My doctor suggested that I try Activella and after reading over the side effects, I'm reluctant to. My main symptoms are anxiety, depression and PVC's and from what I've researched, those seem to be the "most common" side effects. Sigh. It also makes me nervous that I do have cancer in my family and am a smoker...not to mention that I've never done well on BC.
I'm so frustrated and worn out, I don't know whether to try this or see another BHRT physician. (The first one that I'd seen wouldn't prescribe hormones alone, she "required" that you also purchase a vast and costly amount of "her supplements.")
If anyone is currently taking this, I'd love to hear how you're doing, as well as any side effects you may have/had. So frustrated.......
I have been on it for a number of years and have had no issues at all. Wouldn't dare give it up! And I never had any problems on birth control pills. Am 66 now and was on them almost continually from my early 20's until I went on HRT at about 57. Only exception was about 8 years in the middle there without bcp.
You're very fortunate to have had such positive experiences with BCP and HRT. I tried taking BCP on several occasions, but the side effects that I experienced were too much. I did call the manufacturer of Activella today and spoke with someone regarding my particular situation/family history. They asked me several history-related questions and immediately said that they didn't think it was appropriate for me. I was quite surprised to get such honesty!
I haven't but wanted to share with you my experience with my BHRT this past month - my first month on it.
I only take the progesterone and testosterone day 14-28. But I do start my progesterone a couple of days early. My dr. said it was fine to do that. I'm not sure I am seeing much benefit from the testosterone but will continue with it for now.
Anyway, the progesterone is wonderful!! It truly is a calming hormone. Before the progesterone supp, I was getting daily, all day long PVCs the week before my period sometimes 2 weeks before my period. Then even during the week of my period. NON-STOP All day, all night. Shots of anxiety in my chest for no reason. I'd just be sitting and I'd feel a shot of adrenaline in my chest and it would rush up into my throat. It would last barely a couple of seconds but would happen on and off during the day and night. And my sleep was atrocious. Couldn't fall asleep. Or I'd fall asleep but wake up. Or I'd sleep but the sleep felt light and unrestful. But those 2 lovely weeks on progesterone supplements was so calm. I fell asleep right away and my sleep seemed sounder and more restful. And NO PVCs and shots of adrenaline When there was, it was mild and short lived.
I would see if you can find a BHRT doctor that will prescribe you just the hormone supplements. I really wasn't expecting a huge difference but was hopeful. And I have to say that I was very happy with the results. I do the hormone creams so nothing has to metabolize through the liver and the absorption is not affected by any digestion. I am very pleased and am going to talk to my dr about why I can't take lower doses of progesterone on days 7-14 to help with the estrogen dominance and ensuing anxiety and heart palps.
Last edited by irisrose; 03-01-2012 at 02:53 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to irisrose For This Useful Post: CherylLynn24 (03-02-2012)
I'm so happy to hear that the BHRT seems to be helping you! That's such wonderful news.
My periods are all over the map now. In hindsight, last year I was estrogen dominant (as you are now) and now, I just started missing a few periods. I'll get one and then miss two. It's really frustrating. It seems as though when my period comes, I get a reprieve from my symptoms for a while. As of late, I've missed two in a row and my symptoms are through the roof.
I did make a few calls yesterday to several Holistic and Naturopaths in the area and none that I spoke with dealt with BHRT, nor did they know of anyone that did. I also found another Bio-Identical doctor in the area, but was told that I could only be treated with BHRT if I agreed to all the mandatory supplements. What is it with all these Bio-Identical doctors pushing these supplements? I could see if I were low on certain vitamins, trace minerals, etc., but I'm not. The last Bio-Identical did about $10,000 worth of blood work on me and fortunately my insurance covered it. This current Bio doctor's office said they wouldn't accept the blood work that I recently had done just a few months ago and that I'd have to have it done again. I explained that my insurance wouldn't pay for all of that again, only hormonal testing and was told "maybe this office isn't right for you." I'm getting the impression that even though many of the Bio-Identical doctors are truly there to help women, a larger percentage of them are seeing dollar signs and cashing in.
After those calls, I became frustrated and decided the only other idea that I could come up with was to call an area compounding pharmacy and see if they could tell me who's prescribing in the area. It ended up being a good idea, I got the name of a doctor that does prescribe BHRT in the area who is an Endocrinologist. I explained about my previous experiences with "mandatory supplements" and all of that and was told that no supplements are mandatory in this office. So, I have an appt. at the end of the month, which I'm anxiously looking forward to.
I can remember years ago thinking to myself (while having awful menstrual cramps) that I couldn't wait until I hit menopause. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be this bad. To go back to those days and know what I now know......
Thanks for your response and do keep in touch and let me know how your treatment progresses. I'm very happy to hear that you're finally getting some relief!
I'm so glad you finally found a doctor that might be able to give you some relief.
I am confused by those BHRT doctors in your area wanting to push some big program. I don't know if you know about the Women to Women program online. That is a whole supplement program. I tried it and sent it back for a refund. It's all nutritional supplements and some herbals that are supposed *naturally* restore hormonal balance. That's fine if your body responds or the symptoms aren't severe. But I think once your hormones are all whacked out, going slow and natural can become so frustrating only adding more stress to your already stressful situation wondering "when am I going to feel better?".
Keep us posted on your endocrinologist appt. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that you can finally get someone to listen and help you.
I did read about the Women to Women program and decided against it fairly quickly. It sounded like several of the Bio doctors that I've seen/talked to. I did do some research online about it and other than "their" testimonials, everything that I saw was poor. (reviews from women) Perhaps it helps women with mild symptoms that are only a minor occasional annoyance, but for the majority of us, it doesn't sound like it does much.
I have no idea regarding the mandatory supplements with BHRT doctors in my area. The compounding pharmacy said they've heard quite a few complaints/concerns lately due to the same issue. Many don't have the financial means for that or just don't care to take additional supplements when their only symptoms are menopausal.
Thanks for the response and good thoughts. Do keep me (and the rest here) informed of your progress.