Is HRT Really My Only Option?

Is HRT Really My Only Option?

Although we need them, my hormones have never really seemed to be very kind to me. In my early years, I would have heavy, painful periods that caused me some tricky moments as I navigated through my teens.

Then there were the effects hormones had on my skin and mood that made two weeks out of every month a horrible struggle and I would just want to hide away.

By the time I reached my late 30s, I had been in and out of outpatient appointments for numerous treatments in my local hospital and none of them helped.

Finally at age 37, after having 3 children, I was given the option to have a full hysterectomy, which I jumped at. I could not wait to say goodbye to the part of me that I felt no affection for - after all it seemed my female hormones had only ever caused me problems.

Following the removal of my womb and ovaries, I was given HRT and for a little while after everything felt so calm – a calm as I had never felt before. The grey cloud that had followed me all my life really was lifted! I suddenly felt in control of my emotions and was the happiest I had ever been – what a success!

Unfortunately, it was short-lived and little did I know that I was about to enter one of the toughest times of my life. Within 18 months I had to stop working and became so physically disabled that most days I couldn’t even manage to shower. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia at age 39. The world seemed to have continued on without me and I was forgotten, stuck at home, day after day – neither use nor ornament I would think to myself. My mood was at an all-time low and then I came off HRT, cutting everything out of my life, with the plan to press the reset button and rebuild from scratch.

Over the next few years, I learned about the pain and suffering of chronic illness, and how to manage myself. Slowly I was able to get back to a small part-time job to help bring an income into our home, but life was really difficult and I was just existing. I just never had enough energy and was always in pain, but managed somehow.

This was it for me. This was my life now. I had to make sure I planned lots of rest in between essential commitments and there was never enough of me to do what needed to be done. That was the standard I had to learn to live with.

One morning I woke early with pain in my right breast from lying on my front. I was used to waking up in pain because of fibromyalgia so I repositioned myself and eventually fell back to sleep. Two weeks later, the exact same thing happened but this time the pain was much more intense. I rubbed to ease the pain and discovered a very large lump in my breast. Within two weeks I had seen my GP, had a mammogram, an ultrasound, and two biopsies and then had it confirmed that I had aggressive hormone-responsive breast cancer.

Treatment was tough and the next 12 months consisted of chemotherapy, a lumpectomy, and radiotherapy - but I was one of the lucky ones. I eventually won my battle with cancer and then just needed to go to oncology every 3 weeks for a Herceptin injection (for a further 12 months) and was given a hormone blocker (tamoxifen) to take for at least the next 5 years.

I had gone into early menopause following my hysterectomy but the hormone therapy certainly finished the job. Symptoms of hot flushes, joint and muscle pain, anxiety and poor quality sleep (and more) all tormented me and it was intense!

HRT wasn’t an option anymore and menopause took things to a whole new level. My problem is that taking HRT would probably kill me due to the type of breast cancer I had so it’s just not worth the risk.

I resigned myself to the fact that I was out of options and just going to have to suffer for the rest of my life. I would just count my blessings - I was still alive to be around and watch my children grow up. Not everyone who battles cancer gets that privilege.

Then the menopause movement happened. Davina McCall got everyone’s attention and we all started talking more. It was revolutionary and I was on board! I followed every menopause expert I could and started to learn more. It’s great that there is help available but I still wasn’t hearing much about alternative options for women who couldn’t take HRT.

hapihealth's hapi hormone patches

Then I came across the hapi hormone patches. Carefully put together with natural ingredients, designed to help support your body and tackle some of the horrible symptoms of menopause, PMT or PMDD. If only they had been around back in my teens! Over the years chronic illness had taught me not to underestimate the positive and powerful impact plants can have on our bodies and how much they can help. Finally, there is an option!

Hapi hormone patches are all-natural and packed with amazing, symptom-combatting ingredients. With extracts from black cohosh, gotu-kola, damiana, valerian, skull cap, oat seed and ginger, this patch contains ingredients to help you tackle your symptoms, both in mind and body.

Gotu-kola - has a variety of benefits for the body including anti-inflammatory effects and immune support. It has been used to help anxiety & depression as well as treat amenorrhea and menopausal hot flashes.

Damiana - is said to help enhance sexual health and treat a vast array of symptoms. It’s native to the subtropical climates of southern Texas, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean where indigenous cultures had been using it for centuries as an aphrodisiac and bladder tonic.

Black cohosh – is more commonly recognised and has several potential benefits — most of them related to women’s health or hormonal balance.

Valerian - a herb that may help improve sleep, promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Some studies found it improved physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms of PMS, as well as hot flushes and even restless legs.

Skull cap – used in traditional medicine practices as a sedative and treatment for conditions like insomnia and anxiety. In fact, many anti-anxiety medications work similarly by stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps calm nerves.

Oat seed – This may help with stress relief; this extract is anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. Studies indicate that it may improve brain function in older adults, blood flow and heart health.

Ginger – Known to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and can help fight the flu and common cold. Loaded with antioxidants - compounds that prevent stress and damage to your body's DNA.

So, if you’re looking for a natural solution to help you, whether it’s for hot flashes, mood, inflammation, sleep, bladder problems, libido or more, our patches may be just the thing you are looking for.

We are so pleased to be able to offer a natural alternative for women of all ages who struggle with the negative impact of hormones and if like me, for any reason HRT and traditional pharmaceutical remedies are not for you, maybe you would also like to know that you have an option too with our hapi hormones patch.

Back to blog