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Dr. Kathy Maupin

Medical Director of BioBalance Health and Author of The Secret Female Hormone

Side Effects of Estrogen Replacement part 1

You must weigh the symptoms against the side effects of estrogen replacement

In BioBalance Healthcast episode 154, Brett Newcomb and I discuss the decision-making process for a woman who is thinking about taking estrogen replacement therapy. There are side effects of estrogen replacement and there are serious symptoms to suffer when you do not replace it. We cover both sides of the treatment coin.

First, it helps to consider the symptoms that estrogen treats, see how severe the symptoms are, and how much they impair your life. Here is a list of symptoms estrogen replacement therapy treats:

  • hot flashes
  • dry vagina
  • stress incontinence
  • irritable bladder
  • painful intercourse
  • skin irritations
  • facial skin wrinkling
  • hair loss especially in the front of the head
  • recurrent urinary tract infections

These are the conditions you may develop when you don’t replace estrogen after losing it naturally with menopause or after you’d had your ovaries removed. Not all women suffer all of these symptoms, which is why it is necessary to consider the symptoms that you have and then you must then discuss them with your doctor.

You should also consider the cost benefit ratio to the decision: What will it cost you in terms of money and suffering if you do not replace your estrogen? How possible is it that you might have one of the side effects if you do replace estrogen? How does estrogen replacement work? What are the methods of delivery and the cost of the type of estrogen your doctor chooses for you?

I generally talk to my patients about how to make the best decision about hormone replacement. Important to the decision making process is having a clear understanding of the symptoms you have or are likely to develop. In this episode we cover these additional questions:

  • What does it cost in terms of money and effort to treat each symptom separately?
  • What would it cost in the same terms to treat them all by replacing estrogen?
  • How can a woman and her physician make a good decision for her health care?
  • What actions bring the best results over time and how does cost factor into the process of deciding?
  1. Comments
  2. |
    Oct 31, 2013
    |

    I am SO happy to have finally found you and your break down the of symptoms of the lack of each hormone as well as the side effects. I have been struggling with trying to find hormonal balance for over 11 years now. I am postmenopausal and had a partial hysterectomy 18 years ago. My ovaries went to “sleep” after the partial and never woke up again. I’ve tried every form of estrogen on the market and compounded testosterone cream. NOTHING completely relieved my symptoms. I was placed on xanax years ago because I was told that I have an anxiety disorder. I don’t buy that because I never had issues with anxiety or the jitters until I started using estrogen replacement. I also tried progesterone in different forms and experienced the worst symptoms EVER! I recently started pellet therapy but am still a long way from feeling balanced. I will be getting my second set of pellets next week and am watching all of your videos trying to determine if I need more or less estrogen and testosterone. I’m not sure how much longer I can fight the battle of not knowing how I’m going to feel from one day to the next. I haven’t enjoyed life in a very long time and prefer not to even leave my house. My friends and family seem to feel that I’m mentally ill or depressed because they have witnessed my transformation from an extremely outgoing person to a recluse. I am NOT mentally ill. I know that my problems are due to not being able to find balance! I’m hoping to learn from your knowledge how I can best describe my symptoms to my doctor to help him determine what dose of pellets I need to finally feel normal again. Thank you so much for taking the time to provided the in-depth information that menopausal women need to know.

    • |
      Oct 31, 2013
      |

      Tami,

      We are grateful for your email and we plan to dedicate a future podcast to answering your question in detail. In short doctors who provide pellets should have medical training that give them a range to shoot for when treating patients.

      If you are near St. Louis, I would be happy to balance your hormones. If not, I can give you some guidelines to address your symptoms, but normalizing estrogen and testosterone depends on your various health problems, medications, diet, activity, and other hormone deficiencies.

      My book will be coming out in March titled The Secret Female Hormone: How Testosterone Replacement Can Change Your Life. It will address this as much as any book can.

      This might help: In general most of my patients take 150-250 mg of testosterone every 3-6 months in pellet form. I dose estradiol at 12.5 to 37.5 mg every 3-6 months. But there are many other hormones that affect how you feel as well.
      I don’t believe in giving progesterone unless there is a uterus or if they have trouble going to sleep or have anxiety.

      I hope these guidelines and our upcoming podcast will help you! Thank you again for your email!

 
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