To HRT or not

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To HRT or not

Post  lentils on Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:23 pm

All of the women I know whose migraines stopped in old age, (5 of them) did not take hormone replacement. I have got the notion in my head that I'm not going to get rid of the migraines unless I let nature take it's course, and stop the hormones. Last July I ran out of Estrogen and decided to stop. My migraines did change, no fierce headaches, but longer head pain, about a 4, with depression that lasts about a week. Does this signal the end? I don't know. 4 of the women I knew are dead, the other one doesn't remember.

Last week I noticed hair on my upper lip and my facial skin looking worse than usual. I dug up a few estrogen pills I had lying around, and I woke up with a migraine 3 days in a row. One bad one, that I semi aborted with a triptan. I've been waking up with about a level 6 headache ever since.

I don't know if it is the estrogen. Does anyone have any thoughts? The women in my family who were finally migraine free in old age did not have HRT available to them.

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Re: To HRT or not

Post  Paradox on Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:35 pm

Hi Lentils,

HRT is such an individual decision based on so many factors. Breast cancer in the family, osteoporosis, etc.

I'm 50 now and have been on HRT since I was 29 (I went through surgical menopause). My mother also had migraines, and surgical menopause and was on HRT for osteo. My Grandmother had migraines but when she died in her 60's she was still having her period (my aunt was still having hers periodically at that age too! I'm glad I dodged that bullet).

The women in my family do not react well to menopause. It affects us mentally. My other aunt was suicidal and extremely, um, grouchy, for five years when she went though it. Both my mother and I tried going off it and we were almost psychotic in our mood swings and witchy behavior.

Also, my sex life became non-existent. I had no interest, plus it was very painful. Hubby would actually tear me during intercourse. We tried estrogen creams and different lubricants but it didn't make any difference.

I also got hair on my lip, but I wasn't that concerned about that, that was cosmetic and could be taken care of. I did want my sex life back! Plus, I wanted to have friends, and the way I was going with my attitude I wasn't going to have any friends or have a hubby to be concerned about having a sex life with.

I'm on Climera 0.05 the lowest estrogen patch there is. I change the patch weekly, sometimes bi-weekly when I forget (Man, is any one else hot? Oops, my patch!). Both my old neuro and my new neuro feel that the HRT is not effecting my headaches. They feel the reason for menstrual migraines is the fluctuation of hormones and since I'm on the patch I'm not having the fluctuations (except when I forget). Embarassed

That's my experience with HRT.
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HRT

Post  lentils on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:35 am

Estrogen or lack of it doesn't affect my libido, but it does affect lubrication, so I use lubricants.

My mother had terrible mood swings, which my father says were related to her menstrual cycle. I guess she was manic depressive. She was in a mental hospital for twenty years. She improved after menopause and was released. I guess this fostered my belief that after menopause I would stop getting migraines.
I was told years ago that I had low estrogen levels anyway.

My Dad's mother also had a difficult menopause with major depression. She had recovered by the time she was 55, which is my current age. Various female relatives on both sides had migraines.
I'm not sure if my mother had them.

I was surprised when I was in the US to learn that most of my friends are using bio identical hormones, claiming that they feel better when they are on them.

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Re: To HRT or not

Post  estre004 on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:37 am

We are all so different so it is hard to give any advice on this. My migraines didn't start until peri-menopause and still haven't let up. I had menopause at 55 and am now 59. Personally, I would rather not have HRT and let nature run its course. IF it would stop my migraines, I wouldn't hesitate though. For some it makes them worse. Trial and error I guess. I chose to just use abortives as needed when migraines come to lesson the amount of drugs I am on. Preventatives don't lesson mine enough to make it worth it.

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Re: To HRT or not

Post  prairierose on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:24 pm

Estrogen replacement primed me for the worst headaches of my life. It took me a little
while to figure it out, but the effect is real. Estrogen replacement is also correlated to
breast cancer and heart disease. In my opinion sex life, mood swings, night sweats are
nothing compared to the monstrous, destructive, incapacitating, and disabling headaches I experienced
when on estrogen replacement!!!!!!!!!
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Re: To HRT or not

Post  Dawn on Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:15 pm

I had a full hysterectomy because my docs told me the same thing...You're migraines should go away because your hormone levels will be steady after the hysterectomy....It was a fine theory, but it didn't work. I was 27 when I got the surgery. I had one year without migraines, then they started coming back with a vengence. I'm 31 now, and still suffering with migraines that come 8 days on and 7 days off. I'm stuck in this horrible cycle now. I guess I can hope once I am old enough to go through natural menopause, the migraines will stop.

Dawn
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Re: To HRT or not

Post  sherri b on Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:34 pm

I started into menapause at the age of 38, and also started taking Prempro. HRT. 16 years later, I am still in menapause, and on Prempro.

My neurologist took me off the Prempro for a year.... still had migraines, but was in depression, couldn't sleep, hot flash's painful sex, didn't want sex, you name it, I had it. Needless to say, I am back on the Prempro.

I still get this little voice trying to tell me the hrt is the cause of the migraines, and I tried going off again, same thing. I will keep taking it.
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