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Dr. Alan Altman's Archives Q&A's
Name: Carol

Dear Dr. Altman:I had a hysterectomy and oophorectomy August, 2000, for endometrial cancer. After 5 months of going without HRT, I started on Estratest HS and Prometrium 100 mg. After 5 weeks I noticed my energy level and mood were better, no night sweats or hot flashes, but still little libido. My oncologist recommended doubling up on Estratest to see if that makes a difference. I worry about taking too much estrogen because of the cancer and read that too much estrogen blunts libido. Does the estrogen in full strength Estratest blunt the effects of the testosterone? Would I do better wit

Are you taking the Prometrium because your doctor wants you to have it because you had endometrial cancer? If so, I respect that, and you should stay on it. If, on the other hand, if you can do without it as far as the oncologist is concerned, it should be fine to go without it. As to your questions about Estratest, it takes about three to four months to see the full effect of it. If you've been on it more than four months, and you want to increase it, try alternating half strength Estratest with full strength every other day, which is a way to get a little more of an effect without really raising estrogen levels too much. Also keep in mind that the estrogen levels in EstratestHS and full strength are not the equivalent of the same amount of Premarin. They are slightly weaker. I wrote about the different ways to tailor HRT when it doesn't improve the sex drive in my book, Making Love the Way We Used To...Or Better, if you want to get the full picture of testosterone and how it works and why it sometimes doesn't.

Dr. Alan Altman

Author of "Making Love the Way We Used To...Or Better."


The information provided by Dr. Altman is general in nature and should not be construed as a substitute for a visit to and examination by your own personal physician.

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