Why Progesterone after Hyst?

Many women are told by their doctors, both family doctors and their GYN, that if they no longer have a uterus, they don't need progesterone. I would have to argue with them. If a woman has no ovaries (or the ovaries, through surgical shock, have quit working) and she needs estrogen for menopausal symptoms, why doesn't she need progesterone too? The ovaries produced estrogens (three of them) and progesterone and a smidgen of testosterone when they were attached to the uterus. So, when you take out the ovaries, why not replace the hormones that the ovaries can no longer produce for themselves?

Progesterone does so much more than tell a uterus when to clean itself out. Progesterone balances the estrogen to make sure the body doesn't become estrogen dominant. (tender breasts, bloating, insomnia, brain fog) I am not talking about progestins (such as Provera) but progesterone in its natural state. (compounded into cream or subligual) Listed in Dr. Lee's book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, the functions of progesterone:

  • is a precursor of other sex hormones including estrogen and testosterone
  • maintains secretary endometirum (uterine lining)
  • protects against fibrocystic breasts
  • is a natural diurectic
  • helps use fat for energy
  • functions as a natural antidepressant
  • helps thyroid hormone action
  • normalizes blood clotting
  • restores sex drive
  • helps normalize blood sugar levels
  • restores proper sell oxygen levels
  • has a thermogenic (temperature rising) effect
  • helps protect against breast cancer
  • builds bone and is protective against osteoporosis
  • is a precursos of cortisone synthesis by adrenal cortex

I am blessed to have a doctor who is very "up" on the latest in hormone replacement therapy. My personal hormone therapy has been a long and winding road because of my insurance company's unwillingness to pay for my compounded hormones. First, I couldn't tuse the hormone patch because of skin disorder. Those places that a patch is to be applied has skin too thick to transmit the hormone. So, I had to take my hormone orally. I started with Ogen (for estrogen). Within little time the headaches were so monsterous I couldn't continue. My doctor changed me to Estrace 2 mg. (1 mg in the a.m., 1 mg in the p.m.) along with 50 mg of progesterone. After about two weeks on Estrace, the headaches returned. My doctor altered the dosage up. He altered it down. When no relief from the headaches was in sight, he changed me to Tri-Est, 5 mg in compounded form. FInally, I've spent 8 weeks without a headache! A miracle. 100 mg of progesterone also compounded in addition. Without the progesterone I am an insomniac. (Prior to my hysterectomy I was a "dead to the world" sleeper. Within 6 weeks of my surgery I couldn't sleep at all. The progesterone has changed that for me.)

Please understand: Each woman must find the hormone therapy that works for her and stick with it. Don't be afraid to take information to your doctor and ask for a new RX that you would like to try. Some women like premarin and do great on it. Some women accept side effects with hormone therapy like it is a necessary evil. I believe you can find the right balance for your body but it can be a long path. I wish I was one of the gals who couldtake any estrogen pill and be fine. This is not the case for me.

Try progesterone in compound forms of cream or sublinguals or try the newly FDA approved capsule of progesterone called Prometrium (100 mg per day) frp, Europe. You can also get progesterone cream at the health food stores...but beware. Not all of the progesterone creams have an effective concentration level.

Blessings galore,

Kathy

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