A new study to be published this month in a peer-reviewed journal says that the hysteria and fear about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an overreaction to the 2002 findings of the Women’s Health Initiative. What a relief! My OB-GYN doc was right … so maybe I won’t keel over of a heart attack or stroke or mysterious illness that eats my nose off after all!
I know my admission of using HRT in a past blog entry was a bit controversial. After all, it was my choice, not a recommendation. But it raised some hackles. Many women are intent on using soy or over the counter remedies to counteract the symptoms of menopause.
My symptoms were awful, though. Fifty hot flashes a day, brain dead, a walking zombie. What kind of life is THAT? My doc recognized that and strongly urged me to consider and reconsider HRT. It took a year but I finally gave in..and what a difference it made!
I swear my ADHD brain was improved by 100% when I started using the Vivelle patch - an inconspicuous transparent patch that I wear just below bikini level (uh, no, I don't really wear bikinis these days!). Double blind studies have shown NO cognitive improvement with HRT, but that wasn’t my experience. The new study now admits there may be cognitive improvement with hormone replacement — does ANYBODY know what’s really going on? It’s frustrating to get so many conflicting opinions.
I finally decided that I needed to make choices for me. And I went for the estrogen patches .. unopposed estrogen, mind you. And I have an ultrasound every year to watch for signs of cancer. So far, so good.
I am seeing my doc this week to find out what’s next. HRT is appropriate for about seven years and I’m in year six. Do I stop? Do I continue? What will happen if I take off those patches for good? Stay tuned. We’ll see what professional medical advice this wise woman gives me. If it’s pertinent, I’ll pass it along…..for your review only.
Remember, I’m not a doc. Just a woman trying to think straight!