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Where do I stand? Where do I stand?

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Unread 07-28-2002, 11:02 AM
Where do I stand?

I know this is not a site for medical information, but maybe you can give me some sisterly info. I had a TAH on 7/1. Everything is gone except my cervix. My dr. started me on the Esclim .1 patch the night of surgery. My question is, since I wasn't starting to go through menopause before surgery according to some tests my dr. did, what stage am I in now? Did I just blow past menopause completely? I think that's where I am. I will be on the patch for about 2 years. Then what happens to me? Will I have post menopausal symptoms then? I would appreciate your insight, and I will ask my dr. on my next visit.

I am fairly new here and still have not perfected using smilies, sorry!
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Unread 07-28-2002, 12:01 PM
Where do I stand?


I don't know about stages of menopause, unless you're referring to perimenopause, premenopause, etc. After a TAH, however, you are IN menopause--the whole thing, as I understand it. It's considered "surgical menopause" rather than menopause that occurs through the "standard" process. I also had a TAH--6 1/2 weeks ago. I have hot flashes and my emotions are definitely labile, to say the least. I use an estrogen patch as well as oral estrogen (.625) as needed. As far as I know, I will remain on these for the rest of my life.

When I read about menopause, it is describing me. The difference is that we have the physical element of surgery to deal with. Like regular menopause, though, it seems that women experiencing surgical menopause have a range of symptoms from few to none to the whole shebang. If you feel like you're going through menopause, it's because you are! Good luck to you!
Unread 07-28-2002, 05:08 PM
surgical menopause

You are in surgical menopause, as Elizabeth says, because your ovaries, being no longer present, are no longer producing estrogen. Women who enter menopause abruptly through surgery often find that the symptoms are exaggerated. I call it "going from 60 to zero in an hour and a half" , which is how long my surgery took. This is instead of going through the years of perimenopause and the years of menopausal changes.

What happens normally is that there is a lessening of estrogen production, and your pituitary gland in your brain puts out extra doses of follicle-stimulating hormone looking for a response. This is what leads to many of what is called vasomotor symptoms, hot flashes, etc. Eventually your pituitary gets the message and stops sending out that hormone.

Other tissues in your body have estrogen receptors as well, which explains things like brain fog and so on.

To answer your question about treatment: my doctor's rule of thumb is to use estrogen replacement in her surgical menopause patients until the age when they would be entering menopause anyway. The symptoms off HRT would be attenuated, in part because HRT never really replaces all the estrogen you've lost, (so your body is used to a lower level anyway). In part it's also part of the natural aging process for most of your body's estrogen level to need less as time goes on.
There's another great website that gives a lot of good information on the subject: Survivor's Guide to Surgical Menopause . It's a great site, and one I go back to frequently.

I hope this helps clear up the :confuse: confusion. That's why we call it the Jungle!


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