endometriosis after menopause? & CFS/FM

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by victoria, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I know endometriosis is another one of those DD that seems to be common among women with CFS/FM...

    I have apparently finally hit menopause, haven't had a period in 8 months... one of the main things I found about controlling my endo was staying off certain foods (wine, yeast, cheese & sugar) made all the difference as to how much pain I had.

    I'm just wondering if others found after menopause that they had endo symptoms continue for any reason? Or did you find that eventually there was no problem? I know according to the Endo Assoc. that even with hysterectomies, women can still have problems... just wondering if the same with menopause.

    Hoping for some good news...

  2. tandy

    tandy New Member

    i'm eager for responses on this......hopefully some women here have had a lessoning of Endo symptoms after menopause,and are gonna share their thoughts.
    I've been battling endo and fibro for a quite a few yrs now. I've had 2 gyno's tell me that I should consider a hysterectomy to end my pain&misery of Endo~ But I've researched Endo and Hysto's and found "enough"women out there that had the drastic surgery and still have Endo pain....tho not quite as bad~ So far I have declined the hysto,so i'm thinking the same....."will my endo get better or shrink on its own when I hit menopause?"
    I'm hoping!! although I have quite some time before that,I'm 40. But my mom started menopause early at 42.
    Thanks for posting this question~ i'll be watching for replys~ Take care :)
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member


    Anybody else?
  4. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    You probably can if you are on hormone supplements. Supposedly you have to be careful about progesterone because it can cause endometriotic tissue to bleed. Hormones are hard to figure. For the most part most doctors seem to say that menopause ends the problems with endometriosis. I know in surgical menopause the patient is encouraged to wait before starting hormone replacement because this allows time for the endometriosis to atrophy due to lack of hormone stimulation.
    You might try to see if you can get a copy from your library of "The Endometriosis Sourcebook" put out by the Endometriosis Assoc. It is perhaps the most comprehensive book about endometriosis you can find. They cover all aspects of endometriosis.
  5. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    Doctor John Lee treats endo with large amounts of progesterone to simulate pregnancy which keeps the endometriotic tissue from building up like it normally does during regular monthly cycling. In this way he helps people with endo to avoid having a hysterectomy. Never tried it so I can't recommend it, but it is an option you might want to look into. He discusses it in his book, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Perimenopause."
  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Thanks for your input, but I'm a little confused... you said first you thought one had to be careful with progesterone, then told Tandy it helped?

    Personally, I do use progesterone cream for fibrocystic breasts and because I'm estrogen dominant, which is what endo is associated with. (This is what my gyno recommended as well as what I've read, and I'm a member of Endo assoc. for the last 10 years.) I don't have the info right at hand, so can't quote from it.

    the interesting thing is the Endo assoc. says the best control for symptoms is altering the diet.

    Anyway, using the progesterone has only helped, especially since I tried taking phytoestrogens which made me very sick a year ago.
  7. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    I'm confused too- those hormones can be tricky things to balance. I don't claim to be an expert on any of it. If I understand correctly, according to Dr. Lee, during your monthly cycle there is a build up of the endometrium by estrogen to accept the egg at ovulation followed by an even bigger build up of progesterone from the corpus luteum that works with estrogen to help maintain the endometrial buildup and foster the egg along until it can produce it's own hormones-progesterone- once it's fertililzed. Just what happens, I don't know. It may be that somehow the brain is triggered once the fertilized egg is implanted and growing so that the monthly buildup and cycling stops because something told the brain the body was pregnant and the endometrium was not to be shed. It sounds like Dr. Lee tries to reproduce this message of a pregnancy with large amounts of progesterone which fools the body into thinking there is a fertilized egg producing progesterone and the body then stops producing the normal monthly buildup of endometrial cells because it believes itself to be pregnant. This is the simplified version, of course. Anyway, if that makes sense, by preventing endometrial cell tissue buildup you prevent endometriosis from growing or bleeding because there is no buildup to get rid of like you normally do with your period when your endometrium is shed. Dr. Lee recommended this for women still menstruating and is probably not recommended for someone who is in menopause. I think how much progesterone you take makes a difference in its effect. In your case you probably wouldn't be taking that much. I see the real problem with endometriosis as being one of a combination of estrogen and progesterone. You have estrogen building up endometrial tissue and progesterone supporting the build up but once the body realizes there is no pregnancy it sheds this tissue and so the endometriosis in those areas where it is not supposed to be, like in the pelvic cavity, bleeds and adhesions may form from this internal bleeding(or worse yet the tissue doesn't shed and you're on your way to an overgrowth of tissue- fibroid tumors- maybe even cancer).
  8. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    I have endometriosis and had a complete hysterectomy with removal of my ovaries. I need to readjust my hormones. My hormone levels need to be balanced so that:
    1. my bones are maintained so they don't decalcify and I develop osteoporosis
    2. I don't develop tumors or cancer or possible heart attack which have been associated with some hormone replacement
    3. I don't develop menopausal symptoms like hot flashes
    4. I don't reestblish a hormone pattern that causes my endometriosis to bleed

    Can this be done? That's what I'm trying to find out. I thought I'd see an endocrinologist because they're supposed to be specialists and should know alot about hormones. I need a doctor's referral and when I asked the doctor she said no, she didn't think I needed it.....grrr.
    I suspect endometriosis is a direct result of estrogen dominance. Because of what I've learned about estrogen dominance I would highly recommend early intervention with progesterone to mothers with young girls at the very first sign of such trouble- symptoms of estrogen dominance when they have their period -to prevent these girls from ever having to go through what I have.
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    good luck... it is tricky. The only good thing about being estrogen dominant is that I haven't had a hot flash once!

    I did not have anything but laser surgery, even tho I was diagnosed as severe and it (at least partial hyst.) was recommended, because I wasn't convinced it was a good thing and I knew I could control symptoms by diet. It seems my organs are still 'movable', so I'm hoping to luck out (I'm now just turning 52).