Back when I was having babies in the stone age I was fortunate enough to be extremely fertile. Extremely. My ovaries worked out, ate their spinach and put in a whole lot of overtime. I think they were preparing to compete in some iron woman event! In any case, I've spent my whole life taking for granted that they were all but super human.... over achievers to be sure, possibly award winners.
Every now and then I would ponder the possibility that they'd give it up at some point, but I thought it would be something gradual and anticlimactic, almost unnoticeable. It never occurred to me that as hard as they've worked since puberty that one day in San Diego they would collapse with no warning. (visualize the Hindenberg crashing to the ground in flames) I guess I should have expected it though. They were just oh so done.
How did I know?
I'm the kind of girl that sleeps with the covers up to my ears. Have been since my youthful days in Alaska. When everyone else is in shorts, I'm in long pants. When it's fall, I'm in wool socks and sweaters when TOG is still in tee shirts. I have zero internal heat.
Suddenly, I'm throwing the covers off down in San Diego. Even in my lightest weight high performance hiking clothes. I'm having hot flashes at 6 in the morning out on the balcony when it's only 65 degrees. I'm rinsing out bras like there's no tomorrow. (TMI?) TOG says even under my sunburn I would turn beet red from my new internal heat source.
So after we flew home and I ended up in Dr. M's office sobbing about my asthma (again) we spoke of my ovarian collapse. I had two big concerns...
I didn't want to take synthetic hormone replacements. Other than the cancer risks, one of the potential side effects in blood clots and both my mom and her father died of pulmonary embolisms.
I wanted to be ultra, ultra sure that anything I took wasn't going to cause my asthma to go haywire (cuz it's so tame in real life- not!) or interfere with any of the meds I regularly take.
I asked about non synthetic hormones and Dr. M was skeptical... his reasoning being that they are mixed per batch and thus risk being of varying dosages and they are not as strong as the synthetics and thus I would have to take higher dosages to see any effect.
That did not leave very many options. Dr. M and I knew that it would just be a process of trial and error. Our first step was to try a med whose side effect is eliminating hot (inferno) flashes. We tried the lowest dosage first knowing that it wasn't even a therapeutic dose for the main condition it's supposed to treat.
I went from having 20+ hot flashes a day to about two a week. It's like someone flipped a switch.
While normally, this wouldn't be at the top of my list of things to share, I think it's worthwhile. Although I didn't do much advance research, other than swearing I'd never do hormone replacement, when I did decide to talk to Dr. M about this, it just seemed like there weren't a lot of options. It was a huge relief to have a doctor that was willing to help me find a solution.
Cuz otherwise, I was down to cutting my hair off and wearing tank tops for the next 5 years!