Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Journey to Menopause Continues...

It's been awhile since I've discussed the 'fun' of perimenopause, and I get asked occasionally, so will give you a quick update.

As I spoke of last time in Time for Another Menopause Journey Update, I have been using the Vivelle Dot Estradiol patch.  Shortly after that last report the doctor moved me up to the 0.1 mg dosage on an everyday basis, instead of 0.075 mg most of the time and 0.1 mg during a period.  I continued with the 200 mg progesterone at night.

This had been working fairly well, but I'd still experience some slight anxiety/depression type of symptoms premenstrually and just as a period ended.  I was also having periods every couple of weeks, which meant only 5 to 7 days' break in between.  A couple of times my cycle went to 20+ days, but one of those months I had a terrible week (sadness, edginess, overall feeling of poor-being...Opposite of 'well-being') before my period started and also for the week during...  Two weeks of that seems like forever (actually 2 hours of it does), even though none of it got quite as intense as some previous episodes.  Thankfully, that was in early July and I haven't experienced such a long-term problem since.

With that and the other occasional ups and downs, the doctor decided it was time to try a low dose birth control pill that would give me a slightly higher dose of hormones on a more regular basis.  She's hoping to lengthen my menstrual cycles and get rid of the other PMS-types of complaints. 

I've been on the new plan for 4 days.  I have had no experience with birth control pills, since the approximately 6 months' worth when I first got married in 1985.  The doctor didn't expect that I'd notice much difference from my recent hormone replacement therapy, but also said the first month is difficult to call.  So far, I don't feel that I'm sleeping as well (couldn't fall asleep last night and was awake by 4 AM, unable to go back to sleep), and last night I had some heart palpitations and, at least, a 'warm flash.'  --And I have an outbreak of acne that I'm not crazy about.  

Maybe this new route isn't for me or maybe it's just the adjustment time.  I know, at this point, I need to stick it out for a much longer while to be sure.  She gave me a 3-month supply, and then we'll re-evaluate.  If I continue not sleeping, though, I may be back in there sooner!

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