Ask the Nurse

I am 68 years old and have no physical ailments. I had a complete hysterectomy with both ovaries removed in 1998. I did take estrogen (estrogen patch) for some time, but my insurance started to give me a difficult time about it so I just stopped it using it in 2017. I have been fine, but now I wake up early after a good sleep because the sheets are very damp from night sweats. Are there any natural products to help with the night sweats, or should I begin taking the estrogen patches again and try to deal with the insurance company?

Women with hysterectomy who take estrogen have better health outcomes than those who don’t. There is decreased risk of breast cancer well into a woman's 70s. Just because you pass a certain age doesn’t mean you have to go off hormone therapy. Based on pharmacy benefit managers, sometime costs of medicines are several fold higher than they would be if you paid cash for the medicine. If you got a higher strength estrogen patch and just cut it in half, it could reduce the cost of medicines.

The North American Menopause Society guidelines state that women over age 65 who have been on estrogen can continue on this therapy. There are other non-hormone therapy options as well.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women’s Health Nurse

March 4, 2019 at 3:10pm