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    Hormone Testing
    DP60185 posted:
    The first thing I would do is get your hormone levels tested - not by a blood test but by the much more accurate saliva test. See where your levels are out of balance. Birth control pills are NOT the answer. There are many natural remedies that are helpful. The first step is to find out which hormones need adjusting. I have just started using a natural progesterone cream you can buy at many vitamin or natural health food stores. The assumption is that it is the extrogen levels that are out-of-whack. Peri-menopause is usually the result of low progesterone levels. Many doctors just assume it's estrogen and it isn't.
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    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear DP60185,
    I hate to tell you this, but blood tests are much more reliable than salivary tests.
    Indeed, many women premenopausally do not make as much progesterone as they did previously, and oftentimes, I do recommend progesterone for my patients.
    Birth control pills work for many perimenopausal women because they shut down the ovaries' activity, and then give the woman a fixed level of estrogen and progestin, which can be helpful for many women with perimenopausal symptoms. Each situation must be individualized.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website