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More on the Hormone Theory...

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  • More on the Hormone Theory...

    While browsing over at the ICA's website <>, I came across the following Q&A with Dr. Kristene Whitmore, one the the top IC experts in the U.S.:

    "Q. Do hormones have anything to do with IC? Is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) more likely to help or worsen IC symptoms?
    A. Hormones do have an effect on IC symptoms. The exact roles of estrogen and progesterone are currently unknown. However, symptoms may be exacerbated by fluctuations in hormone levels. Continuous hormone replacement therapy or low dose oral contraceptive pills, which keep hormone concentrations of estrogen and progesterone constant, have been successful in treating endometriosis. Preliminary experience in our center indicates a >50% reduction in frequency, urgency, and pain in 9/10 IC patients that had a pre-menstrual flare in symptoms. A randomized controlled trial is pending. Post-menopausal IC patients tend to have a decrease in symptoms when given hormonal replacement therapy. Up to 80% of patients experience >50% decrease in IC symptoms during pregnancy that lasts up to 8 months following pregnancy."

    Well, that's the first time I have heard an IC expert say that he or she definitely thinks that hormone therapy can help IC. I am going to try to contact Whitmore to find out what specific types of hormone therapy or low dose pills she recommends.

    Any comments?

  • #2
    I had a complete hysterectomy in July of 2000
    While I did fine for about 6 to 7 weeks after my hysterectomy and hormones.
    Well, that was just a dream. In late October I started my bout with this last flare. And cannot seem to get past it this time.
    So, I am wondering am I on the wrong hormones or what is going on. My Dr. is pounding his head trying to figure out what happened.
    I was doing so good and now it like I have been slapped with reality that this crap will never go away or at the least settle down.

    I am going insane trying to figure out what happened.
    I eat right, all I drink is water, I do everything by the book. What is wrong with me and why can't I be fixed or at least get some kind of relief ???


    • #3
      Hi Rhonda

      Personally, I feel that progesterone aggravates my symptoms and that is why I think I'm more likely to flare just before my period. I'm sorry to hear that you've been flaring for so long and wish you good luck with Dr. Whitmore. I hope she can help you.



      • #4
        I've been on BHRT for over 2 years. The only drawback is apply the damn stuff 2x a day. But, that is a small price to pay for balanced hormones. The difference in the quality of life is indescribeable. If anything, BHRT helps with IC, at least for me. Hope that helps. Jan


        • #5
          IC and Hormones

          Dr. Elizabeth Vliett author of,"Screaming to be Heard," has written a whole book on the relationship of hormones to many different women's diseases from migraines to IC. The relationship between hormones and IC, I thought was pretty common knowledge?
          In a nutshell, serum estrogen levels less than 100 aggravate all types of bladder and IC problems as they are too low for proper lubrication. The urinary tract is full of estrogen receptors and when deprived of adequate estrogen the nerve fibers become inflammed, sore and dry.
          Postmenopausal women usually need local estrogen in the vagina as well as systemic estrogen.
          Vulvadynia standard treatement is estrogen cream on vulva.
          Steady hormones are best for IC as the progesterone phase of a womans cycle is usually the worst time for bladder symptoms or PMS.
          It has been a long time since I was a nurse in a Gyno office that specialized in hormonal problems, but even back then we knew and observed the relationship between hormone levels and bladder problems.


          Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
          Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


          • #6
            There are at least several people who post regularly who either are or have been on hormone therapy for IC.

            Stay safe

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            Elmiron Eye Disease Fact Sheet (Downloadable) -

            Have you checked the ICN Shop?
            Click on ICN Shop at the top of this page. You'll find Bladder Builder and Bladder Rest, both of which we are finding have excellent results.

            Patient Help:


            Diet list:

            AUA Guidelines:

            I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

            Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool


            • #7
              I've been taking Estrace vaginal cream for a little over 2 months and have had wonderful success with it.

              I'm 10 years out of menopause.


              • #8
                IC diagnosis

                When my Uro diagnosed me with IC the first RX he gave me were for: Estrace vaginal cream, Elmiron and Atarax. My vulvar specialist also starts all her patients on vaginal and vulvar estradiol cream regardless of age.
                As Donna mentioned a lot of women on this board use vaginal estrogen or find out some of their symptoms are due to lack of vaginal estrogen.
                DonnaIC, I believe you mentioned you had a Hyster? Did your Doc put you on any hormones after it or not? I dont recall ever hearing you mention any type of hormone therapy?


                Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
                Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


                • #9
                  Hi Everyone,

                  Haven't been around much lately so I hope you are all doing well. About 4 months ago I finally found an HRT combination that is working for me and not affecting my IC at all. I wanted so badly to use bioidenticals, but unfortunately I couldn't tolerate the natural progesterone. Anyhow I am on Enjuvia .45mg (made from plant sources), and Provera (low dose) 2.5mg, and it actually has helped my IC a little. I no longer have the stabbing pain in my right pelvic area, and the urethral burning is almost none existant. I still have hot urine a little, and frequency is better, but I still flare when stressed or eat something off of the diet. It took me a while to figure out what I could take. I could not do norethidrone acetate at all!!! Every preparation I tried it in gave me such bad flares. Anyhow I missed everyone so it's good to be back!!!


                  • #10

                    So glad you are back and found something that works for you. What ever works! Enjuva is made up of 10 synthetic estrogens the two dominant components are sodium estrone, and equlin sulfate (horse estrogen derivitaves). Perhaps it also has some soy or something else in the mix, but essentially it is a synthetic as is the Provera. I hope you are aware of the research on Provera?
                    Glad you are doing well, and I couldnt stand the bio identical Prometrium either, it gave me terrible vulvar symptoms. I guess we all have to do what we have to do to get results.


                    Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
                    Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


                    • #11
                      Thank you Sami!! I did not know that this was horse estrogens!!!!! I am an animal friendly person (member of the ASPCA), and would not take this drug if I knew this in advance. My endocrinologist told me this was from plant sources!!!! I will have to talk to him about this. I guess I will have to do Estrace, and Provera!!! Thank you for shedding some light!!!


                      • #12

                        It is a blend of 10 synthetic estrogenic components, several different types of equinine estrogens (horse), estrone which is the strongest metabolite of estrogen, and several others. Soy may also be part of the mix, I dont know?
                        The majority of synthetics are of the Premarin or equine variety. Put Enjuvia into a search engine and read the chemical components for yourself.
                        However, if you have been having a problem with other products, maybe you should consider what does seem to work for you? Why it does, I dont know either, but if it does is what counts?


                        Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
                        Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


                        • #13
                          Thanks Sammi. I did research it, and sure enough... Anyhow I'm still taking it right now because I can't come off of it suddenly, and I just bought a months worth at $ 30.00 so I will take it until the end. I don't think the estrace was too, but it has cholesterol raising properties, and I worry about that.


                          • #14

                            Estradiol or Estrace increases your HDL or good cholosterol if taken orally but Not so much transdermal. The idea it raises general cholestrol is news to me?
                            Estrone and synthetic estrogens are more apt to raise your cholesterol, or even blood pressure in some people.


                            Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
                            Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


                            • #15
                              I googled Estrace, and saw that people with cholesterol problems are ones that need to be careful. I wonder if this was one of those general comments on HRT or specific to this drug imparticular. I will need to talk to my doc about this one. Thanks again.