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Pre-menopause and IC flare

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  • Pre-menopause and IC flare

    I think Im probably pre-menopausel as Im 49. I still get my period but the last one was a week late. Two weeks before that I felt like I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured. About 4 days before my period began I had the worst flare ever with IC I have pain this time and alot of urgency. Im on Elmiron and hyrdroxizine and am also taking Glucosamine, chondroiten, MSM supplements. Ive read that IC symptoms seem to worsen during menopause and after. Have others found this to be true? Is it because of lack of estrogen? I dont want to take artificial hormones if I dont have to but would do it if it kept the IC symptoms under control
    Diagnosed with IC in 1997. Currently taking Elmiron, Hydroxizine, Aleve, Ditropan, Glucosamine, Chondroiten, MSM Quercitin, Vitamin D, Probiotics, Co-Q 10. Also working on bladder retraining

    “The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”~ Philipus Aureolus Parcelcus

  • #2
    Estrogen as an IC Treatment

    This is a posting that I made in 2007. Hope it is helpful to you.

    When I was 47, I was diagnosed with mild IC during perimenopause. I had a lot of the usual symptoms, urgency, some frequency, pain, bladder spasms and felt awful. I did a lot of charting of my symptoms and noticed that I felt the worst AFTER I started each period. My theory was that I got IC because my bladder had too little estrogen. (Estrogen levels start dropping during perimenopause.) So, I went to my gynecologist and asked for some estrogen. A lot of gynecologists seem to feel that .50 mgs. of estradiol is all that every woman needs. I was glad that mine did not feel that way and was willing to work with me. He gave me a 6 week supply of Estrace (estradiol) .50 mgs. per day. From the first pill, I started to feel better. About a week into that medication, I felt like there was something about the pill I wasn’t tolerating, and I asked to be switched to the Climera patch. I liked the patch really well because I could cut and paste what I needed. My gyn gave me a 0.1 mg. patch to work with. Within 3 weeks my bladder had completely cleared up. It took another 3 weeks to clear up the rest of my body (bowels, etc.) and feel normal again. I took the estrogen unopposed (without progesterone) and my gynecologist watched my uterus with frequent ultrasounds. Four years later, I had a hysterectomy (tubes, ovaries, etc.). After the surgery, I had to up my Climera patch to 0.2 mgs. (2 – 0.1 mg. patches) for a time then dropped it to 0.150 mgs. (1 – 0.1 mg. patch and 1 - 0.05 mg. patch) where it has stayed for the last 8 years. I have tried to reduce it a few times, but my bladder has always let me know when the estradiol level was too low. About a year ago, I started having some urgency feelings and had an estrogen level done and found out that I was no longer absorbing the patch. So, I went back to the Estrace pills 1.50 mgs. 2 times per day; however, both the non generic and the generic bothered me a little because they both had blue dye in them to make them purple. Luckily, I found a pharmacy that had estradiol that was colored pink and they have been fine. They are made by Mylan and any pharmacy can get that generic for you. Clearly, this is not a treatment for every ICer, but it may be for some. I have been IC symptom free for almost all of the 12 years I have had it and am thankful every day that I found something that works.

    Update: 12/13/08 - When I turned 60 this year I started having some urgency and vaginal discomfort. I added estriol vaginal compounded cream in a hypoallergenic Versa cream base 1mg/gm at a dose of 1 1/2 gms 3 times per week and eventually decreased my oral estrogen to 1 mg twice per day. I tried all the estradiol vaginal products first, but they gave me abdominal and vaginal discomfort. No problems with the estriol. You get the estriol vaginal cream from a compounding pharmacy, and you need a prescription. I am fine now.

    Update: 6/14/09 - After a few months on the vaginal estriol, I started having vaginal and abdominal discomfort like I had on the estradiol. So, I started using estriol vaginal cream 3 mg/half gm two times per week rubbed into my abdomen. I have no problem with that.