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Hormone Replacement Therapy -- Working for You?
Old 10-10-2008, 06:38 PM   #1
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Hormone Replacement Therapy -- Working for You?

DW has been in menopause for about three years, and the hormone replacement therapy doesn't seem to be working that well. I won't go into details, but it seems that the doc and she are always adjusting the dosages, and not getting the desired effects, and getting unwanted side effects. I wonder whether she'd be better off without any of these pills/patches.

Is this the case for you other women of the ER forum who are taking the HRT route?

Anyone just decide the medicine isn't worth it?

Thanks,
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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I was on the patch for several years . The patch part was fine . It was when they added the progesterone that I went bonkers . I tried every form going and they all made me crazy . I finally said enough is enough and stopped everything but I was 60 at that point .
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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My wife had a hysterectomy and ovaries removed 18 months ago and has been using a hormone patch ever since. It seems to work, but she still occasionally experiences hot flashes and has periodic bouts of restlessness/insomnia. So far, there have been no extreme mood changes, thank goodness.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:04 PM   #4
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I said screw it and have not used anything. If I have a hot flash, I drink ice water. I am happy with the choice.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:09 PM   #5
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DW also went with out the therapy. I will say that I'm tired of sleeping in a room with fans full blast on us all night.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:16 PM   #6
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I said screw it and have not used anything. If I have a hot flash, I drink ice water. I am happy with the choice.
I didn't use anything; hot flashes were brief and mild; now are long past.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:27 PM   #7
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Hormone therapy was a significant contributor to my DW having a heart attack at 53!
Be sure you look at the literature on this side effect that many women are at risk for
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:39 PM   #8
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I didn't have any symptoms that seemed problematic enough to take any medication. The closest I've gotten to a hot flash is just brief warm ups, nothing sweaty or uncomfortable. That was going on a few years ago. I still sleep with less covers than DH and I notice that if I get overheated doing something it takes me a little longer to cool off.

I was lucky that I didn't have mood swings or crying jags or any of the other emotional upheavals that some women have. Age 46 to 51 seemed to be the transition years and I'm 53 now.

Good luck to your wife, Al. I know a lot of women have a tough time with menopause.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I didn't have any symptoms that seemed problematic enough to take any medication. The closest I've gotten to a hot flash is just brief warm ups, nothing sweaty or uncomfortable. That was going on a few years ago. I still sleep with less covers than DH and I notice that if I get overheated doing something it takes me a little longer to cool off.

I was lucky that I didn't have mood swings or crying jags or any of the other emotional upheavals that some women have. Age 46 to 51 seemed to be the transition years and I'm 53 now.

Good luck to your wife, Al. I know a lot of women have a tough time with menopause.
Anecdotally: It helps to cut way back on caffeine and refined carbs.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:19 PM   #10
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I went "cold turkey" from the pharmaceuticals. It was rough for awhile but I'm fine now. I do now use a topical compounded (natural) hormone called estriol, but will not be able to get a prescription again because the drug company Wyeth got mad that women were running from their horse pi. . .ah Premarin, and got the FDA to put a stop to compounded estriol. There are a number of congressmen and women who are trying to overturn the ruling, but with the economy and election it's probably been put on the back burner. I have friends who have had very good luck with other compounded hormones that are still available. Your wife might want to check these out.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:57 PM   #11
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I'm with Martha. After a coworker suffered a significant stroke and my concern about possible increased risk for breast tumors, I had a talk with my M.D. and we decided to hold off as long as possible before going on HRT and I'm glad I did. For me the worst part was the nighttime hot flashes, but even they weren't unbearable -- I learned that wearing loose COTTON pjs and making the bed with lightweight COTTON sheets helped a lot.

Age 57 now and hopefully through the worst of it.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:21 PM   #12
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I was on the patch for several years . The patch part was fine . It was when they added the progesterone that I went bonkers . I tried every form going and they all made me crazy . I finally said enough is enough and stopped everything but I was 60 at that point .

Exactly what happened to me - I tried every kind of progesterone - but at that time studies showed that in women who have not had uterine removal, using estrogen without progesterone increases the risk of developing uterine Cancer.

I tried but just couldn't go cold turkey, so gradually worked out my own solution - I weaned myself off the estrogen patch. Instead of using the usual dosage - a new patch every 3 days or so, I only replaced it when my body told me I absolutely needed it. After a year or so, it was every 2 weeks, then every month, then every few months. Every few years my Dr prescribed an ultrasound scan of the uterus. At least 10 years later, I have not had any ill effects.

I had a relatively easy transition using this method. I empathize with your wife T-AL.
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Old 10-11-2008, 01:29 AM   #13
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I wonder whether she'd be better off without any of these pills/patches.
Al, I'm sorry to hear that she's being used as a laboratory subject. It's not much fun when the doctor seems to be randomly trying doses.

With this being such an individual experience for every woman, perhaps there's only one way to find out. But maybe that'd be worse than the status quo.
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:35 PM   #14
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I decided, against my doctor's advice, to try to get through menopause without hormones, and it worked out just fine. I do find that my husband complains about being cold in the house when I'm bordering on too warm!
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #15
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I decided, against my doctor's advice, to try to get through menopause without hormones, and it worked out just fine. I do find that my husband complains about being cold in the house when I'm bordering on too warm!
Boo frickin' hoo. Put a sweater on. That's what I've told my wife since we got married. I like a cold house, especially to sleep in. A few nights ago, I mentioned that I was cold and was putting on a sweatshirt, to which she said "Sac up honey!"
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:32 PM   #16
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I used no HRT during my "journey" due to familial cancer and a previous bout with DVT. I'm considered "post" at this point and feel GREAT! I look better now and have more energy than I did 15 years ago (okay, my bones hurt sometimes). Note that I'm a bit of an extreme athlete who has a pretty strict diet and supplement regime (lifestyle RULES, IMO). I don't knock the HRT route for those who need to control the nasty perimenopause stuff, but education and support worked far better for me than having to resort to ingesting horse urine.

Thanks T Al for bringing up such an important subject for women.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:24 PM   #17
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You guys are great, thanks for the information. DW lurks here all the time, and has read all the posts.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:25 PM   #18
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I am on HRT. I take the smallest dose possible and I am presently taking that every other day. I have tried to get off of them twice and returned after many sleepless nights. The hot flashes and night sweats are still as strong now as they were years ago. My doctor keeps saying I should be thru all that, but I definitely am not. I am trying one more time to slowly decrease the dosage until I can quit completely. My doctor says it is easier to quite in the winter months so my schedule is to be down to one every third day by Nov., then every fourth day by Jan., and then try to stop cold turkey. I am 59 years old and my mother died at age 73 of a stroke. I have to stop taking these pills, but I have to have a quality of life also. Tell your wife to hang in there, she has plenty of company.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:41 PM   #19
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I won life's lottery, I guess. I never had a hot flash - - no night sweats, either, and no other annoying symptoms at all. My doctor never mentioned HRT and I didn't see any reason to bring it up.

I know so many intelligent, rational women who really suffered during this time, though. So, I know these problems are very real. The only thing I can think of to say, to encourage your wife, is that this too shall pass. Wish I had a solution for her!
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Hormone Replacement Thrapy -- for men !
Old 10-11-2008, 09:57 PM   #20
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Hormone Replacement Thrapy -- for men !

For instance, at 66, I take a couple of squirts of Andro-Gel transdermally, once a day, to keep up testosterone levels. This is considered a half-minimum dose, but it did wonders, over time, to cure the slowly increasing lethergy, grumpiness and decreased libido. As DW has come to dread, I now chase her around the house ... until, of course, SHE catches ME.
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