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Patch vs. pill Patch vs. pill

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Unread 07-15-2010, 08:33 PM
Patch vs. pill

I'm sure this has been discussed a number of times, but without fishing through all the topics... what is the difference between the two? Can you choose which one you'll be on after surgery? Does one work better than the other? I asked my mom, she had TAH about 14 years ago and has been on pills ever since. When I asked her about the patch, she was under the impression she can't have that because she had a hysterectomy???? (I can see now, that's not the case) So.... what's the scoop? I hate taking pills and will absolutely ask my doc if I can have the patch.

Also, do you wear the patch on your back? Does anyone know if it will affect tattoo ink...
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Unread 07-15-2010, 09:21 PM
Re: Patch vs. pill

Different people have better luck with one type or another. Pills can give more up and down levels over the day compared to a patch. The patch should be below the waist front or back, best to pick one and stick to either front or back since absorption is different. (But change the spot each time). I don't know about tatoo ink at all. It seems quite tape like but I have no tatoos so I never asked. Good luck with your recovery.
Unread 07-16-2010, 03:50 AM
Re: Patch vs. pill

I had a TAH only 3 weeks ago and was given the choice. I opted for a patch as I'm not a big pill taker and it's easier on the liver as pills have to go through your liver. I'm impressed with the patch as it's small discrete and I don't notice it's there. Stays on in the bath/shower etc. I think biggest problem with a patch is if you are allergic to the adhesive which some people are.

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Unread 07-16-2010, 08:03 AM
Re: Patch vs. pill


I use the Vivelle Dot for my systemic estrogen and I like it a lot. It's estradiol, the strongest of the three estrogens (the other two are estrone and estriol) and is bio-identical. Vivelle Dot is changed twice a week (every 3 1/2 days) whereas Climara, another popular estradiol patch , is changed just once a week. Both come in a range of doses. They are worn below the waist, either on the abdomen or on the rear. Wearing the patches on the rear increases the absorption by about 20% so it's important to alternate placement of the patches from side to side on the abdomen or side to side on the rear. If the patches are changed front to back/back to front, there likely will be uncomfortable symptoms that will come as a result of the fluctuating hormone levels.

The patches can be a lot more expensive than pills. For example, the generic Estrace pills are a part of the $4/month discount prescriptions at many pharmacies, and that is without insurance! It's the same bio-identical estradiol that is in the patches. Without insurance I think my patches cost over $60/month.

Your doctor may have samples of hormone therapy products for you to try before you commit to having a prescription filled. Once you have had your surgery and start on the hormone therapy don't be surprised if you have menopause symptoms. That's normal as the body depletes the hormones the ovaries made and adapts to the new source of hormones. It's important to give each hormone therapy a fair chance to work before switching to another method of delivery or changing the dose. Making changes too frequently can result in fluctuating levels which makes finding balance more challenging.

There's more information about the various estrogen choices in articles 8 - 13 in this link: Hormone Jungle Articles and lots of good information in the other articles in the same link.

I hope this helps you!


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