It may, if it is a minor depression caused by the effect of your menopausal symptoms, particularly lack of solid sleep. A deep discussion with your physician is warranted on this issue. If your doctor believes that estrogen will help and prescribes it, you should start to feel better and to sleep better in a remarkably short period of time, perhaps a week or two.
I TAKE ESTROGEN PILLS. SHOULD I TAKE THEM AT THE SAME TIME EACH DAY?
Becoming a creature of habit with medication is a very good idea for several reasons. First of all, your body will become accustomed to how the pills are spaced and your hormone levels on average will be kept more constant. Even more important: Taking pills at the same time each day assures that you will remember to take them. If you are using the patch, it’s a little easier because there is a place right on the cardboard cover of the box (which contains a one-month supply) to mark the days when you change patches. Women use estrogen creams in several ways some on an as-needed basis and others daily so in such cases, you could mark your appointment calendar to indicate how you and your physician have set up your own administration system. Of course, injections are
given at your physician’s office. Doctors indicate that these shots should be pretty evenly spaced.
At a program in Pittsburgh, a woman told us of her failproof dosage system: She puts her pill container next to her toothbrush, and she has been brushing her teeth first thing each morning for more years than she cared to discuss. She has never forgotten to take her pill. Another woman changes her patch on Thursdays when she goes to the beauty parlor and on Mondays before she begins her work week. Whatever habit or reminder triggers the right response for you is a good medication system.
IF I TAKE ESTROGEN AND I’M IN THE SUN A LOT, WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
Many women on ERT have been dismayed to find that patches of colored pigment appear on their faces if they spend time in the sun. Moreover, the incidence of skin cancer is on the rise whether or not you take estrogen. Many years ago, ladies wore large brimmed hats and carried parasols or sun umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun’s rays. Inasmuch as the porcelain complexion is again in vogue, this time for both health and fashion reasons, these are not such old-hat ideas! Being in the sun a lot without protecting your skin with a sun block of at least an SPF 15, regularly reapplied, is passe. So cover up with lotion, sun hats, and sunglasses.
I SWIM, SNORKEL, AND SCUBA DIVE. Can I USE THE TRANSDERMAL PATCH IN THE WATER?
The patch is held on by a ring of adhesive and usually stays in place no matter what your water activity. The only complaint we heard was from one woman who regularly uses a Jacuzzi. Her answer to a loosening patch caused by the jets of bubbling water is to remove it and place it on its original backing until she comes out of the tub and then she puts it right back on.