Kate McGeary

Kate's Story

Following a private consultation with a menopause expert, Kate was prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) which transformed her health and wellbeing. But since her new GP refused to prescribe her medication, she’s worried that her symptoms will soon return.

“I decided to opt for private healthcare because I wanted to see a doctor who specialised in menopause, and I wanted access to the most up-to-date range of treatments specifically to target my individual symptoms.

I think NHS GPs are amazing generally, and are indispensable, but I have found them to be overly cautious in terms of prescribing HRT – and if you can’t get your GP on board, then you are severely limited in terms of tackling the wide range of debilitating symptoms that can come along with perimenopause and menopause.

Since taking HRT, I have regained my sense of wellbeing and vitality. My weight has reduced, the aches and pains in my body have gone, my hot flushes have stopped, I no longer wake up feeling horribly anxious for no reason, and my vaginal dryness symptoms have drastically improved.

However, I recently moved home and, as a result, I have had to change my GP. After receiving my prescription requests for the various medications I am on, they have sought advice from their pharmacist colleague and a local gynaecologist, and have told me they will not continue to prescribe any of my medications. This is because they are either not licensed in Scotland, or I am taking them at a dosage that is not licensed in Scotland. Their reluctance is due to the fact they would be liable if anything happened to me, which I absolutely understand – but the evidence base they are using is out of date, and inconsistent with other countries.

As a result of this they are protected, but I am left with the choice of stopping medication completely, or purchasing prescriptions privately – which is not sustainable. In the short term I will more than likely take up additional GP and hospital consultant time, as I try to find an NHS solution to the symptoms that will return once my meds are stopped. This might include being offered psychiatric medication to treat the anxiety, which is inappropriate and ineffective.

It may also seem like a trivial issue, but I have also just started a new relationship and I fear that once off the HRT medication, my vaginal dryness symptoms will return, and I will no longer be able to enjoy a full sex life – which would be devastating for me and my new partner. Please don’t underestimate the importance of being able to enjoy a normal sex life, on both physical and mental health!”

The Menopause Charity

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