Answers for your specific questions.

Wondering about your health? Confused by what you’ve read? Browse our Ask the Nurse answer archive to find answers to many women's health questions and concerns. All answers are from a Cleveland Clinic women's health nurse.

Ask the Nurse Archive

Bioidentical Hormone Pellets - Are they safe?

August 18, 2019 at 12:39pm

I have been on bioidentical hormone creams for 25 years with great results. I recently decided to try the pellet, which was inserted in my left hip. After one week, I had a shingles outbreak in my left foot and lower left leg. I had the first shingles shot 20 years ago, but have not had the new shot. I love the results and simplicity of the pellet, but I'm hesitant to get another, so I went back on the creams. Do you think there could have been a connection to the pellet and shingles or just a coincidence?

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Do I need hormone therapy if I don't have any menopause symptoms?

June 16, 2019 at 8:23pm

I am wondering if hormone therapy (BHT) is right for me if I am not experiencing any ill effects of menopause? I'm 52 and haven't had a period for about 14 months. However, I do not have hot flashes, night sweats, and in fact feel very good.

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Is there an age limit on hormone therapy?

June 12, 2019 at 11:21pm

What is the reason that Estrogen/Progesterone is not being prescribed by OB/GYNs after a certain age (70)?

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Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

May 20, 2019 at 3:16pm

I began BHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy), and after extensive blood work I began my therapy with 0.25ml estradiol, 0.25ml testosterone, 100mg progesterone, and 5mg DHEA capsules. (Important to note that before the estradiol pump cream began, I did start with an estradiol patch and then half a patch since I had nipple sensitivity from the start of the program).

After 8 months of titration, the nipple soreness & sensitivity remain as long as I am taking the hormones. During this time of working with the doctor we have not been able to determine the cause of this problem, a way to eliminate it or a successful way to move forward.

I have been very careful in following instructions and giving feedback along the way. I have been told that this group has never encountered this problem before. In essence, they are stumped. I am a 69 year old women in relatively good health. I take blood pressure medicine and Valacyclovir daily. I eat well, sleep well, walk daily, I don't smoke or take any other drugs aside from those prescribed above. I have a glass of red wine once a week and take good care of myself making every effort to keep carbs to a bare minimum along with sugar. Any suggestions or light you may be able to shed on my situation would be very much appreciated.

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Treatment For Menopause Symptoms

April 9, 2019 at 1:38pm

I have had multiple pelvic surgeries and have mesh for prolapse and scarring. I still have my uterus, but after my last surgery I have entered menopause at age 52 with no menses. I’m not sure what blood tests I should have to check my hormone levels.

I am having hot flashes, dry skin, vaginal dryness and lack of interest in intimacy with my husband of 28 years. This was never a problem before, but I went into surgery having my periods and came out in full blown menopause.

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Smoking and Hormone Therapy

April 2, 2019 at 9:23am

A 54 year old lady who has smoked for 25 years is on estradiol and progesterone for menopause. Can she take oral estradiol, or is estradiol patch a better choice? Also, is there any contradiction for HT for smokers?

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Non-Estrogen Treatment Options for Vaginal Dryness

March 19, 2019 at 9:39am

I have had a stroke and a heart attack, and I am intolerant to estrogen. What can I use for vaginal dryness safely? I can NOT use estrogen vaginal creams.

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Should I take Premarin at night or in the morning?

March 8, 2019 at 9:43am

What is the best time to take Premarin (conjugated estrogens) - at night or in the morning?

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Hysterectomy and Estrogen Therapy

March 4, 2019 at 3:10pm

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?

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Estrogen Therapy

February 13, 2019 at 3:24pm

I am 75 and very healthy. I was prescribed oral conjugated estrogens 0.625 after a complete hysterectomy in 1983 and have taken it without problem ever since. I'm now getting push-back from my Medicare plan and they want to do a pre-authorization before allowing a prescription renewal. I have no other health problems, take no other medications, sleep well, eat a primarily vegan diet, exercise and am a healthy weight. If I'm forced to go off the estrogen I'll suffer bone loss, sleeplessness, hot flashes, which I can't imagine.

I have no breast cancer in the family and no diabetes. My mother died at age 95 from congestive heart failure and had severe osteoporosis, and my father died at age 91 from congestive heart failure. My mom did not take HRT.

What do I do to convince my doctor to allow me to remain on oral estrogen. Would reducing my dosage to 0.3 make a significant difference in how I feel or lessen the benefits to my bones, sleep patterns, etc?

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