Yes, it does seem to. I had them really, really bad after surgery. I also was put into surgical menopause and have completely paused. I started taking melatonin to help me sleep at night. Well, haven't had any flashes in about 2 weeks. I hope this helps you!
I went through a natural menopause prior to surgery and yes, it did get much worse before it got better. I don't want to freak you out, but it could take a long time for that to happen....like years. My hot flashes lasted about 4 or 5 years and were sometimes mild, sometimes horrible with sweat rolling down my face in the middle of my office (ugh).
I read about something called TheraPause on the Hystersisters site yesterday. It's a patch that you place on the back of your neck or your chest that monitors your body temp...evidently, when it senses your temp rising, it kicks in to cool you down.
It's weird, but even though I've been through menopause, the past week or so, I've started having some hot flashes and night sweats again...didn't think that was going to happen (my TAH was 2/8) so I think I may try this patch thing.
I need to ask a really dumb question. Why did I think menopause was the end of it, and that the symptoms really occur more during perimenopause, and that they were caused by your ovaries "sputtering" as they cease functioning. I don't have ovaries as of Feb 24, am on estrogen, but am feeling really weird and having symptoms. IF your ovaries are gone, why don't you just, you know, turn into a quiet little 80 year old (biologically speaking). Where does all this hot flash and "right nutter behavior" (my English background) come from then? My friend who is in her late 60s says she still has flashes. I need to do more reading obviously!
I had my ovca surgery (hysterectomy) in 02/1999 and STILL have problems with hot flashes (slow burns!) and night sweats. I take Evening Primrose Oil and use Menocream (I think it is.) Can't tell that they help but afraid to quit. These were both recommended by my gynecologist. These both have natural ingredients that are supposed to help. I sure wish someone could tell us that these sweats or burns or flashes only lasted ___ years, don't you gals?! ha! My best to each of you! -- janez
I had my "hormone removal" 11/23/05 and had horrible hot flashes starting a couple of weeks after surgery, they were as bad as every 30 minutes, lasting for about 2 minutes, but waking me up at night all the time. Now they kinda stopped and instead I have some night sweats. I was hoping that it will now play itself out but maybe it's just a phase...my doc says it takes 1-2 years.
I am taking Melatonin as well, sometimes, but the hot flash is more powerful and still wakes me up.
Ahhhhh sorry to drive you bonkers (I am also nagging my husband to go get me a teensy bottle of wine, but no luck there)
WOW I found that Dr Erika's web site, it's fantastic, thank you for telling us about it.
Quick dumb question off the cuff, then I promise to go watch TV: could I stay on the Estraderm patch, and just slap on some progesterone cream? Or would I need to do one of the bio identical combos? I am guessing the later. Thanks a zillion!
Whenever I read that any of you have gone through a surgical menopause I take great care to read and see how you are doing.
Katie, I recall that you had mentioned that you are on an estrogen patch. Katie, if you don't mind, may I ask what kind it is? Is it sythetic conjugated equine estrogen, if it is this, is it mixed with a synthetic progestin, or is it something like Vivelle which is a bioidentical product and is just estrogen? I also wondered if you were able to get a hold of Christiane Northrup's book, "The Wisdom of Menopause." You and I corresponded in another thread about this book. I swear, this woman saved my life. My oncologist put me on the Vivelle patch the day after surgery (for OVCA) and I was grateful for that...that took care of hot flashes...it did other good things for me too, but, I honestly thought I was losing my mind three months later. In retrospect, at this time, my body had run out of progesterone, since it takes three months after ovary removal for this hormone to completely leave the body.
After reading sections of Notrhrup's book on hysterectomy, hormones, synthetic vs. bioidentical, cancer situtions, and hormones, etc...I asked my doctor if I could add progesterone. By this time, I had read several smaller books on progesterone recommended by Northrup and practically every page was highlighted!!! Anyway, about a month after starting the progesterone ( I was going to be patient and wait for the three month re-entry buildup, if you will)--and this was about nine months after my surgery-- I cried for about a week as I had not felt so great in years....WOW...The mental fog lifted, the mental acquity came back, weight issues were easier to deal with.....it is all about balance and I was so unbalanced being on estrogen only.
Six years later, I still have to stay on top of things and tweak my hormones now and then, but I work with a wonderful compounding pharmacist and my doctor is wonderful as he had been willing to educate himself on all of this, since it is still considered to be cutting edge (the bioidenical homones).
My sister is a nurse/teacher and has written of this passage and of the bioidentical hormones. She, too, had a complete hysterectomy and was on the bio's for 12 years. She just went off them because she thought she "should" but has been feeling "crappy" (that is the technical term:)...anyway, well, here I go again. Kind of passionate about all of this stuff. I just think that us baby boomers are a great group and we are not going to sit by passively....we deserve to feel as well as possible, and to get the answers and help we need, and we are a part of the first generation of women who do suffer more from menopause, surgical (which is considered to be very difficult because it is sooo sudden and because there is nothing left to sputter) or otherwise because of our environment, ages to which we are living, and numbers of babies we are having(has to do with cycles and estrogen dominance). - Ok. I have to go...sorry to go on forever. Hope this has been helpful.
Off to my workout...keep those bones healthy...another fallout from all of this..I'd worked out for years and years and still was losing bone which was discovered in a density test after I broke my wrist. I had to build my bone back up ...and I did it by taking extra calcium, magnesium, Vit. D, and doing more frequent weight training. Take care. Mary
I SO appreciate what you wrote. I like Dr Northrup's philosophy and I did read her books over the last few weeks. She has an interesting website too. She was on PBS the other night and I lapped it up. I wish I could have seen someone like her.
I am happy to tell you about the patch that I slapped on my ... nether regions, so thrilled that you asked...I was given a prescription from my doctor (don't get me started about HIM) in the hospital for Estraderm 50. He never did any hormone testing on me. It is estradiol, according to the pamphlet, which I assume is straight estrogen. I think it is similar to the Vivelle. I know NOTHING as he didn't discuss it with me AT ALL. I do know I feel pretty grim (but I am thankful that all was benign of course).
That is so interesting about the progesterone and I agree with you. We have compounding pharamacists here and I am going to check into this when I have some fight back in me. I posted "Dr Peddle's" web site a while back for women who may be in the Toronto area, he is into this as well and has a great reputation.
You are fortunate to have such a nice doctor; I am glad somebody does.
I have done step aerobics for years and can't wait to get back! I think I will feel a lot better when I can get up and at em.
PS anybody know anything about Estraderm 50? Other than that my &*%@ doctor probably gets a bonus from Novartis Pharmaceuticals for every prescription that gets filled?
Hey Katie, Nice to hear from you. I think you are in luck. I did a google and I put in the words....Is Estraderm a bioidentical hormone, Novartis.......and, one of the websites that popped up was Dr. Erika's website...all one word dr and erika...but, I am not typing it that way on purpose so I don't leave a link...but, I have heard great things about her and her site. And, I know people who use her as their doctor (pay for consults on the phone, etc, and use her pharmacy, or maybe their own, not sure)...sorry, I am in a hurry as I am playing hookey from my workout:) But, as far as I can tell, Estraderm is a bio. It is from the same company as Vivelle, so I was pretty confident.
I am a stepper too...although I bought a rebounder a year ago, and that thing is addicting. I have lots of fun jumping around to my music.
I was hoping you would be receptive to the progesterone idea. I wish I'd known earlier about it and then I would not have had to suffer for almost a year. But, it is almost like a well-kept secret...oh, and don't let anyone tell you that you don't need progesterone because you don't have a uterus. We have receptors for progesterone in our brains, our lungs...etc. It is critical. When the synthetic stuff came out... they were worried that the synthetic estrogens would cause uterine cancer so that is why they added progestin (the "tin" is the give-away that it is not the real, or bio, stuff)....so that it would protect against uterine cancer for women who still had a uterus, otherwise they just gave the synthetic estrogen only...but, that does not mean that women in menopause don't need progesterone...Keep reseaching!!! Knowlege is POWER. Take care, Mary
Right on! and I forgot to say "Congratulations on doing so great" after OVCA...That is wonderful.
I am gonna go google next...
THANK YOU SO MUCH for reminding me about the "tin" part, I couldn't remember that for the life of me, and that was driving my crazy reading both words....I really have to re-read some Northup as I didn't retain enough...the last 2.5 weeks have been a bit of a blurr....
I step at home with tapes (Karen Voight mostly) but I go to the local gym too. Right now I'd need a crane to get me up and down.
You betchya, knowledge is POWER (that and a few extra hormones mixed in)
Hey Katie, I have a nice bottle of German wine in the fridge...well, sorry I can't help out much more than that. But, here is a cyber toast to the bio's. You will be amazed when you hear of the combo's. You can do so many different things. Your best bet is to start talking with the compounding pharmacist. Mine has been great...he has his pharmacy about 50 miles from here and I have gone in to the town to pick the hormones up from him, and of course, I went the first time so I could have a consult with him. Amazing. But, he is willing to mail them for me and I pay postage.
Currently, and for some time now...five years, I have used the Vivelle patch (ahem...back there below my belt line, if you will) and I change it about every three to four days. Then I use the cream (progesterone) on my inner arms. The last time I used it, we'd had to increase the dosage and Rob (Pharmacist) asked me to put it on the inner thighs or on the inner arms ABOVE the elbow....absorbtion too quick on lower inner arms, but I think it depends on the dosage. Some women put it on their abs. But, again, my dose was higher this time and Rob asked me NOT to put it on my abdomen.
Kind of a long story, Katie. My doc is great, but was not terribly familiar with the bio's when I first started in 2001. But, he'd had women asking for the progesterone, but I was his SECOND patient ever to be on it, and, luckily he gave me the pharmacist's name...(the compounding pharmacist near me locally does not have a great reputation). After he approved the progesterone, I wanted to switch from the patch of estrogen and go on what they call "tri-est" it is now "Bi-est" since they found that women benefit from two estrogens, estrodial and estriol (a very weak estrogen) and now they exclude the Estrone, thus no more Tri-est...and, so, I did go on it for a while. When I first went on that, I was in a job where I had no access to a phone...and, my doc was so hard to reach because he is so great (also cuz I could hardly ever get to the stupid phone...so, trying to tweak the initial doses of estrogen was tough. So, I just went back to the patch cuz I could get it locally at Target and not mess with tweaking it here and there to get the right amount for my body. Then I just stayed on the compounded progesterone. I also added testosterone (a wonderful thing!) from my doc and got that locally too.
But now I have a great job (WITH A PHONE!) and I am going to be going off the patch tomorrow actually as I just got my NEW order of BI-est. I also have a new order for progesterone. Both hormones are going to be lower doses than what I have been on. I have to call Rob before I start the stuff, per his request.
I am lucky that my doctor is so great. And, he is open to talking with the pharmacist about all of this. However, I had seen a specialist in the fall, thinking it would be a great thing and he would help me balance the hormones in my body cuz I was feeling off....And, I'd never been tested; just gone by symptoms. Well, it was a disaster. He did a blood test (and my pharmacist is only familiar with saliva testing and this was a problem later when I reached out to my old pharmcist when I was sooo frustrated last December:trying to explain my results for hormone levels from blood tests is vastly different from saliva tests)
The specialist switched me from the progesterone cream to an oral progesterone AND SWITCHED PHARMACY's ON ME....BAD...and I was one of the rare women who had a paradoxical response to oral progesterone....BLOATING, WT. GAIN....like overnight....restless leg syndrome...oh my gosh. My research paid off, and I figured it was the oral delivery system that was causing the problem. I have loved my progesterone tooooo much to write it off as a bad thing. It has been incredibly helpful.
So, I called ROB practically in tears and we have since picked up the pieces. I am back to my good old cream, no more horrible symptoms...they stopped instantly when I switched back to the cream, and now my doc is going to okay the bi-est..and, I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for the specialist who did not really know what he was going on as far as I am concerned.
Well, again, sorry so long. This does get a bit complicated. But, it is interesting...and, so very helpful.
Let me know if you have any more questions. I think I jumped around a bit in this post...Oh well..Have a nice evening. Mary
Oh you little devil, what a great tip... Phone THE PHARMACIST first and work backwords! That is BRILLIANT.
I have "Chrissie's" book on hold at the library, I have heard it has lots of good information in it! (I still think of her as the ditzy blonde on Three's Company) I didn't even realize she had a website! Gonna track down Dr. Uzzi Reiss's book and thank you for the estriol tips too.
Sweet dreams and thanks again
Gosh I hope nobody yells at us for taking up too much room or something...Mary that last post was so helpful. I am thinking YES Bi-est from what I have been reading. I just nodded and nodded as I read your post. YES I have a plan of attack! I was told you can't just go to a compounding pharmacist here in Canada, you need prescriptions, so this should be interesting. I read that testosterone can be dangerous (cancer causing?) do you have any theories about that? I have a friend in Eastern Canada who sees Dr Pettle and he gives her a tiny bit in her cream, she says she can't get out of bed without it. (I am in Western Canada so I can't see him.)OK shutting up now I promise, off to watch ER!!! Be in touch and thanks SO MUCH. You have helped me a lot.
PS a few years ago I was having "vaginal dryness issues" and my GP gave me some Premarin cream. I couldn't MOVE, my breasts hurt so much, within days, so I ditched that. PREgnant MAres urINe, now how scary is that???? I read an anti-animal cruelty site and could not believe the tragic lives those poor horses lead.
Hey, I know, we could go on forever. We could start our own little website. But, knowing how many people check out these threads, well, we are spreading so much information to so many people. My husband and I are going to a party on Saturday night, so, well, since I will miss my cyber party time here (!), I will post just a little more.
I need to clarify. You are right about the pharmacy situation, as you do need to have a doctor's prescription. But, seriously, many women find out which doctors work with the bio's by calling their compounding pharmacies and asking the pharmacists to name some of the docs who have prescribed them through the pharmacy. Check out the forums on Suzanne Somers dot com...again, trying not to "link" you. Put it all together. Go to the community and then to "discussion." Go to Health and then to "the sexy years, the hormone connection." I have posted there many times, and there is a lot of information. Do a search (hit "any date" and not 30 days, etc.) if you need to get websites giving you the name of the compounding pharmacist organization..or to find out about certain topics..or just make sure you set the forum browser to cover the past year or at least 100 days. Otherwise, you will only get about ten topics or posts because the default is set to show you only thirty days worth of topics. Lots of good stuff there.
Have not heard of any concerns with testosterone. I Love it! I think there is some deal with the delivery systems, and I am not sure if mine is compounded...but, to be honest, I do so many things that are just right, that I just don't worry about this one. See what Northrup has to say about it. I will check, too. But, again, I have not heard of anything...I will check Dr. Uzzi Reiss's book, too....a great book on bio hormones for women.
I have suffered, too, from vaginal dryness. When you get up and running with all of this, ask your pharmacist if he/she has ever offered little doses of "estriol" for vaginal use only. You use it for every day for about a week and then just a few times a week. I use it frequently. It is not systemic. It is great. My pharmacist puts it in little syringe-type tubes for me and the dose is pre-measured. It does not leak out the next morning...helps immensely with incontinence issues due to vaginal atrophy....I have had huge issues with this and the estrogen/progesterone helps, but the estriol is great. It is a very weak bioidentical estrogen. The doc approved the script for this.
Well, off to bed. I don't think anyone will mind the space we've used...I mean...it is PACKED full with information and sharing. Great to touch base with you. Mary
This whole talk has been interesting. Remember that on a normal cycle your body produces estrogen to push out your precious egg and progesterone makes the uterine lining build up to take in a fertizled egg. If not fertilized it all goes away with your period and then starts over again. During pre menopause, usually progesterone is the first to take a hit, especially since estrogen is working overtime to produce an egg. So the progesterone cream is a good place to starat for sleeplessness, general fog, PMS, acne, and pre bleed anger. Hot flashes are about estrogen however, so the progesterone won't touch them. Taking any kind of synthetic estrogen--the parmesutical type--has been shown to increase yur risk of breast cancer--so it should be used wisely and only temporarily. I've had patients who have done well with blue and black cohosh supplements in the hot flash area. When you start playing around with parma and bio's be sure you start one and not a whole lot at onece as you could make symptoms worse and you won't know what did it There is a great web sit clled Your Menopause Type which helps you put symptoms with treatments--mostly supplemental and herbal. And Dr. Lee's book, What Your Doctor won't tell You About Menopause is also a good one.
I just deal with the hot flashes--it's not that bad after all and perfect during cold winter nights!
Louana the midwife
(Hi Katie et all...I am afraid this is another long one. But, there is so much to this. It is such a huge and complicated issue, that one paragraph just didn't do it justice.)
Hi again. Back to the hormone issue. And, Happy St. Patrick's day (Grandmother came over in the late 1800's from County Cork, so in honor of my now deceased mother and my Grandmother, who died before I was born, well, I had to mention the holiday).
You will love the books by Suzanne Somers. I have recommended them to my friends. I have "The Sexy Years." I have the newer one, but have yet to read it. But, the one I just mentioned is easy to read and very thorough. This woman is very smart, and is on a mission to help women by getting this information out. Her doctor was a protege' of Dr. Uzzi Reiss, if I am correct, and so that is why I bought his book on hormone replacement for women.
Dr. Northrup's book was the only one readily available when I was so desparate for info. And, she recommended Dr. John Lee's books, and those were great, too. The one thing I appreciated about Northrup's book, too, was that she addressed some of the details about having a Surgical menopause.....and at the time, that is the info I was hungry for. It is the most severe. I have heard that the supplements such as black cohosh, etc. have been somewhat helpful to some women going through regular menopause, but for me this type of supplementation would not give me the quality of life I am looking for. I do believe in supplementation, though, so I am not trying to diminish anything...there are vitamins and other supplements that help with balancing hormones...and, there are supplements for bone health that I take like clockwork.
The website on the menopause types looks interesting. I found the book on Amazon and read a portion of it. Since my type of menopause was the "surgical"...immediate, type, I would be interested to see if this type is addressed. The information on not taking too many new bio's at once is understandable especially if you are also adding DHEA (I do), testosterone, vit. D, and/or thyroid. But, if you find a good doctor/pharmacist team, they can suggest good things. My sister had a combination of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all in one cream. Her doc in Boston had written a book on these hormones and my sister (surgical menopause, too) felt great for years. She gave herself a break from the hormones about two months ago after 12 years...and, she is about to start up again. She is not feeling well at all without them. I had been on the bio estrogen for nine months until I started the progesterone, but I would have started them together in a heartbeat if I'd known about them....instead of spending hours and hours of my time researching how I could help myself from feeling like ****...Excuse me:).
This is why I love the bioidentical hormones. As Louanna mentioned, I have heard that if people choose to use the synthetic types of estrogens, they recommend that they be used for a short period of time...I think..I am not on the synthetics, so my research mainly involves the bio's...which are identical molecule for molecule to the hormones we are not making like we used to....or at all, as is the case with progesterone in surgical menopauses...My understanding is that the sythetics mask the symptoms of menopause whereas the bio's replenish the hormones in your system and this protects the heart, the brain, the bones..It is all so interesting. There is just so much information out there. Just keep up the research..you will find your answers.
My pharmacist is very wise and helpful. He explained to me that sometimes if the progesterone is in excess, the body will use it like it uses estrogen. I have never had a hot flash, but, I am on the estrogen, but, this might have been helped, too, by using the progesterone if at times my body had an excess...although I think I was balanced for a long time. And, then there is all of this info on "receptor sites"....and, not wanting to "blow them out" by starting too high of a dose of any of the hormones ...then there is the whole cortisol issue (stress hormone)..and, that the body will use progeterone like it would use cortisol if the body needs to make more cortisol and there is none to be found. They think this was happening to me, since I upped my dose of progesterone and it barely showed any improvement on the blood test. They think it was being turned into cortisol...can you say "stress management?" But, I am doing so much better now, and I am starting to feel more balanced. I swear I was stressed because I was unbalanced.
If there is a cyber party tomorrow, I will miss you all. I'd better stop writing before this becomes another chapter. Hope my experience proves to be helpful to some of you. Take care, Mary
Again, so interesting. I have also read (can't remember where) something along the lines of "Do not be fooled, even bio identical is...manufactured... and not quite what we believe it to be." But we are trying to get the best we can here. I do feel "off" but I am hopeful that when I get to a routine and working out I will feel better. I dread the fact that maybe I will never be quite myself again (sob). Heck I am alive and I am almost 50, thank you God. Do you think I should wait 3 months before tracking down someone to thoroughly test my levels? I found a guy today here in Alberta who I think is on my same wave length, at a hospital women's resource centre. It is not covered by health care though. I am not actually all that worried about flashes; at the moment I have insomnia yet fatigue which bothers me more (possibly post surgery too).
What you are saying also is that you may have fluctuations that need to be addressed as you go along. I remember discussing libido with you before, and so far my husband is still lookin' good to me! But I do worry... and worry.... and worry.....
I have been reading about cortisol too.
Have fun out on the town, I am still stuck here for a while longer whilst I mend. Thanks again....Katie
A couple of thoughts. And, yes, good memory, I do remember now that you and I discussed the libido issue. How could I have forgotten that...such an interesting topic!
I would check with the doctor sooner than three months from now. I say that knowing that I cannot assume that you would be feeling the same as I was feeling three months post-op (estrogen patch only). Just remember that it takes three months for the progesterone to completely leave your body.
I stopped to get my car washed last Friday (bear with me!) and don't ask how, but, I got to talking with the owner. Something came up about how fearful people are of things and that his shop was featured on "Oprah" not long ago when a woman was trying to get over her phobia of car washes (he said she thought she was ready, but could not do it after all, and had someone drive her car through)and I happened to mention the plight that women have to go through with hormonal changes, men, too..suddenly his eyes got full of tears. Turns out his wife is exactly three months post-op. She had surgery for early stage ovarian cancer. She had a hysterectomy. She was on an estrogen patch only and was starting to feel horrible. Bloated, wt. gain, depressed, brain fog...let's just say we spent the next thirty minutes talking about all of this stuff. The poor woman needs progesterone. This guy's mood went from depressed to gleeful as he was taking the names of my pharmacist, names of books, websites, etc.
They might decide to start you with hormones and then take your levels after a three month period. Years ago it seems they pretty much went by symptoms...I did for five years. Never had my levels checked until this past Sept. At times of great stress (job-related, etc) I had to slightly increase my progesterone (again, a cortisol issue, kind of) to help me through the rough spots.
WEll, at least check and see what they think. You will know what to do. Sounds like you have great instincts. Trust them.
I hear you on the fact that the bio's are manufactured, and I think I ran past something like that once, but I will say that I am very grateful that they are around and after tons of research and discussions, I am very comfortable with my decision to take them. I just wrote a letter to the FDA in support of the bio's as the pharmaceutical co. that produces Premarin and Prempro, is trying to convince the FDA that the bio's (actually, I think the law suit is against all compounding drugs) should go...(they are losing money since you cannot patent a bio since it is made to be identical in molecular structure to what we would be producing) and that only their synthetic stuff should be allowed. I can hardly type this as I find it so upsetting. I find this so very arrogant and greedy. I can tell you that I am optimistic that this would never happen. Due to my cancer history, the synthetics are out for sure. Katie, I don't know what I would do without these things. I don't think I would be married...have a great job...be a good mom...have the motivation and zest that I have when I am balanced. I am not a person known for being overly dramatic...it is just that I had NO idea how much we are influenced by our hormones. I get a bit passionate.
I also think that if I'd known about the bio progesterone years ago (before my surgery) that I would have been spared a lot of problems. Estrogen dominance can play havoc with your body. I was in it for years.
I have had long periods of time since the surgery where I have felt better than ever...which is why I do stay on top of the situation as best I can since things need "tweaking." I would also agree that hot flashes were not that big of a concern...the fatigue, sleeplessness, urinary issues, brain fog...Heck, I probably would not have remembered a hot flash if I'd had one!
You will feel great again:) You sound very proactive. And, you're a Katie (come from a family of Katherine's including a Katie...our only kid, age 20)...so, what more can I say? It has been wonderful chatting with you. I will be interested in how things are going for you...best to everyone. Mary
YOU GOTTA get that guy to get in touch with Oprah! (see our Oprah threads). We have decided that she should knock off the lame show topics (they have been really pathetic lately, I should know, I am stuck here watching daytime television) and do a show on ovarian cancer. So we are emailing requests to the "we want your show ideas" on oprah.com
Isn't that cool that you would start talking to the car wash fellow, what a little crusader you are! I think that's so great.
I read that about those stupid drug companies, I don't think they could possibly win though, could they? Darn it, I swear I have had estrogen dominance for years. Cysts, sore breasts, feeling awful (and so on and so on as they said in The King and I!) Have you read about cutting out estrogen laiden products such as dairy, tomatoes, alcohol. Hmmmmm.
I so enjoyed our chat too...I just love all you guys (exhuberant estrogen swing, flinging arms around)
Love Katie (I like the name too!)
Question re the progesterone. Do you use the cream every day? I am using it now and my doc has me do three weeks on and one week off. Wondering if after ovaries are gone I should do it every day. BTW, my doc told me that with endo you should use progesterone because even though you don't have a uterus you still could have some endo cells and estrogen dominance can cause those to turn to endomentrial cancer. So another good reason to use progesterone!
DebiR...this is strange. I just read your more recent post (around the 24th) and I was going to respond but thought I would check the "Hot Flashes" thread first. Glad I did since I saw your post.
First of all, I personally think you are very lucky that your doctor gave you the progesterone. I know my posts are lengthy, but you will see that it took me almost a year to find out about progesterone in the first place.
The thing about progesterone is that we have receptors for it in our lungs...in our brains. The whole idea that women needed it only if they had a uterus is because when the synthetic hormones came out, there was the great concern that the synthetic estrogen could cause cancer of the uterus, so then they came up with synthetic progesterone...which is called "Progestin." That was to balance out the fake estrogen. But, then what you have are two synthetic hormones and not just one. Anyway, people mistakenly then thought that you only needed them if you had a uterus. In the case of the bioidentical hormones, you do want a balance ...it is key. Yes, estrogen dominance can really do a number on you. I have susupected that my severe cervical dysplasia and my ovarian cancer was because of estrogen dom. In retrospect, I had all the symptoms. I have had nurse practicioners and doctors wonder why I have been on progesterone. The nurses and doctors who understand the bioidentical hormones get it.
I am on both bi-est and progesterone and because I don't have ovaries, I can use it every day. This is referenced nicely in Dr. Christiane Northrup's book "The Wisdom of Menopause." Now, she says that women without ovaries don't have to use it every day, but they could. It does have to build up in your body if you have not used it..in my case, it was 10 months since I'd had surgery, and, it takes three months to be depleated from your body and three months to build back up. I started to feel unbelievably wonderful about a month into the progesterone treatment.
What I will tell you is that my pharmacist just told me of a newer development and that they want me to take a "hormone holiday" once a week and not take them on Sundays. I was reluctant because I have had times without my hormones and I cannot funtion. Yet, just last week, I got my new prescription for progesterone and bi-est....I have spent some time now getting help "tweaking" them. I have to tell you that I am feeling wonderful...I had a few months there that were difficult. But, I am on the right path. Both my doses were lowered, too, and so it is nice to know I am getting even better results than I had expected. You know the deal..."I feel terrible...maybe I have to increase my dose." well, not necessarily...Balance is the key. I am feeling lighter, memory better...brain sharper...so much less fatigue...spirit great.
I encourage you to do lots of research. I am not a doctor, but I come from a family of nurses, one of whom has written articles about hormones and peri-menopause for medical journals...and I have read and dicussed...I feel that I am helping my body and not harming it in any way by taking the hormones that I do. Once you start reading about how you can protect yourself from the effects of aging on the cells/body, as well as understand estrogen dominance, and the importance of progesterone you get a better understanding of how these work and why they are helpful.
I didn't understand all of the science behind this at first...I just thought I was losing my mind about three months after my surgery (again, this is in the previous post).
I wanted to end with this...concerning the drug company that is trying to get the bio's off the market...On Hystersisters there is an address for a website that took me to the "response" from the compounding pharmacists...to the drug company. It is unreal. I am not a lawyer or a doctor, but reading it was very helpful and I don't see how a judge could order restraints against the compounding pharmacists after reading the response. Although, I did already send my comments to the FDA supporting compounders and the bio's. I would not be the person I am without having had these hormones in my life the past five years. Good luck to you. Take care. Mary
Hi Mary, that was a good post. I am "off" that hystersisters web site, it too A.D.D. and commerical for me! Plus I can't stand those boss women that come on and chastize everyone once in a while, good grief.
Anyway, I need to VENT....ARGGGG..... I am feeling SO AWFUL lately, just the last few days. It has been one month since the surgery, I am on Estramderm. I don't think I need any testosterone, I have so much RAGE as it is. What the heck is wrong with me? Right, upopposed estrogen. I have an appointment with the guy who is good with bio-identicals, but it is not for 3 months! I am just a mess... can't decide if I should throw something or CRY. I have gained an incredible amount of weight; I can't concentrate; I hate everyone; I can't wear my contacts, my eyes are bothering me; I canNOT sleep, yet I can't get out of bed in the morning; OH crud this is awfully awful! I am walking lots and it isn't helping at all, usually I feel great when I exercise. Any suggestions until I can get in to see the expert?
In A Big Funk Katie
I'm baaaaaaaack! THANK YOU for writing, I hope you know I do really appreciate it. Don't mean to make anyone feel worse (than I do) sorry about that. I will check out a whole foods type store, we have some here in Western Canada. But ours are no way near as good as American ones. I have never bought any meds or drugs online, is that allowed? Like, if it isn't sold in Canada, it's OK to buy it online? If you can, wow that's a good scam, right on :) Maybe I can find something googling too, good idea. Thank you for the FemGest name, that helps, because there are so many out there, good grief. I hear ya on the wild yams, will remember.
When I phoned, I tried whining, they didn't wanna hear any of it. Apparently he is lecturing and booked solid. I was so disappointed. It is $200 up front to start so I can imagine no way would they prescribe over the phone.
I love that RUN TO THE STORE, I laughed at that. ***Sigh*** What a way to go through life! Gonna go try and track down some FemGest...
Cheers and Thanks, Katie
oh Katie, I almost cried when I read your post. Seriously. This is almost a crime, isn't it....Ok. I have some thoughts.
First of all, and I will be eager to hear this...I want you to try to find some over the counter progesterone cream. If you have a Whole Foods in Toronto, they should have it. Now, I am thinking that you should be able to buy some in Canada...I cannot imagine it would be by prescription only. You can buy it on line, too. I can give you some ideas on that, or you can do a google search.
The other place to look is at a Health Food Store. They will have it (again, assuming there are no bans in Canada...again, I cannot imagine there are)...
FemGest is good...so it the other and darn it I cannot remember the name. I have it so I can look for it and post later. I do use the prescription for my progesterone. But, you will get relief with the over the counter stuff. MAKE SURE OF THIS....Make sure the ingredient list says "Progesterone" (that is the name of the other one...PROGEST....ok, moving on...it may say Natural Progesterone..that is fine, too. You do not want a product that says it has only Wild Yams, okay?
Then when you get it...do yourself a favor and measure it out morning and night. Keep a teaspoon by your jar or bottle of cream and use it. I find that my friends don't measure and then they don't get enough or what they should get. You can read the directions, but Northrup has specific info on how to use it.
Rub on inside of upper inner arms...that is the new direction, as lower arms is fine, but it absorbs quicker and so you get a big bang for your buck and you want a slower release. Or, use your inner thighs.
Morning and night. And, be patient in that you might not be able to tell that there is a difference til it gets into your system...remember that it slowly depletes so you want to build and unfortunetly, you might find that this is a slow process because bless your heart, YOU WANT TO FEEL BETTER NOW!!!!!
The dry eyes is a big symptom, by the way. I had it too and did not recognize that it was from my menopause and my being unbalanced. I developed little white rings on the sides of my pupils...geez...
And, personally, I agree with you. This site ROCKS! BY FAR.
I will be praying you can get some cream soon.
The other thing is, I wonder if you could get the doc on the phone somehow since you have an appt anyway and tell him you are desperate to start and could he pre-approve a prescription? I doubt it, but, it might be worth a try. Ok....let me know how you are doing.
Oh, lack of progesterone can effect weight. I knew this but just a few weeks ago I heard that when a woman has enough in her body it adds a 300 calorie burn. OK, RUN TO THE STORE.
Not sure if you picked it out of my crazy dramatic typing...but, I did remember the name of the other cream. It is Progest. I like this one because it has zero to minimal odor to it. The Femgest is very nice, and I have it, too...and, sometimes you can get a two for one special packaging with it..because typically a jar costs anywhere from $18.00 - $ 25.00...I cannot remember for sure, and it depends on the ounces, but a two for one is wonderful. However, I am extra sensitive to scents and I do detect more of a sweet smell in the Femgest. So, if you are at all sensitive, you might try the other first. There is a third one that I heard about that Oprah uses. I would bet the info is on her website. Never thought you would be googling "Oprah and Progesterone brand" now did you?
In case you are wondering why I have the over the counter stuff as well as my prescription stuff, well, it is just because at times I do run low on the prescription, and I forget to order in time. So, it is nice that the other is available. Dr. Northrup discusses the difference. Has to do with the fact that the one I use is micronized ( helps with absorbtion) and a few other things...
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