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At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy? At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

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  #1  
Unread 03-21-2011, 12:03 PM
At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Hi all
I hope you experienced sisters can give me some advice please...
I had my TLH/BSO on 3/14. Feeling good with no significant issues...
What bothers me is this - I am standing here with my Climara 0.025mg/day estrogen patch in hands wondering should I start using it. So far, I had no hot flashes or any other issues that would point to low estrogen, other that a couple of anxiety spells (but I am on 10mg Celexa for anxiety anyway).
I am 51 and was in peri-menopause even before the surgery. My progesterone was 0.2 ng/ml which caused excessive bleeding, than fibroids were discovered and ultimately I ended up with the hysterectomy. Estradiol was (before the surgery) 52 pg/ml - lower range according to the doctor. Ovaries were still working, but I guess not for long, as she said.
So, my question is (after this long winded description) should I start using the patch? Once again, I have no hot flashes yet. Should I wait a little (until I get hot flashes)? I know there are other benefits of estrogen patch, but potential problems as well...My mom has osteoporosis, I know that, so I guess I am predisposed too.
I am just so confused - I was following my dr's advice as to take out the ovaries, but I don't know anymore (yeah, too late for that now, I know).
So, what do you ladies think - should I slap that patch on me - it's a lowest dose anyways...
Thanks in advance...
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  #2  
Unread 03-21-2011, 07:57 PM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Well, that is a very small dose. I don't think you have anything to lose by trying it. If you decide to use it, you may need to increase it if you start have symptoms. I was 54 at the time of my surgery last Oct. and my doctor put a .1 mg patch on me right after surgery because I was still perimenopausal (and still had periods) and she felt that I'd need it.
I started out on the Climara patch at the hospital and after the week I switched to the Vivelle dot patch. I didn't care for the Climara patch because it was much larger and didn't stay on me as well as the Vivelle dot does.
I am thankful that I didn't wait. I haven't had any of the surgical menopause symptoms that I've read about. I was having nightsweats before the surgery, but none since.
It can take several weeks to deplete your body's estrogen stores. In my opinion it's better to start right away before it's depleted and then try to build it up again. I learned here that even after natural menopause our ovaries still produce hormones.
I've read many good books which were recommend here about menopause and HRT. I recommend books by Dr. Uzzi Reiss for starters. My gyn told me that estrogen is so important for everything from vaginal health, to our skin and hair, brain, bones, etc. My hair is as thick as ever and seems to being growing faster than pre-surgery. My nails and skin haven't looked better in years. My dentist even told me that estrogen helps with dental health and cavity prevention (who knew?). My libido, sleep and moods are good. My doctor is an advocate (and user) of the hormone pellets, but I haven't decided to make that commitment yet. She recommended that I add testosterone in the future if my sex drive and/or energy are low. But so far, so good. I've decided that I will stay on HRT as long as I can, hopefully forever. For me it's about quality of life.
I wish you all the best with your decision and your recovery.
  #3  
Unread 03-22-2011, 10:24 AM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Thanks LoveBirds - I totally agree with you, so the patch is on...
I think I also had a hot flash without really knowing it - my face and especially ears got really hot. So, hopefully, the patch will help. I'll see my doctor in 3 weeks for the post-op and I'll hopefully get more of my questions answered.
Thanks again for your advice, it is much appreciated...
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  #4  
Unread 03-22-2011, 04:11 PM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Hi waterpony
I hope that the patch works well for you. If you start having hot flashes your doctor can always increase the dose.
I just picked up another book about women's health and hormones at the library today called Screaming To Be Heard by Dr. Elizabeth Vliet. It looks great. I'm trying to stay as informed as possible.
I hope you continue to have a smooth recovery.
  #5  
Unread 03-25-2011, 03:11 PM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Waterpony; I am in the same boat you "were". I am 48, never had a hot flash or whatever prior to surgery (TAH-Jan24). Now, 8 weeks out, I still haven't had anything major that would push me to do HRt.

However, at my 8 week f/up app't yesterday, the doctor prescribed Climara (.50, she didn't think they did any lower here in Cda??) and vagifem. I am to try either one. My complaint was dryness (I am pretty certain about that because the exam hurt like hell) and lack of desire for sex.

So .......... let me know how it goes for you! I am interested as I'm teetering on yes I'll fill it or no I won't???

Donna
  #6  
Unread 03-25-2011, 06:37 PM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Hi Donna,
As you know, I put the patch on me and I am very happy - those warm flashes (I don't think they were hot, just kinda warm and my ears felt on fire) seem to be gone, and I am also less dizzy (but dizziness was probably just a post-op side effect).
My Climara is 0.025 mg/day one and it is quite small. Sticks well so far (but I did not have it for a week yet). No side effects yet. I am pretty sure I will continue with the patch and possibly adjust/increase as needed. I do, however, plan on asking my doctor for hormone test to see how is my estrogen level affected with this. I'll keep you posted.

Best of luck...
  #7  
Unread 03-25-2011, 07:56 PM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

For sure .. keep me posted!

Funny, I would have thought that my dr. should have tested my hormones prior .. just to see where they are (or aren't!!)

Donna
  #8  
Unread 10-21-2012, 10:10 AM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Donna brings up a very good point!

However, Waterpony--Heck, yeah, start it. The effects of estrogen loss are cumulative, take my word for it. I shudder to think of how weak I would be today, eleven years post TVH, if I had kept my promise to remain "natural." (Remaining "natural" lasted exactly a month, when I went from feeling 44 to feeling 99.)

Best of luck to you.
  #9  
Unread 10-21-2012, 10:51 AM
Re: At a loss... should I start estrogen therapy?

Hi ThreeYearsAgo,

My, this is an old thread...
But, I have been on the same Climara 0.025mg ever since the surgery. No side effects and feeling great. My doc says I can safely stay on it until I'm 60 years old

Best of luck to all
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