Even if a hysterectomy is performed for urgent medical reasons, it is often a bittersweet experience. Not only does it mark the end of fertility, but it will cause you to become menopausal if you have not already reached that stage of life.
Estrogen therapy after hysterectomy can help you adjust to life after a hysterectomy, but it is essential to decide on the proper type of estrogen replacement therapy. For most women after hysterectomy, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the safest and most effective choice.
Although the term hysterectomy is often used to denote removal of the uterus and ovaries, technically the removal of these organs is referred to as an oophorectomy. Younger women who do not have their ovaries removed do not need estrogen replacement therapy, as their ovaries are still producing estrogen.
Women who have had their ovaries removed should consider estrogen replacement therapy, as should any women who have gone through menopause prior to their hysterectomy, even if they retain their ovaries.
If a woman was not menopausal prior to her hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy, the surgery will throw her into instant menopause. That means she may experience any or all of the side effects associated with menopause, including:
Menopause can make a woman’s life miserable, and that misery is often worse when the changes come on suddenly as they often do after a hysterectomy, rather than through the natural menopausal process that may take place over years.
After a hysterectomy, estrogen levels drop all at once, dramatically disrupting the body. Estrogen replacement therapy can help alleviate these conditions and make a woman feel more like her pre-hysterectomy self once more. In addition, estrogen replacement therapy may guard against bone loss, dental disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and weight gain.
Many women are reluctant to consider estrogen therapy after hysterectomy, often because they have heard it can cause heart disease or breast cancer. This is true of man-made estrogen replacement therapy, which is derived from pregnant mare’s urine and marketed as one-size-fits-all.
However, that is not the case with bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy. These hormones are derived from soy and wild yam sources and identical on the molecular level to the estrogen produced by a woman’s ovaries.
Not only does bioidentical hormone therapy not lead to cardiovascular disease or breast cancer, it may actually lower the risk factors for women. Each patient’s therapy is custom-tailored for her, with the hormones created on an individual basis in a state-of-the-art compounding pharmacy.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is available in pill, patch, gel and pelleted implant forms, so each woman and her doctor can decide which method is best for her needs. In addition, woman receiving bioidentical hormone replacement therapy usually also receives a diet and exercise plan designed for her, as natural hormone replacement therapy is part of a holistic approach to living a healthier, active life.
If you have undergone a hysterectomy and would like more information about estrogen therapy after hysterectomy, call the office of Dr. Edward Jacobson today and arrange a consultation. You may also want to discuss bioidentical hormone replacement therapy prior to your hysterectomy, to get started as soon as possible post-surgery and avoid menopausal side effects.