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Discussion Starter #1
More of a vent than anything else, but....

Last November, my wife underwent a full hysterectomy. Frustratingly for both of us, immediately after her surgery, but before being cleared for (as the doctor put it) "strenuous activity," her sex drive was in overdrive. She was ready to go all the time, but couldn't do anything about it. Then, as we expected, her hormone level dropped and so did her drive...like a rock. By the time she was cleared to resume sex in mid/late January, she had virtually no libido. Since that time, we can count the number of times we've had sex on one hand. And, we don't even need the whole hand to count the number of orgasms she's had in that time (two, by her estimate, both via vibrator).

There are times that she might feel in the mood, but by the time we can do anything about it, that mood has flown the coop. There are also nights like last night where she starts to get worked up, is enjoying herself, but before much foreplay is even done...*poof*...that part of her turns off. If it were a matter of her just denying sex, I'd follow the normal advice to make moves and "take her," but being a hormonal issue, that's unlikely to do much beyond hacking her off and making me feel like a borderline rapist. Sometimes, she can get into the mindset to help me out orally or by hand, but if she's not into that, either, it's half-hearted and not enjoyable for either of us.

As far back as February/March, we looked into hormone replacement therapy for her. The first doctor her OB-GYN referred her to doesn't even file insurance...a $500 initial visit and close to $200 every 2 months for treatment. Sure, he'd give us the documentation to file with insurance ourselves, but it would apply to our deductible, leaving most of it out of pocket for us, which we just don't have. Then, come to find out, it's unlikely that our insurance will cover it anyway. We even tried a supplement that we read about, but it had no effect.

The ONLY upside to it all is that she feels absolutely no pull from the sex/love addiction behaviors that have led to problems in the past...no cravings for attention outside the marriage, no seeking validation in others finding her desirable, etc. With no drive at all, no desire at all, none of that is even a passing thought.

She knows its frustrating for me, and I know it's frustrating for her. Intellectually, I know it's a biological issue that's beyond her control, and I remind myself of that every time I get the polite, "I'm just not in the mood."

Venting over, anyone know of any other paths we might take, since insurance has shut the door on HRT?
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thers some herbal stuff that some women swear by. try google.

sorry must be tough!
 

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I'd find a way to pay for the hormones. I've been on them since Feb and they have literally changed my life. I'm all happy, have orgasms easily, have energy, sleep better and I LOVE sex.

You can try the herbal substitutes but I never got them to work as good as the real thing.
 

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I second going the hormone route... remember she needs to find the right one so don't give up at first and try different ones until she finds the one that works.


Your lucky at least you know the reason why.... I know mine is some resentment but I have sneaking suspicion its also hormonal but my wife flat out discounts it... even though her mom needed to go on hormones to stand her dad.

Wish she'd just test it anyhow to see... frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We both certainly wish HRT was an option, but it's currently just plain priced out of our range, especially as an ongoing expense.
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No, don't give up. The price isn't out of range if you research your options. I had the same operation as your wife. I take lozenges with testosterone and estrogen from a compounded pharmacy and it costs $40 per month. I could easily pay for that completely out of pocket, but my insurance covers some of it.

Every big city has a compounding pharmacy and if you live in a small town, there are reputable mail order compounding pharmacies.

She will need both estradiol (estrogen) and testosterone if her ovaries have been removed. I highly recommend the once-a-day sublingual lozenges instead of the creams or gels (which are messy, I hated them). The lozenges helped me regain my libido after I lost my ovaries. I was always high drive, and now I'm more like medium drive (I want sex only once per day or maybe every other day instead of multiple times!). Before I added the testosterone, though, I was low drive, it was no fun.

Your doctor probably wanted to put her on patches or pills or something expensive because they are pushed by drug company sales reps (who give the doctors brochures etc.). A good compounding pharmacy can make and sell you the lozenges for 40 US dollars per month, and it is the same exact ingredient (pure estradiol and testosterone). Don't buy 'libido enhancers' from health food stores or the internet (I wouldn't trust what is in there) - go to a compounding pharmacy with a good reputation.

As far as a person to prescribe them, go to a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are much less expensive than an M.D. but can prescribe medications. They often monitor hormone replacement (both my OB/Gyn and primary doctor referred me to nurse practitioners for my hormones anyway since it is too trivial for them to want to spend time on). Look in the phone book for nurse practitioners and call their office to see if they do hormone therapy (many do).

If your wife has had her ovaries out, she probably should be on hormone therapy (unless she has had estrogen-associated cancer or is diabetic or high risk of stroke). It is much more severe than regular menopause, because in this case your estrogen and testosterone go down to about zero. Your wife is at higher risk for dementia, Parkinson's, and osteoporosis without estrogen.

It took me months of adjusting the dosage to get it right for me, so I advise finding a nurse that will adjust dosage based on how your wife feels (just enough to eliminate hot flashes and have a sex drive). Her blood levels of estradiol and testosterone need to be tested often until the dosage is stabilized (a good libido and blood levels in the right range). After the dosage is stable, she probably wouldn't need any more blood tests unless she started having hot flashes or low libido.

Too much testosterone can give a woman acne or new body hair as a first sign, so I keep an eye out for those signs. I've found my perfect dosage - I have just tiny bit more oily skin and hair, and a just little more hair 'down there' than I used to but nowhere else.

If your wife had only her uterus removed but still has her ovaries, her dosage would be a lot lower.
 

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One more thing - she probably needs to do a lot of Kegel exercises. I never needed to do Kegels before I lost my ovaries. But afterwards, I found my orgasms to be really weak and over in about 1 second. Doing regular Kegels makes all the difference in whether my orgasms are good. Not sure why having my ovaries out made me lose muscle tone down there, but it absolutely did.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Kari. Her OB-GYN gave her information on a compounding pharmacy, but, frankly, we haven't checked with them die to what we'd already seen price wise, coupled with extrapolating based on our experiences with medication retail prices. We'd pretty much given up by the time he made that referral. We'll have to check in with them, after all.
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