Author Topic: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?  (Read 9083 times)

tracylayton

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Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« on: January 31, 2015, 08:40:26 AM »
This is for the female Mustachians. If you've already reached menopause, are you doing hormone replacement therapy? My doctor didn't push it, but told me to strongly consider it for "quality of life"...comfort during intercourse, avoiding wrinkles, preventing bone loss, etc. I had not even considered taking estrogen/progesterone because I am not having any problems, but he made me question that choice. What has been your experience?

mom2_3Hs

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 11:08:27 AM »
I"m not there yet, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  There are other, less risky treatments for those problems than HRT.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 11:50:01 AM »
I use it, and love it.  BUT - it's not for everyone. 
Most of the bad news that came out of that Women's Health Initiative study has to do with Provera (which is NOT progesterone, but a synthetic drug that just looks a little bit like progesterone).

Some women sail through menopause, don't have any family history of osteoporosis, don't suffer from sexual dysfunction or hot flashes - they may be fine without it.

But bear in mind, many of the "diseases" of aging may really be due to various hormone deficiencies.

You might read one of Suzanne Somers' books on the subject - no, she's not a doctor, and frankly, I think she gets some of the details wrong, but she does a good job of painting the big picture of why you might want to try them.

Also, remember, no decision is permanent - if you tried them and didn't like them, you could stop again.

Beardog

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 12:19:28 PM »
One month I was menstruating, the next month I wasn't.  Never had a hot flash, sweats, or any problems whatsoever.  Didn't start to wrinkle up until many years later.  Like someone else said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

southern granny

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2015, 01:51:29 PM »
I chose not to do the HRT.  I just think in most cases the natural way is the best way to go.  I had about 6 months of hot flashes, but not unbearable.  I am fine now.  I take my multi vitamin and eat healthy.  I walk about thirty minutes a day.  My last checkup except for my cholesterol being a little high, doc said I was in great shape.

geekette

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 04:21:16 PM »
I wish I could avoid HRT.  I had hot flashes that were annoying during the day and unbearable at night (slept in another room, ceiling fan on medium, no covers, no pajamas, and still felt like someone lit a gas stove under me every 2 hours all. night. long).  My quality of life was horrid.

I'm taking the lowest dose I can (generic low dose Activella), and while I still have hot flashes (after almost 5 years, mind you), I can at least sleep.  Stupid stuff costs over $100/month!  Generic!


Kris

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 04:29:16 PM »
I'm really glad I saw this thread.  I'm 48, but had a hysterectomy five years ago, so the only way I will know when I've hit menopause is when I start having non-period-related symptoms.  My mom is dead, so I can't ask her what her symptoms were, so I have no idea what mine are likely to be.  Thanks for posting this.

puglogic

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2015, 08:00:05 PM »
I take bioidentical (plant-based) estrogen and progesterone from a compounding pharmacy, just a tiny dose every day, and it helps even out the hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, and other symptoms. I can't afford much downtime right now, and that's why I do it.

I may not do it forever, but for now it fits. 

2ndTimer

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2015, 08:12:02 PM »
I had a hysterectomy.  Tried life with and without HRT.  Concluded that if HRT makes me die sooner it's worth it.  Really improves both cognitive ability and mood for me

Lyngi

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2015, 09:31:56 PM »
I'm not there yet, but soon, very soon.  Quality of life is really important consideration.  Maybe short term of HRT may be appropriate for you.   Five or Six years ago EVERY menopausal woman was put on the PREgnant MARe urine product , for their bones, blah blah blah.  Then long term studies found  increased risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia.   So it is much less common now.  There are better drugs for osteoporosis-biphosphonates or  raloxifine.  Make sure to get enough vitamin D, exercise, diet.   Also, you can treat hot flashes with venlafaxine, or clonidine.  Or you can do a more bio-identical estrogen replacement.  In the US there are some pharmacies that sell estradiol for really cheap, and not just that HAPPY face pharmacy,  but you do have to add a progesterone product if you have a uterus.  That can be the medroxyprogesterone (cheap) or a capsule of progesterone (not as cheap). 
      (I am not a doctor, there are my own personal opinions. Consult your physician for your specific situation,  but I hope this helps)

Rural

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 07:24:22 AM »
I'm not. Had hot flashes, but not too bad, just annoying really. If they'd interfered with my sleep, though, I'd have done something about it. They seem to be over or nearly over now.


Weight-bearing exercise and enough calcium, preferably through diet, are my choices for now. My mother has some bone loss, but in every physiological characteristic I take after my father's family, and his sisters and mother didn't have the bone loss.


I do get a lot of phytoestrogens from diet. Whether that makes a difference, though, I can't be sure.

tracylayton

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2015, 08:01:25 AM »
Ladies,

Thanks for all of your responses. Dr. ordered a bone density, so I may wait and see what it shows. I sleep well and the night sweats seem to be over...so I may just wait until there's a problem. I may also check into phytochemicals in the diet...I try to keep things as natural as possible.

ltt

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2015, 08:34:55 AM »
I am very near to being finished also.  Sleep is getting back to normal, have had very few hot flashes, 2 periods last year.  I agree with the others, if you are having little to no difficulty, then don't try to fix it.  If you are really struggling through, then you may need help.  If you can at all manage to get daily exercise, that may also help.

SunshineAZ

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2015, 09:32:48 AM »
I had a hysterectomy (kept ovaries) in 2008 at age 42 and up until about a month ago hadn't had any issues or taken any hormone replacements.  I recently noticed my skin texture getting really dry and dull with fine lines and then about a month ago, I started having really bad night sweats.  I am currently taking some herbal supplements and using a progesterone cream.  It has stopped the night sweats and I am sleeping again, but I don't like using the cream and plan on reducing it in the next few weeks to see if the night sweats come back.  Not sure what to do about the wrinkles though, they really make me feel old. :(

tracylayton

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2015, 09:48:30 AM »
I had a hysterectomy (kept ovaries) in 2008 at age 42 and up until about a month ago hadn't had any issues or taken any hormone replacements.  I recently noticed my skin texture getting really dry and dull with fine lines and then about a month ago, I started having really bad night sweats.  I am currently taking some herbal supplements and using a progesterone cream.  It has stopped the night sweats and I am sleeping again, but I don't like using the cream and plan on reducing it in the next few weeks to see if the night sweats come back.  Not sure what to do about the wrinkles though, they really make me feel old. :(

I am having trouble with dry skin and wrinkles, too...hoping it's just from winter.

Letj

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2015, 10:07:10 AM »
This is for the female Mustachians. If you've already reached menopause, are you doing hormone replacement therapy? My doctor didn't push it, but told me to strongly consider it for "quality of life"...comfort during intercourse, avoiding wrinkles, preventing bone loss, etc. I had not even considered taking estrogen/progesterone because I am not having any problems, but he made me question that choice. What has been your experience?

I have started a relatively new harmone treatment called Duavee and it has been a God send. Works the same as the old HRT but with less risk for uterine or breast cancer. For me it is the best thing ever. There is very little information on the Internet but there is a good blog by a female doctor who highly recommends it. You may want to google it.

Letj

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2015, 10:16:50 AM »
I had a hysterectomy.  Tried life with and without HRT.  Concluded that if HRT makes me die sooner it's worth it.  Really improves both cognitive ability and mood for me

I got the same attitude. I would rather take the risk to get the improved quality and potentially ward off cognitive decline.

geekette

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2015, 11:37:22 AM »
I've been wondering how long I'll be on this dang stuff.  Looking at Duavee, they say for most women it's 6 months to 2 years.  I've been on Activella for over 4! Every time I try to wean off, I'm miserable again.  Even with it, I have annoying, but not horrid, hot flashes. 

My mom didn't have these problems (she said she had a single hot flash every night at 2 am for a while). 

puglogic

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2015, 12:19:33 PM »
I took this step because they would wake me up at night, and it was hard to get back to sleep.  It's hard enough to sleep when you're menopausal!   And lack of sleep (coupled with stress) is a surefire way to compromise your immune system, inviting god-knows-what into your body.  Not worth it for me, so I take the minimal dose to keep the worst symptoms under control.

dungoofed

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2015, 01:23:50 PM »
The first step is to get your levels tested. A GP will generally order a simple blood test and then make recommendations based on the results.

Puglogic mentioned bioidentical (aka "natural") progesterone/testosterone compounded creams. These are quite popular with users as they restore quality of life while having the least side effects.

(disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Nor a woman. But I'm quite familiar with HRT)

puglogic

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2015, 08:51:00 PM »
Actually, I take a pill (troche) rather than a cream. But I've heard good things about the creams as well.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2015, 12:00:24 PM »
Quote
Five or Six years ago EVERY menopausal woman was put on the PREgnant MARe urine product , for their bones, blah blah blah.  Then long term studies found  increased risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia.   So it is much less common now.  There are better drugs for osteoporosis-biphosphonates or  raloxifine.

Absolutely not true.  The studies show that women who take hormones in their 50's have less heart disease.  And the bisphosphonate drugs can cause terrible side effects like femur fracture and jaw necorsis, because they poison a crucial element of bone remodeling and repair.

Freedom2016

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2015, 01:27:48 PM »
I'm not there yet (just had a baby) BUT I had breast cancer that was 100% hormone fed, so I will likely never do HRT. If there are cancers in your family (putting you at higher risk than the general population) you may want to talk to your doctor about whether HRT is right for you.

SpinGeek

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2015, 02:02:48 PM »
I had a total hysterectomy at 35, and I've been taking HRT for 10 years now. My doctor strongly recommended it for bone density, heart health and quality of life since I was so young. I'd always had horrible hormonal migraines, and the few times I've run out of transdermal patches were a painful reminder why I'm paying ~$100/month for these little pieces of scotch tape on my high-deductible insurance. (I don't take the pills because some studies have found that digestion/stomach acid causes harmful compounds to form in the body.)

I'm on the next-to-lowest dose; still get a hot flash or migraine occasionally, but day-to-day life is fine.

tracylayton

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Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause?
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2015, 02:55:15 PM »
My biggest complaint is short term memory loss...I feel like my brain is a little foggy. I call it CRS syndrome...can't remember shit!