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Any health "cons" to progesterone after ovaries removed? Any health "cons" to progesterone after ovaries removed?

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Unread 05-02-2007, 10:38 AM
Any health "cons" to progesterone after ovaries removed?

I've purchased Dr. Lee's menopause book, but haven't had a chance to read the entire book yet.

I know you HAVE to have progesterone if you KEEP your ovaries, but what are the cons, if any, of adding in a small or moderate amount of progesterone if you do NOT have any ovaries?

I'm trying to find out if it's potentially dangerous to my health (i.e. cancer causing, other health problems?) to just add in natural progesterone, especially without having my hormones tested? I can't ask my family doctor because he always says I only need estrogen, even though I've never had any tests (you know....snorfledoodle the woman and only give her estradiol...sorry to vent) and all they've ever done is try to adjust the estradiol patch dose. One gyn I went to tried to adjust the estradiol patch dose as well and then said we could always add in testerone. I do NOT have a low libido, but I have had migraines very badly since my hysterectomy, which is my reason for wanting to try the progesterone.

Is it considered dangerous or just neutral?
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Unread 05-02-2007, 11:04 AM
Any health "cons" to progesterone after ovaries removed?

Hi Newgal,

Many women benefit from the addition of a little progesterone included with their HRT. If you use too much, there are side affects just like with estrogen. The biggest ones that I watch for are fatigue and depression. The right amount though can help find that "balance". While testing can serve a purpose, it is generally found that adjusting HRT by symptoms works best. What is "normal" for one person, or average for the whole of us, may not be what YOU need.

My surgeon (who is an excellent surgeon) had very little interest in the latest in HRT. She prescribed the same HRT to all of her patients . I was able to find a Dr who had an interest in HRT by calling a local Compounding Pharmacist. I asked them if they could refer me to a Dr who prescribed HRT based on need. They gave me a list of Dr's and after asking me other questions about my health needs, they narrowed it down to the Dr I am seeing now. It can make such a huge difference if you have a Dr who understands how it all works together and works with you to find YOUR balance :balanc:.
Unread 05-02-2007, 11:46 AM
Any health "cons" to progesterone after ovaries removed?

Thanks for your great reply, Kay. So far I have nothing but good "side effects" from the progesterone (went from fatigue to energy, from depressed to happy!), but I would prefer for it to be prescribed and monitored by a physician working with a compounding pharmacy. Our situations sounded similar and I can tell that's the solution for me, too. Thanks so much!
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Unread 05-02-2007, 11:54 AM
Any health "cons" to progesterone after ovaries removed?

Hi I just wanted to clarify a couple of things. First, progesterone isn't required if you keep your ovaries, it's required if you keep your uterus and are on ERT. The reason is that progesterone (or synthetic progestin) can counter the proliferating effects of estrogen on the endometrium. No endometrium => no progesterone or progestin required - for that purpose, anyway.

Not enough is known about all the potential actions of progesterone to say whether or not it's needed aside from in women who still have their uterus. Many hysterectomized women do just fine without it; presumably this is because we can make enough from our dietary cholesterol so that we don't need to supplement with it. However, some women just feel better with a little supplementation.

Also, while natural progesterone isn't known to cause breast cancer (the same cannot be said for Provera, a synthetic progestin), it does accelerate breast cancer growth in women whose cancers are PR+ (progesterone receptor positive), the same as estrogens will cause tumor growth in women whose cancers are ER+ (estrogen receptor positive). This means that many DRs will not prescribe or recommend it for women with cancer histories, although it's unclear whether or not it's actually a bad thing, in that sometimes having the cancer grow while it's non-invasive results in earlier detection at a less dangerous stage than if the cancer hadn't grown as fast. Talk about confusing!

I hope this helps... the bottom line is, listen to your body, adjust what you use according to your symptoms, and always work closely with a physician you trust to monitor your body's reaction to what you're using. Good luck!

Unread 05-02-2007, 12:39 PM
Any health "cons" to progesterone after ovaries removed?

Linda, thanks so much for totally clarifying the exact questions I had with regard to progesterone. I know there's so much to learn about HRT, but as for the little bit I wanted to know about progesterone and couldn't find in the books so far, you totally answered my questions!

I'm glad you clarified as well about progesterone and women with/without a uterus versus my remark about ovaries; I did know that as well, but for some reason made a mistake and referred to ovaries

I have heard about PR+ and ER+ receptors, so your answers more than made sense to me and are very much appreciated. Thanks for always being so helpful

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