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True Confessions...  Get ready girls, it ain't pretty! True Confessions... Get ready girls, it ain't pretty!

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Unread 06-25-2000, 11:49 PM
True Confessions... Get ready girls, it ain't pretty!

I feel like I am standing up in an AA meeting or something, you know, "Hi, my name is Robin, this is my first time here and I am hormonally challenged."

Anyway here is my dilema, I had a vag/hyst 5 years ago at age 23, 10 months later I lost my ovaries due to adhesions. I used the estrogen patch for about 4 months after surgery and then switched to the pill which I subsequently ignored. In the 4 years since losing the ovaries I have probably been through 2 bottles of 90 Premarin.

I never get hot flashes with the exception of maybe 2-3 in the summers. I never lost my libido (maybe we shouldn't get into that one, there is probably something seriously wrong there!) And I never really felt "better" after taking HRT.

It has just recently occured to me that my thinning hair, dry skin, instant sunburns (this is a new thing), headaches, mental fuzziness (that is debatable, I have always been a little ditzy), weight gain, vaginal dryness (this is also new this year) and my worst problem; CHRONIC INSOMNIA, might have something to do with hormones.

I have an appointment with my dear GP who has been prescribing $2 a pill sleeping pills all year to discuss this and thought I would come armed with some hormone info when I stumbled upon this wonderful website!

So my dear sisters what are your suggestions for the quickest results? I am very intersted in this Estrace stuff, I have tried the ProGest cream, didn't seem to make me feel any different, and I am faithful to my calcium however I really find myself in the dark with all this stuff! Help!


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Unread 06-26-2000, 12:36 AM
True Confessions... Get ready girls, it ain't pretty!

Well, Robin, we're all here 'cause we have hormone problems, so I guess you've come to the right place

Have you read the Hormone Jungle dropdowns and browsed the archives? You can link to both through my signature. That's a good way to come up to speed pretty quickly on a bunch of hormones.

Estrace is good--a number of us are pretty satisfied with it. On the other hand, if pill-taking isn't really your thing, then maybe going back to a patch would fit your tastes better. Same hormone, just a different route. Taking progesterone in combination with the estrogen will do more for you than taking it alone--it does quite a bit to compliment, extend, and sooth the estrogen effects. The combo also seems to be more efficacious for the dryness. (The libido thing may mean that your adrenals are doing fine in keeping you caught up in the testosterone department.)

Faithful to calcium may not have been enough--after 5 years you really should do a bone density test to check on how you are doing. Unfortunately, the most loss occurs within the 5 years after hormones drop. The progesterone helps rebuild bone, so that might be a factor to consider in your decision.

It really might be a good idea, since you are stable at this point, to grab a quick set of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels to help guide your hormone decisions. You can't fine tune by numbers, but it would sure help you get an idea of where you need more and where you are holding your own. Doctors have a harder time arguing with numbers, too--and that might help you with your campaign.

Sleeping pills aren't a good longterm answer for anything. Hormones have a lot to do with sleep patterns, so that may well settle you back down again. It's worth pursuing.

Faster? They all zoom into your body pretty quickly. You can count on a couple weeks of upheaval as everything saturates and runs down the domino effect of restoring depletions and coming back into balance in interactions betwen the various hormone regulators. Then it gets better (if the route and dose are right).

I had been in natural menopause (and thus had some ovarian production still, despite wicked deficiency symptoms) for 5 years when I had my hyst and began Estrace 2 days later. The hot flashes (every couple hours) cut off within days. The moods improved within weeks. The vaginal dryness took a couple months (but I was healing at the same time). The disturbed sleep didn't ease till I started progesterone 3 months later. As others besides me have pointed out, you don't know how bad you were feeling until you finally feel good. It makes a lot of difference when you take the right hormone in the right dose, all the time.

Please hang around and let us know how it goes for you--we haven't had many sisters come to us after such a long dry spell. [blue]
Unread 06-27-2000, 01:51 AM
True Confessions... Get ready girls, it ain't pretty!

Robin, if you didn't feel any differently from the progesterone you should try using more of it. The first thing you are likely to notice from progesterone is that you'll sleep better. You should work up to the maximum dose at your age. Try measuring it out with a measuring spoon before you spread it on, to make sure you're putting enough on. The breasts, and underside of the arms, behind the knees are for me the most absorbant areas. But maybe at your age you really would benefit from estrogen too. Have you ever tried the Vivelle estrogen patch? That worked really nicely for me. I combined it with progesterone cream and I felt great. After five years without any estrogen replacement, though, you might want to ease into estrogen, starting with very little at first, or you could trigger side effects. This happened with my mother, who tried the patch after being menopausal for three years. She got sick!

In any case, get off the sleeping pills! Those things will ruin your health - physically and mentally.

most affectionately,
Lisa P
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Unread 06-27-2000, 06:03 AM
True Confessions... Get ready girls, it ain't pretty!

I'd agree with easing in. For everyone. It seems a good strategy around here. Start low and tinker upward. Progesterone can only do so much for you without ovaries and there are women who have real problems with it. What it seems best at around here is balancing the estrogen.

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