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  #1  
Unread 05-30-2012, 07:16 PM
What is HRT?

I am currently on a generic version of the Climara patch. What is HRT exactly? Is it only a symptom reducer? Does it actually give your body estrogen that your body needs or does it only reduce hot flashes? I am 28 years old. I had my hysterectomy 8 months ago when I was 27 and this all scares me... usually the description of these HRT medications say they are used to treat and prevent hot flashes. Hot flashes are not my main concern. I mean I HATE THEM dont get me wrong... I am miserable when I have them. But (surgical) menopause is so much more than hot flashes. I worry what not having my ovaries so early in life will do to my bodytear

I am writing this because I think my patch is the culprit in my extreme pelvic pain that prevents me from standing upright or being able to walk. (described in another post) and I am considering either switching or not using HRT. Maybe try using something from a whole food store or something. I was using pills called phytoestrogen, using flaxseeds which have a lot of phytoestrogens in them, and drinking soy. Now I stay away from soy because of all the bad things I have heard about it.... Anyway, I just don't know what to do!!!!
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  #2  
Unread 05-30-2012, 10:13 PM
Re: What is HRT?

You are so young to have to go through this now. My heart goes out to you. Its my understanding that HRT is supposed to replace what your ovaries can no longer produce. But that works better for some people than others. While you do have a lot of aches and pains with menopause, I'm wondering if the pelvic pain is not from another problem- either from the surgery or related to it. What's the doctor saying?
  #3  
Unread 05-31-2012, 09:02 AM
Re: What is HRT?

I had my uterus, left ovary and left fellopian tube taken on July 2011. Immediately went into surgical menopause. I got anxious and desperate for relief that I started to take HRT's.

To my surprise I actually felt worst and wasn't getting any better so I stopped cold turkey. Looking back I should've been more patient and waited for my body to sort itself out naturally. Of course that's easier said than done right since I still have one ovary left...but June 20th I'm scheduled to have my right ovary removed since my endo has returned.
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  #4  
Unread 05-31-2012, 11:42 AM
Re: What is HRT?

Little Chief,
Thank you! This is all very difficult. I hope it gets better and that I find some answers. The details to my story and answers to your questions are following... Thanks for your reply

Dianar,
I hope that your surgery on the 20th of June goes well! I pray it is for the best. If I could do it over again I would have kept my ovaries and tried to find out other less invasive procedures that treat endometriosis. I thought that having everything taken out would solve all my problems but it has only created more. Here is my story...

Initially I was told I could keep my ovaries. The reason for the hysterectomy was because they found CIN 3 at my post partum visit after my 3rd son was born. I had always had very mildly abnormal paps... but in less than a year it jumped drastically in severity. They did a LEEP which they thought would take care of the problem. However, the margins were not clear in the endocervical canal which meant it was further up possibly infecting my uterus. So my doctor suggested a hysterectomy if I was done having kids. We have 3 and were debating having a 4th but with the Cancer word being thrown around like that... we figured we were blessed with 3 children and didn't want to take a chance on having another child especially since the abnormal cells grew becoming worse in less than a year. I was told that I could keep my ovaries. It wasn't until I mentioned at a later appointment that I was told before that I might have endometriosis(3 years prior), a suspicion that was never confirmed with surgery. I told him that I was told that I might never be able to have children. So my doctor said that might change things and wanted to do a laparoscopy first to see whether or not I did have endometriosis. If I did and depending on how bad it is, I might need my ovaries to be taken as well.

So the laparoscopy revealed I did have endo, my doctor stated that he didn't even know how I was able to have 3 children... it was that bad.

I was under the impression that endometriosis wouldn't be an issue after the hysterectomy. He said I wouldn't have to worry about endo or cancer. Well, since then I have heard otherwise.

I heard that HPV might have been the cause for my abnormal paps, and if I do have HPV then I could still get cancer of the vagina even if my cervix is gone.

Also, recently when I went to the E.R. for my pelvic pain the attending physician ordered blood work and had a C.T. scan done. I told him that my GYN wanted me to get a pelvic ultrasound done but they couldn't get me in until Monday (it was Friday night when I couldn't take the pain anymore that I went to the E.R.) The E.R. doctor said that the ultrasound wouldn't show anything and the C.T would be the best. So the blood work and C.T. scan came back completely normal. He then suggested I have another laparoscopy to see if there is any left over endometrial tissue that my doctor missed or if there is new tissue growing or if there is scar tissue causing the pain. He said that the ultrasound wouldn't be able to show any of it. I kept the ultrasound appointment anyway and just like the E.R. doctor said.... the results of the ultrasound didn't show anything.

My GYN said that if there were any endo tissue left or scar tissue it would show in the ultrasound(I don't think that is true... if it were then wouldn't he have had me get a pelvic ultrasound to confirm endometriosis the first time?? He performed a laparoscopy instead which means to me that a pelvic ultrasound wont show the endo you actually have to go in to see it... anyway...so he suggested it was related to my spine ( I suffer from mid back and neck pain... recently I had a MRI that showed I had narrowing of the spinal canal; called spinal stenosis) He knew that I was seeing an orthopedic doctor for it and to make sure all my bases were covered he requested authorization for me to see a G.I. doctor. I haven't heard anything yet about the G.I. doctor but I have seen the Ortho who referred me to physical therapy. I saw the physical therapist who suggested the pelvic pain might be because my pelvis is off... so he tried to set it straight. He said that my pelvis is off possibly due to having my kids back to back which we did because we were afraid that we wouldn't be able to have children at all since that is what a doctor told me in the past( I had them in Sept. 2008, Dec 2009, and Feb. 2011) I am glad we were able to have children and I am very happy that we had them so close in age it has been really great!

Anyway, I am not sure what it is. I noticed a couple of days ago that the pelvic pain is always on the side that I have my estradiol(climara) patch on(they suggest you put it on the lower stomach/pelvis or the upper buttocks; well it never stays on the full week when it is on my upper buttocks so I always alternate between my right and left lower abdomen). This week I have it on my right side and that is where the pain is. Whenever I have it on my left side... the pain is on my left side.

My husband went to a natural store for me last night asking about things they carry that work for menopause. The lady there said that nothing on her shelf could touch what I am currently on. She said I might want to change the delivery method but being so young I will need to be on something that is phamaceudical grade. She said the stuff she sells is more for women who still have their ovaries and are going through menopause naturally. I on the other hand went from having my ovaries producing normal amounts of estrogen for me to suddenly not having the ovaries and having estrogen produced at all. Which brings me to my next question...

Do only ovaries produce estrogen in our bodies?

Take care ladies. You will be in my prayers Dianar!!! Especially on the 20th!!!
  #5  
Unread 05-31-2012, 11:54 AM
Re: What is HRT?



  Quote:
Originally Posted by auntflowisgone
What is HRT exactly?
HRT stands for hormone replacement therapy. It can include both estrogen and progesterone, both of which were produced by your ovaries.

  Quote:
Is it only a symptom reducer? Does it actually give your body estrogen that your body needs or does it only reduce hot flashes?
While HRT can reduce surgical menopause symptoms and that is what women in natural menopause would use it for, in women who have had an oophorectomy, especially younger women, it is also to replace the estrogen your body produced as estrogen can be critical for overall health.

  Quote:
I am writing this because I think my patch is the culprit in my extreme pelvic pain that prevents me from standing upright or being able to walk.
I am guessing the issue is not the patch specifically, but it is the estrogen. I did some digging and see that you have an endometriosis diagnosis. If your surgeon did not remove every little speck of endometriosis, any estrogen replacement you use--whether patch or pill or gel or whatever--can allow the remaining endometriosis to flourish and continue to cause pain.

Not using HRT or using phytoestrogens may not be the answer either. For one, endometriosis can create its own supply of estrogen though adding to it could be making things worse. Some doctors believe that phytoestrogens can build up and thus also create issues with the remaining endometriosis. There are also dietary means of adding estrogen to your body. You might want to read this article: Is an Oophorectomy and No Estrogen a Cure? Additionally, estrogen is critical to overall health so you have to weigh the pros and cons of continued endometriosis issues verses new health issues involving your heart, bones, eyes, skin, mental, emotional, and sexual health.

Instead, you may need to be using a combination of both estrogen and progesterone, the purpose of the progesterone being to keep the endometriosis at bay. You may also need to consider further surgery to remove the endometriosis.

I would strongly suggest you find a doctor who is very knowledgeable regarding endometriosis. That doctor could help determine if the problem is endometriosis and what your options might be. There are articles at the top of the Endometriosis Support forum that can help you find a doctor. You should also be keeping a detailed symptom diary as endometriosis does not tend to show up on any type of testing.

I know this can all be very frustrating and my goes out to you. Keep working with your medical professionals to find a solution for you! If need be, add new doctors to your team!

  #6  
Unread 05-31-2012, 12:32 PM
Re: What is HRT?

It would be great if it was simple enough as to go find a doctor that would/could remove all endomitriosis, get fixed for life and all our problems would be gone but with some of us we don't have that luxury. You either have to have exceptional health ins. Or have lots of money, cash paying clients can pay up to 30,000 dlls for this surgery.

I am on government medical and would love it if I did/could have the option to go see endomitriosis "specialist" but I dont unfortunately. My only option is to 1. Have another go around laperscoptic surgery in attempt to get endo out by a physician that only handles about 2 cases a month of endo. Or use a physician that wants to remove the other ovary cause simply is "easier " surgery.

Keep in mind my grandmother died of ovarian cancer. Her endomitriosis wasn't completely removed which then turned into cancer. She passed horribly w a lot of suffering in her 30's, I'm 38.

I have limited resources, I've exhausted all my resources available to me and have educated myself on the disease extensively. I am my only advocate and have faught and faught now i am growing tired and need resolution now. My health is getting worst. I so wish I could see an expert but for some of us we just don't have an option....but a prayer.
  #7  
Unread 05-31-2012, 12:59 PM
Re: What is HRT?

Dianar,
I know what you mean. I have State insurance as well. It is very limited which is probably the reason that they took the "easier" route in my case and did a total hysterectomy. I am really sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Anyway, I was not trying to suggest you not have your right ovary removed, I was simply saying if I could change the past I would have opted out of having my ovaries removed. My husband is about to get really great insurance with his new employer and I probably wont be on State funded insurance much longer. If I would have waited a year, I might still have my ovaries and be able to see an endometriosis specialist. Would of, should of, could of... not much I can do now except deal with the effects of my decision to remove everything.

Weiser,
Thank you so much for all the information.

My doctor said progestrone wouldn't benefit me since I no longer have my uterus? I am beginning to think I need to switch Gyn's. I am going to check out the article you suggested and try and figure this all out. Again I really appreciate all the information!!!

I really have to go. I have spent to much time on here... I have to go spend some time with my children who at the moment are fighting with eachother They need my attention right now Have a wonderful day ladies!!!
  #8  
Unread 05-31-2012, 01:03 PM
Re: What is HRT?

(((autflowisgone)))

Since I was posting to two of your threads at once, I didn't see your latest reply on this one when I posted. So let me see if I can clarify a few things.

  Quote:
Originally Posted by auntflowisgone View Post
So the laparoscopy revealed I did have endo, my doctor stated that he didn't even know how I was able to have 3 children... it was that bad.
Infertility can occur with endometriosis but not necessarily, thankfully! I, too, was told after my first lap that my endometriosis should have prevented me having children, but I already had two!

  Quote:
I was under the impression that endometriosis wouldn't be an issue after the hysterectomy. He said I wouldn't have to worry about endo or cancer. Well, since then I have heard otherwise.
I am so sorry you found this out after your hysterectomy. A hysterectomy removes the uterus. It does not address the endometriosis implants that exist. It also cannot remove the HPV virus that is in your system. Thus, both can be an issue post hysterectomy, though a surgeon should try to remove as much endometriosis as possible during surgery. However, not all of them do and not all of them even know how to.

  Quote:
I heard that HPV might have been the cause for my abnormal paps, and if I do have HPV then I could still get cancer of the vagina even if my cervix is gone.
Keep working with your doctors regarding any possible HPV. However, as an FYI, my atypical paps ended up being from my endometriosis.

  Quote:
The E.R. doctor said that the ultrasound wouldn't show anything and the C.T would be the best. So the blood work and C.T. scan came back completely normal. He then suggested I have another laparoscopy to see if there is any left over endometrial tissue that my doctor missed or if there is new tissue growing or if there is scar tissue causing the pain. He said that the ultrasound wouldn't be able to show any of it. I kept the ultrasound appointment anyway and just like the E.R. doctor said.... the results of the ultrasound didn't show anything.
Endometriosis and adhesions do not tend to show up on imaging tests. None of mine ever did--not on ultrasound or CT scan.

  Quote:
My GYN said that if there were any endo tissue left or scar tissue it would show in the ultrasound
Not very true at all. If the implants are quite large, they can show up. And a very skilled and knowledgeable doctor may be able to use ultrasound more effectively. But in general, ultrasound is not reliable for detecting endometriosis (or adhesions).

  Quote:
I saw the physical therapist who suggested the pelvic pain might be because my pelvis is off...
Keep in mind, those of us living with chronic pain can have issues with our spine, pelvis, and such because we unconsciously try to protect the sore areas and thus mess up our posture and create new pain issues. Yep, been there, done that myself.

  Quote:
The lady there said that nothing on her shelf could touch what I am currently on. She said I might want to change the delivery method but being so young I will need to be on something that is phamaceudical grade. She said the stuff she sells is more for women who still have their ovaries and are going through menopause naturally. I on the other hand went from having my ovaries producing normal amounts of estrogen for me to suddenly not having the ovaries and having estrogen produced at all. Which brings me to my next question...
She told you correctly.

  Quote:
Do only ovaries produce estrogen in our bodies?
Any remaining endometriosis can create some. Fat cells can produce and store estrone. Some will say the adrenal glands can but that is a very debatable topic. Regardless, no, your body is not going to be able to compensate for what your ovaries were producing especially with your age.

Dinar, endometriosis rarely turns into cancer and when it does it becomes endometrioid cancer, not ovarian cancer.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719211/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15171328
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15741306

There is a slight risk of those with endometriosis having ovarian cancer but not one to panic about:

Endometriosis and Risk of Ovarian Cancer

S
  #9  
Unread 05-31-2012, 03:45 PM
Re: What is HRT?

((Auntfloisgone)),

You know my story all too well. Its nice to know at least I'm not alone. I hope n wish to keep my ovary and therefore have decided to go w the inexperience gyn that's going to "attempt" the endo removal. Scary part is that (although rare) endo can exist with"in" an ovary, invisible even to an experienced eye and with ovarian cancer unlike cervical cancer there is no pre-screening tests that exists to date.

I wish you the best and sorry you're going through what you have, hopefully w your husband's new insurance you'll b able to get better quality care.
  #10  
Unread 05-31-2012, 04:13 PM
Re: What is HRT?

So you canceled your surgery to remove your ovary?
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