Hot flashes
gramtotwo posted:
I am 52 years old and had a total hysterectomy nine years ago. I have been on Estradiol 4 mg. a day which is a high dose. Recently I stopped taking the Estradiol. I stopped taking it because I had run out and after discussing refilling my prescription with my nurse practitioner, it was decided that it was time to stop them as the risks since I'm a smoker outweighed the benefits. I stopped them about three weeks ago. The hot flashes began about a week ago and in the last few days have been incessant. One minute I feel as if I am suffocating and then I'm freezing (it is winter time). I know there are over the counter remedies but my question is - how long will I experience the hot flashes? Will they last the rest of my life or can I expect them to stop at some point? Help please, I am miserable.
Anon_6061 responded:
I assume you were a smoker all the time you were on the estradiol? Being a smoker, I am surprised they gave you an oral form of estrogen versus transdermal (such as a patch or gel). Transdermals have a lower clot risk. But the good thing is that the clot risk of orals normalizes after the first year or two. But smoking is an added risk factor.

Being in surgical menopause has quite a few higher health risks than being in natural menopause. The ovaries continue to produce hormones into a woman's 80's. Taking estrogen mitigates some of the surgical menopause risks. So it isn't just about hot flashes although those can be really bothersome! And smoking reduces estrogen levels so it's a double whammy.

I am also in surgical menopause and don't think I could function without estrogen. For one, the surgery threw me into a suicidal depression, not to mention all the other horrific effects of surgical menopause. But I am not a smoker so I didn't/don't need to worry about being denied estrogen for that reason. I do, however, worry that down the road I may be told I have been on it for "too long" even though studies show the benefits of estrogen after ovary removal.

There's no telling how long your hot flashes will last. Every woman is different and some have them for decades. You could try an OTC menopause supplement or even one of the anti-depressants that are effective at reducing hot flashes.