How Can We Help?
Where do I go for my appointment?
All of our appointments are via secure video link, from the comfort of your own home or work. You will be sent the videolink to connect with via email.
Do I need blood tests?
Not everyone needs blood tests, however for some women blood tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis or rule out other conditions. If you have had a blood test in the last year, having the results to hand may save time and avoid delays to treatment. We can organise blood tests at our partner clinic near you, or give you a template for your GP to organise.
What regulations do Liberty Health Clinics have to follow to ensure safety, protection and effectiveness?
We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Information Commissioners office (ICO), and the General Medical Council (GMC).
Why do I need to provide a drivers licence or passport on registration?
We take safety of our clients seriously, and follow guidelines set by the CQC. To protect you from having your name used fraudulently, we require photographic identification from all our clients. We also ask for your consent to share information with your GP so all prescribing of medications is done safely.
What are the signs I maybe in perimenopause/menopause?
Hot flushes / Night sweats
Mood changes / Irritability / Tearfulness
Forgetfulness / Poor sleep
Skin dryness/ crawling sensation
Poor or no libido / Vaginal dryness
Urine infections / Urinary incontinence
Surgical Menopause is when your ovaries have been removed surgically, or Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) – when your periods stop before the age of 40. It is important to replace the hormones that your body is no longer producing in these situations, until the age of natural menopause at the earliest i.e. 51yrs old. There are no increased risks related to HRT before age of natural menopause, as you are replacing the hormones that your body would otherwise produce.
When should I start Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
It is beneficial to start HRT when menopausal symptoms impact on your home, work, social or sex life and you deem that the benefits of HRT will outweigh the risks. This may be in the perimenopause (leading up to the menopause), or post-menopause (once your periods have stopped).
Many lifestyle factors can also improve the symptoms of the menopause, and are important to do in conjunction with HRT. A healthy diet is a good way to stabilise blood sugars which helps with menopausal symptoms. Sleep and physical exercise affect symptoms positively
What are the risks and benefits of HRT?
Reduction of the symptoms of the Menopause with resultant improved of quality of life.
Prevention of osteoporosis.
Protection against heart disease in certain age groups. The risk of heart disease increases with age, and it is the leading cause of death for women. HRT has been shown to reduce the risk of women developing heart disease by 30-50% if started within 10 years of menopause.
Reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, dementia, and depression suggested in some studies.
Breast Cancer is complex, and many women worry about this in relation to HRT. Essentially 1 in 7 women will experience breast cancer at some point in their lives. Taking HRT makes very little difference to this. If you take oestrogen only HRT (only applicable if you have no uterus or if you have a Mirena coil) you have a reduction in risk of being diagnosed or dying from breast cancer. If you take combination HRT you have a slight increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer but no increased risk of dying from breast cancer. In trials, obesity or drinking 2 glasses of wine a night posed a bigger risk factor than being on HRT in respect to the risk of getting breast cancer.
Blood Clots – older studies have suggested an increased clotting link with older forms of oral HRT, this risk is not evident if newer formulations of HRT are taken through the skin.
What are the side effects of HRT?
Common Side effects of HRT in the first 3 months of starting HRT and tend to improve with time (if not better within 3 months a change in the type of HRT can help):
Change in skin/acne
Bloating, mood swings
Bleeding on HRT – Common in first 4 – 6 months of any new HRT regime. It typically does not indicate anything abnormal and usually settles with time. If it persists for more than 4-6 months, then please discuss with a doctor. We can tweak your hormone combination to improve things and we may need to investigate to ensure nothing else is causing the bleeding at this point.
If you get new bleeding once established on HRT for more than 6 months, please discuss this with your doctor, as this usually needs investigating.
What do you need before I can start HRT?
Prior to starting HRT we will need an up to date blood pressure from a home machine or pharmacy, as well as an up to date weight. We will also need a copy of your photo-ID prior to issuing a prescription, as per CQC regulations.
Once started on HRT, we would suggest a minimum follow up in 3 months time with an up-to-date blood pressure reading, and review at 6 months if symptoms have not stabilised. After that, an annual review, including an up to date blood pressure, is important.
Please ensure that you participate in regular breast and cervical screening programmes.