A WORCESTERSHIRE menopause specialist is having to "get creative" to deal with ongoing reduced supplies of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

Diane Porterfield Bourne, who runs face-to-face and virtual menopause clinics through county company Bourne2Care, said the situation is the "worst it has ever been".

She has written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid as she now fears menopausal women could struggle with life, work and their families.

Malvern Gazette:

The shortages of HRT products has led to her having to prescribe alternatives from people's usual prescriptions, but she says even supplies of those alternatives are starting to dwindle now.

"There have been fluctuations (in supplies) for months and years, but it is starting to get really crucially now," said the 51-year-old, who runs clinics in Worcester.

"I'm running out of options what I can prescribe.

"The lack of hormones can really affect women's mental health. That is the real issue. 

"You are taking away the hormones that keep moods stable, that make women feel better in themselves, that gives them the ability to think properly and to manage the family well, and to help them sleep.

"I'm saying to women 'I know you feel great but I'm sorry, I can't get HRT I'm prescribing you' - their faces are falling to hear that.

"It's got to the point women who I don't know and have never seen before, are phoning me in a panic about what to do."

Some drug providers have highlighted a surge in demand for HRT drugs as a result of the “Davina effect” - the screening of the Channel 4 documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and the Menopause.

Malvern Gazette:

The nurse practitioner from Stourport said: "My bookings and the inquiries I had went through the roof after that, because women watched it with families who said 'that's you'.

"Women realised and wanted to do something about it.

Malvern Gazette:

"They found there is a way out, but the way out is to talk to professionals and HRT - and we are struggling because we don't know when supplies are going to get back to normal again."

The government has set up a new HRT taskforce to tackle the shortage.

Health Secretary and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said: "I understand how much women rely on HRT which is why we will leave no stone unturned.

Malvern Gazette:

“That is why I have taken decisive action to appoint Madelaine McTernan (to head the taskforce) who will use her expertise to bolster supply of vital medicines to women.”