Harmless Hormone or Dangerous

Do you feel you are living in a world of fearful medicine? If you answered “Yes”, you are not alone.

When I was a girl, life and parenting, was vastly different than it is now. I used to think my mother was such a hard task master during my childhood and yet I now know, her tough parenting skills taught me things that helped me throughout my life. I also realize that having eight children, would certainly make you much tougher in ways that someone with only one or two children could not understand.

My mother had a saying for just about everything and whenever any of us whined and complained about life, she would spout a saying, that said “Shut up and get on with it”. It worked and we did just that. I can still remember every saying she used and I have used them on myself, many times, while going through many surgeries over the last seven plus years. I do it because sitting around complaining and dwelling on illness won’t help me and I need to get up and live my life, regardless of what I must deal with.

I must be perfectly frank. I hate whining and complaining from anyone, including from myself and my Mum’s words always ring true. If we children complained that we didn’t know what we should do or how to make the right decision, she would say “God gave you a brain, now use it”. We all knew that meant shut up and do something. Fast forward to when I began raising my own daughter many years later. From the moment, she was born, I wanted her to make her own decisions and think for herself. I did not want her to follow others because I learned when I was a child, that following others could make my life very difficult. Now I know for sure, that following others can make life far worse even as an adult and you have to make your own decisions, without asking someone else to do it for you.

Thinking for yourself can be scary and yet when it comes to your health, not thinking for yourself and following someone else’s path, can be distasterous. My teen years, young womanhood and continuing aging, was in some ways a lot easier back then, than it is now. Thinking for myself helped me through living overseas in many countries, most of the time, on my own, because by not following others, meant I never got into any trouble. That makes life far easier and cheaper, because I never landed up in court, in jail, or expelled from a country.

When I reached the age of menopause, I did not have the Internet to read about side effects, nor was I in any groups on Facebook, because there was no such thing. Instead, I observed other women both in my husband’s family in this country and women friends I knew. There were some things I noted, which frankly had me concerned. I rarely met an American woman including in my husband’s family, that had not had a hysterectomy. I voiced this to my husband, who had never even noticed. To me, this fact made me wary of doctors who pushed these things. Until I reached forty years old, I did not meet an obstetrician who was very pushy, but when I did, it raised a huge red flag and I never went back to her.

My husband’s job on an offshore drilling rig, was a job of contracts. During his long career, he would sign on to do a year in another country, or work on a rig either here offshore the U.S. or Alaska. Some companies offered insurance, whereas others didn’t. As his career grew and he began running drilling rigs, insurance always came with the job. Even so, neither of us were sick so we didn’t use it.

In my late thirties, I began my own business and it took a few years to make any money. So, it was around the time I was forty-two years old that I began thinking that perhaps I should buy my own health insurance. It wasn’t cheap, even all those years ago, and it took a huge chunk out of the money I made. I was very healthy and during the first year, I never went to a doctor, because I wasn’t sick at all. I received a notice from the insurance company a year later that my expensive health insurance was going to double, even though I had never used it. I was shocked and angry and I dropped it. I never bought private insurance again.

Instead when it came time to do the pap smears, and have yearly checkups, I paid for them. I had never been a woman having many relationships, even when I was single and as a married woman, I was in a one on one relationship and I knew the kind of man I had married and he never played around. So, I was at low risk for any of the female health issues that could cause concern. I remained a healthy woman who only had sex with the man I lived with.

During a visit to a young obstetrical woman, in my early forties, she asked me about any prescription drugs I was taking. I replied none. She looked shocked and after she had done the pap smear and checked me, she said “We should really run some tests, because you have not had any”. My brain said “RUN” because there was no reason to run any other tests and I got out of her office and never went back. I had a normal period every month, and no pain or problems having sex. She knew this and yet still wanted to run more tests. It was absurd!

“Why do they want to run tests when you have no symptoms of any illness”, was the way my brain worked. It was utter nonsense. However, the doctors before her, were not out to force me to do anything, let alone suggest tests needed to be run on a very healthy woman. At that time, I realized that the world was changing and now, many years later, I know that doctors were slowly getting on a path of making money from any warm body, that walked into their office. That was in the late 1980’s and I have seen things in the medical world, go downhill ever since.

These days I am observing life again, but in a different way. Nothing seems to have changed in the fact that women are still having hysterectomies, some of which they may not need. Not only that, but it is an automatic add on for any doctor doing these, to put a mesh sling in a woman, even if she has mentioned first that she did not want mesh in her body. Why? It is because most doctors are no longer trained to do bladder lifts or fascia slings using a woman’s own tissue. Doing a fascia sling surgery takes skill and good training by someone who has always done them, like Dr. Raz of UCLA.

The problem is, opening a packet with a mesh sling is easy and any basic woman’s doctor thinks that after viewing how to do them once, they know how and they will do more and more of them. I am noticing a sharp rise in the complications from these slings in South Africa, which tells me they are now deciding this is the Gold Standard of treatment and have jumped on the money tree. The problem is, women are not asking the right questions before having surgery, nor are they doing a thorough search to find out the huge issues with these implants.

Once the surgery is over, it is too late to ask questions. Even if you get up from surgery and are doing great, I can tell you what I learned because I spoke to many women. The average time for complications to begin is 5 to 7 years after the implant. Some women have gone far longer, but they don’t know why they are sick, often until years later.

After a hysterectomy, you still have a hormone change issue and women seek help and are usually given a prescription drug. How safe is it? It all depends on your overall state of health and of course, if you are just darn unlucky. Do women read and search about what they are about to take? More than likely not, or only touch the surface of warnings.

Premarin is one such drug that women can take and there is also Premarin cream to put into the vagina. Whether it helps or hurts, the side effects can be very dangerous. In fact, did you know there are lawsuits on this drug? I am not going to promote any lawyer, but all you have to do is Google Premarin lawsuit and you will find them. This is what I read.

Premarin Cancer & Heart Disease Lawsuit

Premarin is the brand name for a combination estrogen hormonal replacement drug. Prescribed to treat symptoms that go along with menopause, as well as to treat breast cancer and prostate cancer, Premarin has been shown to cause heart disease and several types of cancer in some patients.

Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer? Did you take this drug?

What Is Premarin and What Is It Prescribed For?

Made and sold by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which Pfizer purchased in 2009, this prescription medication is used to treat several symptoms brought on by menopause, specifically:

(1)  Severe vasometer symptoms (hot flashes);
(2)  Vulvar and vaginal atrophy;
(3)  Hypoestrogenism (estrogen deficiency); and
(4)  Osteoporosis.

Doctors also prescribe Premarin as a breast cancer or prostate cancer treatment.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Premarin in oral tablet form in 1942, as an intravenous solution in 1956, a topical cream in 1978, and again in tablet form at lower doses for osteoporosis treatment. Premarin is a common drug, with as many as six million people using it worldwide.

Premarin combines three forms of estrogen derived from sodium salts of hormones found in horse urine: sodium estrone sulfate (50%), sodium equilin sulfate (15-25%), and sodium equilenin sulfate (25-35%). The sodium estrone sulfate is the most active component of the combination, and the human body can easily convert it into estradiol. Once metabolized, the estradiol replaces the patient’s diminished hormones, thereby alleviating her menopause symptoms.

Premarin Side Effects Include Cancer and Heart Disease

Studies have shown that Premarin causes three types of cancer, endometrial cancer (cancer of the membrane of the uterus), breast cancer, and lung cancer. According to the Premarin drug label, users can develop endometrial cancer at a rate of two to 12 times greater than non-users. The longer a woman stays on Premarin, the more the likelihood of her developing cancer increases. Women who use the drug for less than one year do not show much of an increased risk, but those who take it for five to ten years are 15 to 25 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer. The risk persists eight to 15 years after use.

When Premarin is used with the hormone progestin (medroxyprogesterone acetate), such as in the combined drug Prempro, users are more likely to develop breast cancer than non-users. According to the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) substudy of women who took 0.625 mg of Premarin combined with 2.5 mg of progestin, those who took Prempro in the past were 1.86 times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who took the placebo. The cancers in women who took the hormones were larger and more advanced than in those who did not take them. Although women who used Premarin alone did not show increased risk of cancer, the FDA states that it has received reports that Premarin users produce abnormal mammograms, leading the FDA to recommend that these women receive yearly breast examinations and perform their own breast examinations monthly.

A September 2009 study published in The Lancet established that women who used Premarin with progestin were 71 percent more likely to die from lung cancer than those who took a placebo. For hormone replacement drug users, the likelihood of developing lung cancer increased 28 percent, though the researchers cautioned that the increased risk was not statistically significant.

The WHI substudy also found that Premarin, whether used alone or with progestin, can cause several cardiac side effects, including:

  • Stroke;
  • Deep vein thrombosis;
  • Venous thromboembolism; and
  • Myocardial infarction.

The FDA recommends discontinuation of estrogen replacement therapy if any of these events occurs.

What about vaginal cream sold under the name Estrace?

Premarin was first released in 1942, and is a drug made from the estrogen collected from the urine of pregnant horses. In fact, Premarin is short for “PREgnant MAres’ uRINe.” The drug is available in several different forms. First, there are the oral pills, which are produced in 5 different doses (0.3, 0.45, 0.625, 0.9, 1.25 milligram doses). Then there are the liquid IV’s, which are primarily used for the short-term treatment of internal uterine bleeding. And, finally, there is the estrogen cream, sold under the name Estrace, prescribed to women with vaginal dryness or pain during sex that results from menopause.

For those women who are experiencing troubling side effects, estrogen hormone treatment could potentially be to blame. The above symptoms are common for patients taking the oral or IV forms of the drug. Women utilizing the vaginal cream may also experience some of the following Estrace side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Loss of hair
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fluid retention
    High blood pressure

The reason I am writing this blog is because when women talk on groups, they tend to follow when one woman says, a drug or cream has helped her and yet, no one reads what the side effects can be.

Okay so if you have cancer or heart disease after taking these products, you can join a lawsuit. But…. After waiting years for any settlement and then being disappointed with the results, do you really want to jeopardize your life once again? Think before you take or use anything and Google until you have a clear picture of ALL risks and side effects. This time I searched for you and found a leaflet you can download and read.

I don’t want to see women die any more. Going through mesh complications and resulting surgeries, is bad enough, but please learn before you take anything. Don’t blindly trust any doctor. This is YOUR life, not theirs. Don’t follow other women just because of what they are taking or using. Think for yourself! In the long run you will be far better off.

Full leaflet on use of Premarin. http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/PIL.3325.latest.pdf

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