Transdermal Bioidentical Estradiol: Why I’m Considering It
As you all probably noticed in my last post, I was a little testy over the wellness coach lady who took it upon herself to “educate me” regarding alternatives to my decision to use estrogen hormone therapy.
If I were a younger woman (like not in my late 50s and in menopause), I might have responded differently to what I felt was a presumptuous intrusion into my personal and professional life. But, suffice it to say, I’ve long crossed over into the land of low oxytocin, and I was in no mood to suffer fools gladly.
In some ways, you might even say I was sticking up for you. Women who are going through perimenopause, who don’t have the first clue who to turn to, what to ask, or how to get help for their symptoms. I know how many self-professed, professional “experts” there are out there in the field of women’s hormone health.
They are EVERYWHERE. All claiming to have the medical facts and truth on their side.
I do not make any such claims. I have my personal experience and opinions, which I share openly and freely with my readers. But, I do not claim to have the market cornered when it comes to treatments for perimenopause.
I will tell you what I know, what I think, and where I get my information from. But, when it comes to making decisions about your health, I would never presume to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. I do not want that responsibility.
That said, let me tell you exactly why I am considering using estrogen hormone therapy. Then you can decide whether or not it is a choice you wish to make for yourself.
What is Estradiol?
Estradiol is one of three estrogens produced in your ovaries: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Of these, estradiol (E2) is known to be a natural antidepressant, and primarily responsible for improving mood. It is also the key estrogen essential for optimum brain function, and helps support healthy serotonin levels in the brain – the key chemical targeted by antidepressants, by the way.
Since I’ve become fully menopausal – approximately two years now – I’ve struggled with difficult depression, experienced an increase in joint and muscle pain, and have had frustrating issues with short-term memory loss and brain fog.
Estradiol is used to treat all of these health issues.
Healthy estrogen levels helps with libido (not a major concern of mine, but maybe yours?), supports vaginal health by keeping vaginal tissue and vaginal walls supple, and believe it or not, it also helps with urinary incontinence. Definitely another issue I’ve struggled with personally.
The loss of physical vitality I’ve experienced over the past two years has become enough for me to consider estrogen therapy. But for those who still might wish to educate me further, let me also say this:
I am very aware that a certain amount of body fat (which I have) will produce estrogen in my body. I am also aware that estrogens are everywhere in our environment. So, the chance that my estrogen stores are completely depleted is very unlikely – I know.
I also know that excess estrogen can put us at a higher risk for blood clots, stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer. Since I have a family history of all of these conditions, I am approaching this decision very cautiously, planning to ask only for the lowest dose possible.
If I decide to use it, I do not know how long I will do so. However, as I always have, I will share my opinion and experience with you. You can then decide for yourself if it is something you might wish to consider.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.