Yesterday we had an appointment with the BEST gyno I've ever seen. Ladies, if you want a referral - please message me. She spent over and hour with my husband and me answering our questions, and even pulled out her iPad to learn more.
I learned many things yesterday. First of all, menopause is when you're a year out from your last period and have elevated FSH levels. Age 35 is extremely young and rare, and the doctor was somewhat concerned. She kept referring to "ovarian failure" which, I don't really like to think my ovaries are failures! She took more blood which is being sent to Mayo Clinic (no worries - they send their samples there) in fact they took eight vials of blood. I hate needles, especially really long, big, fat needles in my arm for a couple minutes. I was so terrified. Then I saw the vials on the counter and nearly passed out. Then I asked the nurse if I needed a blood transfusion since she had taken so much.
She (the doctor) said is was not possible for me to get pregnant however she once saw a 45 year-old woman who hadn't menstruated for several years, get pregnant. Anything is possible, but she would be suprised.
She immediately jumped into talking about hormone replacement therapy. This is when I learned the most. And, this is how I understood it: the average woman's body stops producing estrogen in her 50s, when she is menopausal. At this point the body starts to feel the affects of decreased estrogen. These might be osteoporosis, bone loss, heart disease and dementia. Since my body has stopped producing estrogen at age 34, there are many repercusions other than hot flashes and mood swings. Basically I'm 20 years early to have a decreased estrogen supply so I'm pretty much setting myself up for all those fun things later in life.
I've done a lot of research on my own in regards to HRT and I don't think its safe, or the best option for me. First of all, increased levels of estrogen have been linked to breast cancer and blood clots. I brought this concern up to her (doctor) and she very sweetly said, "Sarah you don't have any estrogen. Putting you on estrogen replacement would give you a little estrogen, certainly not elevated levels that would cause breast cancer."
One of the main reasons I am against HRT is that animals are harmed in the process. With Prempro, the company abuses horses. Urine from a female horse (mare) is used to make Prempro. Therefore, female horses are kept confined in tiny stalls. They're kept pregnant their entire life in these stalls. Very miserable existence. Plus, who wants to take a pill made from urine??
She (doctor) talked to me about Estradiol. I have yet to research this - I intend to today. Estradiol is transdermal (in the form of a patch or gel). The intent would be to give my body some small amounts of estrogen to hopefully ward off bone loss and dementia later in life.
Like I said, I need to research estradiol on my own but she did give me sample patches to try. She said they would help the hot flashes, mood swings and even sleeplessness within a few weeks.
Need to start working but that was our day yesterday. I still have so much information that I want to write about (fertility, hormones, holistic remedies, etc) I feel like a walking menopause directory!