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Should I go on HRT?

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  • Should I go on HRT?

    I'm considering HRT. Is there anyone taking natural estrogen and progesterone successfully without it raising havoc with your IC? I still have a uterus, so I will need the progesterone in the mix somehow, but I know it will cause a flare (was put on it for a short time durin peri). I really think the lack of estrogen contrbuted to my getting the IC when I did. Would really appreciate it if someone could respond, if they've had some success with HRT, without having their uterus removed? Thanks, Sue :eek:
    We can help one another here. Sue

  • #2
    My mom started HRT after having a hysterectomy about ten years ago because of fibroid tumors. She read three books on the subject and then talked to her doctor before making her decision.

    I have read some along the way in books and magazines since my mom is on it. From what I have read (she also agrees with me), that the benefits outweight the risks--- there is a slightly higher risk of endometrial and breast cancers, though there is a lower risk of heart disease (which is the number one killer of women), cancers of the bowel, as well as a lower risk of osteoperosis.

    This is one of those things that you have to talk about with your doctor about your family history, though in the end the decision is up to you.

    Amanda
    ([email protected])

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    • #3
      I take prempro and I do not find that it has
      affected my IC at all. No better, no worse than before HRT. It certainly has helped with horrendous hot flashes and night sweats. I was getting NO sleep between having to get up five or six times a night with the IC and waking up soaked with sweat. At least now I get a little sleep at night.
      GardenLady

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      • #4
        Dear Sue -

        Well, I have been the whole gambit with the estrogen thing.

        I got IC when I was 46 (at the start of peri-menopause) and am now 53. My IC did not seem the same as what I found with others' descriptions in terms of my cycles. I believed that low estrogen was my problem and so went to my gynecologist and asked for it. I wanted to take it without progesterone. He was the husband of my uro and, while she didn't think it would work, he agreed to try it initially for 6 weeks and then go from there. Well, in just a few days I was a lot better. Enough that I knew my thinking was right. After the 6 weeks he agreed to let me stay on the estrogen without any progesterone and to watch my uterus closely with frequent ultrasounds.
        As you must know, there is an increased risk of getting uterine cancer when you don't take estrogen with progesterone. However, the risk is not huge. The greater risk is a build-up of your uterine lining and then bleeding from that. This is what happened to me.

        I did try to use progesterone a couple of times - both Provera and Prometrium to see what would happen and to get my uterus to shed its lining. I had flares both times so never used them again.

        I ended up having an endometrial ablation (they burn off the lining of your uterus - doesn't hurt) and eventually had a total vaginal hysterectomy (tubes, ovaries, uterus, etc.) because of a problem with my uterus like endometrosis. However, now I can take the estrogen and don't have to worry at all about taking any progesterone.

        My experience with the unopposed estrogen was very positive. No IC problems at all. The risk of uterine cancer or other problems was worth being absolutely pain free.

        When I went on the estrogen initially, my gyno put me on the pill, Ogen. I found that because all the linings in my body were so screwed up, I couldn't tolerate the pills. I asked for the Climera patch. It was a wonderful alternative, since you can cut and paste it, thus titrating the dose yourself to your needs.

        Everybody's situation is different and decisions you make will be based on what your particular circumstances are. But, the worst that can happen is that you will have to have a hysto because you will have a very early stage cancer or you will have a uterine lining that is carrying too much of a build-up that causes problems for you.

        My doctor has used this treatment with other ICers in my age group who presented with my same symptoms with the similar success.

        Good luck in your decision making process. If you need more information, post a note to be on the message board.

        Hope this has been helpful.

        NancyB

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        • #5
          Dear Sue:
          If you need to take progesterone, maybe you could try natural progesterone cream, or natural micronized progesterone. It is the synthetic progestin that usually causes the bladder problems, not the naturally occurrin progesterone. You get these Rx at a compounding pharmacy and they can be tailored to your needs. I take a formulation of estrogen called Bi-est. It is compounded for me and I have had great results. I also use a product called Vagifem and it has been my lifesaver. I was suffering from vaginal dryness to do menopause ( i did not know that I went through menopause as I had a hysterectomy and had no menopausal wymptoms) and the vagifem is a little pellet that is inserted vaginally with a little plunger thingy and it has really helped a ton of symptoms. Hope this helps.

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          • #6
            Thanks, Barbara! I will ask about those options. I'm grateful for all your suggestions. Sue
            We can help one another here. Sue

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            • #7
              I would strongly advice against taking unopposed estrogen if you still have your uterus. Also, if you do take estrogen alone a vaginal ultrasound may not pick up a problem before it becomes cancer. At the very least- on unnopposed estrogen you should have endometrial biopsies on a regular basis.It is a much more sensitiv screening tool. Finally even early uterine cancer is nothing to take lightly. Cancers are unpredictable and a hysterectomy for cancer is more invasive than a typical complete hysterectomy.

              I know this from experience. The only unnoposed estrogen I ever took was in utero in the form of DES-but it was enough.DES used to be given to women to prevent miscarriages. Well, it didn''t work for that but it did lead to cancers and other reproductive problems in the children of women who took it.

              I had a normal ultrasound less than a year before I had a very abnormal endometrial biopsy. My gyn sent me off to a gyn oncologist. She insisted on a D&C prior to a hysterectomy so that she would know how bad things were and how invasive the surgery would need to be. All the pathology showed my lining to be the worst stage before frank cancer. The oncologist said with those results there was still a 30% that she would find cancer when she did the hysterectomy. My gyn wouldn't do the surgery because if cancer was found the gyn oncologist would have to do more extensive stuff. I was lucky. They got it before it turned to cancer. But early stage cancer is still nothing to take lightly.

              Read the premier issue of Rosie (formerly Ladies Home Journal) from a few months ago-about Fran Dreshner's out with uterine cancer.

              I am not minimizing the pain of IC- but unnoposed estrogen is a pretty dangerous way to tackle the problem. Please gals, be very careful. Ruth

              Comment


              • #8
                I would strongly advice against taking unopposed estrogen if you still have your uterus. Also, if you do take estrogen alone a vaginal ultrasound may not pick up a problem before it becomes cancer. At the very least- on unnopposed estrogen you should have endometrial biopsies on a regular basis.It is a much more sensitiv screening tool. Finally even early uterine cancer is nothing to take lightly. Cancers are unpredictable and a hysterectomy for cancer is more invasive than a typical complete hysterectomy.

                I know this from experience. The only unnoposed estrogen I ever took was in utero in the form of DES-but it was enough.DES used to be given to women to prevent miscarriages. Well, it didn''t work for that but it did lead to cancers and other reproductive problems in the children of women who took it.

                I had a normal ultrasound less than a year before I had a very abnormal endometrial biopsy. My gyn sent me off to a gyn oncologist. She insisted on a D&C prior to a hysterectomy so that she would know how bad things were and how invasive the surgery would need to be. All the pathology showed my lining to be the worst stage before frank cancer. The oncologist said with those results there was still a 30% that she would find cancer when she did the hysterectomy. My gyn wouldn't do the surgery because if cancer was found the gyn oncologist would have to do more extensive stuff. I was lucky. They got it before it turned to cancer. But early stage cancer is still nothing to take lightly.

                Read the premier issue of Rosie (formerly Ladies Home Journal) from a few months ago-about Fran Dreshner's out with uterine cancer.

                I am not minimizing the pain of IC- but unnoposed estrogen is a pretty dangerous way to tackle the problem. Please gals, be very careful. Ruth

                Comment

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