Maggie Honey was diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome, which can be described as having ‘sticky’ blood that is prone to clotting. When she was 46 and a busy mum of triplets, Maggie began having insomnia, recurrent UTIs and dry eyes, skin and mouth. It wasn’t until her periods had stopped for a year and she felt dreadful all the time that she realised many of her symptoms might be related to menopause. When she sought help, she was given more diagnoses related to her blood condition but no help for her symptoms. Her blood disorder consultant at the time told her, ‘whatever you do, don’t go on HRT’. This was due to the inaccurate belief that all HRT holds a risk of clot.
In this episode, Dr Louise Newson talks through all the issues that Maggie’s story illustrates, including explaining why HRT is usually safe for people at risk of clot, when estrogen is given through the skin via a patch, gel or spray. They discuss how beneficial HRT can be for your quality of life, and what lifestyle factors do actually raise your risk of getting a clot.
Maggie’s 3 menopause tips for people at risk of clot:
- Listen to your own body, keep a symptom diary like the one on balance app. Trust your own instincts and don’t be fobbed off.
- Find a menopause specialist as well as a sympathetic blood specialist doctor (haematologist). Encourage communication between your different doctors, including your GP.
- Share information with friends, family and colleagues. The more we talk about it, the more help we can give to one another.
Thrombosis UK is the charity mentioned in this episode for people at risk of, or living with, thrombosis (clots) and the website is www.thrombosisuk.org