Hysterectomy with the Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus, also called the womb. Typically, the whole uterus is removed. In some cases, the surgeon may also remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries. After a hysterectomy, a woman is no longer able to menstruate or to become pregnant.

 

WHY GET A HYSTERECTOMY?

A woman who suffers from heavy or unusual menstrual periods, uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, adenomyosis, or ovarian cancer may need a hysterectomy. A woman who is scheduled for a hysterectomy should talk to a doctor about the available options, particularly if the woman is having both ovaries removed. Having both ovaries removed will cause symptoms of menopause regardless of the woman’s age.

A radical hysterectomy is one in which the uterus, fallopian tubes and both ovaries are removed. Because, in this case, a hysterectomy will cause symptoms of menopause, many women will receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after the procedure. HRT can help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause.

 

TREATING MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS

In the past, there have been some concerns that hormone therapy may increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease, blood clots, breast cancer, and stroke. There are a number of newer therapies, with reduced risks which may be effective in short-term, low doses. The main one is known as estrogen-alone hormone replacement therapy.

 

ESTROGEN-ALONE HRT

Estrogen-alone hormone therapy has been shown not to increase the risk of breast cancer. However, age can be an important factor on the other risks HRT might pose. Trials suggest that HRT may increase the risk of dementia in older women. However, for women who are at high risk of osteoporosis, HRT can reduce the risk.

Women with a history of blood clots or breast cancer should not take hormone replacement therapy. Instead, these individuals may want to talk to a physicians about possible lifestyle changes or other alternatives.

 

ALTERNATIVES TO HORMONE THERAPY

Some women choose to use alternatives to hormone replacement therapy to alleviate the symptoms of menopause after a hysterectomy. One alternative is to increase the fiber, protein, iron and calcium levels in the diet simply by adding peas, beans, and legumes. Some nutritional experts believe that the phytoestrogens in these foods can eliminate symptoms such as hot flashes as well as prevent osteoporosis and heart disease. Taking vitamin E has been shown not only to reduce hot flashes but also to prevent vaginal dryness and to reduce the risk of heart attack. Black cohosh is an herb used widely by Native Americans. This herb may help to restore hormonal balance.

 

LIFE AFTER HYSTERECTOMY

Women who have had or are about to have a hysterectomy should discuss the benefits of hormone replacement therapy with a doctor. While HRT is not right for all women, many women benefit from this treatment. Women can also discuss natural alternatives with a physician that can be used alone or in conjunction with HRT.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does Endometriosis Resolve on Its Own?

Endometriosis is an under-researched and chronic condition that affects millions of women. Getting a diagnosis can be difficult, and obtaining treatment can feel even harder. Read on to learn if endometriosis can resolve on its own.

What's Making Me Gain Weight?

When diet and exercise can’t seem to stop weight gain, it’s time to look deeper for a more insidious cause. For women, that can mean the reproductive system. Read on to learn more.

How to Manage the Skin Symptoms of PCOS

Is PCOS affecting your skin? Many women find that the visible side effects of PCOS are apparent on their faces and bodies. Fortunately, there are solutions that can help. Read on to learn more.

5 Encouraging Facts About IVF

Have you had trouble conceiving? Or are you desiring to become pregnant without a partner or with a same-sex partner? In vitro fertilization (IVF) could be right for you. Read on to learn more.

Timing Your Egg-Freezing Process: Factors to Keep in Mind

Whether you’re worried about your fertility declining as you age or are younger but have a health risk that could prevent pregnancy later, freezing your eggs can prove a viable solution. Read on to learn about timing your egg-freezing process.