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    Surgical menopause
    moonie53 posted:
    Hi I had a total hysterectomy at age 46 and now I'm 53 with vile post menopausal symptoms so my question is how long will these symptoms last as its been 7 years already since they started. I took HRT for nearly 5 years (which helped to a degree) but had to stop 2 yrs ago due to breast lumps and high blood pressure. Am I to assume then that post menopause only really started 2 yrs ago when I ceased taking HRT?
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear moonie53,
    Alas, women can have hot flashes for quite a while, although they certainly do tend to get better over time. A couple of thoughts: you mentioned breast lumps-I presume though these were fibrocystic changes, and not cancers? Many women with fibrocystic changes benefit by reduction of caffeine, and a combination of vitamins: vitamin B6, 100-200 mg a day; vitamin E. 200 units a day; and evening primrose oil, 2 capsules per day (and you can take them all together). This might get the breast situation under better control. And if a woman does notice her blood pressure going up with oral estrogen, she will likely do better with transdermal estrogens (patches or gels)-they don't usually affect the blood pressure.
    So I think a good choice would be to do the breast vitamins, keep caffeine to a minimum, and try transdermal estrogens.
    Now if that doesn't work, there are other options which can help. The botanical product Remifemin, which is over the counter, and prescription medications like SSRI antidepressants and gabapentin, can help with hot flashes.
    So there are other options out there-hope they'll help you.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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