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I’m 27 and perimenopausal: how testosterone helped my symptoms

This week on the podcast, Dr Louise is joined by Elin Sullivan, a young woman who suffered a myriad of symptoms for years before getting the right treatment.

Elin first experienced recurring urinary tract infections at 19 years old, and twice required hospitalisation. She also suffered from sweats, sleep disruption and fatigue, shaking and lichen sclerosus. After a chance encounter with Louise, she tried local hormones, which was transformative, and now takes testosterone to balance her low levels.

Elin talks about how hard it can be to experience perimenopausal symptoms at a young age and shares her tips for other younger women experiencing issues that they think might be down to their hormones:  

  1. Although it can feel really hard, don’t stop advocating for yourself. You may have self-doubt or worry that you’re wrong but keep pushing. My doctor was sick of seeing me, I was there probably every week, but don’t give up.
  2. Rather than just giving your doctor a list of your symptoms, show them when they were happening as well. Have a log of symptoms and anything that might have affected them on that day. This will help your doctor rule out things but also show if your diet, etc, has an influence.
  3. Don’t be scared to try medications or suggestions. It might help but if it doesn’t it can potentially help your doctor decide the next step. I never believed local HRT could make such a big difference but am so glad I tried it.

Click here to find out more about Newson Health.


Dr Louise: [00:00:11] Hello, I’m Doctor Louise Newson, I’m a GP and menopause specialist, and I’m also the founder of the Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre here in Stratford-upon-Avon. I’m also the founder of the free balance app. Each week on my podcast, join me and my special guests where we discuss all things perimenopause and menopause. We talk about the latest research, bust myths on menopause symptoms and treatments, and often share moving and always inspirational personal stories. This podcast is brought to you by the Newson Health Group, which has clinics across the UK dedicated to providing individualised perimenopause and menopause care for all women. So today on my podcast, I’m delighted to introduce to you someone called Elin, who is young actually, she’s only 27 and I recently met her in a weird way. I meet all sorts of people in things that I do, and I’ll explain more in a minute. But firstly, I’m just going to welcome Elin to the podcast. So thanks ever so much for joining me today. [00:01:20][69.2]

Elin: [00:01:21] Ah, thank you for having me. [00:01:22][1.0]

Dr Louise: [00:01:23] So I really believe in connections happen for a reason. And it’s really, really weird actually. So I am very conventional. I’m very traditional. I’m not very artistic at all. And when one of my children a couple of years ago now had some piercings done in her ear, I was really like shocked because she, they had a cartilage. And then my middle daughter’s had all sorts of piercings, and I thought I’d be one of these mums where my children maybe have doubles, and that’s about it. Clearly not. So I shocked them a few, a couple of years ago and had my conch pierced, which they thought I would never do, and I did it as a bit of a rebellious thing so people could realise that I’m not quite as conventional and conformist as maybe I have been in the past. And it was really painful, and it took ages to heal, and the wind blowing in my ear was awful. And then my oldest daughter and I Jess decided to go and get another piercing done, and I wanted to get my cartilage done. So we went to a different place and we met you. I don’t know if you remember, Elin. We both came in… [00:02:20][56.9]

Elin: [00:02:20] Yeah, I do. [00:02:20][0.0]

Dr Louise: [00:02:20] And Jessica went first and we chose and it was such an amazing experience because you were so calm and you explained everything, and you put me at ease. And I didn’t feel like I was far too old to be sitting in a tattoo parlour, like having my ear pierced and like, I walked out and we walked through London, Jess and I, and my ear the wind didn’t hurt on my piercing and it’s just been incredible. I’ve really enjoyed having it. And I remember you saying when you were piercing my ear that you were feeling quite tired and you had some sort of condition. And obviously I think everything’s related to hormones, but it wasn’t appropriate because I was nervous to ask you any questions. And then Jess, my eldest daughter, then had her eyebrow done and something went wrong with it. I think there was a one of the bits came out, so she went back to see you, didn’t she? [00:03:11][50.6]

Elin: [00:03:11] Yeah, she did a couple of days later. [00:03:12][1.3]

Dr Louise: [00:03:13] Yeah. And she came to talk to you and you can explain what you said to her. But then she came out and phoned me and she said, Mummy, I’m really worried about Elin. And I said, who? I’m sorry. And she explained, she said, I’ve just gone in back into the piercer and I think some of it’s related to her hormones. And I told her to listen to your podcast and find out more about what you’re doing. But I feel really sad for her because she’s really struggling. So then I said, just give her my details and I’ll talk to her. And that’s what happened. So what happened with Jess? What did you say to her or what happened for her to think about your hormones? [00:03:48][35.3]

Elin: [00:03:49] We just got chatting quite very organically. Like none of it was forced but just chatting about how our day’s been, turned on to how are week’s been? And then just saying, I’m tired. And it turned into a question of oh, how long have you been tired? Like, gosh, when I think about it, it’s been months. And then it’s like, but doctors don’t seem to find anything wrong. And then I think that piqued Jess’s interest to be like, oh, have you, have you tried this? Have you tried that? Yeah. Nothing’s really flagged anything up with the doctors. And then we both said, oh, I think it might be hormonal. She said funnily enough you should mention that, my mum actually knows all about this and said, have you ever heard of this podcast? Have you ever heard of my mum? And I was like just when I met her when I pierced her a couple of weeks ago. And I went home and well, she came back later on that day and said she’d spoken to and I think we spoke very quickly after that. But she was very, very knowledgeable, explaining she basically reeled off every symptom I had, just like, do you suffer from this, do you suffer from that? And she said that she’d experienced it too. And it was really just refreshing knowing it wasn’t, I’m not the only young person that felt like that. It made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. So she just helped me feel like I wasn’t the crazy one. [00:05:11][82.0]

Dr Louise: [00:05:12] And isn’t that important? You know, in medicine, we don’t always have answers. We absolutely don’t. And I learned as a GP many years ago to deal with uncertainty and share uncertainty with patients. And often I say, I don’t know. Or I say it could be this, but if it’s not this, we can try something else or we can think about something else. So you’re 27 now, but you’ve had years of symptoms in different ways, haven’t you? [00:05:37][25.8]

Elin: [00:05:38] It probably started when I was about 19. It all started with urinary tract infections I just couldn’t shake. And that was going on up until probably about a year ago. And then starting on some steroids and everything seemed to get a little bit easier. Realising my skin was quite dry and everything I’ve read into the doctors they were kind of shocked that they couldn’t figure out what exactly was causing it. They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t able to shake the infection. I’d be chatting to Harley Street, chatting to my urologist. And I tried everything and every diet, every drink, every tablet, every plant I could have tried and nothing helped. So it just escalated from there to the point where my body just didn’t feel like my body anymore. [00:06:28][50.3]

Dr Louise: [00:06:29] No and did you have sepsis at one stage with your, one of your urinary tract infections? [00:06:33][4.3]

Elin: [00:06:34] Yeah, it turned into a brief trip to A&E, probably twice I’d say I think, if I look back. Once when I was 20, once when I was 23, that would have been in lockdown. [00:06:49][15.1]

Dr Louise: [00:06:51] So very scary. [00:06:51][0.5]

Elin: [00:06:52] Yeah. It almost felt normal by that point, which is sad. And no-one really seemed to take it seriously. When I went back to the doctors and just getting those three days of antibiotics, it almost wasn’t made out to be a big deal. And then you would start reading into it. And sadly that’s how my grandma passed away, was from a result of urosepsis. So you realise the full extent of it then. [00:07:15][22.3]

Dr Louise: [00:07:16] Absolutely. So you had urinary symptoms. You had recurrent urinary tract infections, under urologists for many years, but then you had other symptoms as well, didn’t you? [00:07:26][10.3]

Elin: [00:07:27] The more recent ones where when I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t sleep through the night, always waking up covered in sweat to the point where you just know it’s not normal. I’ve never had issues with that before, unless I did have like a urinary tract infection that was normal at the time, but constant shaking, like not being able to walk far distances without shaking and feeling like I was going to pass out, or having to lie on the floor with my legs in the air. And doctors just telling you to eat more, to sleep more to, oh if you exercise and push through it it will pass, but it never passed. It just kept getting worse and worse. And I, I loved going to the gym. I loved going on long walks, and I couldn’t even walk up a hill without sitting to try and catch my breath. I mean, the gym was just almost like, I started to think I was getting something like Parkinson’s in the end. I had really got into my own head with it but thankfully it wasn’t. I’m very glad to be… [00:08:23][55.8]

Dr Louise: [00:08:24] But it’s very scary, isn’t it? Because, you know, you want to exercise, you’ve got the motivation, you go, your stamina is not there. And, and you were saying that you were falling asleep on the Tube before going to work or coming back from work. [00:08:35][11.4]

Elin: [00:08:36] And I’m not a napper. I’m not a napper at all. I’m very strict with my bedtime. I wake up and go to sleep the same time every day and night. But yeah, that’s how I knew it was bad is missing my stops on the way to work, or missing my stops on the way home and yeah, it wasn’t good, I was falling asleep on the sofa before I’d even finished my dinner sometimes as well. [00:08:56][19.9]

Dr Louise: [00:08:56] Which is hard. And I know you’ve got a partner, and it’s hard when you’ve got a partner as well, because it involves them too, doesn’t it? [00:09:03][6.9]

Elin: [00:09:03] Yeah, yeah. But he helped me realise there was something wrong as well and kept pushing me to go to the doctors. And as soon as your name came up, it was like, you have to talk to her. Please talk to her. You’re not yourself anymore. [00:09:16][12.9]

Dr Louise: [00:09:17] Yeah, and it’s difficult because you were still having, you’ve still been having periods, haven’t you although they’ve changed and became quite sort of painful and heavy at times hadn’t they? [00:09:26][8.4]

Elin: [00:09:27] Yeah. Sometimes they didn’t even come at all. [00:09:28][1.8]

Dr Louise: [00:09:30] And so, you know, when we talk, and I’ve spoken before in this podcast about premature ovarian insufficiency or POI, it’s called, which is common. It affects at least 1 in 30 women. But that’s when periods have stopped. But we also know that perimenopause can last for ten years or so before periods stop. And so in medicine, I think it’s cruel and wrong to wait for something to happen if, as in the menopause, which is a year since your last period, if you’re getting symptoms. And so there’s no diagnostic test for the perimenopause at all. And then that makes it quite difficult. And obviously I felt quite guilty almost that I’ve hoicked you out of, you know, from piercing my ear to saying, let me try and help you. And I’m sure I said to you when I saw you and I often say to patients, I have no idea how much is related to your hormones. I can take a really thorough history and let’s see, and certainly I was worried because you had recurrent urinary tract infections and you told me you had lichen sclerosus as well, and your skin in your perineum was breaking down. You were using steroid cream, and that was a real problem. So you had these, I hope you don’t mind me saying, these local symptoms that were really and I remember you saying you saw someone and they had never seen someone so young with such severe lichen sclerosus. [00:10:48][78.6]

Elin: [00:10:50] Yeah, just explaining, oh, it’s an older woman’s problem. It’s an older person’s problem, it shouldn’t be affecting you. And they never explained with how I looked, they weren’t sure if I’d gain any colour back or if any of the sort of tearing would heal, and I couldn’t find any information online about it. There were no pictures to compare to, there were no, there was no-one else my age I could find information from. So I found a couple of groups, and was chatting to people on there, trying to get their experiences. But everyone, there’s maybe a couple that are under 30 in there but same. We’re all looking for the same answers. And since starting the local HRT, it was almost like a gamechanger. Like my skin. You wouldn’t even guess now, it looks normal. [00:11:38][48.1]

Dr Louise: [00:11:39] It’s amazing, isn’t it? And so for those people listening, and Elin’s given me full consent to share, but I started just giving you some local hormones. So that’s vaginal hormones. And I decided to give you Intrarosa, which is prasterone, which is DHEA, and it converts to oestrogen and testosterone in the vulva, but it helps all the tissues surrounding. And because you’re young, I didn’t want to just start giving you systemic hormone therapy without thinking what else could be going on, getting to know you more. And we also, I did some blood tests as a guide. We can’t do a blood test to make the diagnosis, but I wanted to see if your testosterone level and oestrogen level was on the low side, because it would help sort of build this picture in my mind that something was going wrong with your hormones. But the first thing I did was give you vaginal hormones. And actually they’re very safe. They’re very safe for everybody. And although people think that they can only be used in the menopause, we can give them in the perimenopause, but we can also give them to younger women. There are a lot of young women who maybe have had a baby or who are using contraception, or who are just prone to urinary tract infections. And so I knew it was safe. And I knew with vaginal hormones, if you stop using them, they wear off so they don’t build up in the system or anything. And your localised symptoms were so severe I just wanted to see because in my mind, also, if your skin and that area of your body improved with local hormones, it was more likely your rest of your body would improve with hormones as well. But I didn’t expect you to respond quite so quickly because your symptoms were so severe. But that area is very forgiving. You know, we know that if people have a baby, sometimes they have tears and awful, you know, just the whole stretching and everything, having a baby. And then, you know, the body heals itself very quickly. But it’s very reassuring. And just for those people listening who might have lichen sclerosus, it often can be a reversible condition with the right treatment. But often people are given steroids, which can reduce inflammation, of course. But one of the side effects of steroids is that it can thin the skin. And if your skin’s thin already, you have to, it’s a really fine balance, isn’t it, when you use local steroids. [00:13:49][130.2]

Elin: [00:13:50] Yeah, thankfully I haven’t experienced issues with that as it was all very quick diagnosis. Only on steroids for about a year and a half, maybe a year, just between a year to a year and a half before we started the local HRT and yeah, it’s so much better because it’s a lot easier. It quicker. You don’t have to wait for it to dry before you get dressed. It gives you all that time in the morning or the evening again that you wouldn’t normally have just sat on the bed just waiting for it to dry. [00:14:17][27.2]

Dr Louise: [00:14:18] It does make a difference. You know, I think as much as possible we want to just be normal. We don’t want to be labelled. We don’t want to sort of think about treatment that we’re using. So anything that’s easy and quick and also we’re more likely to do it. So this is a daily pessary once it’s, you know, been used often people don’t really realise that they’re having it because they feel well. And it’s a long-term treatment. Often people, once they start it, continue it forever and it’s fine, it’s safe to do that. So then you did that and then I did some hormone tests. And your testosterone level was very low. And testosterone levels are only a guide. And a low level doesn’t mean that’s the cause of your symptoms, of course, but you know, you’re otherwise super healthy. You look after yourself, you eat well. You tried, as you say, so many things before so I decided to give you some hormones systemically to try, thinking I’m sure most of it is related to testosterone, maybe oestrogen as well. But I don’t know how you felt, like a stranger from the street giving you hormones. Did it feel strange or did it feel the right thing to do? [00:15:20][61.7]

Elin: [00:15:21] Well, I’d just gotten to a point where I will try anything and after the local HRT reducing all of that tearing, my skin had gone from white to pink. I was able to wear certain clothes again I thought I wouldn’t be able to wear, just because the discomfort of clothing against my skin. So I was like, I’ll try it. I’d say HRT helped me feel about 40-50% better, the local one. And then I just feel like that last little bit was what I needed to get me back to how I felt when I was 17, 18, everything. It did feel a little bit strange, like the first time you’re putting it on, you’re like, I was never taught about this in school. Doctor never mentioned any of, the GP was very much pushing towards the coil route, which I’d already tried and didn’t want to try again. So I was just glad there was something else I could try. But yeah, I did feel a bit weird, but it’s a lot nicer than I’d say what my other options were that I’d been offered. [00:16:18][57.5]

Dr Louise: [00:16:20] Yes. And I think, you know, we were very clear that it might or might not help. It’s completely reversible. It’s worth trying. And having the blood test is reassuring I think as well to know that there was something that was, you know, low and hopefully treatable. And then I remember, usually when we start HRT often I arrange a blood test before someone comes back to the clinic. And again, blood tests are only a guide, but it helps guide sometimes the absorption to see if levels had improved. And I saw your results and they were significantly better. And I emailed you actually before I saw you, because I was so desperate to hear how you were getting on. And it’s just so lovely. I mean, I’m very privileged in my clinical job because the stories that I hear are dreadful initially, but it is the most transformational medicine I’ve ever practiced. You know, I’ve done a lot of diabetes care and asthma care and raised blood pressure care and, you know, I’ve obviously treated people with infections and all sorts, but the difference is incredible. And so you sent me this lovely email and then we had a consultation a few days later. But even if I all I could see were your eyes, I could see there’s such a difference in you. It’s just wonderful. [00:17:29][69.0]

Elin: [00:17:30] Yeah, my bags aren’t down to here anymore, down to my chin. [00:17:33][3.2]

Dr Louise: [00:17:35] But you tell me you’re working longer hours as well, which is good. [00:17:37][2.5]

Elin: [00:17:37] Yeah, I’ve picked up extra days. I’m back into a sleep routine which I hadn’t had for a while. So it’s always bed around midnight, wake up about eight, half eight, which felt impossible before. I’m back in the gym. I’m stronger than I was probably before I even started to get unwell. So everything is complete U-turn to how it was when we first met. [00:18:00][22.5]

Dr Louise: [00:18:01] It’s amazing, isn’t it? And, I, with your permission, told Jessica as well, my daughter, who’s obviously been instrumental in joining us together, and she’s done that a lot for quite a few other people. But she also says, which I feel as well, very sad for two reasons. Firstly, if I’d not had my ear pierced we’d never have met. And you’re only 27, so would you have carried on for 20 years before you reached the average age of the perimenopause, you know, into your 40s? And how would your life have been? [00:18:34][32.1]

Elin: [00:18:34] Yeah, because I would just never have even heard your name. My GP was, although they did what they could have done, they weren’t taking it as seriously as you did. So yeah, I think I’d still be going. [00:18:46][12.0]

Dr Louise: [00:18:47] So yeah and so your individual life would have been affected, but there are still lots of people out there who are affected. And, you know, we can’t reach everybody through our clinic. And globally there’s a lot of people who are really struggling, and there are people in other countries where it’s less easy to talk about the symptoms and they end up not talking about them because they’ll be judged incorrectly and seen as a failure as a woman, which I find really sad. But I know that if I’d met you ten years ago, before I started my menopause clinic and doing as much work as I do, I would have been the same as your GP. I would not have known what to do because no one taught me about menopause. But more importantly, no one really taught me about testosterone and how important it is throughout our body. And even now the guidelines are, you start HRT, you add in testosterone later if people have reduced sexual desire. But actually testosterone is a biologically active hormone that goes throughout our body, affects every single cell. And increasingly we learn through patients. That’s often what we do in medicine anyway. But we learn that stamina improves, strength of muscles improve because we have testosterone receptors in our muscles, in our bones, and even in our joints. But also energy and sleep improve, which are really important to help us function. That mood, motivation can improve, and also urinary symptoms often improve with testosterone in addition to oestrogen and testosterone’s very anti-inflammatory as well. It reduces inflammation. So there’s lots of reasons why it can help. But no one’s really done any research properly in women looking at testosterone deficiency on its own. You know, you’re still having periods, you’re still producing some oestrogen and progesterone, probably less than you would have done compared to other 27 year olds. But actually, for you, a lot of it was the testosterone that was really low. And we don’t know why some women have lower testosterone sooner than others. And that’s something that is really important because it’s an independent hormone, if you like, that is crucially important for many people, but they’re not, it’s not being diagnosed, it’s not been recognised and then the people are not having the treatment. So, you’ve been discharged from your urologist, haven’t you? Which is great. [00:21:11][143.5]

Elin: [00:21:11] I have, I thought that wouldn’t, I’d never see the day. [00:21:14][2.3]

Dr Louise: [00:21:14] And what did your urologist say? Was he. Well, I’m saying he could be she, were they pleased? [00:21:19][4.3]

Elin: [00:21:20] There was a group of students there as well. We’d done my last cystoscopy, and we’d done my last I can’t remember what it was called… the amount of urine that you can hold and pass. [00:21:32][12.5]

Dr Louise: [00:21:32] Was it urodynamics? [00:21:32][0.0]

Elin: [00:21:34] Yeah. That’s the one. They were really shocked to see that I didn’t have a problem with my urodynamics. That’s what they’d had their money on from the start. Even though I’ve had all these tests a few years prior and no-one could find anything wrong. And they said, so what’s changed? You’ve gone eight months now without… What’s changed? And I gave them your name. I told them about your podcast. I explained about the hormone insufficiency and everything and they were just shocked. They were like, oh, we heard it could affect things. But again, not on someone so young. So it just felt a little bit like, well, I’m here and I’m telling you, and I’d already met so many other young people in the waiting areas in the past that I know haven’t had access to information yet. So again, I’m super happy for myself but then it does make me very angry that there are so many people without the knowledge that you’re spreading. [00:22:25][51.6]

Dr Louise: [00:22:28] It’s really important. And certainly my, I don’t know if you know, my husband is a urologist, and last year I lectured at the British Association of Urological Surgeons, and it was really great because they’re a very dynamic group of people, and they really wanted to learn. There’s a lot of sort of scepticism when I talk to some groups of doctors, but actually they see it already, they see that local oestrogen pessaries can make a real difference for some women with urinary tract infections, but they didn’t know about testosterone, and they don’t often give systemic hormones the same. But they’re really keen to learn. And I think that’s the most important thing in medicine. Certainly, I’ve always been taught to have a really open mind and try, you know, as long as something’s safe, like, I would never try, there’s lots of new drugs that come on all the time that I’m really cautious of starting a new drug if we don’t have data. Some people say we don’t have enough data about testosterone. But then if you look how it works physiologically in the body, you know our natural testosterone. And if people have good understanding of how it works in our body, then that’s very easy, because all I’m doing is giving testosterone. I’m not giving you a testosterone-like substance. There’s lots of, young men in various gyms that are taking testosterone analogues and having all sorts of problems because they’re like testosterone, they’ll help build their muscle, but they have problems as well. But I’m not doing any of that. So it’s quite simplistic medicine. But the problem is, is that no-one’s been taught. And then a lot of people say, well, we need to wait for the studies. Well, the studies won’t be done because there’s never or hardly ever any funding for female studies or studies involving women. But in the meantime, what I would hate to do is have said to you, well Elin, we haven’t got any studies, it might help you, but let’s wait for the studies to be done. Come back in 20 years’ time, because that’s not right and not fair, is it to have that approach, I don’t think? [00:24:23][115.4]

Elin: [00:24:24] I think I’d have cried. [00:24:24][0.3]

Dr Louise: [00:24:25] Yeah, yeah. So we’re hoping, testosterone at the moment is only licensed for women in Australia. It’s not licensed in other countries. And we’re not really sure why. I think it’s just because there’s so much misogyny really that goes on. And it’s never been a priority thinking about female hormones in the same way. There’s always a fear that people will abuse and use it wrongly, and I think that’s why it’s actually labelled as an anabolic steroid, because if you use too much, it can build your muscles too much. But actually, I’m not aware of any women that abuse a natural hormone. And they’re so relieved, like you are that you’re feeling better. But as long as it’s been given in the right way and people are monitored. So always in the clinic, we monitor everyone. Every year they have a blood test to make sure the levels within normal ranges and make sure they don’t have any systemic side effects. But very few people have side effects when it’s used in the right way, because you’re just topping up what’s missing, and your testosterone level is probably still lower than other people’s who are 27, and it might be higher than others. But it’s right for you. And everyone’s different. And so that’s the most important thing, is monitoring and making sure that you’re feeling better. And sometimes in medicine it’s very hard to measure feeling better. You know that you can do these studies looking at blood pressure or weight or, you know, sort of objective measurements. But feeling better can be quite hard to quantify. But just being able to increase your hours at work, to not fall asleep on the tube on the way home, to be able to go to the gym, to be able to sleep at night, in my mind are really good measurements that things are going in the right direction for you. [00:26:08][103.0]

Elin: [00:26:08] And there’s lots of other weird symptoms as well, like you’d have like weird reactions to certain things. I’ve not had that since starting and then weird nightmares, weird dreams and things, there’s so much more than just those little top ones that I feel like are really common for everyone. Just those little ones that affect your day-to-day life have all gone. And like you said, it’s such a tiny amount I’m using, when I actually put it on to my leg you think that’s not going do anything. It’s such a tiny amount and, like, such a big difference. [00:26:37][28.5]

Dr Louise: [00:26:37] Yeah. No. It’s amazing. It really is such a joy to listen to you and hear. And I’m really grateful for you sharing your story as well, because we all learn from other people’s stories. And obviously it’s not going to be as transformational for everybody. But certainly it’s something to consider for people who are having similar symptoms. So I’m very grateful. But before we end Elin, I always end with three take-home tips in the end of my podcast so people can just reflect a bit more. So I’m really thinking about younger audiences, you know, people like you who are in their 20s. What are the three things that you would say to women, girls, you know, who are in their teens and 20s, who think they might have some hormonal changes, but they’re either not being listened to or they’re too scared to go and ask for help. [00:27:25][47.3]

Elin: [00:27:26] The top one thing is it’s really hard at times, but just don’t stop advocating for yourself. There are times where you do have a lot of self-doubt, and you do feel like you’re battling yourself. You feel like you’re wrong but you’re not. Keep pushing. My doctor was sick of seeing me, I was there probably every week. Just don’t give up on that side. And I found what was really helpful to finally get the blood tests on the NHS or to start that discussion with a doctor that actually listened to me was to not just list your symptoms but list when they were happening as well. So having a almost like a log of what happened on what days, just to make sure everything they want to quickly rule out so they’re not ruling it out. So for example, if you’ve not eaten very well for that day, you’ll know if it’s affected by food or if it is affected by hormones and things like that. So if they say, you need to eat better you can say no, I’ve eaten really well this week. I think the other one will be, don’t be scared to try medications. Don’t be scared to take suggestions. And whether it’s to just see if it helps or whether it is just to keep the doctor happy to potentially to get to the next step. So if it is potentially try some hormonal contraception and see if that helps. Or try the local HRT because I’m shocked at how much that helped. I thought that would be completely wasted when we discussed it, I was like, I’m happy to try it, but I don’t know how that’s going to help and if I hadn’t have felt it and hadn’t have done it, i wouldn’t have believed you that was such a big difference it made for me. So just don’t be scared to try things as well. [00:29:05][99.5]

Dr Louise: [00:29:06] Brilliant. Great advice and thank you so much for your time tonight because it’s late at night, you’ve had a long day at work, and I hoicked you in to do this, because I just felt your story is so important to share with others, and I’m sure it will resonate either to people directly or people who have children or know people who are young. So thanks again Elin for your time. It’s been great. [00:29:28][22.1]

Elin: [00:29:29] Thank you for having me. [00:29:30][0.8]

Dr Louise: [00:29:35] You can find out more about Newson Health Group by visiting And you can download the free balance app on the App Store or Google Play. [00:29:35][0.0]


I’m 27 and perimenopausal: how testosterone helped my symptoms

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