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Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question??? Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

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Unread 12-16-2005, 01:49 PM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

Hello sisters,

I am a 41 year young sister, I had a profilacticTAH/BSO 4 weeks ago. I have a strong family history of ovarian cancer thus the surgery in the first place. I went for my 4 week check up today and all is well....except I had it in my head that I was not going to take any HRT none, not at all and I still haven't. BUT I began reading Suzanne Somers book The Sexy Years and now I am having second thoughts. I have only experienced mild night sweats, not so bad that I even complain the next morning. I didn't want to take any HRT because of the risk of breast cancer linked to ovarian cancer risk, however, the month before I had surgery, I changed primary care doctors and went to a doctor that I knew treated her patients with natural, bio-identical hormones. She gave me rx's for tri-est and progesterone. Still, undecided after surgery decided not to take anything. Now, after surfing the web and reading tons here on HS, I think I need to reconsider. The funny thing is, my surgeon rx'd cenestin.... but after learning today, it's not bio-identical....only plant derived.... so that's out. So I'm set to go with tri-est. Now, after reading on HS, progesterone is a biggie too. That it helps assist the estrogens with mood, memory, osteoporosis and labido. So do I take it too? My surgeon says, no uterus, no need for progesterone, but I have read otherwise. Once again, I am not experiencing symptoms soooo bad that I think I need them, but after Suzanne's book, she states your body's organs need these hormones, not only to maintain good health, but even to slow the bodies signs of aging that the synthetic hormones only address symptoms, but bio-identical hormones because they so closely mimic your own hormones truly replace your own hormones and assist your body's organs. Sisters, dear sisters, can you help me find the light at the end of this hormonal tunnel. Thank you all for your help.

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Unread 12-17-2005, 05:17 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

Hi Vicki

Using hormones is a personal decision that each of us have to make. It can be very hard for some women who are at a higher risk for certain medical conditions to know what the right answer is.

I had my surgery due to endometriosis and choose not to use hormones since estrogen feeds endo. That was not a good choice because after about a year without hormones, I noticed it physically and mentally. I was a complete different person.

I also read Suzanne Somers book and found it to be very useful in helping me decide to try hormones. There are many good books available on Bio-identical hormones that may be very helpful while you are trying to make your decision.

There are also some very good articles to read in the resource section.

Hormone Articles

Hormone Resources

My former doctor believed No uterus....No progesterone. I believe it has many more benefits than just protecting the uterus.

I personally could not survive without progesterone. It is the only thing that has helped with my anxiety and insomnia that started after my surgery. I also believe it is very important to balance out the estrogen which is a biggie for endo women.

My only suggestion if you do decide to start using the hormones would be to keep them seperate and start using them at different times. It is usually a good idea to start the estrogen first. Find a good dose and level that you feel good with just estrogen and then several weeks later start the progesterone. There may be some adjustments you need to make to the dose and it is very hard to know which hormone may need tweaking if you start them both at the same time.

I know how hard it can be making this decision. Good for you for doing your research and trying to make the best decision for you.

Good luck with your decision.

Unread 12-17-2005, 05:35 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

My general gyn's advice to me is this: Estrogen alone is best(he says there are studies that say it even reduces breast ca risk). He said by mixing estrogen and progesterone you more than double your risk of breast cancer. I hope to be able to do estrogen only.
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Unread 12-17-2005, 06:51 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

Progesterone in women without a uterus is still highly debatable among the medical community. The studies that were done that concluded a higher risk of breast cancer were with continuous therapy with a synthetic estrogen and a synthetic progestin. No conclusive studies have been done to date on bio-identical progesterone. My doctor says she still believes that progesterone may increase risk, but since no studies have been conclusive in either way, that quality of life has to be the biggest factor in making the decision and if I feel better on progesterone to use it. If something comes out that is positively conclusive that progesterone is bad for me, I will certainly quit using it then.
Unread 12-17-2005, 07:24 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

Hormones are new to me. I was relaying what I was advised. I do not know what estrogen does and I could not tell you what progesterone does for someone. I do know that i do not produce much progesterone myself. Thus the reason i miscarried the times that I did. Enlighten me on the difference.
Unread 12-17-2005, 08:04 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

Hi xrayu. I'm no expert on the subject, but from what I understand progesterone is produced in the ovaries 14 days of the month. If an egg is not fertilized, then the withdrawal of progesterone is what causes bleeding, hence the period. It is also produced in the adrenal glands but not as much and males also have small amounts. It is also stored in fat cells. It is a precursor (building block) to other hormones like estrogen and testosterone. When one is estrogen dominant, producing more estrogen relative to the amount of progesterone, it can cause problems like infertility and endometriosis and many other problems.

In my case, with no uterus or ovaries, my progesterone level dropped rapidly after my surgery but I still had a lot of estrogen stores. Bloating, inability to sleep, and anxiety are some symptoms of low progesterone.

There are many ladies here who know far more about these things than I and can probably help you more, but that's what I know so far. Hope it helps.
Unread 12-17-2005, 08:26 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

if you have stored estrogen, why would my doc put me on estrogen only right after the surgery. BTW, she took it all, i am hollow now!!!lol
Unread 12-17-2005, 08:32 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

Even though you still have some estrogen stored, your levels drop dramatically after removal of your ovaries. That is why some doctors add ERT right away. I couldn't use estrogen for 3 months postop because of endometriosis. I had terrible hot flashes and night sweats immediately after surgery.
Unread 12-17-2005, 08:33 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

Thank you for the info. I was put on a progesterone only bcp after i had my middle child and it caused me to bleed for 2 months. My gyn put on bcps w/progesterone hoping to make my cysts go away I had 31 day period. I took bcps several years ago and had no issue as long as progesterone was not involved or was mixed w/estrogen. It is interestin-maybe my issues stem because of my lack of progesterone.
Unread 12-17-2005, 09:37 AM
Progesterone or no progesterone that is the question???

I have used progesterone cream from a compounding pharmacy and OTC preps. I have also used compounded capsules, which were 100 mg. I found out real quick that I have to use it VERY sparingly because it turns me into a wicked, depressed, nasty witch with sore boobs. lol Right now, I'm taking a break from it but when I go back to using it I will use a very small amount of the cream only.

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