A woman from Cardiff has spoken to ITV News about her fears of being without medication to treat symptoms of the menopause, following a nationwide shortage.
Maria Waldron has been taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a common treatment for women going through the menopause.
Over the last two years, there have been disruptions in the supply of the drug, causing difficulties for thousands of women in the UK.
Maria said before being prescribed HRT, she was close to leaving her job because of the impact the menopause was having on her mental health.
When Maria’s doctor found that she was peri-menopausal, she was prescribed HRT and said she began to feel more like herself.
But now, HRT is in short supply.
84% of UK pharmacies reported difficulties sourcing the drug last year, and women like Maria have been feeling the impact.
What is HRT?
HRT stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy and usually contains the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
These are the hormones women lose when they go through the menopause.
They’re used to treat the symptoms of the menopause, which include joint pains, anxiety and palpitations.
You can find a full list of menopause symptoms on the NHS website.
Why is there a shortage?
It’s not clear why there is a shortage of HRT at present. The Welsh Government says they are aware of the shortage and are trying to fix the problem.
Are you worried about HRT?
The Welsh Government has advised people who are unable to get their usual supply of HRT to contact their GP for advice on alternatives.
More information about HRT is availableon the NHS website.