This is only remotely thyroid-related, but I hope it's ok to ask this question here anyway:
Should you never use estrogen (Estrogel) for more than five years? And what about progesterone? I am referring to the bio-identical versions of both hormones.
I am asking because I was put on Estrogel (transdermal) and Utrogestan capsules five years ago, at age 42; not because I was peri-menopausal, but because I had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. My doctor is a so called Hertoghe doctor.
Only now, five years later, are the first symptoms of peri-menopause beginning to appear (irregular periods; recently, a cycle of only 21 days; since then, 24-25 days, whereas they have always been like clockwork = 28 days). Along with the physical changes, I have also experienced some mood changes (more tired, tendency to feel discouraged, even depressed some days of month), and those symptoms make me more worried than physical symptoms which I feel I can easily deal with. After all, there is no telling when a woman will enter menopause. It could be a year from now, or ten years from now. I know the average woman goes into menopause around age 51, and I hope it will either be that or sooner for me...but there is no way of knowing. Therefore, looking back, I feel it was maybe stupid to start taking typical "menopause hormones" years before even getting there...simply because I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. Well, no way of changing that now. What I wonder most of all is: if I find I really need it, can I continue to use Estrogel and progesterone (bio-identical) for more than five years? The "five-year rule" is something I have found in articles online, but my doctor has never ever mentioned I should stop using E and P. At my latest consult, a couple of months ago, all my prescriptions were renewed for another year.
I have noticed (no scientific observation at all, of course) that I feel worse than ever during the week leading up to my period, and much better from the last day of period until about mid-cycle (ovulation). Some articles on estrogen deficiency vs estrogen dominance confirm this indicates estrogen DEFICIENCY as the fact that I feel better from the last day of period until ovulation means my body enjoys a higher level of estrogen. I cannot remember ever feeling this as clearly as I have lately, so maybe something has changed as a result of changing hormone levels...?
However, since I have already been using E & P for five years (although for other reasons), can I really continue using them until menopause, or should I stop using them altogether after five years (which will be in a couple of weeks)?