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Late effects post BMT Menopause

Hi guys

I wanted to ask others if they would like to share their experience of menopause after BMT.

With my own personal experience I understand how upsetting and isolating this can be being told you have ovarian failure trying to come to terms with this and dealing with symptoms of menopause way before your time. I’m currently in my thirties being told I’m post menopause even after speaking to gynaecologist still don’t know what this means. I have been told I have degree of osterporosis bone decline had hot flashes which were worse last couple of years but bearable at the moment. At the time I never had anyone to talk to going through something similar and found this really hard.

I would like to help others

Comments

  • Hi Laulau

    Thank you for your post and it is definitely a topic that needs to be discussed. With menopause in general being covered more in the media over the last year there has been small steps towards better understanding. But care still falls short of what it is people require when in menopause for example there is little understanding within GP practices and there is no emotional support available.

    I personally, went into menopause at 27 but didn't start HRT until after my stem cell transplant in 2019. I was fortunate in as much as my transplant team have a specialist that works across services with the specialist gynaecology clinic. Which meant I got onto HRT within weeks of raising concerns. Most women wait years and often get treated for depression first.

    I had a lot of difficulties with my mental health as a consequence of being menopausal. I have a diagnosed mental health disorder that is hard to manage, with additional variables of constant hormone imbalances and depletions meant that my disorder lead to me being unsafe. I went on to a cyclical HRT initially but the periods every month caused the rapidly decreasing mental health problems.

    The reason being is that I found having a period didn't align with the 'fact' that I couldn't have children. This whole experience really confused me.

    I have found it very hard to be around small babies. As someone that has also had a 12 year career with children iv always been very engaging and loving towards children. This appeared to change as I processed I was in menopause.

    All these thought processes where also advanced by the HRT not being good or effective for me. I tried a combined continuous HRT Kliovance. I had a brilliant 6 months. No physical or mental health problems. Then I suddenly started to bleed. A few tests and examinations later and it was concluded I was OK but needed to change HRT again. I changed to kliofem, it was no good, then changed to a patch, that made me very unwell. I'm now on a oestrogen gel and progesterone tablets and life has become more manageable.

    My biggest issues where the emotional instability and some hot flashes. I also have issues with vaginal dryness, which feels uncomfortable to say but it is a fact of menopause. Alot of women experience this and are too embarrassed to discuss it.

    I found weight hard to manage in the beginning. With a change in appetite and a change in fat distribution and inflammation around the 'time of the month proved hard to manage. But I changed my diet and exercise more. I also weight train, which was advised by the gynae and BMT team to increase bone strength and maintain bone density.

    I have found the use of evening primrose oil and magnesium helpful too.

    A top tip for night sweats if any experiences that, is to get a cooling mat. Yes! Sounds weird, I brought a dog cooling mate and put it under my bed sheet. It made all the difference to getting a better night sleep.

    It is a very difficult thing to be going through

    Best wishes

    Michelle

    (Online Community champion)

    Tom_AnthonyNolanUnknownClaire_AnthonyNolan
  • It's worth noting that transplants can affect men in a similar way too. I had a discussion with my consultant about a lack of libido after my transplant and things not working the same way as they did (I won't expand further but I'm sure you know what I mean!). My consultant told me that I'd gone through the male menopause. I didn't even know men could go through menopause! I had been warned that after my chemotherapy and transplant I would probably be infertile, which wasn't an issue as I have three children, but there was no discussion about other effects. Perhaps it's a combination of the treatment and may age anyway.

    At the time of my transplant I was in my late 40s, so for me it was less of an issue. I was given the option of HRT if I wanted to pursue it, or it was suggested to try topical treatments such as ****. I didn't take up the offer of HRT but have tried the latter with some success. At my age it's a lot less of an issue anyway, but I can imagine how it could be distressing for someone younger.

    Steve

    Claire_AnthonyNolanchelle_16
  • Hi Steve,

    You raise a very valid point and it is an underrepresented topic of conversation around men's health too.

    Thank you for sharing

    Men most certainly do go through a male menopause, often, referred to as a 'midlife crisis' within society.

    Hormones drive so many cellular and organ components in our bodies that it is often forgotten that men will suffer depletions of testosterone, just like women suffer with depeltions of oestrogen and progesterone.

    With the added trauma of toxic chemicals being drove into our system to irradiated or manage disease, it is inevitable it will alter or impact the hormone productions they control certain functions.

    Mens health is equally as important as womens and post treatment awareness around this topic is needed and valuable.

    Thanks for sharing

    Best wishes,

    Michelle

    Dieseldrinker62
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