The Story of a Not-so-Average Woman Trying Mid-Life Hormone Replacement

January 2, 2009

(ChattahBox) There is conflicting information out there about the benefits and health concerns for women taking hormone replacement therapy. I can only tell you my experience.

I have a history of taking high-dosage birth control pills from the age of 15 until I was 42 to manage dramatic mood swings and extreme PMS symptoms. But in my late 30’s, began to exhibit strange symptoms including numbness on my left side, blurry vision and severe exhaustion. That’s a long story in itself, but the only thing that all the doctors and my acupuncturist could agree upon is that I should never take hormones again. So, of course, I stopped taking the Pill, worked at getting better, and went back to work.More...

The next passage of my life was several years of good health and then I hit pre-menopause. I use the word “hit” deliberately. I thought adolescence was miserable, but I had not experienced true misery until the barrage of symptoms that diabolically evolved over the next 10 years. My joints ached continually. The hot flashes were brutal. I gained weight and lost my life-long drive to workout. And, then there were the mood swings. I would go from giddy and goofy to being in a black hole in the space of a few minutes. Acupuncture and herbs helped somewhat, but I was not a happy camper.

At 52, menopause had arrived. There were definite benefits in not dealing with birth control issues, monthly PMS and the hot flashes got less intense. Soon after, my younger sister had a hysterectomy and was put on an estrogen patch. She felt great! I felt miserable. My doctor kept asking me to please try some estrogen. I was far too afraid of those old symptoms coming back. Two years post-menopause, I was so severely depressed that I was thinking of ways to end it all and somehow make it look like an accident. I had all but stopped doing all of the things that I knew helped me feel better: yoga, meditation, weightlifting, cardio. I just couldn’t motivate myself to help myself. My sugar consumption increased (and it wasn’t small to begin with!). The worse I felt, the worse my lifestyle got, and the worse I felt.

A weightlifter friend called and mentioned several women who were taking testosterone after menopause. They were feeling great and getting in great shape. It was the last resort, a definite desperation measure, but next thing I knew I was on the phone making an appointment with my doctor. The following day, I started on the lowest dosage of estrogen patch they could prescribe. I kid you not, within 5 minutes I felt like my old self again! Placebo effect? Maybe, but I continued to feel great through the week. I was thinking that I would stretch the patch to ten days instead of the recommended week. On day seven, halfway through the day, I could feel my mood begin to sink. I slapped on a new patch and felt fine again. Then my compounded testosterone gel arrived. By day two on the tiny dose of testosterone, I was trying to figure out how to build more workout time into my day. I had already lost 3 pounds. My intense sugar craving was gone and I was craving vegetables for crying out loud!

So, that’s my story. I’ll have to see if I develop any of those nasty side-effects over time. But, for now, my quality of life has improved dramatically along with my mood. For me, it was worth it!

Reported by: SusanT at Hot Momma Celebrity Gossip


2 Responses to “The Story of a Not-so-Average Woman Trying Mid-Life Hormone Replacement”

  1. Gregory Anne Cox on January 3rd, 2009 9:10 am

    So glad to hear you are doing well on the testosterone. I started estrogen at about age 48, I’m 53 now, and I know what you mean about almost immediately feeling better. I’m on the lowest dose of cream daily having switched from a capsule. I also take progesterone to help me sleep, which it does. I have been wondering about testosterone but my gyn doesn’t believe in it. I was hoping to take it to help build my libido back–I’m married to a very handsome, loving guy–9 years my junior! Gotta keep that love thing going and some days it just feels like a chore.
    Anyway I’m going to go back and talk to gyn and see if we can’t at least give a wee bit a try.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Donna Walters on January 19th, 2009 3:00 pm

    I have taken estrogen for more than 30 years and have the health and body of a 39 to 44 year old women and I will celebrate my 62nd birthday this year.

    If estrogen has been used, successfully without any prior medical alerts or concerns, for 67 years and by more than 468 million women, how is it just NOW becoming a medical controversy?

    I am starting an organized effort to undo the great harm that the WHI study has created for all women. Further, I am including in that effort the need to bring women’s health issues to a higher standard given today’s medical advances especially since the number one killer among women is heart disease (which estrogen helps)and yet nothing has been implemented to prevent or improve that serious medical situation.

    Donna Walters

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