Activella, should I or shouldn't I

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Activella, should I or shouldn't I

Postby judi » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:57 pm

Hi
I'm wondering if anyone has tried Activella. My Dr. prescribed it today and I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to take it. I'm tired of not sleeping through the night. Night sweats wake me up more then my babies every did. Yet, I'm never overtired and have a lot of energy. Also, I would appreciate any comments or suggestions for low libido. Mine is nil with a capital N. I feel like I belong in the neuter gender catagory. How do I get it back? Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks, Judi
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Postby minniepauz » Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:55 am

Hi Judi....I don't recall anyone here mentioning Activella, but it might just motivate someone to respond. Dr. Judy will be back from vacation soon and she may have some insight as well.

I say anything that you have decided to try after discussing with your doctor is worth a try! The best remedy I've heard about for libido is testosterone and there are patches that can be prescribed for that....did you mention this to your doc too? My sister is trying compounded hormones (a mixture that's based on your own hormone levels) and she thinks she is feeling her desire coming back after taking the hormones for about 3 weeks now.
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Postby judi » Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:18 am

Thank you Dee for responding, I appreciate it. I did in fact think that testosterone is what I needed but my Dr said he is not a big proponent of it. I was considering compounded hormones after listening to a women Dr who now specializes in this sort of therapy. She herself was disgusted with male Dr's telling her there was no help out there for what is in "our heads". I do not put my male Dr in that catagory, he does listen to me and he knows I do not like to take medications unless they are absolutely necessary. That's why I am considering the activella, it's just that I'm not completely sold on it yet.

I truly love this website, it kept me from thinking I'm a nut.

Thanks again, Judi
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Postby minniepauz » Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:44 am

Thanks for such kind words, Judi....your appreciation (as well as others who are constantly praising my work) really lifts my spirits!! ( or is it that I'VE been lifting the spirits....no, only have one or two drinks a year) :)

Sometimes I'm grateful that I've been single for so long! 23 years I think now. I think my last date was over 5 years ago (Oh my word, things have been so peaceful all these years!) But, what I'm getting at is that I'm glad I don't have to worry about taking something to improve my desire. I'm like you in that I don't like to take a lot of medication and even though I've heard miraculous stories about the testosterone, you still have to worry about the side effects. I remember Christine Ferrar (sp?) coming out with a book about this years ago...I'm sure she was on Oprah with it, and I guess if you get just the right dose it can really help boost up that sagging sex life. That might be worth a few more chin hairs!! :)

Here's a Dr. who specializes in this subject and a bit of info to add to your research: http://www.susanrako.com/testost.htm

And here's a page with some good info (as always, make your own judgements about products offered) http://www.bodyandfitness.com/Informati ... h/libo.htm
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Postby judi » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:36 pm

Thanks Dee, I'll give the link a try. I won't be taking the testosterone. Since my Dr wasn't crazy about the idea, that was good enough for me. The activella is still under consideration. As far as chin hairs go, if I hear one more man complain about having to shave one lousy face, I'm breaking into their house and giving them a wax job as they sleep. :D

Ha! lifting "spirits" while going through menopause isn't fun either. That just causes more hot flashes. Slowly but surely my list of fun things is dwindling. Now I know why there were so many crochety old ladies when I was growing up.

Thanks again for being here. Judi
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Postby drjudy » Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:27 am

Hi Judi,

Your decision about what to take, or not take, for menopause hinges a lot on what your goals are. You mentioned night sweats and then went on to say that despite that you felt rested with lots of energy. If this is your only complaint, perhaps you need nothing. Other common symptoms of menopause that women tend to discount (instead only noting the much talked about hot flash thing) are joint aches, anxiety, depression, and trouble with short term memory. I often find that women will declare that they are doing fine with menopause (i.e. no hot flashes) but will agree that they have many of the other troubles, all of which respond to estrogen therap.

Activella is a combination product that includes estradiol and a progestogen called norethindrone. The former is the estrogen molecule that works all the magic of estrogen on our bodies, the latter is added to balance the effect of estrogen on our uterus. Progestogens tend to be the hormone that women hate to take--it causes breast tenderness, mood changes, and can counteract some of the benficial effects of estrogen on heart and brain. Norethindrone is one of the best choices. Natural progesterone, as in compounded products or Prometrium, is better in some respects, but some women, myself included, get quite sleepy from it or dizzy.

Not everyone responds to testosterone with an increased libido. In fact, I find very few women respond to it. The lack of libido is so distressing and difficult to treat. Activella could increase vaginal moisture which can help increase interest.

Best wishes,
Judy
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Postby judi » Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:52 pm

Hi Dr Judy
Welcome back from vacation.
Believe me, I have or had tons of symptoms. I tend to dismiss most of them. Only when a symptom disturbs what I'm doing, does it get annoying enough for me to consider medication. The lack of libido and the night sweats are two of the worst. How I can wake up 5 -6 times a night and still have energy, is beyond me. I won't question that one though, as long as my energy level is up there. I do work out everyday, that might have something to do with it.
If the fact that I have energy with all the sleep I'm NOT getting, here's another one for you. Even though my libido is just about nil, I'm not having a problem with vaginal moisture.
I appreciate the info on activella. I'm still on the fence with the decision whether or not to take it. I'm not sure I want to deal with the side effects. But that aside, in your opinion, is this a safe drug?
Thank you for your input, it's very much appreciated. Judi
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Postby drjudy » Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:11 pm

I think women just entering menopause, in their 40s or 50s, can use hormone replacement therapy and rest assured that on average they will derive more benefits than not. It is a decision that must be reviewed with your doctor annually to see if it's still the right course for you. Remember if you try it for several months and don't feel like you're better off, you can always stop.

Judy
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Postby judi » Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:49 pm

Thank you Dr. Judy
I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. It will definitely help me with my decision.
I'm so thankful that you and Dee are here to help us all.
Thanks again, Judi
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Postby minniepauz » Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:58 am

Dr. Judy, I can understand how taking the hormones in a lower dose and for a shorter time can be safe for most women, but what I don't understand is how you will know when to stop taking them (how long is too long?) and will your symptoms come back and will they be worse (or SEEM worse)?
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Postby drjudy » Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:49 am

Dear Dee,

The North American Menopause Society has removed the "shortest amount of time" clause from their recommendations. Sixty years old is the age identified as the cut-off between mortality benefits (women on hormones up to this age tend to have lower death rates than those not on hormones) vs. mortality neutral (hormones after 60 have no effect on mortality). Not that death protection is the reason that we take hormones, just reassuring data that if we feel better on hormones in the decade or so following menopause that, on average, we can take them safely.

I make an annual discussion of the hormone decision part of the regular physical exam, and as menopause progresses, attempt trials of lower doses or maybe stopping hormones to see how women feel. Symptoms may increase transiently, and if persistently unpleasant, may be part of the reason why women choose to continue.

It's all very individual, and depends a lot on discussion based on personal and family medical history.

Judy
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Postby judi » Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:46 pm

Thanks Dee for asking that great question. It was one I also was wondering about but kept forgetting to ask. Oh, the joys of "menopausal forgetfulness". :D Judi
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activella

Postby berykute » Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:00 pm

What about the increased risks of stroke and heart problems? Is this with long or short term use?
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Postby judi » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:55 pm

Hi Berykute,
I don't know that either. I do know that you are monitered while taking activella. If I start taking them, I need to call my Dr., 4 weeks later. I just keep rereading all the side effects and so far it's been enough to keep me from taking them. Although, I did just have a checkup with my family Dr., he also does not see a problem if I choose to take activella. He considers it to be safe. At the rate I'm going though, I'll die of old age before I pop the first pill. :lol:
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