Monday, December 19, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Hormone Relacement Therapy

So far in this blog, I haven't gone into Hormone Replacement Therapy. I'm not on that path myself. But, HRT is widely used, misunderstood and confusing for many. So here goes.

Lest you think the drug companies are totally altruistic, HRT very huge business with marketing budgets that could feed entire African countries. Much of that marketing is directed at doctors, designed to get them to prescribe the hormone product of that particular company. And considerable advertising effort is dedicated to making you believe menopause is a disease. It's not. So best to clear the smoke, lower the mirrors and take off the rose coloured glasses.

On a practical note HRT is a hormone treatment prescribed by a doctor. The purpose of HRT is to replace naturally declining estrogen and progesterone levels due to the onset of menopause.

HRT comes in one of three different combinations; estrogen taken alone, progesterone taken alone or a combination of estrogen plus progesterone.

HRT may be prescribed as a pill, patch, cream or gel, an implant, an injection or a vaginal ring.

So there's some thinkin' and askin' to be done before you hook yourself up to one of these methods.

When it comes to medication, every woman has the choice to investigate the good, bad and ugly that is always part and parcel of any prescription.

Drugs have side effects. Simple as that.

So, if you're sitting across from your doctor, discussing Hormone Replacement Therapy, be prepared to ask some questions before hopping over to the pharmacy.

  1. What are the side effects of this prescription?
  2. What type of clinical trials did this drug go through?
  3. What is the maximum length of time I should stay on this drug?
  4. What will happen when I go off this treatment?
  5. Is there anything you can recommend that is more natural that will address the same issue?
  6. What does your wife, mother, you use? (Depends on Doctors age and sex)
  7. Do you have any books, websites or groups that you would recommend I read or join?
  8. Is there anything I haven't asked you that I should know?
When I go to my doctor, I treat her as a member of my health team. I know more about my body than she does, given the fact that I experience my body every minute. So the last thing I'm going to do is turn over the reins and blindly follow her advice. She is a guide. One of several that I use.

Doctors are people. Busy people. They only know what they know.

Sue Richards

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Blogger QueenBitch said...

Hi Sue -- just found your blog via Rock Bitch. I don't know whether I'm just being menopausal or what, but it just makes me want to cry to find two women in my age group (I'm 36) who are going through the same thing. Early meno is such a strange experience...not necessarily horrible but strange, nonetheless.

Anyway, love your blog. I think that peri was much harder for me than full-blown menopause has been, emotionally anyway. Physically, post menopause is a major bitch but the emotional ups and downs aren't nearly as bad.

I look forward to reading more of your writings!

12/20/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Sue Richards said...

Hi QB,

Now that I've clued into 'what the hell is going on", I'm much less crazed. So far, naming the mystery menopause, has brought the greatest relief.

I'll add you to my meno club.


12/20/2005 06:06:00 PM  

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