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Ask the Nurse Archive

What Non-Hormonal Treatments Are Available For Vaginal Dryness?

September 10, 2018 at 9:36am

Q. I am not able to use any form of hormone replacement due to severe headaches. I had a total hysterectomy at age 50, and I am 67 years old now. I have very severe dry vaginal tissue that breaks and bleeds, and I get urinary infections from the breakage. It has been 7 years since my husband and I have been able to have relations due to my issues. I am desperate for a solution.

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Why is my B12 level high?

September 5, 2018 at 11:00am

Q. Accidentally, it was discovered that my B12 blood test has been always running abnormally high. This has been since 2013 after a complete hysterectomy as I had an ovarian tumor removed which was of low malignant potential. Usually, it is running in the 1100s, and in 2014 was up to 3737.

I was sent to a hemotologist who ran more blood tests and said he could find nothing wrong and perhaps my diet was so good that I run high. I do not eat red meat, but I do eat chicken, pork and fish. Now my primary doctor wants me to repeat going to an oncologist, but not sure if I should as blood cancers were ruled out last time I went. Any ideas?

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Why are my fingers swelling?

September 5, 2018 at 10:50am

Q. What would cause swelling in your fingers on both hands other than gout? My first finger started itching, feeling warm and then swelling.

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Is Vaginal DHEA Safe To Take If I Have Breast Cancer?

September 1, 2018 at 6:00am

Q. I have stage IV breast cancer and take an Aromatase Inhibitor (Letrozole) as part of my treatment. I have severe vaginal dryness and atrophy, continuous UTIs and pain in the urogenital area. I recently read an article saying "Intrarosa 0.5% DHEA nightly vaginal suppository contains NO estrogen and is safe to use in women who have to avoid estrogen." None of my doctors agree that Intrarosa would be safe for me to use because of my ER/PR+ cancer. They claim that DHEA turns into estrogen, so I should not take it.

One gynecologist did suggest the possibility of me using Intrarosa (vaginal DHEA) when my regular gynecologist was out. What are your thoughts?

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What can I do About Hot Flashes and Insomnia?

August 28, 2018 at 9:37am

I am just getting 1 or 2 hours of sleep a night as my hot flashes keep me awake all night. I have the air conditioning on as cold as I can without freezing others. After the hot flash I get cold, so all night I am pulling the covers off, then putting them back on. I can't have my husband lay close to me at all.

I am a Minister and when I speak to the congregation as soon as I start to move around or get excited the hot flash will start, and I am not able to give the best sermon or concentrate like I should. I can’t take black cohosh because it hurts my stomach. My forgetfulness is horrible and it is hard to remember what I just said or what I was talking about. It is hard to function at work and I am not giving my family the attention they deserve. My baby girl is getting married and I am doing everything I can to muster up the energy to remember and give my daughter the support from her mother. Please help!

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Does Insurance Cover CoolSculpting®​?

August 28, 2018 at 9:29am

I was wondering if my medical insurance covers non-surgical treatment CoolSculpting®?

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Do Antibiotics Affect A Woman's Period?

June 20, 2018 at 2:35pm

I am currently five days late for my period. A little less than a month ago (right after my last period), I was on antibiotics for my UTI, and I was wondering if that could make my period late?

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What can I do About Breast Cysts?

June 12, 2018 at 9:47am

I have an enlarged cyst in my breast that is becoming very painful. Can I have it "biopsied" or aspirated for relief?

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Is my ovary working?

May 22, 2018 at 10:27am

I recently had a hysterectomy leaving one ovary. I was started on oral conjugated estrogens daily as I had a high FSH test at 8 weeks. Would an estradiol test show a reading on Premarin, as my estradiol showed 197 last week? Could my ovary be working again?

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Are Testosterone Pellets Safe?

May 3, 2018 at 3:38pm

What is the latest information and safety profile for testosterone pellets?

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