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Anyone taking bcp and wearing an estrogen patch?

Discussion in 'Treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia' started by medusa, May 14, 2009.

  1. medusa

    medusa Guest

    I spoke to Dr. Redmond yesterday and explained that the meds I've been on for the past 8 months don't seem to be helping. He said my only other option would be to add Vivelle dot patch to increase my estrogen. I'm 47 and he said there is a slight chance of blood clots and that it's my choice whether or not to add it. I want my hair to stop falling out but don't want to risk my life! So I was just curious if anyone else is using the bcp/patch combination and how old are you?
  2. medusa

    medusa Guest

  3. edelweiss

    edelweiss Guest

    Hi, Medusa -

    Sorry, I don't have an answer for you. I'm 42 and have very low estrogen (less than 12), so I may need estrogen replacement as well. I've started back on the pill (Yasmin), and am looking for other ways to increase estrogen. The way my doctor explained it, as long as I don't smoke, I can stay on the pill. Not sure about adding more via a patch. Have you asked your primary care doctor about this?
  4. GypsyKate

    GypsyKate Established Member

    Apr 21, 2009
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    I am not quite sure about this combo, specifically. But, I have read that Suzanne Somers uses very high doses of bioidentical estrogen without problems.

    I am also on Vivelle-Dot - .75. Way too low for me. I have considered trying 1 1/2 patches, but haven't had the guts yet. Problem is - too much estrogen can give bad symptoms, too, especially if it is out of balance with progesterone.

    My best advice - just keep trying things.

    Best of luck,
  5. medusa

    medusa Guest

    Thanks edelweiss and GypsyKate!

    I'm just undecided about what to do. I haven't talked to my primary care doctor about it but was thinking about asking my father-in-law who is a retired Ob/Gyn. I don't smoke but I'm still worried about the blood clots.

    My estrogen must be extremely low because the first med I started was Yasmin with nothing else. Even after 4 months on it, it did nothing for my hair. Then I started with the other meds which have also done nothing for my hair. But, it's so frustrating because my shed did go way down at about 4 months into all of the meds. But that only lasted a few weeks. Now 8 months later the shed is back up. UGH!!!
  6. miche777

    miche777 Guest

    I don't know the answer but would certainly be interested in knowing if anyone's tried it.

    How much estrogen is in yasmin...35?

    I'm thinking of trying Demulen (it's what I went on in my 20s after horrific hairloss on a low dose pill). It comes in a 35 and 50 dose of estrogen (so I think the 50 is higher than what yasmin has?).

    I just don't know how I'd feel about adding more estrogen without adding more progesterone, but at the same time, going with bioidentical estrogen sounds good. Couldn't you just go on BHRT for both then, progesterone and estrogen? Why add one type to another type? Seems confusing....but I'm no doctor!
  7. medusa

    medusa Guest

    I really am so confused myself. I never thought I'd have to become an MD to be able to manage "hairloss" of all things. Dr. Redmond didn't say anything about increasing progesterone but maybe he's waiting to discuss it further if I do decide to go this route.
  8. miche777

    miche777 Guest

    I know what you mean! I feel the same way.... :shakehead:

    On the plus side, you do have a doctor who does know SOMETHING about hairloss. I haven't seen anyone yet, who knows a single thing. I've talked to about 8 GPs, 2 endos and a derm. The first 10 said either there's nothing wrong with me (it's in my head) or they have no idea what to do since my blood levels are all fine. My derm, she knows ZERO about hormones or their affect on hairloss.

    So I'm at a crossroads; I don't know whether to stick out my current regimen, go with (B)HRT or BCP....so many options and with no one to give me advice, I'm lost.

    In your case, I'd just come up with a list of questions and alternative options and discuss it all with Dr. Redmond. I'm sure his responses will be useful and informative. It's great that you're being so proactive. I wish you the best!
  9. michelesmith

    michelesmith Guest

    look into bioidentical hormone replacements or a higher estrogen bcp but i definitely wouldnt do both too much estrogen can cause a host of problems and it still may not bring back hair, plus when you have to go off of it whatever you grew back will fall out from such a drop in estrogen -
  10. michelesmith

    michelesmith Guest

    your very close to 50 and cant stay on bcp usually after 50 so i would definitely look into the bioidentical hormonal route
  11. rosebuds

    rosebuds Established Member

    Jul 27, 2005
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    Hello Medusa:

    In regards to Vivelle.dot and Progesterone --

    My hair loss began at the onset of perimenopause, 8 yrs ago. I tried everything imaginable, from lotions, potions, supplements, standing on my head. . . you name, I've tried it (except for Rogain).

    I'm 53 now, and will turn 54 in June. To date, I have lost over 60% of my hair.

    In July of last year (2008) in desperation, I decided to take the "plunge" and try HRT; I was desperate, and my hot flashes and night sweats were intolerable! I wanted to go the more natural route and opted for Vivelle.dot because it's more bio-identical. And becaues I have my uterus, I need to also take progesterone, to keep the uterus from building up a lining.

    I started 0.25 Vivelle.dot and 100 mg Prometrium. When my hair loss continued, I upped it to 0.50 and then 0.75. And the shedding still continued. I cut back to 0.50 and have remained on that dosage quite some time.

    Unfortunately, take HRT has NOT helped with my shedding, so as of Saturday, I am going to ween myself of it. I see no sense in taking it if it is not helping and also running the health risk. I will say that it does WONDERS for stopping the hot flashes and night sweats!

    I wish I had better news. Obviously in my case, my hair shedding is caused by other, or more issues i.e., thyroid, etc.

    Will we ever figure out this awful shedding!!!

    I would love to hear from others if taking HRT has stopped their shedding. Unfortunately, there may be some woman who were successful, but never returned to this forum.

    As a aside, I will mention, right a few months before I decided to take the Vivelle.dot, my hair was doing so much better and I was having tons of regrowth and less shedding. At the treatment -- absolutely nothing! The only thing I can contribute to the dred shed, was the {{{stress}}} My son was getting married, and I was so nervous about the wedding because my ex would be there with his hootchie-mama, and I couldn't find a dress, and I was all worried about my hair.
  12. medusa

    medusa Guest

    Thanks so much, Rosebuds! Your post confirms my decision to let my hair loss be what it is. I'm not going to risk having a heart attack just so I can have hair. My husband and kids would kill me! ;)

    But, my shedding has increased to "pre-meds" shedding and I am at my wits end. I keep telling myself that other women who have cancer or some other debilitating/deadly disease would trade places with me in a second. I think about Farrah Fawcett who is slowly dying of cancer and worst of all, I think of my daughter's friend whose Mom just died of cancer. She would have taken my hair loss over her cancer anyday!

    I am really struggling with acceptance. Some moments I tell myself it will be okay, who cares it's just hair. At least I can wear a wig. Other moments, I panic and can't imagine having to wear a wig the rest of my life. I just hope the acceptance does eventually come.
  13. miche777

    miche777 Guest

    I know EXACTLY how you feel....
  14. michelesmith

    michelesmith Guest

    i just weaned myself off my hrt, it made my hair worse actually shedding when i never did and no regrowth whatsoever, ive been off it a month now and the shedding has stopped and im seeing some regrowth in the frontal area again so i dont think the hrt helps everyone in the end .......
  15. medusa

    medusa Guest

    Hey michele,
    I'm sorry that your shedding picked up because of it but I hope things are better now. I mean, what the hell? Why would adding more estrogen make a person shed?

    I've giving my current meds another 4 months and then I'm done.

    I'm really sorry that we are BOTH feeling this way. It's the pits.
  16. nothappy

    nothappy Guest

    I'm wondering if you ever decided to add the estrogen patch along with your bcp? Dr. Redmond has recommended the same course of action for me, since my current regimen of bcp, 200mg of Spironolactone, and rogaine haven't helped the shedding. I'm nervous to add the estrogen patch because of possible side effects (one of the side effects listed on the package is hair loss!) and I'm not sure that it would actually help. Has anyone else tried this combo?
  17. waterbaby

    waterbaby Guest

    Estrogen patches are supposed to be a lot less risky HRT than pills as far as blood clots are concerned from what I've read. However I did read one study looking at the effect of hormonal birth control on antioxidant levels. The controls (no hormonal treatment) had higher levels of antioxidants in their blood than any of the women using estrogen based birth control methods... pills, vaginal rings or patches

    And although patches are supposed to be better for your heart than oral bcps, women using patches had the lowest antioxidant levels of all.


    Maybe more antioxidants (preferably from natural sources rather than the synthetic versions which often just mess you up even more by unbalancing things) would help slow down your shed a bit Rosebuds?

    I don't take HRT but I had a terrible shed a few months ago (related to high levels of thyroid antibodies I think) and the shed stopped almost immediately when I started using onion juice on my head. Yes, sounds mad I know, but onion juice seems to be working rather well at growing back my hair as well so I don't care what other people think! :punk: .

    The other thing I did (more for my thyroid than my hair) was to start taking an "anti-aging" supplement containing selenium. Not a very high dose just 75micrograms but it was in a bio available form (organic yeast) and it seemed to help my thyroid The pill also contained A, C and E. It's possible that that had a part in stopping my shed too.

    If you're in the US you may already be getting enough selenium in your diet (naturally high levels in the soil there and too much is toxic) but other antioxidants like Q10 and E might just help with your shed. Natural E you can get from a handful of raw almonds, C from fruit and veg, and Q10 from omega 3 rich foods like oily fish.
  18. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

    Aug 6, 2011
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    I take a bcp and the Vivelle Dot and have taken that combo for about 5+ months without any issues. My bcp has 35mcg of estrogen and the Vivelle dosage I take is 0.1mg. It didn't ultimately do anything for my hair so I'm starting to wean down my dosage in an effort to get off it without having a massive hair shed (it will likely take me a year or longer to get off completely and I might go for a higher dose bcp to offset the reduction of estrogen from the patch), but I'm only doing that because I'd prefer to be on as few drugs as possible to maintain any benefits I've gained from taking medication (this is mostly improvement in hirsutism, not really any benefits to the hair on my head).

    For reference, I'm 32 years old.
  19. megan99

    megan99 Established Member

    Oct 17, 2009
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    The patches used in the study--if I am correct--are synthetic estrogen patches. Rather than bioidentical estradiol used in Vivelle.

    I have come across other studies that show an increase risk for side effects from synthetic trandermal patches over oral.

    However, all the studies I have read using transdermal bioidentical estradiol-- the side effect profile was significantly reduced.

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