Women in fear and dread of symptom return with HRT shortages

Women undergoing menopause are experiencing profound and widespread mental health issues following a severe shortage of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) medication, experts including campaign founder Diane Danzebrink are warning.

The issue was covered in depth in Monday’s Independent newspaper. Treatments have become increasingly difficult to obtain since the end of last year, when supply issues that started in China forced some manufacturers to stop producing HRT patches. This led to heightened demand for alternatives, which then became scarce too.

Speaking about the treatment shortage, Di Danzebrink told The Independent: “It is already chaotic. We are seeing more and more women who can’t access their brand of HRT – they are being given a different prescription but then told that is out of stock.

“I do not think you can overestimate the effects of the HRT shortage. One in four women will experience debilitating symptoms that can last up to 15 years from menopause. If they stop taking their HRT, their symptoms are going to come back.” she added.

Di told the newspaper she was very concerned about the women she interacts with because their anxiety is ‘through the roof’. Many used words like ‘dread’ and ‘fear’ and were genuinely fearful. Women are worried about carrying on with jobs and looking after their children. Not having HRT is going to be life-changing and not in a good way. The shortage places some women at risk of becoming potentially suicidal.

Di said women in the support group described HRT as their “lifeline” and one even said their blood pressure keeps rising due to the shortage. HRT replaces the oestrogen that the body stops producing during menopause. There are around 2.5 million prescriptions of HRT made in England every year.

The full story can be seen in the Independent here.