Tag Archive | birth control

The Beauty of Seeking a Second Opinion With Hirsutism!


Cute chic shaving her beard. Courtesy of americanslideshow.org

So I recently sought a second opinion about my idiopathic hirsutism.

My first endocrinologist was very proactive at measuring my hormonal levels. She tested me up the wahzoo: insulin, androgen, follicle stimulating hormone, thyroid, pituitary, testosterone, progesterone….you name it, she tested me for it!

When it was discovered I had idiopathic hirsutism and not hirsutism from another cause, particularly PCOS, she basically told me to hit the road.

I cannot stand doctor’s that think about themselves more than their patients!

I say this because when I talked to a second endocrinologist, she prescribed me with spironolactone right away! Spironolactone is the main medication for women with hirsutism because it is a water pill that acts as an anti-androgen. It is probably the strongest in the U.S. market. In the U.K., they may prescribe cyproterone acetate which may be slightly stronger than spironolactone.

The second endocrinologist was quite confused as to why the first one did not prescribe me spironolactone. It is true: if taken while pregnant, spironolactone may have adverse effects on a male fetus.

But considering my tubes were tied and did not intend on getting pregnant nor was I trying to get pregnant and informing the first endocrinologist of this, she still did not prescribe me the medication, stating she only gives that to patients with some type of underlying condition.

I told her that I have been researching this medication for a while and it appears to show a great deal of promise in managing abnormal hair growth on a woman; this article came to mind.

So the first endocrinologist told me to take a weak estrogen birth control and advised me to get laser hair removal…bottom line…useless! Me and the second endocrinologist felt she was looking out more for herself than me!

So I was not in the office for more than 30 minutes before the second endo have me a very quick physical exam and sent me on my way….with a prescription for Spironolactone! I was elated! Finally, my 15 year battle with hirsutism may be coming to an end!

If nothing else, I have a way to manage it! I actually purchased some Spironolactone from India, but when I saw it came wrapped in Indian newspaper, I was quite reluctant to put it in my body! Needless to say, that regimen of “spironolactone” ended when I received it!

I have read many forums about spiro not working for many women. I guess it is like any other medication…side effects may simply be different for folks. I have been taking my official spironolactone for a week now and I have not seen any adverse changes. (knock on wood!)

So here’s to successful hirsutism management for me! And YOU!

Thanks!

Spearmint Tea, Genistein, Insitol, Birth Control…Any of them help with Hirsutism?!


So I am continuing my quest to improve my hirsutism management  and I came across genistein.

In summary, genistein is a phytoestrogen deriving from soy. Besides being an antioxidant, it is also known to have receptors that react positively to estrogen.

While I have not found any medical reports of genistein being effective for hirsutism or any hormonal condition, it appears to be an herbal supplement.

And if you were to take genistein, it may take a very, very long time to see a difference in your hormonal issues. And it may not reduce your hirsutism but may gradually enlarge your boobs and widen your hips! I say this for women like me who are genetically hirsute who have normal menses and hormonal levels so the estrogen might work too well! Or it may not work at all!

I take inositol and vitex as herbal supplements quite often. Now the U.S. National Institute of Health did find positive results in a study of women who took myo-inositol for 6 months. I am not sure if these women were IH (idiopathic hirsute) or just hirsute though. Either way, I have been taking it for a few months  now and I want to believe it’s working along with the mechanical methods I have been using.

I stopped taking them everyday after my sleeping patterns got erratic along with Spironolactone. So now, I am strictly on birth control and inositol, though I may restart my spironolactone regimen again soon or seek another anti-androgen regimen.

By the way, I have no been having any issues with BeYaz at all. Many types of Yazmine birth controls have been heavily referenced in the U.S. on commercials for medical malpractice for horrible (sometimes deadly) side effects, particularly blood clots….but those side effects can honestly happen with ANY birth control! I believe in the U.K., the closest thing to Yaz would be Dianette. I have been on birth control, or some form of it, since I was 19 and reading the little pamphlets, you realize any birth control medication comes with risks. Not that I am defending health risks at all, but it is the reality of medications like birth control.

Now, I did find some information about spearmint and its effects on hirsutism. It appears to be a well know and pretty effective manager of hirsutism.

According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, spearmint tea does help reduce hirsutism particularly in the follicular phase of your period. The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, from how I understand it, is the day your period starts or the day you see blood tissue. The subjects drank spearmint tea for 5 days, 2x a day.

While I am not a huge fan of tea, I am interested in looking for spearmint capsules in pill form. I simply don’t like the taste of spearmint! But I guess I could consider adding something to it or mixing the tea with another tea.

At least you breath will be minty!

I really think I’m going to give spearmint a try. I really like the fact that it’s an herbal supplement too. I am not a huge fan of a million prescriptions!

Thanks for reading!

 

Update to my Medications


So today I chatted with my practitioner at my GYN office.

Well I am going to finish up my Lo Loestrin Fe, and go with Beyaz.

Beyaz contains drospirenone (3mg), ethinyl estradiol (.02mg), and levomelfolate (.451mg).

She stated that, with spironolactone, that Beyaz will be helpful in controlling my hirsutism.

The worse case scenario would be drops in potassium and blood clots, likely in my legs.

As I assumed, she is going to be monitoring me to make sure neither of these issues, or any other, present themselves.

To reduce blood clots, she advised me to work out or try to be active as much as possible.

I look forward to using it! I must admit I am excited! I was concerned the Lo loestrin Fe was not strong enough and the Beyaz is slightly stronger.

Also, I told her I am taking a number of herbal medications which sh advised me to stop only because, unlike Spironolactone and Beyaz, herbs are not FDA approved though they are tested continuously.

With that being said, she advised me not be on Wild Yam. Apparently, it releases estrogen-LIKE supplements in the body but not true estrogen, making it not as effective as birth control or other approved estrogen medications.

I also epilated some neck hairs that were annoying me and the wax job is still holding up but now I am getting annoying ingrowns!

I pray this regimen is the answer to my body hair! The dark spots it leaves are the absolute worse!

Below is the worse area on my body: my neck. I TRULY feel that when the hair is gone my skin will clear up. I mean with no or very little hair, I have nothing to wax, tweeze and shave, thus reducing my ingrowns and cuts!

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Wish me luck and thanks for reading!

My journey begins!


Since I finally got spironolactone in my possession, my journey to a true treatment plan for my hirsutism can start!

I am so excited!!! I have battling this for most of my life. It has caused a great deal of silent depression and self loathe for soooooooooo long! So I am really hoping this works for me! As well as YOU!

So right now my regimen has been my birth control (Lo Loestrin Fe) and natural supplements wild yam, saw palmetto, vitex (aka chasteberry), inositol, and fenugreek seed.

I only started this regimen for a month now and I was not terribly disciplined with it, as in taking it everyday so I cannot say if it works or not. But I do know those supplements I listed either have anti-androgen effects or supply extra estrogen. And being that I was trying to find the most natural means to controlling my hirsutism, I still believe these supplements could be helpful.

I am going to continue my Inositol and Chasteberry regimen but not everything else. Here is a good resource for a break down of potentiall effective natural supplements for hirsutism. Fenugreek and Wild Yam is more for strictly estrogen production and Saw Palmetto can increase bleeding and may make birth control use ineffective. It also may reduce estrogen count in the body for women which, with hirsutism, you want the opposite to occur. Here is that information.

So here is my new daily regimen:

1. Spironolactone @100mg

2. Lo Loestrin Fe @ 10mg

3. Vitex/Chasteberry @ 400mg

4. Inositol @ 650mg

5. Fenugreek @ 610 mg

6. Generic Vaniqa cream for my face

7. Spearmint Tea @2-3 cups a day

Fenugreek is known to provide estrogen-like supplements to the body. Chasetberry is know to have anti-androgen properties. These two will be my natural supplements amongst the other ingredients.

I will also continue my routine hair removing techniques which will including tweezing, sugar waxing, and, if I can afford it, laser hair removal.

You need some type of method of hair removal to see any real difference in the medications you take. How else will you know how lighter the hair is, or thicker or not growing at all?

And of course, I will attend all my routine medical appointments and will let my doctors know of the supplements and medications I am taking to tame my hirsutism. And absolutely I will document all my symptoms, if any, and when, and if, I proceed to the doctors office for those.

I am not going into this blindly, for those of you who are concerned about that!

And yes I will providing photos of my hairs progression. This might be a 3-6 month project, maybe even a year! Here is what my worse areas look like as of today, August 19, 2012.

Here is my navel and bikini line. I waxed both about 5 days ago prior to this pic.

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These is my neck after epilating and tweezing the hair. Yes, I have alot of scars from years of tweezing. Think I’m going to wax from now on!

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Here is a photo of my sideburn also after a fresh epilation and tweeze done on August 16th, 2012.

Wish me luck and thanks for reading!