourself and others, forgiving yourself and others….no matter how awful your or their behaviour…all that stuff is important to break through past ‘blocked stuff’ - which we never fully processed but didnt know we hadn’t!

All of these symptoms of menopause can be overcome….dont think youre stuck with feeling what youre feeling forever…truly know you can feel fabulous again without HRT even. Taking a holistic mind/body approach really helped me, and surprised me how much my state of mind in everyday life was ‘writing’ my future experiences. I was a worrier etc….and of course have natural concerns, yet learnt that by changing how i view/think about things during my days, affected how i felt and what happened.

Us horse women know only too well how we are feeling can affect and be reflected in the behaviour of those ‘spicier’ horse breeds. Hence why we all consider getting an unphased native when our confidence is knocked 😂 its very understandable and i too have felt the same…with 2 arabXwelsh D’s….i have ‘seen’ myself reflected in their behaviour….i have been in fear and they freak more. Thankfully i had the opportunity to witness a non anxious person around them for them to be calm….so could make the connection that the cycle of lack of confidence was due to me thinking they were ‘sharp’, so treating them as sharp, they behaved sharp - as per my projection of them - i reacted to their sharpness with more tension….and on the wheel spun. I couldnt see at the time, within these processes of behaviour/reaction what was going on, as i was IN it.
So i changed….maintained calm, thought of them as calm, forgot all previous behaviour (they did have learnt past sharp behaviour but have over-trained that with calm too and projecting /expecting good behaviour)
They taught me how to heal myself in part, via their freaky behaviour! I would expect the freaky behaviour and on the days of ‘uncertainty’ would roll. What i thought they were, they reflected that back at me.

The same scenario occurs with our human connections too. We feel uncomfortable around people who have the wrong idea about us….via gossip or whatever. So we behave weird, aloof…disconnected, maybe even curt and unfriendly….like a spicy horse!
So when we assess what others think of us and us of them…we all behave, similarly to horses…as a mirror to oneanother. Our ‘issues/inner pain’ mainly stem from past experiences with others, and we do have the power to change our way of behaving/projecting and start afresh.
The quickest way, i’ve found, is to simply think the best. Imagine the best scenario. Think a person has your best interests at heart and we have theirs too. Truly try to feel that deeply.
Turning the tide on ‘negative thinking’ seems impossible, and can be hard work….but it can be done…know that. We are never ever ‘stuck’.
Just a change of perspective, can have a ripple effect of changing how we feel mentally, emotionally, physically…that’s true healing.

I think our love for horses is a route we’re attracted to learning about these deeper aspects of ‘being’ with each other. Our horses teach us so much, lessons and realisations we can apply to all dealings with all beings.

Menopause highlights these issues we have. I’ve read accounts of some women floating through it…very few mind you! Its akin to ‘mid-life crisis’ men have. With women it mainly shows in hormone dysregulation. I would never have believed deeper level healing is possible if i had not experienced it myself. So i feel its important to share that we really do have the power for deep healing via various routes, alongside conventional HRT.
 

Renvers

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I am grateful for finding this thread as I am late 40's so knew it was going to happen but didn't realise brain fog and anxiety were symptoms! Reading your experiences I think I am there, although my symptoms don't really bother me, do they get worse over time or can they be mild?

I remember puberty didn't cause me any issues so wonder if I might hope the menopause is the same?
 
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