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Do any over the counter hormone replacements really work? Do any over the counter hormone replacements really work?

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Unread 01-22-2002, 08:38 AM
Do any over the counter hormone replacements really work?

I've been thinking of trying Estroven or some other OTC product and wondering if they are just as good as prescription estrogen. I had a TAH/BSO on Dec. 17th and started taking Cenestin the day home from the hospital. I feel like **** when i'm taking it, i.e. nauseous, headache, overall yuck feeling, and depressed. I went off it for a week and felt physically better but felt something was missing in my brain LOL. When i told the doctor about this and asked him about changing it he says all hormone replacement are pretty much the same and wanted me to continue with the Cenestin. I went back on it and by 7th day I'm back to feeling blah again. I also don't have alot of money to experiment with different medications even with insurance. Another thing i'm also a smoker and am concerned about the risk of taking prescription Estrogen. I have been reading lots of posts here and I am just confused and lost on what to do. Any suggestions?
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Unread 01-22-2002, 10:09 AM
Do any over the counter hormone replacements really work?

Over the counter meds may help with some of the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings, etc but they do NOT replace estrogen. Here's a good thread about the benefits of estrogen and here's a good thread on herbs vs hrt

You do have many choices when it comes to hrt. I would have to disagree with your doctor in that their is a difference between estrogens. Cenestin is a plant based synthetic, perhaps you would do better on a bio-identical estrogen. There are also different methods of delivery to consider, there are patches, creams, pills, troches, gels, injections. You can read more about your choices here

Also do go to and read all the pull down menus. There is a wealth of information there about hormones, symptoms of imbalance, necessary supplements to take and much much more.
Unread 01-22-2002, 10:36 AM
Do any over the counter hormone replacements really work?

First off all hormone replacement is not the same. I could not take Cenestin, for all the same reasons you describe -- it made me feel sick -- I was dizzy, nauseous, had a terrible headache. I tried a couple of the other bio-identical hrt's and they all did the same thing to me. I'm not pushing for Premarin here, but it works for me without all those yucky side effects.
After my hyst (TAH/BSO 1/5/01) I could only take .3 mg of Premarin a day for 6 months because I had so much endo. During that time I also took Estroven and I wish I could tell you if it helped or not..............I honestly don't think it did all that much. At 6 months post I called my doctor because while I had made it to 6 months on that minimal dosage of Premarin, I was very moody, wanted to cry a lot, was having hot flashes and insomnia. She increased my dosage to .625 mg of Premarin a day and I have been feeling great ever since. It took about a week for the stronger dose to kick in. I also tried Reminfemin and I don't think it does a whole lot either. However I have a friend who had a total hyst many years ago and she cannot take hormones........for some reason her body doesn't absorb them, she tried everything patches and pills and shots and her estrogen levels never came up so her doctor took her off hrt (health-wise she's a mess has lots of problems not relating to hyst) and she swears by Estroven, she takes two a day one in the morning and one in the evening, says it stopped her hot flashes. So, I guess it's an individual thing. I have another friend who has gone thru natural menopause and has tried everything over the counter there is and still has terrible hot flashes and insomnia!
I also use an over-the-counter progesterone cream and I do think that helps me...........I went off of it for two weeks once because I didn't think it was doing much and there was a definite change in my mood (and not for the better!)
I suggest you try talking to your doctor again. You might want to research some of the different hrt's out there and go to him/her with some idea of what you want to try next. But you don't have to live with that yucky sicky feeling because of your hrt, it just takes time sometimes to find the one that works for you.
Good luck

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