Bioidentical Hormones, Hormone Imbalance, Menstrual Cycle

Perched on the Edge – My Hormones are Teetering!

I Love Progesterone
female hormone imbalance

I Love Bioidentical Progesterone

It’s safe to say that the usual goal of bio-identical hormone therapy is to take the minimum amount of hormones needed to achieve balance.  Seems simple right?  Over the time that I’ve been taking bio-identical hormones my doctor(s) and I have changed my dosage based on three factors:

  1. symptoms
  2. blood tests
  3. saliva hormone testing

A few short months ago I was feeling my very best hormonal self – better than I’ve ever felt hormonally.  My menstrual cycle was perfect – barely a blip in my life!  Woohoo! What a dream-come-true for someone with as many hormone problems as I’ve had.  So when my doctor suggested we start to decrease my progesterone I was VERY reluctant!  You have to understand:

 I ♥ my progesterone

more than almost anything in the whole wide world!!!

Remember me?  Helllllooooo…..I’m the Progesterone Junkie!  Suffice it to say I did not take this suggestion lightly. But my doc is always in my corner and we had a good discussion about it.  So I decided to try it….at first all seemed well……that is until the irritability set in.  And have you ever noticed that when you’re the one who’s irritable you aren’t actually the first to notice it!  One day, it dawned on me that I’d been awfully grumpy and grumbly and so posed the question to My Beloved, “Have you noticed that I’ve been irritable lately?”.  The raised eyebrows spoke volumes – I guess that was a stupid question to ask.

I began to notice other less-than-desirable side-effects that were screaming to be noticed:

  • Changes in menstrual bleeding
  • Hair Loss
  • Low sex drive
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Memory Lapses/Foggy Thinking
  • Mood Swings
  • Muscle Aches/Stiffness
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Eczema type rashes
So I’ve never had this exact blend of symptoms before but I knew that they were signalling something I hated to think about – estrogen deficiency!  I couldn’t deny that these symptoms were actually pointing toward an estrogen deficiency which, on the surface didn’t make sense to me. I had recently reduced the amount of progesterone I was taking so if anything I could have seen more estrogen dominance coming.  My mental dialogue went something like this, “There’s no way I could be estrogen deficient, is my body playing tricks on me?  How does that hormones-converting-to-other-hormones thing work again? Why is my body betraying me just when I got it all figured out? Could this be the beginning of peri-menopause? I need my saliva and blood hormone levels tested.  Thank God for Dr. W!”
When I got to my doctor he agreed I was showing signs of estrogen deficiency.   I’ve been estrogen dominant  my entire life – and now I’ve got symptoms of low estrogen – I didn’t know what to think.  My doctor and I decided it was time for a re-check of my saliva hormone levels.
The biggest realization for me over the years has been learning how truly intricate and delicate hormone balance is and how, as women, throughout and beyond our reproductive years we are always perched right on the edge.  At any moment the balance can be disrupted and we can teeter off-balance.  It’s truly amazing and a remarkable illustration of how important monitoring our hormone health can be to our overall wellness.
My saliva tests results are in….I see my doctor tomorrow and will find out how far off I’ve teetered…