Existing conditions and menopause

Managing endometriosis, breast cancer and histamine intolerance alongside menopausal symptoms.


What conditions might affect my menopause?

Menopause can be a difficult time for every woman. But, often, pre-existing conditions can mean that symptoms of menopause are more severe or treatment options become more limited.

This article focuses on some of the most common conditions that women experience before and during menopause.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis can cause painful, heavy periods, severe pelvic pain and problems getting pregnant. It’s caused by tissue similar to that which usually lines the womb growing elsewhere in the body such as in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder and bowels. The growth of this extra tissue is encouraged by the hormone oestrogen which women produce most of pre-menopause.

Will endometriosis get worse as I go through menopause?

During perimenopause the symptoms of endometriosis may be at their worst. It’s at this time that periods are becoming more irregular and infrequent as they come to an end - but sometimes they can be heavier and more painful as the body is going through perimenopause and approaching menopause.

The Mirena Coil can be very good for treating symptoms of endometriosis as it reduces the growth of the endometrium. The benefit is that the Mirena Coil can then also be used for the progesterone part of your HRT. 

Will endometriosis get better after menopause?

Thankfully, endometriosis symptoms may ease after the menopause since periods will have come to an end and the main hormone which feeds endometriosis, oestrogen, decreases rapidly. 

Unfortunately though, the ovaries may still produce small amounts of oestrogen so it may mean that the endometriosis is still ongoing and pain could continue into menopause.

This article explains more about options for endometriosis.

Histamine intolerance

Histamine is a chemical that’s important in our body but can be known to build up to excessive levels in some people. For these people, their bodies may struggle to get rid of the excess histamine causing allergy-like symptoms.

Histamine also reacts with oestrogen in the body. So if you are intolerant to histamine you won’t tolerate your own oestrogen very well either - causing various symptoms.

While histamine intolerance isn’t widely known about in depth within the medical community, there are several specialists emerging who can help you with diagnosis and treatment. Dr Tina Peers, one of The Latte Lounge’s recommended menopause specialists has a special interest in histamine intolerance and its impact on women’s health.

Breast Cancer

Most breast cancers occur in women who are likely to have been through menopause since the most common age for breast cancer is in women over 50.

But just because most breast cancer occurs in post-menopausal women doesn't mean that it's the menopause which has caused breast cancer. In fact, the causes of breast cancer are varied and not known for sure.

If you have breast cancer this may affect how you choose to treat your menopausal symptoms - particularly HRT. Find out more about breast cancer and HRT in our treatment options section.

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