Scottish Daily Mail

The hell of the ‘SECOND MENOPAUSE’

Millions of us are on HRT little knowing that when we stop, the hot flushes, brain fog and emotional turmoil can return – withavenge­ance. Here three women break the taboo to reveal...

- by Helen Carroll

CHATTING with friends in a cafe, Jill Slater suddenly felt an all-toofamilia­r sensation of heat rising through her body and, sweating and red-faced, had to excuse herself from the table, fan in hand, to step outside.

Her companions were baffled as she told them she was experienci­ng a hot flush, having themselves waved goodbye to such menopausal symptoms a couple of decades earlier. Having been on hormone replacemen­t therapy (HRT) for 22 years, Jill believed ‘the change’, and all the misery it brought with it, was well and truly behind her.

But now her menopausal symptoms, including sweats, low mood and thinning hair, were back with a vengeance.

She’s one of millions of British women who went on HRT when their menopause first hit in their late 40s or early 50s, little realising that if they came off it later in life, they’d experience menopause symptoms while withdrawin­g from it, as though having a ‘second menopause’.

‘Stopping HRT three years ago plunged me right back into menopause,’ says Jill, 78. ‘I seriously wished I’d not taken it in the first place — at least I’d have been younger and better able to cope with the symptoms in my 50s. I was waking at night with my hair and nightie so soaked through that I had to get up and change my clothes and bedding.

‘I haven’t worn a jumper for three years now — only lightweigh­t tops with a cardigan that I can remove easily, as I never know when the sweats are going to strike.

‘Pulling a jumper over my thinning hair — another side effect of the sudden loss of oestrogen, according to my doctor — left me looking dishevelle­d.

‘Having hot flushes can be so


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