Hormone Replacement Therapy

  1. So what do you all think about it? Did you or do you use it personally?

    I am so torn on this topic.
    •  
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   JeannaRN
    I used it for 10 years. I used the Climara estrogen patch. I'd had a hyst 10 years earlier so only needed estrogen It was supposed to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and relieve menopausal hot flashes etc. Well, it was great in terms of preventing menopausal symptoms. Then the nurses studies came out with the evidence that it didn't help with heart disease or osteoporosis. In fact there was a higher incidence of heart problems. Since I had a family hx of heart problems, this was why I was taking the HRT.

    I took myself off of the patch 3 years ago and started right in with the hot flashes etc. I also developed a cardiac arrythmia while I was on the patch and high blood pressure.

    So essentially all the HRT did was delay menopause symptoms until I was 10 years older.

    My advice: If hot flashes are truly unbearable use the HRT for the shortest time you can and at the lowest dose you can.

    I think this was another incidence when doctor's and drug companies used woman as guinea pigs.
  4. by   caliotter3
    We can't give medical advice on this site but we can talk about our own experiences. I was and am going thru the menopause from H***. I was taking HRT when I could finallly get an MD to focus on what I was asking for rather than my nonstop bleeding. Put up with the bleeding problem for about 15 yrs. Long story, but finally got the surgery. Now the surgeon told me that I can't take HRT for the rest of my menopause experience b/c it will aggravate the fibroid situation. I am not bleeding to death anymore, but I sure don't feel well. Can't offer you any advice but you should do a lot of research before you make up your mind yay or nay. Some of the research has been contradictory, I tried it cause I couldn't stand the symptoms. Good luck. Ask your MD, if you need to see an OB-GYN specialist before you decide.
  5. by   Midwest4me
    Quote from TrudyRN
    So what do you all think about it? Did you or do you use it personally?

    I am so torn on this topic.
    Had a TAH four years ago and have been on Estrace. Took myself off of it a year ago or so because I'm not good about taking meds and thought to myself:I'm having break-through hot spells anyway, how much worse could it be if I just stopped taking it? I found out quickly---seemed to be drenched in perspiration ALL the time! My MD said to get back on it and she increased the dose. When I remember to take it, it seems to work well although I still do have occasional hot spells, or rather "my own personal summers" as I like to call them.
  6. by   crb613
    I use Climara patches, & they work wonders for me. I at one point decided to stop using them.....well, that sure did not last long. I could not stand the hot flashes, mood swings & I swear my memory went to crap. I tried all the natural stuff, but it did not work. I decided instead of walking around like a crazed, sweating, killing machine, I would use the patches.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    When the day comes for me (hitting menopause), I plan on seeking the care of a midwife. I appreciate their wholistic approach and attitude that menopause (while it can be very unpleasant for many) IS a NORMAL and NATURAL change of life. I want to get through the climateric with a minimum of chemical help, if possible. Am I kidding myself? I sure hope not. Cancer is too rampant in my family (two cousins had breast CA in their 30s)---- and my mother-in-law developed an almost-deadly blood clot in her abdomen when she was on on HRT. Having to stop abruptly after years of use has been HELL for her from what I can see. I just I am not going to be able to risk HRT use to help me; too much can happen. I wonder what I can do when "it" hits. I do dread it-----I have not spoken to anyone who had much good to say about menopause. When I asked my mom and an older cousin, both said "get a book". That does not sound too good to me.....oh well.....

    I guess I will just have to wait and see for myself what to expect. None of my female relatives are talkin;.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 3, '07
  8. by   CHATSDALE
    be careful with hrt
    i did not have menopausal sx but i began to have bone loss [re bonescan] and the md said why not try a low dose pill . i thought it would be beneficial because ca doesn't run in my family but osteoporsis really does

    BAD CALL i went in for a mammogram and they keep calling back for an mri and a catscan upshot i had tohave a lumpectomy and lymp-glands removal
    i stopped taking the pills as soon as i got the first call back after the first mammo...5 months later on a visit to primary he asked if i was still on the hrt
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    OK anyone got some good suggestions for BOOKS TO READ? Since my family won't talk (like it's some dirty secret) I need to know what I face. Realistically, but also HOPEFULLY. Please no dark, unhappy ones. I would love some positive books that discuss living as much in harmony with life's changes as possible. So anyone? I have to do my best. I figure my little daughter will be hitting menarche about the time I start menopause. LUCKY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeee


    (my poor boys, the dh and son won't know what to think)
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    I am close to, if not actually in menopause (no periods since last summer; I love it!!), and I have made it through without hormones. I went back and forth with the idea for a while during the early years after the process began, but because I never could tolerate birth control pills---one gave me migraines for a solid year, others merely made me psychotic---I decided to do whatever it took to get through this on my own.

    So I went on antidepressants to smoothe out the emotional rollercoaster I'd found myself on, and I take a mg. of lorazepam every night. It doesn't stop the night sweats, but it does help me sleep through 'em!:wink2: The sleep deprivation and the craziness were what affected me the worst, so those were the symptoms I chose to deal with..........the rest of it is uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and I'm around other midlife women so there are plenty of people to commiserate with.

    To be honest, I don't think perimenopause has been as difficult for me as it was for my mother or sister. My mother never took hormones or got any other help, and she was a train wreck; by contrast, my sister is still on Premarin even though her surgical menopause was more than 30 years ago. Every woman deals with it differently; personally, I've always considered menopause a natural process, so I think my experience of it might be a bit less intense than that of a woman who's been fed menopause horror stories all her life. And for what it's worth, I'm tickled pink to finally be getting done with messy periods, headaches, cramps, PMS, and pregnancy scares.......and I don't feel any less feminine.
  11. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    OK anyone got some good suggestions for BOOKS TO READ? Since my family won't talk (like it's some dirty secret) I need to know what I face. Realistically, but also HOPEFULLY. Please no dark, unhappy ones. I would love some positive books that discuss living as much in harmony with life's changes as possible. So anyone? I have to do my best. I figure my little daughter will be hitting menarche about the time I start menopause. LUCKY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeee


    (my poor boys, the dh and son won't know what to think)

    Two good ones: The Silent Passage by Gail Sheehy, and The Wisdom of Menopause by Christine (?) Northrup, MD. Also, you can always find good stuff in Ourselves, Growing Older (which is part of the Our Bodies, Ourselves series).

    Plus, you can PM me anytime you want to chat about this, Deb........I'm discovering some truly wonderful things about this time of life, and in many ways I feel more vital and strong than ever before. Menopause doesn't have to mean the end of womanliness and the beginning of decline into old age and death; it's a magnificent opportunity for learning and personal growth.
  12. by   magz53
    I have been on HRT for 12 years and plan on taking it for the rest of my life. The decision is a very individual one and I do not attempt in any way to persuade one to do the same. However, the infamous study of 2002 was flawed in many ways (with women in their 60's with a previous history of heart disease started on HRT many years after menopause for one example.) At the time Premarin was the largest selling pharmaceutical product. I have secretly wondered if the drug companies fund studies to undermine another's profits. Also the "progesterone" in the study was the synthetic version.......progestin. It is important to find a care provider who will help you make your individual decision. I first went to a friend of mine, a nurse-midwife who innocently asked me if I had hot flashes every day. We laugh about it now because I was having them at least once or twice an hour. I would know one was coming as I had an "aura" of overwhelming nausea followed by a burning sensation in my chest and there was no way of aborting the resulting heat wave which could last as long as 5 minutes or more. Disruption of sleep and lack of sleep can have horrible effects on disposition and mood. I currently take .625 Premarin and Prometrium 100mg. at HS. I also use testosterone cream mixed by a compounding pharmacy. I tried Climara but felt very "premenstrual" all of the time.........weepy etc. and had breakthrough bleeding which of course needed to be checked out with endometrial biopsy etc. The decision to take HRT is a perfect example of benefit and risk. For me, it is a quality of life issue. I would recommend one to become as educated as possible as only you can decide if the benefit outweighs the risks for you.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    THANK YOU Marla. I will likely take you up on that. NOt knowing what to expect stinks!
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Dr. Susan Love has a great book on menopause and hrt.

    Here is her web site.

    http://www.susanlovemd.org/

    I am heading toward menopause. Irregular periods. Irregularly scheduled hot flashes . . mine are actually not that bad - like when you take Niacin . . . just a little flush. I don't think I need any hormones at this time - you have to be w/o a period for a year to be considered in menopause.

    My good friend had hot flashes so bad AND insomnia that she ended up going on HRT for awhile - it saved her sanity.

    steph

close