Lamentations on Estrogen Dominance

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I’ve nursed a single 90-day-supply bottle of Prometrium for nearly a year now.

What is Prometrium?  It’s a natural progesterone tablet that helps offset estrogen dominance.  Since I ovulate rarely if ever at all my body just doesn’t produce the amount of progesterone it needs.  The most commonly prescribed progesterone replacement is Provera; however, it is a synthetic version of progesterone, and I don’t tolerate it well at all.  Take the worst case of PMS you’ve ever seen or experienced and multiply it by 50% and sprinkle some suicidal ideation on top.  Simply, it sends me into major anxiety-depression.  When I become estrogen dominant I also become depressed, but compared to the Provera-induced depression described above it’s like a meditative walk in the park.

Right now, I’m in the estrogen-dominant depression.  I become swollen, achy, fatigued, unmotivated, and I cry at the drop of a hat.  Throw in some adverse circumstances, and boy, I probably need to hang a Kleenex box by a string around my neck.

Why have I nursed one bottle of Prometrium for a year?

Well, let me qualify what I’m about to say by this.  I am SO VERY FORTUNATE to have insurance.  I’m not complaining about what I have to pay for my meds.  My problem is with poor planning on my part.  See, other than the ever-present PCOS I’m pretty healthy.  At the first of the year my GYN suggested that I take a low dose of Prometrium everyday instead of taking a higher dose for couple of weeks each month and withdrawing (the withdrawal process is not easy for me).  I was fine with that, because I tolerate the Prometrium very well with a good side effect being that when I take it before bedtime it helps me sleep!  I had forgotten that Prometrium is a top-tier drug on my drug plan meaning the highest co-pay (why are “natural” options always more expensive?).   In late 2009, prior to my GYN appt. in January of 2010 I had decided to cut back on contributions to my flexible spending account  in an attempt to save some money.  So, when I got the $60.00 bill for three months worth of Prometrium I groaned, because I had failed to account for that in my flex spending account.  I just did not have it in the budget to take it everyday.

So, I cut it back to two weeks every month or every other month or until my estrogen-dominant symptoms start interfering with my daily life which usually doesn’t take very long.

Even with Prometrium I can be a little irritable at times, but it lifts the gray veil of mild depression that is the main estrogen-dominant symptom I experience.  Now that I have experienced such positive benefits of continuous Prometrium use when I withdraw from Prometrium the decline is so rapid and noticeable  that I try to get back on it as soon as I can.

Now, I know that I should just buck up and pay that $60.00 every three months, but our finances have been exceptionally tight this year with my husband’s medical struggles, accompanying medical  bills and the subsequent lack of extra income he has brought in before to help us pay for incidentals and the unexpected expenses.

So, I nurse this precious bottle of life-giving hormone, and will plan for it daily in 2011…that is before I see what I will be required to pay as far as higher insurance premiums in 2011…thanks to Obamacare.

(Sorry about that political dig.  I’ll  blame it on estrogen dominance.)

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4 responses »

  1. I am right there with you on Obamacare…I am scared we are going to find out that all the infertility stuff we did this year is no longer covered. I don’t know what we would do….
    I hate PCOS though…I think about having to deal with it the rest of my life and I just want to cry. This disease has a lot more far reaching effects then just infertility. It effects a lot of my life too.
    *Hugs* to you Vicki! I am praying for you to hold on for just a little over 3 more months!!

  2. why don’t you try a good quality progesterone cream its way cheaper and will make you feel exactly the same as when you use Prometrium. I was on Prometrium taking 2 x 100 pills at night for Menopause, and it built up in my system so bad I kept getting systemic yeast infections. so I was switched to topical cream, at first I was using the compounded one but too expensive and not covered by my insurance, so I just buy NOW brand progesterone cream or Source naturals, its about 16 bucks for a 3 month supply on iherb.com
    the NOW brand is in a pump for metered doses.

    • Well, the good news is now I am able to get Prometrium in generic form, so now I only have to pay $10.00 every three months. Yay! However, if things change I will buck up and use progesterone cream again. I only use 100 mcgs per night, so it’s a very low dose; however, now my periods are like clockwork. This is great and very depressing at the same time. Had I been on this regimen in my 20s I might have gotten pregnant, because now I have all the symptoms of ovulation midcycle. Pregnancy at this point is not something I want to entertain due to age and circumstances (I turn 45 this month); however, if you are a PCOSer and have tried everything with no results I would not give up until you convince your doctor to try low-dose daily progesterone therapy.

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