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.)