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  • Flares Relationship to Hormones?

    I was diagnosed about a month ago, but have had symptoms since November. Each month it seems like my IC symptoms (pain) kick up at ovulation and build to a "mother load" flare right before that time of the month. When my time of the month comes, the symptoms settle down again. I am 40 years old. Does anyone else have the same pattern? If so, have you successfully used any kind of hormone therapy for this? Mine seems to be doing this like clockwork.


  • #2
    We had a female dr at my last ic support group & she says its the buildup of progesterone. Progesterone aggrevates IC.
    A lot of people suffer this way at that time of the month. I hope someone can tell you how to get some relief. Kathi
    One Day At A Time
    Kathi

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    • #3
      I too suffer from flares in between ovulation and my period. I have been tracking my symptoms for the last 10 years and the drs. have not been able to solve it. I am presently taking Estrace days 16-19 and Prometrium days 18-25 but do not notice much improvement. Thinking about trying birth control pills. Any thoughts??

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      • #4
        Pam-

        How did they get you on the Estrace and Prometrium on those specific days? Did you have hormone testing? My PT said the the book Screaming to be Heard...is an interesting book that discusses possible linkage between hormones and a number of conditions. I haven't gotten it from the library yet, but am interested. We do have a compounding pharmacy where I live, do might try compounded therapy.

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        • #5
          I'm 41 and have always experienced aggravated IC symptoms the week before and during my period. I agree with others' comments here that progesterone can aggravate IC. My urologist told me that the bladder lining is influenced by monthly hormonal changes and he can see when studying the bladder lining thru. cystoscopy, where we are at in our cycle.
          I too, wish there was more info. and/or maybe something to help with this problem. My GP told me that there was nothing he could do about the rise in progesterone levels.
          Shelley

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          • #6
            I was put on the Estrace and Prometrium because the dr. thought the estrogen was too low in the middle of the month. She was trying to balance out the curve. Has anyone tried birth control pills with success?

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            • #7
              KIMJ,

              What is compounded therapy?

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              • #8
                In a few weeks I will be going on a fertility med that will increase estrogen in my body. I think this stuff basically tricks the body into pumping out more estrogen - I'm taking it to ensure ovulation. I don't ovulate on a regular basis, probably due to low estrogen. I also have noticed a pattern of increased IC symptoms the week before and week of my period. I am very interested in seeing what effect the extra estrogen will have on my symptoms. I'll keep you posted when the time comes. If IC is estrogen related, that could be why pregnancy sometimes brings about relief. I think that IC is probably caused by several different things, which means the solution for each person depends on the cause. I'm hoping for a bit of relief, needless to say. Here's wishing a comfortable day for everyone!
                Kelly
                "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights."
                Psalm 18:32 - 33

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                • #9
                  My menstual cycles became altered--the month before my IC began last June, Ive had a laprosocpy-hysteroscopy and also the two cystoscopies--My gynecologist offered either A. Birth control pills--which make me bleed all the time--or B. A procedure where the place a balloon in bladder and burn lining in the uterus--to try and slow down bleeding--or stop it for awhile? Or C. hysterectomy--i havent done anything at this point--and like everything else with IC am coping with it--with no good answers.. I hurt severly the week prior to beginning and first few days on.. I cycle every other week now--when before i was clock work--i even went 2 months completly without cycleing? So who knows? I hope you can find some answers--please post if you do... Good Luck--Kaye Kaye

                  ------------------
                  [email protected]

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                  • #10
                    I am 16 and have had a similar problem ever since I was diagnosed - except my flare happens during my period, not before. I take birth control pills (Min-Ovral) to keep my hormones at a steady rate except for the one week I go off. This helps me because before I always had very heavy, long (7+ days) periods, now they are lighter and only 5 days.
                    What helps me the most is this strategy that my doctor suggested - you do not HAVE to have a period every month. I take them for 2 21-day cycles with no break, (42 days) then break for 7 days and start over again. I have half as many periods as I normally would. This way my hormones are steady for 42 whole days and I only have a flare once every 2 cycles, instead of every cycle. It is a godsend!!! I still do have those 5 days of absolute torture, though, and made even worse by the fact that I have vulvodynia and cannot use tampons. My doctor is considering a hysterectomy for when I am older, then go on HRT, that way my hormones would always be at a steady level with no break.
                    For now the birth control pills are helping enough though, I really recommend that route for you especially since your symptoms come on before you period - that would probably be eliminated with the pills. I also had the problem of bleeding continuously that Kaye Kaye mentioned, when I was on Alesse and another I cn't remember, but my doc said that if you go on a pill with a high estrogen content that stops (which it did). Whatever you do do NOT take LoEstron - it causes vaginal infections. (Something I wish my doc had told me...!) That's why I switched to Min-Ovral.
                    Hope I've been of some help.

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                    • #11
                      Hi, I'm pre-menopausal and have looked into hormones because not only do I have I.C. I have a host of other problems which could be hormone related such as osteoporosis, endometriosis, and Chronic Fatique Syndrome, just to name a few. I have been on the lowest dose birth control pill for about 1 1/2 yrs. now with little change. My doctors felt that as I had probably had endometriosis that it may have attached to the bladder wall. I asked my endocrinologist about testing and treating hormonal problems and he said that it is so complex that they do not understand it fully. Each day our hormones change. I do know of a local compound pharmacist who has been making up natural progesterone for women to try. Although I did not try this route yet, he advised me that it is a trial by error situation.

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                      • #12
                        Hi Everyone-

                        Well, it happened like clockwork again. Past 4-5 days pain symptoms reared their ugly heads. Today I began that time o'month and pain symptoms are back way down. I will say I was able to manage my flare up much better this past time and endure it knowing it would probably subside soon. I had three pretty good weeks (only took one ultram). Hope it happens again. NOW if I could just get this one yukky week per month under control, I will not be doing half bad!!. For those of you who have posted...10 responses...this is a big issue for so many of us...why hasn't their been more research on this? I am getting a list of doctors in our area who work with compounded and natural hormone therapy from our local compounding pharamacy. I can't help but think something can be done about this bad hexed week that hits so many of us!!

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                        • #13
                          I'm going to be 39 this month and have been having terrible hormonal problems ever since I had my third child. I also, have terrible flare-ups when I ovulate and before my period. I had three babies right in a row and my husband would always comment on how wonderful I was when I was pregnant. Sure I was wonderful!!! I wasn't in pain. After my son my IC and hormones were working over time.
                          Anyway, I decided I wanted to have one more child. My daughter 4, my other daughter 3 and my son was 2. I didn't think I would have any problem getting pregnant. We tried 9 months with no success. I also had some pregnancies when I was younger (that I'd rather not talk about) and figured there would be no problem getting pregnant. I knew there was something wrong. I kept telling my doctor I wanted a laproscopy because I was convinced I had endometriosis. But she said it would be highly unlikely since I had so many pregnancies. I was constantly complaining about my bladder pain and she would do nothing for me. Finally I switched doctors and he found a small cyst on my right ovary. He said it could be why I was not getting pregnant and gave me a prescription for progesterone. My periods became worse. My hormones were out of control - I was such a mess and couldn't handle the pain from the IC and the stress from not getting pregnant. So he decided that my hormones needed to be regulated and put my on the pill- Alesse. I started bleeding at different times of the month and getting headaches every day. He said to take it for 3 months and my hormones should be O.K.after that. After 3 months I went off the pill and was really depressed. I thought I was going to run out of the house screaming. I found out shortly after that that I had hypoglycemia and was not allowed to eat anything having to juggle both the IC and hypo diet. The more information I read the more anxiety ridden I got. I started having panic attacks and had to be put on Zoloft. Now I'm much better and can deal with my new diet and the pain much better. I started trying to get pregnant again but we have had no success. I know I should be happy with my 3 beautiful children but this is just something I really want badly.
                          I'm convinced I have endometriosis. I bleed so horribly every month. I go through 27 tampons and 27 pads in one day!! I have terrible clotting and hot flashes. Also pain during intercourse (sometimes.) The hot flashes have kind of stopped or lessened. Every time I ask to have a hormone test - the old doctor and the new doctor say it doesn't tell them anything. I thought maybe I was going through early menopause but they said no to that also. I'm so fed up with doctors. I feel like they just shove you off with another one of there medications.
                          If I can't get pregnant in a couple of months I'm going to insist on a laproscopy. One other thing (I'm sorry I'm rambling on) is that since I'm so inflamed at ovulation do you think that it could be preventing me to get pregnant?
                          Since I've been reading everything everybody else has had to say about there hormones - I'm sure the IC is related.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KIMJ:
                            I was diagnosed about a month ago, but have had symptoms since November. Each month it seems like my IC symptoms (pain) kick up at ovulation and build to a "mother load" flare right before that time of the month. When my time of the month comes, the symptoms settle down again. I am 40 years old. Does anyone else have the same pattern? If so, have you successfully used any kind of hormone therapy for this? Mine seems to be doing this like clockwork.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have exactly the same problem with ovalation and my menses.. Two weeks in a month I am riddled with pain. I read the "Screaming to be heard" book and this gave me insight I needed. I talked with my GYN about compounded hormones and they work sooo much better than synthetic hormones. In the book it explains why some women do better with compounded. I think every women should read Dr. Vliet book. I was enlighted and enpowered by this book! I called her clinic in Texas and they except no insurance cash only.

                              Lindy

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