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Which hormones after a mid-menopause hysterectomy Which hormones after a mid-menopause hysterectomy

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Unread 07-03-2011, 07:37 PM
Which hormones after a mid-menopause hysterectomy

Hi all,
I'm 54 and been in menopause since age 42. I've been on Bio-identical HRT for over 6 years. I still ended up with a diagnosis caused by estrogen dominance, even though my estrogen has never been unopposed (complex hyperplasia with atypia).

I have about 3 months before my surgery will be scheduled and have decided to try and let go of the estrogen. I have taken it for hot flashes, bones and vaginal dryness. But, I have also read that progesterone can also treat those conditions successfully. Is that true?

Anyway, I have drastically changed how I eat (a suggested cancer diet). It consists of organic raw fruits, vegetables and nuts. I have lost 10 lbs so far and feel great. I have slowly been reducing my estrogen and am currently down to .25 mg per day. I have tried in the past with no success to reduce the dosage. I am honestly convinced that it is the new food choices that are calming my body and allowing me to make these changes successfully. I am so happy. I am continuing my regular dose of progesterone.

I have decided because of my age (54) and family history of reproductive cancer (my mother died at age 40) to go ahead and get a complete hysterectomy, including ovaries.

I'm researching the testosterone because it seems to have an impact on the bones and depression issues (as well as libido). Plus, it still seems to be produced by the ovaries even after menopause.

I'm thinking (hoping) that I will be able to get down to progesterone only before the hysterectomy and simply continue forward with it afterward, plus be prepared to add a little testosterone if the situation warrants its use.

Is there anyone else who was already in menopause, had their hysterectomy and is using progesterone and testosterone (no estrogen)?

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Unread 07-03-2011, 09:27 PM
Re: Which hormones after a mid-menopause hysterectomy

Hi there. I started into peri-menopause at 32, and have been on just progesterone cream for about 8 years now & it has worked well for me, both before & after my TVH. I still have a few hormonal fluctuations, but on whole, it works out fine. I haven't taken any testosterone yet, & haven't found any need for anything else except the progesterone. However, I did keep my ovaries after surgery & wasn't fully into menopause, so my situation is somewhat different than yours. Hormones are really individual, so it's hard to say what will work with you & what won't...

Sounds like you're on the right track & doing well, so good luck with your surgery & recovery!
Unread 07-04-2011, 08:13 AM
Re: Which hormones after a mid-menopause hysterectomy

It is so confusing because I have read information that indicates estrogen and progesterone can solve some of the same issues. But it sounds like the estrogen is the "bad" hormone with more serious consequences.

I have started supplementing for the bone issues and exploring options for vaginal dryness. I have had great success with a touch of estriol oil vaginally for dryness, but again that is estrogen.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Unread 07-05-2011, 08:09 AM
Re: Which hormones after a mid-menopause hysterectomy

Hi sisters, I am now 10 mos post op from TAH BSO and 52. 3 weeks after surgery my body was shocked into full blown menopause. I was having 23 hot flashes + - everyday. I could not sleep and was crying, depressed and miserable. But now I am managing and thru trial and error have found what helps: I use Estrogel every other day, one squirt on my thigh and rub in. I alternate legs. I have cut my coffee to 2 cups a day (coffee aggravated hot flashes) I cannot drink red wine, it is the worst! I have soy sensation with my cereal and eat edamame. I try to watch my salt, because for me it brings on a hot flash ...Within three months of these changes I was down to about 4 hot flashes + - per day. No more at night, just when I wake up. This is probably the worst part. I try to walk everyday. I love to sit around and read, check facebook, etc. (I am unemployed right now) but these things make me gain weight, so I try to keep moving. If I get hot and can't stand it I take a cool shower. My dr. said it is hard to say how long the hot flashes will last. My neighbor is 73 an still gets them ( ugh how depressing is that!?) So try to manage the best you can and don't be afraid to ask for some hormones to help. It's not forever. Hang in there. :-)
Unread 07-05-2011, 10:38 PM
Re: Which hormones after a mid-menopause hysterectomy

Hi there,
I was also 54 and in perimenopause when I had my TLH/BSO last Oct.
When women who still have their ovaries go through menopause, it happens gradually over time. They will continue to produce hormones (including estrogen) in smaller amounts even after natural menopause. But when our ovaries are removed, we are suddenly post-menopausal and we produce ZERO estrogen. The body still has a reserve of estrogen for up to a few weeks before you reach rock bottom.
I've been on the Vivelle Dot since the day of my surgery and I feel great. I've had no flashes, mood swings, etc. since my surgery. Fortunately my hair is still thick, my moods are even, I've had no weight gain or "middle-aged spread" and I have no vaginal dryness. My recent bone scan was very good. I owe most of that to maintaining a good estrogen level. I also exercise everyday. At this time I'm only on the estrogen patch. My doctor said that if I start feeling low in energy or libido she can prescribe testosterone, but so far I feel great, in fact better than ever!
There are some good books out there which helped me understand this whole surgical menopause thing. My two favorites are Screaming to be Heard by Elizabeth Vliet, M.D and Natural Hormone Balance by Uzzi Reiss. I highly recommend them both. Estrogen is not a "bad" hormone at all. Most of our body systems rely on estrogen, including our brain, eyes, skin, teeth, hair, bones, heart, urinary health, vaginal health, etc.

As long as there is no medical reason for me to stop, I want stay on estrogen replacement forever. My doctor and I agree that for me the benefits far outweigh any side effects.

I wish you well with your surgery and recovery!

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