Menopause Musings: Estrogen or progesterone? No one really knows.

As the hot flushes continued, night sweats kept me awake and of course the annoying weigh gain didn’t let up, I decided that I needed to be more proactive. Worst of all, the Evening Primrose Oil seemed to stop working so I tripled the dose to the maximum of 6 capsules to no avail. It was time to get serious about this menopause stuff. Technically I could be in perimenopause or menopause right now, the difference if that in perimenopause you still have periods and in menopause, they have stopped, but if you haven’t had a period for 5 months how do you know if you are in perimenopause or menopause! So I’m just assuming menopause at this stage.

So the readings begins.

What Your Dr…Menopause (What Your Doctor May Not Tell You) about Menopause

This book has great reviews so I got stuck into it. It’s full of scientific evidence and studies which made me feel that it’s a reliable source of information. The doctor, John R. Lee M.D. seems genuinely compassionate to this cause and alongside co-author Virginia Hopkins who has personally gone through menopause, they offer support and empathy. They both seem to have the latest facts and many years of training and research behind them which instills confidence in their writings.

Dr. Lee brings you the facts and clearly explains the science. He speaks against synthetic HRT and other medications that are commonly prescribed by GPs and explains how natural progesterone is the only hormone supplement women may need as they age.

So with my new found confidence and information I ordered a natural progesterone cream as highly recommended by Dr. Lee.

Whilst awaiting for my new miracle cream to arrive I got stuck into another highly recommended book on this subject.

MENOPAUSE CONFIDENTIAL: A Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Thriving

There were so many other books covering menopause on Amazon but they all seemed a bit wishy-washy with advice that I find to be common sense, such as eat healthily, exercise, get enough sleep, drink lots of water, etc. This is all really good advice but I didn’t need need to read a whole book to find out what I already know and practice.

I chose this book mostly because the reviews were so great and people were swearing by her advice. She too is a doctor too and a leading expert in her field, so she really should know what she’s talking about. Menopause Confidential is real and witty. Dr. Allmen takes the myth out of perimenopause and menopause.

Tara Allmen M.D. writes a lot more casually than Dr. Lee and infuses a great deal of humour making her book a quick and easy read. I did find myself getting a little annoyed with her repeated reference to other chapters in the book throughout the entire book, but that’s not a reflection on the content just the writing style.

Pretty quickly I realised that I might want to stop my order for progesterone cream because according to her we don’t need progesterone to deal with menopausal issues but only need estrogen. In fact, she highly recommends synthetic hormones and HRT!

As you can imagine I am greatly discouraged. What’s a girl to do – two highly experienced and trained professionals saying the exact opposite thing. I did a little more research and found loads more conflicting articles, studies, and professional opinions. All cases are strong but no one seems to agree on any course of action or treatment. Even the NHS website speaks against herbal remedies and self-medicating in their article Dangers of Herbal Cures.

So, in a nutshell, my personal conclusion is that no one really knows. My plan is to experiment and survey as many women as possible. There must be a solution and I refuse to keep suffering from all the symptoms, so am going to 1. book an appointment with my GP (see my next post with how that goes) and 2. run my own experiments with the advice given by medical professionals to see what actually works for me.

I would love to hear from you too, what has worked for you?

Read all my Menopause Musings here.

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