CASE STUDY: Emma Pugh, Osteoporosis made me reconsider HRT for Bone Health

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Age:                 51

Occupation:    Yoga Teacher/Learning and Development Consultant




When 51 -year-old Emma Pugh had an early menopause at 39-years-old, she knew that osteoporosis was a very real concern.

The married yoga teacher, who now lives in the Gower Peninsula in Wales, was aware of the bone weakening condition, as her mother had had an early menopause and developed severe osteoporosis as a result.

Despite trying to get help for her concerns from her GP, Emma was ‘laughed at’ and refused HRT, and on a different occasion, offered anti-depressants – something that many doctors prescribe women suffering from menopausal symptoms, rather than hormone replacement therapy. It was when she found the Online Menopause Centre that Emma was treated by compassionate doctors who understood her concerns and set her on a treatment path that would help prevent any further damage to her bones.

“There is a history of Osteoporosis is in my family”

Explained Emma: “I had my menopause when I was 39 – my mum, sister and grandma all had their menopause in their 30s and my mum has severe osteoporosis, so I knew of the risk to my bones from having an early menopause. When I had a bone density scan about six years ago it showed that I had osteoporosis which was a real worry.

“When I first went to see my GP, she just laughed at me and said there was no way I could be menopausal at 39.  I did my own research and found a private doctor who prescribed me HRT which was fine but it didn’t really help my sleep, which was very bad as a result of being menopausal.”


13 million women in the UK are currently peri or menopausal

Around 13 million women in the UK are currently peri or menopausal – equivalent to a third of the entire female population – and its impact can be severely debilitating. Menopause causes a drop in hormones including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA, which can cause symptoms ranging from hot flushes/night sweats, headaches, sleep problems and joint pains to anxiety, poor memory, low self-confidence and loss of libido.

It is this loss of hormones during menopause that puts a woman at greater risk of osteoporosis, which develops slowly over years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break. A DEXA scan (or bone density scan) can diagnose or assess a woman’s risk of osteoporosis.

Emma continued taking HRT for several years but then decided to stop and try and manage the symptoms herself. It was only after speaking with friends that she realised this had been a mistake.

“When I was about 45, I started to worry about my health and decided to stop HRT. There is so much mis-information out there and bad publicity around menopause and HRT that I can understand why many women are reluctant to take it.

“It was only a few years later when I started to talk to friends about the menopause that I realised my views were outdated and that I really should reconsider HRT for the benefit of my bone health.”


A friend recommended the Online Menopause Centre (OMC)

It was a friend who recommended the Online Menopause Centre to Emma and within weeks of seeing a specialist menopause doctor from the clinic and being prescribed estrogen and progesterone HRT, Emma began to notice the benefits.

“Within three weeks my sleep was completely transformed. I also realised that I had many of the other classic menopause symptoms – feeling low, lack of focus, muscle and joint aches – but I just hadn’t put these down to the menopause. It was only when I filled in the in-depth patient questionnaire with the Online Menopause Centre that I put two and two together and thought ‘yes, I’ve got all those symptoms’. A lot of women put it down to just getting older but you realise it’s menopause when you start taking HRT and these symptoms stop.

“Having found the Online Menopause Centre, I feel completely supported and informed about my menopause and how best to treat and manage it. As I live in Wales, it really helps that the clinic is online, as most specialist menopause centres are London-based.”

Emma now manages her bone health through a combination of yoga, weights and HRT. Her latest bone density scan shows she has reversed the trajectory of her bone density in the past two years.

She said; “I’m hoping that with a combination of the HRT and exercise and a healthy lifestyle I will continue to improve my bone health. So many women don’t realise the link between menopause and osteoporosis, yet there is something that you can do to help protect your bones.”

Find out how Online Menopause Centre (OMC) can help you with your symptoms by booking an Initial consultation with one of our expert doctors.