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    perimenopause and birth control
    batgirl1 posted:
    I have been having really awful hot flashes, unusual weight gain/problems losing weight and irritability. My doctor says my hormones are in teh menopausal range but I am still having periods, although they are not super regular. My doctor gave me Gildess FE 1/20 BCP's. I have not taken the pill for about ten years, but last time I tried it, I gained about 18-20 pounds very quickly and I am terrified this will happen again, as I am already struggling with trying to lose about 20 more pounds. I read somewhere that low doses or estrogen will actually help weight loss in peri menopause, so I am wondering if my body might react differently this time since I actually am lacking in the hormones. I am 44.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear Batgirl1,
    The Gildess 1/20 is a very low dose pill (20 micrograms of estrogen)-and it is likely that the pills you took many years ago had a higher dose of estrogen. In the perimenopausal time frame, it is indeed possible to gain some weight; about 5-8 pounds is average-but the good new is that it is not each year; just over the time course of the menopausal transition. It is true that women on hormonal therapy tend to gain a bit less.
    I would think you would probably feel better on the low dose pill. Now if you feel well on the pill, but do notice a bit of fluid retention (which can happen on pills) you could try a pill that has drospirenone as its progesterone (like Yaz)-drospirenone tends to act like a diuretic, so that you won't retain fluid on it.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website