â€œIf I manage to learn something new, I glow with a pleasure that life seldom gave me in youth, when I took all of this for granted. There is nothing like old age to make one aware of the marvels of the human body and mind.â€
â€“Mary C. Morrison
Bioidentical Hormones and Me
By Gail Gates
Life has a way of sneaking up on a person. One moment a woman can be immersed in raising her children, honing her career, tending a relationship, feeling pretty good about her physical shape and health, and then â€œpoof!â€ everything changes. â€œWait a minute! Iâ€™m still doing the same things I have always been doing!â€ she thinks, â€œWhy am I gaining weight, feeling tired, and having my menstrual periods coming more than once a month?â€ Slowly the realization hits â€“she is premenopausal! Nooooooo!
That happens when a woman isâ€¦old. Or does it?
Why do symptoms appear, and what role can bioidentical hormones play in managing the symptoms? Perhaps a blending of personal experience and research will shed some light on the subject.Â Iâ€™d first like to share a bit about how I got involved in researching bio-identical hormones, and ultimately, using them myself. (While it would sound like I have this subject well in hand, the question of hormone replacement, and whether it should be bioidentical, or synthetic, remains hotly studied and contested.)
Several years ago I went in for my yearly pap-smear. I have had irregular periods for most of my menses life, and to further challenge my body–and that of the physician trying to use a speculum–I have a tilted uterus. Somewhat of a double bonus in the gene lottery. When the pap test results came back â€œoddâ€ my doctor told me not to panic, however she did want to do a cervical biopsy as well.
When those results also came back skewed (as I officially dipped a toe into a puddle of panic), my doctor asked me to have an ultra-sound followed by a visit to a specialist. Was I worried? Yes. Two bad tests couldnâ€™t be a good thing.Â The ultra-sound showed I had several fibroids in my uterus, with one as large as an orange. Aha! This information would make it easy for the specialist to treatâ€”I thoughtâ€”and I could move forward with confidence. I was wrong.