The depths

Low oestrogen levels suck the big one. Particularly when most googling brings up ‘menopause’ (the most common cause, so not all that surprising). If I ever have the energy I am going to put up a page devoted to low oestrogen and its associated symptoms as a result of giving birth.

I was to use the medication every night for two weeks and then ‘once or twice a week as required’. Sorry. You can forget about the latter part of that sentence. Bluntly, I fell in a heap. I called the guru – the medication helpline at Monash Medical Centre, the most useful free service I have ever stumbled upon, and was told that reducing to every second day was no drama. Things evened out.

Then I got one of the side effects of using this stuff. It’s probably too much information to share here, so I’ll spare you. Suffice to say, I didn’t use the oestrogen for two nights in a row, and as a result, the past two days have been a fucking nightmare. Someone used a tin opener on my head and poured in treacle. I can’t remember anything, I have trouble finding words, I have no humour, no tolerance and no delight. I feel totally spent. I am dour. And still I google for ‘symptoms of low oestrogen’ and keep coming up with ‘hot flushes, fatigue, headaches…’ but nothing that really describes what I’m feeling…

But this afternoon I read an article on PND (post natal depression). Not only did it finally sound similar to how I feel, but it mentioned something that I think is the key – a 2001 study of 24 women with PND found that all of them had low oestrogen levels. Now I don’t think I have PND necessarily, but I do have low oestrogen, and so have similar symptoms. And now a greater feeling of sympathy for anyone who has suffered with PND for any length of time. The past few days (and the earlier episode a few weeks ago when I came off the daily dose) have brought me to a whole new level of suck.

I called the guru back today, and he suggested continuing with the every-second-day regime combined with another medication to prevent the side effect I had. This is good. I’m going with it. Despite using the oestrogen stuff last night, it still hasn’t kicked into my system yet, which has left today in ruins, but hopefully tomorrow (which is going to be a testing 40 degrees – or 104 Fahrenheit) will be better.

My consolation is that it is so obvious to me that my mood and wellbeing is so linked to my oestrogen levels. If I didn’t know this I would suspect I was going insane. It’s good to know that my body responds to the medication and life becomes correspondingly less dire. However, this realisation doesn’t help me and my relations with Small Z, with whom I have no patience. She responds to my horribleness by being generally combative and cheeky, but has also just cried at me and said, “Use a nice voice, mama. Use a nice voice with me.” It makes me cry to even type it.

I need to feel better.



We wish you a…


The shallows


  1. Oh Beth… that sounds horrible, my heart goes out to you. I hope you can find some relief soon.

  2. The only encouraging thing I can think to say about what you’re going through is that by the time you actually hit menopause you’ll be a champ at knowing some stratagies to cope. Lack of sleep and coping with two young ones doesn’t help. As far as the “mean voice” is concerned, I shudder when I think back to how I sounded at some moments when the kids were younger because I “know” it was pretty nasty. Sometimes they just don’t listen and you get frustrated and it just comes out. I think every mom does it, it’s the “you’d better pay attention or you’re in big trouble voice”.

  3. beth

    Yeah – that’s the voice I’ve been using with her for two or three days. That witchy I-have-no-patience voice. Gah. You are so right about the menopause angle though (I knew there had to be something positive in there somewhere) – I’m going to be excellent at it AND by then I’ll be able to knock back a few drinks as well, just to accentuate my maudlin state đŸ˜‰

  4. beth

    Ah – thank you Shauna – you’re lovely đŸ™‚
    I am feeling so much better already. Of course now I NEVER want to stop that oestrogen med. stuff to see if I actually still need it…but I’ll worry about that later…

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