Lorna - Interview 08- Menopause

Age at interview: 56
Brief Outline: Erratic periods at age 51 marked the start of the menopause for Lorna. Prescribed HRT 6 months later for severe hot flushes and night sweats accompanied by mood swings. A strong advocate of its benefits, Lorna plans to stay on HRT indefinitely.
Background: Lorna is a research manager. She is married with an adult son and stepdaughter. She started the menopause at age 51. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

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Lorna was desperate for help with her menopausal symptoms. Her GP responded kindly and they...

Lorna was desperate for help with her menopausal symptoms. Her GP responded kindly and they...

I was at my wits end. And when I went to see the GP I think I sort of went in there and said something along the lines of “I’m menopausal, and this, and this, and this, and this is happening to me. Do something about it, do something about it now. I’m not leaving this room until you do something about it”. So it was really quite that surprised me that the symptoms didn’t come on gradually. It was as though I’d hit a threshold of hormone level and suddenly all these things appeared. So the GP I think I must have come across as a little bonkers but I’m sure the GP was used to that. And he looked at me very kindly and said, “Well it certainly sounds like you’re perimenopausal”. And I went, “It does doesn’t it”, and he said, “Look, here, I’m going to put you on HRT if that’s what you want me to”. Sorry we actually discussed that because I said, “Get me HRT now”. And he said, “I’ll find you a low dose but I’ll take some blood and get your hormone levels done so you can, don’t start taking your pills until I’ve spoken with you”. So a few days later he spoke to me, “Guess what? Your hormone levels are coming down and you’re definitely perimenopausal and start taking your pills and come back and see me”. My experience, and I’ve been on HRT for the last four and a half years.
My experience of HRT has been incredibly positive. If you threatened to take my HRT away, I’d probably kill you. It’s that positive. It has transformed, I mean I feel great. I think that’s all I can really say. I feel like the woman I was and what’s great about it is that I don’t get premenstrual, so my life is much more evened out but it’s a great even out. Not a bad even out. I don’t feel any of the symptoms that you hear about with the menopause.
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