Ask the Nurse

I am 49, in excellent health, watch what I eat, am a diligent runner (5 miles, 4 days a week) and workout with weights 3 days a week. I had a complete hysterectomy and have been on Estrace 2mg tablet daily since, and it has worked very well for me. I take Estrace the last weekend of each month and do not take it for 4 days, which was a suggested "break" by my doctor a couple of years ago and that worked fine. My only problem has been the beginnings of osteoporosis, which now I am on Fosomax weekly for that. At my annual visit this year, my doctor (not a GYN) told me to read the pros and cons on HRT and decide whether I wanted to continue it or not. I have been confused over the years with the mixed reports and try to stay abreast of current information. So, I stopped taking my Estrace about a month ago and began using a natural Progessence Oil (by Living Well). I chose that route because my sister-in-law is an RN and suggested I might try it --- she is a huge believer in the oils. However, I have hot flashes and hot flushes all through the day and they wake me up several times during the night. My moods are fine, but my weight gain is as if I can see the pounds go on each day. I am 5’2" and petite and have always been small, but I make sure I watch what I eat. I have no family history of breast cancer, but my father did have a heart attack 20 years ago and has done great since and I personally have no health issues other than the beginnings of osteoporosis, which I chalk up to my body frame more so than anything. I would appreciate any input you could give to help me better understand and decide if I should begin the Estrace again. I do not like what is going on with the flashes and weight gain! Thank you.

Thank you for your question. It was not a good idea to stop your estrogen particularly, post-hysterectomy when you are using it for replacement, treatment of symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis. Estrogen taken as hormone therapy during menopause can be beneficial. The hormone is prescribed to relieve:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness that can result in painful intercourse
  • Other problematic symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats and dry, itchy skin

Other benefits of taking Estrogen as HT include:

  • Reduced risk of developing osteoporosis and reduced risk of bone breakage
  • Improvement of mood and overall sense of mental well-being in some women
  • Decreased tooth loss
  • Lowered risk of colon cancer

Your best plan would be to seek out a women’s health specialist who understands the true research related to women’s health and not the inflated, negative narrative.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

March 6, 2014 at 10:36am