Menopause expert raises concerns about HRT shortages

A Midlands-based menopause specialist has called on the Health Secretary to look into the problems of shortages of Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Diane Porterfield
Diane Porterfield

Shortages of supplies of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), for women going through the menopause, are causing concern for Diane Porterfield Bourne, a 51-year-old experienced nurse practitioner who runs face-to-face and virtual menopause clinics through her company Bourne2Care.

She has now joined social media groups calling for women to write to their local MPs asking about the cause of HRT shortages and calling for more to be done to get supplies up-and-running.

Diane, from Stourport, runs online clinics and also holds face-to-face clinics at Belbroughton and Worcester and is about to start another, every three months from June 14, at Shropshire Aesthetics.

She is concerned about shortages of HRT in recent months which has led to her having to prescribe alternatives from people's usual prescriptions.

As a result she has outlined her concerns in an e-mail to Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

Diane said: "There is a shortage of HRT. We know that there are and some women have not been able to get this for two to three months.

"The last few weeks I have not been able to prescribe a gel and it appears supplies have run out in all sorts of places.

"This could be because of increased use and raised awareness of HRT.

"We assume this is because more women are learning about this and how it can reduce the symptoms of the menopause."

She added: "There are more than 30 symptoms associated with the menopause and these include increased anxiety, reduced confidence, hot flushes, dry itchy skin, muscular aches and pains and low mood.

"Many women say that they feel the rug has been pulled from under them.

"In every GP practice there should be doctors specialising in women's health.

"This should be something they should be really up-to-date with but, unfortunately, this is not always the case."

Diane said: "I understand about the menopause as I am menopausal and take HRT. I set my business up eight years ago and have concentrated on the menopause for the last five years.

"The shortages of medication are a matter of concern. as women who find their prescription works are unhappy when they come back for a review appointment and have to be told they will have to be prescribed an alternative.

"It is worrying for women who feel that they have finally got their lives back in order.

"I am not saying that the alternatives will not work but these too are becoming in short supply.

"The Government is talking about a Women's Health Strategy and HRT and menopause in the workplace, so it is important that this is taking seriously and the shortages addressed quickly."

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