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Jude's avatar

Thoughts/feelings on women taking hormones for menopause?

Asked by Jude (31993 points ) November 27th, 2010

My big sis will be turning 50 next year and she told me the other day that she’s definitely going through menopause. I’m just curious as to what you all think about hormone replacement therapy.

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15 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I think if a woman is suffering badly and hormones are the only thing that gives her relief, I understand why she might take them. But, generally, for myself, I am going to try to do without hormones when the time comes. They have been linked to cancer, and I think it has been shown they do not help with heart disease. If she has had a hysterectomy, then she does not have to worry as much about the cancer risk, although from what I understand breast cancer is now linked to those hormones. If there is breast cancer in your family I would be even more concerned.

Generally I am a no drug person anyway, I hate taking any pills, I think all medication comes with side effects, but sometimes we have to to take something.

Many many people feel much better taking HRT, bio-identicals are becoming more popular also, which I guess are natural and not synthetic? You get them at compounding pharmacies.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I took some phyto-estrogen (plant based) supplements to ease things a bit when I had a medically forced (cancer treatments sterilized me) menopause at 45. The menopausal symptoms were very harsh, and short term relief helped me to sleep and function. Sorry, I can’t help with natural menopause.

janbb's avatar

I had some discomfort but not as much as many. I did go through it after HRT was discouraged for its dangers. I never took anything and was basically fine, although hot flashes were a pain for a while. I do have friends who have terrible problems with hot flashes and night sweats, but most are not taking synhetic HRT because of the dangers.

marinelife's avatar

I think that the dangers outweigh the benefits. There are other things you can take to relieve symptoms including pregnenalone, a naturally occurring hormone precursor in the body. 50 mg once daily relieves hot flashes and night sweats after taking it about three weeks.

snowberry's avatar

Dr. John R. Lee (who is now deceased) pioneered progesterone cream. Here is his website. There are books and recordings available on the subject.

Dr. Helene B. Leonetti (484) 707–8927 knows all about natural menopause. She was a colleague of Dr. Lee’s. She is a recently retired Gynecologist, and has written books, and led seminars on the subject. Call her and find out how to listen to one of her pre-recorded seminars on the web.

The FDA has conveniently engineered the definition of bioidentical to include prescription hormones. However, prescription hormones have side effects that do not occur with plant based progesterone hormone cream. One way you know you’re getting natural progesterone rather than prescription is that progesterone-the real kind-must be absorbed through the skin. It cannot go through the digestive tract.

Here’s an additional article that may interest you: Breast cancer, progestins and natural progesterone — is there a link?—> http://www.womentowomen.com/breasthealth/progesteronebreastcancer.aspx

This may help:

gailcalled's avatar

My resources included several doctors whom I trusted and 120 of my really savvy college classmates. We uniformly felt that the dangers far outweighed the benefits. Many of us were already breast cancer survivors, and many of us were either doctors, married to doctors or had doctors in the family.

Hot flashes are annoying but bearable. Dress in layers and carry around a little battery-operated portable fan.

Some cultures do not even have a word for menopause. (Too busy now to do the research.)

Coloma's avatar

I am 2 years on the other side and have taken nothing.

I still have surges, phases of hot flashes, night sweats, but they are manageable.

I have opted out on hormones and am allowing my body to continue it’s natural adjustments.

My biggest complaint is weight gain and the onset the last 6 or 7 years of chronic sinus congestion and mid-life onset allergies which may very well have a hormone connection.

All in all I feel pretty good, sooo, not going to mess with the hormones.

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faye's avatar

I decided against drugs except pregnenolone which I found out about on fluther last year. I had such night sweats and flashes. I was helping a doctor with a patient and had to get paper towel to mop off my face and neck! The worst is over, just the occassional flash now.

john65pennington's avatar

My wife and I, made it through her menopause…...together. it was a tough time, to say the least. she decided not to take hormones and i paid for it. yes, we had some really rough times. i kept telling myself, “look to the future….it will get better”. i am glad to say we made it through the hot flashes and the swinging refrigerator door syndrome.

Nullo's avatar

I haven’t yet found any reason to worry much about it either way. I suppose that hormone supplements would have their side effects, which might be bad.

MrsDufresne's avatar

I am 36 and have gone through medical treatments that caused me to go through menopause. I now take a plant based estrogen (Estrace). This was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I used to have severe PMDD, and since I have been post menopausal I am free of those awful symptoms. I know a few women who take plant based estrogen supplements. It has made their lives much more enjoyable. I have also known women who have taken synthetic HRT, and they have had medical problems because of it. I would suggest talking to your doctor, getting blood tests to determine which of your hormones are out of balance, considering your family history of breast cancer, and doing research on different types of HRT.
All the best to you!

JLeslie's avatar

@MrsDufresne Does the estrace make your breasts hurt?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I plan to take bioidenticals when my time comes. I saw my ex MIL try to go without anything and she was miserable. My own mother tried at first to go holistic and then took hormones and felt much better. I don’t exactly trust the science of medicating women’s bodies but for just a few years I’ll do it, can’t be any worse than all the other crap I’ve ingested over the years.

janbb's avatar

A further comment: you really don’t know until your time comes how bad or how tolerable menopause will be for you.

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