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172 | Hormone Replacement Therapy: The Truth About Menopause Relief with Expert, Dr. Carol Lynn

Dr. Carol Lynn OB/GYN guest on Life Coach BFF Show
Dr. Carol Lynn OB/GYN guest on Life Coach BFF Show

Welcome back friend! In this episode, Heather is joined by Dr. Carol Lynn, an OB/GYN and menopause expert, to discuss the benefits and misconceptions surrounding hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal women.

They cover:

Recognizing Menopause Symptoms - Hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low libido - signs it may be time to consider HRT

Types of HRT- Bioidentical vs synthetic hormones - Delivery methods: oral, patches, gels, pellets- Compounded/customized dosages

Benefits of HRT- Relieves menopause symptoms like hot flashes- Prevents osteoporosis and bone loss- May reduce risk of dementia/Alzheimer's - Improves sleep, brain fog with progesterone

Debunking HRT Myths- You don't have to stop at age 60- Minimal breast cancer risk if you don't already have it- Progesterone is key for uterine protection

Whether you're just entering perimenopause or struggling with menopause side effects, this episode provides vital information on safe and effective hormone replacement therapy options. Tune in for Dr. Lynn's expert menopause advice!

Connect with Dr. Carol Lynn:

Join private Facebook group : @MidlifeMoxie

Connect with Heather Pettey:

*Apply for private coaching here

Stay connected with Heather:Email:

Speaker Request: Click here

Facebook: @HeatherPettey1

Linkedin: @HeatherPettey

*Quick Disclaimer- Heather Pettey is a certified coach and not a therapist. Always seek the support of a therapist for clinical mental health issues. 



 Auto Generated Transcript:

I'm kind of a less is more doctor. So you know, the least medicine I can get you on and keep you on really I think is better. But when you come in and you are pouring sweat and your hair is stuck to your face and you can't sleep and your vagina is dry. You can't, you know, have intercourse with your husband. It, that may be the time to, let's at least check your levels and see if we can't get you feeling better.

Hey, gorgeous. Welcome back to the show. I'm so excited to have you back along with my good friend, Dr. Carol Lynn, OB/GYN and menopause expert. We recorded this over in our private Facebook group, Midlife Moxie, a few weeks ago and I wanted to share it here with you. So the sound is not terrific. I don't think I'll do this again.

But I did not want you to miss out on this conversation. And if you haven't already, go join the private Facebook group [00:01:00] at Midlife Moxie. We want to hang out with you over there. Be so fun to see you and I hope you enjoy this episode. If you have any questions for future episodes with Dr. Lynn, please DM on social media or email over on the website,

com. Thanks a lot. And we're about to boogie. Here we go. Life Coach BFF show with me, your friend Heather, because we all need a BFF to take this journey called Life With. This is a podcast for midlife women who want to remain sane and find joy. We're living with purpose and determination to get all the goodie out of life, because I believe God made the goodie for His people, you and me.

So hop aboard this train of intention, come and sit on my porch and rest, or pop in your earbuds and let's take a walk together. [00:02:00] I'm just so grateful you're here. Hello everyone! Hello, good to be back. Yes, it's been a long two weeks. You have had a two weeks. And what did I tell you? I was like, oh, I'll be ready to to do this. I'll be back.

Friday. Yeah, Friday will be good. Yeah. And then I get a text Thursday. No, because it was, yeah, it was Thursday. No, it was Friday. You were like, I haven't slept. I didn't sleep all night and I'm on pain medicine. I just couldn't even think about it. I could not even think about it. Well, I'm excited today because we're talking about something that applies to me.

And I know that it applies to a lot of the ladies who tune into this. Yes, and that's hormone replacement therapy. Yes, hormone replacement therapy. And that's kind of the, the big talk. It has been. You know, about twenty four years ago, the Women's Health Initiative came out and that was the big study with women and breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy and it kind of got a bad rap for hormone replacement therapy.

And I [00:03:00] can remember being at my old office and The phones were blowing up when that study came out and they put it on the press and we were like, Oh my gosh, we haven't even seen the study yet. We'll we'll call you right back. Let me go read this and I'll get back to you. So, but anyway, so now that that study's been out for a while and they've kind of re looked at some of the different kind of modalities.

Like this was, that study was done with synthetic progesterones and synthe progestins and synthetic estrogens. And so now, you know, 24 years later we've kind of gone back and said, well, maybe this stuff isn't so bad. Let's go back and look at some of the bioidenticals. Let's look at the more natural ways to get hormone replacement therapy.

And so now these studies are coming out saying, well, maybe it's not so unsafe like we thought it was. And I was telling you earlier, there was a new study that came out recently that it used to be get everybody off at 60, get everybody off at 60. And now they're saying, oh, [00:04:00] Well, people that are, women that are 65, they can stay on hormone replacement therapy.

So these are big, big things for us. Because at 60, I mean our life's not over and our bones are still gonna get weak and our vaginas are still gonna dry up and right so like the Sahara Desert we've got some options and we don't feel so bad continuing to recommend hormone replacement. Yeah for the doctors Well, okay, so let's let's go back Because people ask me all the time, I'm 52, when did you start on hormone replacement therapy? Are you? I'm like, I'm so loaded down. Like I am loaded. You know how I'm loaded down like a Mack truck.

And so when, what are the symptoms? Like what point when, when a patient comes in, when do you say, okay, it's time? Well, a lot of times that is so patient. You know, dependent on the patient because we talked about last time how perimenopause starts, you know, can start 10 [00:05:00] 15 years before they ever go through menopause.

But a lot of it, I'll ask the patients, is this a quality of life issue for you? You know, do you have, you know, Do you have hot sweats that, I mean, hot flashes where you can't get up and give a presentation at work because your hair is dripping, your face is bright red, it's embarrassing. Do you have night sweats so bad that you're waking up three or four times changing you know, your bedclothes.

Mm hmm. And if they're like, you know, Not really, like I'll have a couple of hot flashes, but they don't really affect my quality of life. Then I don't know, maybe you don't need to really, you know, be on something. Maybe there's something you know, more like a supplement or something you could be on before actually getting on hormone replacement therapy.

I'm kind of a less is more doctor. So you know, the least medicine I can get you on and keep you on really I think is better. But when you come in and you are pouring sweat and your hair is stuck to your face and you [00:06:00] can't sleep and your vagina is dry. You can't, you know, have intercourse with your husband.

It, that may be the time to, let's at least check your levels and see if we can't get you feeling better. Yeah. And you know, a lot of women at this point, they don't even want to have sex. Right. Cause it hurts. Yeah. And then your testosterone drops. So your libido plummets. You know, as we get older and Gravity takes effect things don't look like they used to look and so then we don't quite feel as you know sexy as we used to or Maybe we don't feel as pretty as we used to or we don't feel as thin as we used to or As tone as we I could go on and on and on right I know i'm starting to get depressed We need to change the subject i'm like, where's this going here?

Okay I don't know how that affects life are wanting to have intercourse. Yeah, and I think, see we're really talking about intercourse today, so I think that we need to, we're gonna, [00:07:00] we need to do this in a webinar, a more private place. Yeah, so people can ask questions and we can really get more deep, right.

Yeah, we can schedule that, but I do have to tell you this, so I have a friend who messaged me the other night, I haven't told you this yet, she was telling me how she spent her 53rd birthday and she and her husband went on this fabulous trip and she goes, and I got a testosterone pellet right before we went.

And so I said, well, did you notice a difference? How long did it take you to notice the difference? She goes, my husband was like, good Lord, woman. There's a lot to be said because I think a lot of marriages are ending. They're calling it gray divorce. A lot of marriages are ending during this time because I think it's hormone related.

I think a lot of it's hormone related. And you were talking about that testosterone pellet. So the, I had a patient the other day who had, we'd done her given her a pellet and I usually tell the patient, I counsel the patients, like 10 days to two weeks is [00:08:00] probably, you know, about what it's going to take for you to feel better with it or to notice a difference.

And she, as a friend of mine, she texted me the next day and she goes. Oh my gosh, can this be working? Can this be working in one day? And it does. And I think it does. It does. I'm a hundred percent. For people that have no testosterone at all in their bloodstream, it just sucks it up. Yeah, that's what I asked my husband.

I said, are you starting to love her? Talking about you. And he goes, I'm getting there. I'm going to have a wish for you. on Amazon or the jewelry store. And these husbands can just get on the wishlist and buy stuff. It was so funny, the look on his face. Okay. So let's get back to this.

All right. So what factors influenced the decision between like, if you're going to do a topical, you mentioned pellets, like what are all of our options? So we have, fortunately we have lots of options. I kind of touched on synthetic hormone replacement therapy with the study versus bioidentical.

I am a [00:09:00] bioidentical person. So I just think that's probably a more natural way without giving you all the extra stuff that maybe we don't need. Some of the con, there's conjugated estrogens where maybe you're getting 35 or 50 different types of estrogens That your body's not really making that anyway.

The bioidenticals are plant based. They're really like yam based. They crush the yam up and they use that. It's got the 17 beta estradiol. So I tend to do the the bioidenticals. I do feel like they're safer. And if you're somebody that's on, maybe you're on a lot of medications, maybe you're on blood pressure medicine, you're on some heart medicine lots of oral things.

So maybe your liver's not gonna, process the oral estradiol or progesterone as well. So that may be somebody that does really well with a patch. I'll have a some of my patients, maybe they've got adhesive, you know, just little things like that, but they're allergic to some of the adhesives. And we [00:10:00] figure that out pretty quickly with the patch.

It's like, Oh, so but yeah, so that may be somebody we do oral. And then there's topicals, there's mass produced gels that you can use. There's little sprays you can use. All of those are bio identical. And they, those you can get like at your CVS or Kroger pharmacy. And then there's compounded.

So like, if we can't find a dose maybe that works for you, maybe like the oral doses come in maybe three or four doses. And so maybe when none of those really work for you, well we can compound it. We've got wonderful compounding pharmacies here in town that will adjust it just for Heather Pettey.

Oh, I like that. I like that too. Yeah. So what, okay. Misconceptions about hormone replacement therapy. Well as of me seeing that study one of the misconception was I have to come off at 60. Well, maybe not. So that, that's good. You know, that's longer time to be protecting bones and [00:11:00] being able to protect the colon and all, you know, vaginal, urogenital atrophy, protecting us from that.

Oh, gosh. That's so awful. Atrophy. It keeps us from getting UTIs and all that stuff. We don't want any of that stuff. No. So other misconceptions is that it's really going to cause a breast cancer. I kind of try to tell the patients and that they're still doing studies with this, like that, that's, that's just such a huge, huge topic.

But typically if you already have breast cancer cells there, yes, and they're estrogen, progesterone receptor positive, you're going to feed it. If you get hormones, you're going to feed it. You know, the theory is that it doesn't just start a breast cancer just out of the blue. If you already have the cells there and maybe, you know, You don't you don't know you get your mammograms everything looks good But if you already have the cancer cells there, then yes, it can it can feed that Let's see other misconceptions [00:12:00] They're doing some studies now, which I'm as a personal thing for me because my mom had dementia, but they're doing studies now to see if the estrogen is truly protective.

They think it may stop some of the amyloid deposits that form in the brain. That's what leads to Alzheimer's later on. So that's kind of, I'm really kind of watching to see what happens with that. Yeah, that's exciting. I know that's very exciting. That's a horrible, horrible disease. Yeah. We can do something to prevent that.

And then some people think that hormones don't really do anything but help hot flashes, but that is protecting your bones. Like I think I was telling you the medical cost for osteoporosis and osteopenia in the U. S. is 19 million dollars a year we spend on that. Oh my goodness. That's awful. Can you believe that?

And if you break a hip, they say that is just It is really hard to come back from. [00:13:00] So yeah, so, you know, it does prevent or at least kind of help build that bone. And I will use estrogens really before I use the bisphosphonates because the dentists don't like the bisphosphonates. Those are the ones that, you know like Boniva and not that there's not a place for those cause there really is.

But I will, if, if they're okay with hormone replacement therapy, I'd rather use an estrogen to help their bones. So, well, okay. What about progesterone? Because I started taking that a couple of years ago that really helps you sleep. Progesterone is kind of the it used to be kind of, Under the carpet, we didn't talk about progesterone much.

I don't know, because it's a wonderful drug. It's a miracle drug. And especially, again, back to the bioidentical the synthetic progestins, a lot of times people will have a lot of side effects with those. They can cause bloating, they can maybe give them a headache, a little bit of weight gain, which nobody wants.

I mean, nobody wants that to come to my office. I don't want anything that's going to make me [00:14:00] gain weight. No. Come on. So, but the but the bioidentical progestins, they do help you sleep. Yeah. And they kind of give you that sense of well being. People are like, You know, I, I, I feel like I'm off. I can't really explain, but I don't feel like myself.

I'm like some other person that's in my body. And the progesterone does kind of help that. Yeah. The progesterone, if you still have a uterus, protects your uterus from the estradiol. So you don't want to take unopposed estrogen if you still have a uterus. So cause the progesterone will kind of keep that lining thin and you know, so you won't get bleeding or hypertrophy or cancer or any of those uterine things.

So, but yes, progesterone, my favorite thing with progesterone, And I talked about this cause again, my mom had dementia. It's like, it helps with brain fog. And so I did not know that. I get in the shower and practice my counting back from a hundred by sevens. Cause that's one of the tests they do for dementia.

Oh, I didn't know [00:15:00] that. So I practiced that. A hundred back by sevens. And it's not easy. And it doesn't even do that. I know, and it doesn't even equal zero at the end. And then you start getting into negative numbers with me and it's over, it's over. So anyway, so if you take your progesterone in fact, this was a funny funny one of my patients who is a doll, but she is super organized.

She's got it going on. Okay. And we had a televisit and behind her, she was in her office and behind her was all these sticky notes. And I'm like, what, what is that behind you? And she goes, I can't keep up with anything anymore. So now I have all my sticky notes. They were all like. beautifully lined up and organized.

And I said, girl, well, let me tell you, your progesterone's low. So let me get you a little progesterone. Maybe we can kind of limit the sticky notes. You know what's so funny about you saying that? So we're in my dining room and my study is right here. And I used to have a whole row at the end of that bookshelf of sticky notes and I don't anymore.

Isn't it nice? [00:16:00] Yes, it really does. But is that not funny? I mean, they were all lined up. Well, and it's, we're so used to multitasking. You think back when, you know, your kids were little and you got everybody to the soccer game, basketball game, theater practice. You knew when to pick them up. It was just a well oiled machine.

Yeah. And now it's like, it's a good thing I don't have kids that age because I wouldn't know where to get them, where to go. That's why I struggle. That's why my boys are like, mom, read her email. We'll go up on your progesterone. But I think I quit doing that about the time that I started taking progesterone.

That's why I said that. I think that's when I quit. It is definitely good for brain fog. Yeah. So, and yeah. And we don't, you know, you don't think about that. And that's going back to that what we were talking about with perimenopause. It's like all that kind of starts before the period irregularities and all that.

And usually I'll tell patients if we draw hormone levels, and they're [00:17:00] still having regular, well maybe their cycles are getting a little bit irregular, but they're complaining of this brain fog and not sleeping well. Usually the progesterone and testosterone are the first two things to drop. Huh. And their estrogen will look great, like they're not having their hot flashes yet, but their mind is going to mush.

The, the tears are rolling. Yeah. The tears are coming. I feel like myself, who is this person? Yes, and you know what I want to talk about next time because we're out of time. I want to talk about anger issues when the hormones change because I, I have not had an issue with this, but I have seen this, where they get really angry and it's just, yeah.

It's mood. It's, yeah. Like you feel like your emotions are right here. Yeah. Let's talk about that next time. That would be a good one. How about that? I like it. Yeah. Well, it's been fun. I know, it's good to see you. Good to see you. Y'all have a great weekend. Thanks for joining us.

Wait, before we go, I want to challenge you to make an appointment with your doctor and get your hormone levels checked. And [00:18:00] please, if this episode has resonated with you, I'm sure it will with your friends too. So share, because sharing is caring dr. Lynn will be back with us again next month for another topic and I am looking forward to connecting with you right here on this platform next week.

When you leave here, please head over to iTunes And hit subscribe, leave us a five star review. Your review will help more women discover our podcast and join our community because we're in this together and we can do hard things. All right, friend, keep shining. I love you. Jesus loves you even more.

And I believe in you. I have a little sign that I put up for my kids. Sometimes I believe in you love mom and dad. I just want you to know I believe in you. All right. Take care. Have a great week. 


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