Thursday, August 15, 2013

Menopause talk

Once upon a time, when I was in my mid 40's, I went to my OB/GYN for my annual check-up.  She is the doctor I've gone to since I was in my early 20's and that was with me through the births of my three children.  She's a few years older than me, a doctor, and a FEMALE, so I thought she would understand the weird things I was feeling now in my 40's.  I explained to her about how usually overly-organized me would now walk into the kitchen and turn around three times trying to figure out what I needed to do to get a meal underway.

Know what she said?  "It's probably just empty nest syndrome."  And she wrote out a prescription for an antidepressant!  Empty Nest syndrome?  I thought, "Is she crazy?  My nest is FAR from empty!"  Needless to say, I thankfully never had that prescription filled.

I suffered on with my symptoms until time for my next check up and decided to try another doctor.  This time I went to a male physician.  When I told him about my spacy mind among other problems, he gave me what looked like a smirk to me (I hate smirks), and with pen poised over his prescription pad said, "It sounds like menopause.  I can write you a prescription for hormones."  He wasn't even going to check to see WHICH hormones might be low!  I knew I didn't want synthetic hormones anyway so I began a search for a Naturopathic Physician.  The closest to my little town were in Birmingham or Atlanta, 1 1/2 to 2 hours away.

So at that point, I knew I was going to have to take my well-being into my own hands.  Thus began my search for hormone/menopause information.  I spent hours and hours on the internet.  I checked out every book on the topics from the public library and the local university's library.  And from everything I read, I found the sanest and most help from this book that I found in my public library.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause
by John R Lee, M.D.
It was a God send for me because I found myself in the pages of this book.  So after devouring every page I ordered my first tube of bioidentical Progesterone Cream and the real test/trial began.  This is the first cream I ordered because it was one of the ones recommended in the book.
Emerita Pro-Gest® Cream -- 4 oz
$25.29 from
   It started out working great!  I thought I had found my fix.  My whirling mind settled down, my anxious feelings went away, I could sleep again!  Everything that had changed for the worse went back to normal.  But after a few glorious weeks...other things started happening.  I started having a heavy, oppressive feeling.  I became weepy, and I am not normally a crier. Thinking I must not be using enough of the cream, I used more.  But the new symptoms just worsened so I left the cream off altogether and all the old symptoms returned.  I knew the cream could help but I just wasn't sure what I was doing wrong.
 So back to the book!
I found out that if you use more of the progesterone cream than your body needs, it can have this effect on you.  Without having hormone level tests, I didn't know which one(s) were lacking, so it was trial and error for me.  Until finally, I found the right amount of cream to use and it was a very small amount that I really needed.  A four ounce tube will last me about six months.  Truthfully, it probably took me four months to work out exactly how much cream was just the right amount for me.
But now?  It's smooth sailing.  On days 8-30 of each month I rub in a small dab of the cream every morning and a little bigger dab at night.  On days 1-7 of each month I take a vacation from the cream.  That's it!  I know many women have trouble with hot flashes during this time of their lives, and I've heard great reviews of the cream lessening them and some even stopping them.  I've thankfully never had hot flashes so I can't be of any help there. 
I've been using the progesterone cream for several years now.  I sometimes leave it off a while to see if I still need it since I am now officially in menopause, but when I do break from it the old symptoms come creeping back in.  I would prefer to use nothing, but if I have to use something, I prefer this over synthetic hormones.
I now rotate the brands of progesterone cream I use.  My body always seems to respond better to products when I do this.  Here are a few other brands of cream I've tried with equal results.  Most are cheaper than the Emerita brand.
Vitacost has the Source Naturals 4 oz.  Bonus tube for $11.99 right now.

This mist is very different from the creams. It is kind of oily but smells good and rubs in pretty well and I've had just as good of results as from the creams. However, at $16.89 for one ounce, it is not near as cost-efficient.  I do still order it every once in a while when I want a change from the creams but it will last two months tops, even with the small amount I use. 

I really like the pump dispenser that the Life-flo Progesta-Care comes in.  It gives pre-measured doses.  However, I don't use the recommended dosage.  But you don't have to give it a full pump so it still works well for me.  I like the smell of the lavender one best.
And since I'm almost out of cream I've got this one ordered and on the way to me right now.
  I'm looking forward to trying a new brand.

I ordered it from Swanson Vitamins and it is $11.99 for 3 oz. 

I have to admit that the smell of several of the progesterone creams is not very pleasant to me, the Emerita (to me) is the worse with the Source Naturals coming in second.  Some people say the Source Natural smells like rosemary and when I think of it that way it isn't quite as bad.  But when using the cream I just thank God that I found it and think of the scent as the scent of healing.

Now you know there's got to be a disclaimer here:  I am by no means a doctor (other than Dr. Mom), I have no medical training and I'm not saying these creams will work for everyone, just that they work for me.  I suggest you find a doctor that specializes in natural hormone replacement if at all possible and work with them to balance your hormones.  If like me, you can't find a medical specialist to help you then read everything you can about hormone replacement before starting it.  Dr. John R. Lee, that wrote the book mentioned above, went on to write several other books on the same subject.  I have purchased all his books, including the one about Breast Cancer, even though I've never had and hopefully will never have cancer, and gleaned much, much helpful information from each book.  The Breast Cancer book is also a good book for preventive care in my opinion.

Okay, after taking off the italics and turning back to friendly chatter, I would like to show you my own current Menopause Survival Kit:

Evening Primrose Oil has lots of healthy benefits but I take it mostly because it keeps my joints oiled, limber, and moving. 

And that's it, that's all I take.  No vitamins, no herbs, nothing else.  Believe me when I say I've tried lots of them but keep coming back to the Evening Primrose oil and progesterone cream.  I think these two products combined with healthy eating, sensible exercise, and prayer, keeps me healthy.

I just want you to know that I've stepped out of my comfort zone to write today's post only because I hope to help someone else that might be going through some of the same problems I did and feel kind of hopeless. 

I also hesitate to add this next information because I don't want anyone to think, "Uh huh, there's something in it for her and she's just doing this for a kick-back."    But here is  a way to save $10 off your first $30 or more Vitacost order: 

2.  Sign up and enter my email address:
If you do this, I will get a $10 credit too.  But I added this not for the $10 I might get, but for you.  Hope you know that. 
Love ya'll!!!!
P.S.  Please leave me comments.  I want to hear about your experience during this exciting time of your life!  :)


  1. I've also used progesterone cream to lessen the effects of the postpartum blahs. I've never suffered from postpartum depression, but I can be a little extra hormonal and forgetful, and this helps with that. You can also use those creams if you're trying to conceive to give your hormones an extra help! Thanks for the great post! I enjoyed it very much!

    1. Thanks for this info! I've also read that it helps with PMS troubles. Wish I had heard obout it years ago!

  2. Thanks, Sherry! It is so helpful seeing what you used and I appreciate you sharing your trial and errors. I'm going to have to get that book! I haven't talked to my doctor yet because I don't want to use synthetic hormones and I know that's what she'll suggest. I take evening primrose oil already, but obviously need more. I appreciate your candid post:) Have a beautiful day! Twyla

    1. Thanks Twyla! I hope you find the book as heplful as I have.

  3. Thank you for the helpful information! How much evening primrose do you take? I had heard from someone else that it was helpful. Angela

    1. Angela, I sent you an email but wanted to answer your question here too for others to see. I take one 1300 mg gel cap a day. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi Sherry! Good for you, figuring out what works for you.

  5. I also have been using the cream for many years, and I don't plan to stop. It's good for more than hot flashes, as anyone can learn by reading Dr. Lee's books. Thanks for your testimonial! (I like Source Naturals because it absorbs easily, and I also get it from Vitacost.)


I'm so happy you're leaving me a comment! ~ Sherry