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About Red1964

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  1. following gyno logic

    My understanding of BCPs is that they essentially hijack your own hormone production, that they take over, as opposed to supplementing your own hormones as HRT does. Maybe your new Dr is trying to stabilize your hormones to a known quantity, if you will. And then the normal build up/shed cycle would be more controlled? My Dr told me that he and the others in his practice have observed that women who stay on BCPs through menopause tend not to gain weight in the same way that those who do not take them do....because their hormones are stable and it's the fluctuation and lows of the estrogen that cause such havoc. I had not heard this before. And that's why he put me on a strict diet (I am 5'5" and was about down to 136 after 3 weeks on this diet)....because he said that I needed to be diligent to keep things in check while on the HRT. The diet is really just portion control (1 bowl of food at each of the 3 daily meals) and nothing white (no pasta, rice, bread). I can really tell the difference around my waist. I wonder if your back pain will subside with the BCPs. Back pain in one of the main side effects listed on the Vivelle prescribing's right up there after headaches and sinus issues! Not sure why that is. I was back pain free on the .05 dose but man, now that I'm on the .1 dose, I wake up with a back ache every morning. I'm sleeping like a rock now so I am not 100% if it is the Vivelle or just that I'm not moving much during the night. I agree that it's hard to believe that you can get so much conflicting direction from different Drs. And your blood work results bouncing around don't help in diagnosis, either. I had the same problem with my cholesterol being all over the place. Along with upping my Vivelle dosage, my Dr put me on Encora (which has Omega 3s, calcium and Vit D in it, along with a few other things in smaller dosages) to help with that. I go back in 3 months for a follow up. To get back to your question, I don't think it's out of line to be put on BCPs as long as you tolerate them well...hopefully you will feel better, more even-keeled. Maybe you can ask her what else you can do to help the other side of the coin....your cholesterol, calcium, etc? I'm a couple of years older than you and these are big concerns to me....I want to get this on track now so that I can stay in good shape for the next decade!! Keep us posted, Barbie. I'm sure you'll get some feedback on this question.
  2. Aygestin (progestin) anyone?

    I've had some friends and acquaintances who have been put on BCPs just to "get them through" menopause....but these are not women who experienced POF or EM. Before I realized that I didn't NEED birth control anymore, I tried Dr put me on Loestrin 24 FE for a period of time a little over a year ago...that lasted all of 5 months, as did the Mirena after that. With the Loestrin, I started to get dizzy, headaches daily, anxious and finally ended up with my blood sugar spiking, something that has NEVER happened before. I was sitting in a movie theater and all of a sudden, I felt intense heat that started in my feet and traveled up till it go to my head...I was almost immobile after...I thought I was having a stroke. Went to the Dr and was told that my blood sugar was way out of whack. I decided to stop the Loestrin and my headaches went away...blood sugar restested a few weeks later and it was normal. Started the Mirena and the headaches were back. The Loestrin is high in progestin and of course the Mirena only has progestin...which is why I was leery of this component of my HRT. I am cautiously optimistic regarding the Prometrium. My Dr said that he is as much a "How you look" and "How you feel" type as "What the numbers say"....he did, however, tell me that I looked like hell back in June...justifiably so, given an E2 of just 16...good thing we have a 20+ year relationship! I would insist on blood could your Dr not believe the numbers?? The 1/4" is probably just margin of error....but I do understand how frustrated you must be! Keep track of your symptoms on the Yaz...not everyone tolerates it well. Take care of yourself!
  3. Aygestin (progestin) anyone?

    One of the things I'm not clear on is when/why a doctor would recommend continuous progestin vs cyclical. Some of us here take it every day, some (like me) take it for 10-12 days per month and some only take it quarterly. What determines what your doctor recommends? Does anyone know? Barbie, my Dr just increased my Vivelle dosage to .1 from .05 because after 4 months on the .05, my E2 only rose to 29 from 16 (I just started HRT in June). I was not having hot flashes at all on the .05. I did, however, seem to be starting my bleed mid-way through the Prometrium course. When I expressed some concern about going from the .05 to the .1, my Dr told me that I am still young enough (someone thinks so!!) to be able to tolerate it just fine, but to let him know if I have trouble. After 1 month, I am sleeping even better (almost like the Prometrium induced sleep!), my skin and hair seem more supple....the only negatives I can see so far are nipple soreness and a mild back ache when I wake up each day (not sure if this is the back ache noted in the side effects or if it is from sleeping so hard that I don't move much at night!). Good luck, I hope that you can find a combination that works for you very soon! Susanne
  4. Aygestin (progestin) anyone?

    When you say "4 times the normal dose", how much are you talking about? And how often? Me personally, I am not a fan of Aygestin. My doctor prescribed one course of it once about 2 1/2 years ago because I had an anovulatory made me crazy. A few months later, he prescribed it again because my cycle was a little late and I wanted to try getting an IUD (which didn't end up happening)....I lasted 5 days and told him that either my head was going to blow up or I was going to jump out of a window....the head pain was excruciating. That was at the 5 mg dose. When I had to start HRT this past June, I KNEW I didn't want this as the progesterone/progestin component of my therapy. I have had pretty good luck with the Prometrium 200 mg/10 days per month. The first couple of months were a little rough, headachey about midway through, lots of cramping....the last two months, though, I didn't get a headache until day 9 although the cramping can still get my attention -- I never had menstrual cramps, though, so I guess it's my turn, fair is fair. If the Prometrium fails to give me a bleed, I do have a course of the Aygestin at the ready....was told to take just 2.5 mg for 10 far, though, I have not needed it. I believe that there are some on this board that have had good luck with the Aygestin. Hopefully you will get some feedback from them. Take care! Susanne
  5. Well the manufacturer was no help at all!! The lady said "I'm not a medical professional so I'm not qualified to say" and then proceeded to read (literally) from the prescribing pamphlet. Not impressed. I had already read that thing backwards and forward! So...called my Dr's office and spoke to the nurse. She said I could put it anywhere except my breasts....even on my shoulder, which surprised me. I think I will try it on my hip area and see how it goes. The crinkling when it is on my abdomen makes me feel like I am just not absorbing all of it. While I am not having any symptoms like hot flashes, I wasn't on the .05 dose, either, so I can't judge by that, it seems! I'm not due to go back to see my Dr again until my annual in Feb, pending an all-clear on my breast ultrasound towards the end of November so it will likely be a while before my E2 level gets tested again. Take care!!
  6. I wonder why the Vivelle only says to put it on your abdomen....because even in the prescribing info, on the graph they have that shows the absorption rates, on the .1, they even show what the average absorption is below the waist on the abdomen and then also, separately, on the buttocks. I wonder if I would get better absorption there, too....although I don't seem to have trouble with it sticking in the front, it obviously does get crinkled every time I bend or sit. Has anyone checked with the makers of Vivelle to see why they don't indicate the buttocks as an option?
  7. Eye Twitching

    My Dr just upped my Vivelle patch from the .05mg to the .1mg....2 days later....I get the eye twitching! So far only in the morning. We'll see if it subsides...but I did remember that I had seen mention of it on these boards. Nice to know that things like this happening during a transition are normal...they don't tell you about this stuff!! Susanne
  8. "Spotting"

    Well I had a good discussion with my doctor today. I had my whole list with me...the vitamins I take, my questions and a calendar showing my cycles since starting HRT. He also said that I likely didn't have enough of a lining to shed just yet. He said that he felt that I was burning through my patches quickly....the fact that my cholesterol was high, in conjunction with the low estrogen, led him to believe this. He said no need to retest my blood, he was going to put me on the .1 mg Vivelle (up from the .05) and keep me on the Prometrium. As far as the irregular bleeding pattern/spotting, he said that this was just because I've only on HRT for 4 months, and that it would settle down soon. We had a good talk about my cholesterol and how this is related to early menopause -- or even menopause in general, for that matter. He explained that the important component of this is how my body is dealing with insulin. (I am not diabetic) I was familiar with menopause and metabolic disorder and even a little familiar with pre-diabetes as you hear it so much in the news these days. He laid out the whole spectrum of levels of insulin issues and said that in order to keep me on the right side of things, he was putting me on a strict diet -- 3 bowls of food per day, whatever I wanted, as long as it was not white -- no pasta, no white rice, no white bread, etc. One bowl portion at each more. I am 5' 5" and 140 lbs so this is not a weight thing. He said that the portion control should make a real difference and I will even see a few pounds disappear. I was surprised at this plan but I am willing to try it. As I was concerned about whether or not I am getting enough of the right nutrients - I had asked him about Fish Oil/Omega 3 supplements for my cholesterol - he wrote me a prescription for a multivitamin that contains the Omega 3s....something called Encora. I have NEVER heard of this anyone else taking these? I also asked him about the DEXA, seeing as, so far, my estrogen level wasn't increasing...he said in two years we would do one. (I had a PIXI in June and it was fine). So....I got some .1 samples which I will start on. Doubling my dosage has me a little nervous, I have to admit. My annual is due in Feb so he said that was about the right time to follow up on the HRT. I told him that I felt I had almost earned my own waiting room....he seemed to realize that I was feeling high-maintenance and assured me that I was not....which was very kind. I've gone from one well woman visit per year, maybe a visit or two to my GP for a sinus infection to having to see my OB/GYN more than a half a dozen times in one year....enough of that!! Hopefully I will tolerate the changes well. I'll post back periodically.
  9. "Spotting"

    Colie - That's exactly what I was thinking I'd ask...that he draw blood again the day I am there next week. When I had blood drawn on Monday morning, I was due to change the patch that I was at the "end" of the patch cycle. When I see him Tuesday morning, I will have changed the patch the night before (about 12 hours before the appt) I will be just 1/2 day into a new patch....maybe that will tell us if I am burning through them. I will ask him if it's an option to just change the .05 patch more frequently vs going to a higher dose. We shall see and thanks for the insight! Susanne
  10. I just repeated my blood work earlier this week in preparation for my follow up with my doctor next week. They called me with the results and while my thyroid was fine, my E2 was only 29 (it was 16 the first week of June)....this after 4 months on HRT. I'm surprised and disappointed. I thought I was doing well, only one flash in 4 months. The nurse said that the doctor would discuss it with me next week, naturally. Not sure if he will just increase the dosage on my patch or what. I'll post back after my appointment. Susanne
  11. "Spotting"

    I guess that is possible but I am not having any trouble with the patches adhering....and I always make sure the skin is very clean and dry before I put a new patch on. I don't see any air bubbles or any edges curling up. The biggest thing is that I have had ONE hot flash since the week after I started with the Vivelle...and that was on a Thursday night when I was due to change the patch the next morning. I have been feeling generally good...DEFINITELY better than I am confused. We'll see what he says...if he just bumps me up to the next does or what. I will report back! Thanks!!
  12. "Spotting"

    I, too, am wondering what the significance of spotting is. Or even breakthrough bleeding, for that matter (something a little more than just spotting). What does it mean in terms of your hormone balance? I have been on HRT for 4 months now. I've had only one hot flash since then, my hair and skin are back to normal, I can sleep at night, brain fog is gone...I feel so much better all around. With my 4 cycles of Prometrium, though, I've had: Month 1 - No bleed after the 10 day course Month 2 - bleed started after 5th day of the 10 day course Month 3 - bleed started 2 days BEFORE I even started the Prometrium (lasted 4 days) and then 7 days after the 10 day course of Prometrium, I had another 5 days worth of flow Month 4 - bleed started on the last day of the 10 day course but was different....brown, looked like it was "old"....lasted for 3 days, then one day of red flow, then it stopped. Am now 12 days past the last day on the Prometrium and waiting to see if my cycle starts again. Am a little bloated so wondering if I'm going to start again. I just went yesterday to have my blood drawn to repeat my thyroid and E2 tests....the nurse just called me back (quick turn around from the lab!) thyroid is normal but my E2 is only 29. It was 16 when I had it tested the first week of June just before I started HRT (and that was my 2nd set of blood tests...the first one mid-April indicated that my FSH was 97 and my E2 was 37). Granted, it was time to change my patch last night, about 12 hours after having the blood drawn, but I am stunned that it was still so low because I thought I was doing pretty well and feeling good! I am really disappointed. She said the Dr would "talk to me about it" when I see him next week. I wonder what he is going to recommend. I'm bummed. Susanne
  13. The lack of sleep was really bad for me, too. The Vivelle seems to be sticking very well so far. I did get one box that was near the expiration date and I noticed a bit of red rash around the patch and then I started flashing again....I brought them back to the pharmacy ASAP and made them give me a new box...I always check that now. Haven't had any problems since. I like the fact that the estrogen component of my HRT isn't going through my liver...seeing as that's the hormone I'm on every day. As long as it works, I'm going to stick with it. What are you taking for progestin now? Wow, I've never heard that statistic about 50% of women having osteopenia and never knowing it. Getting through to younger women to make sure they take care of their bones when young is tough, though. Glad that you are feeling better with a pill form of HRT. Take care.
  14. Memory Loss and HRT?

    My personal experience is that it helped immensely!! I felt like I was totally losing my mind. It was to the point of being frightening. I would even stop in the middle of a sentence because I forgot where I was going with it. Long term and short term memory were suffering. I felt completely disorganized. I could see the difference within one month of starting on my HRT. Foggy brain be gone!! No way I'm giving this magic stuff up before I need to!!!
  15. anyone ever take angeliq?

    I didn't realize that was available in the U.S. yet. I've heard of others in different countries having taken it. The only thing I know about it is that the progestin component of it is the same type as what is in Yaz and Yasmin.I don't believe any of the other combo forms of HRT in the U.S. have this particular type of progestin but maybe someone else who reads this board will have some info.