What is a hysterectomy or oophorectomy?
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, and an oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries. Hysterectomies and oophorectomies can be performed together or separately.
Why do you get a hysterectomy or oophorectomy?
There are many reasons why a hysterectomy or oophorectomy may be recommended.
Some common reasons include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, or cervix
- Severe bleeding during menses
What are the consequences of a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy?
The loss of the ovaries can cause a woman to experience a sudden and drastic decrease in estrogen levels (also called surgical menopause).
This can lead to numerous health problems, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and cognitive decline. Symptoms of low estrogen include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
- Foggy thinking
- any many more
What are my estrogen replacement options/alternatives?
Fortunately, there are several ways to increase estrogen levels naturally. One option is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which involves taking estrogen injections, pills, patches, or creams.
In fact, most patients need estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to feel their best after a hysterectomy or oophorectomy.
Natural vs. Synthetic Estrogens
There are two main types of estrogen therapy: synthetic and natural:
Synthetic estrogens are made in a laboratory and are not identical to the hormones produced by the body.
Natural estrogens, on the other hand, are derived from plant sources and are chemically identical to the hormones produced by the body. This is often termed “bio-identical.” The most common form of estrogen used for HRT is Estradiol.
How long should you take estrogen after a hysterectomy?
This is a question that should be discussed with your doctor. Typically, patients will take estrogen therapy for the rest of their lives. However, some women may only need to take it for a few years.
If you are considering a hysterectomy or oophorectomy, it is important to talk to your medical provider about hormone replacement before the procedure. Here at Hormones by Design, we specialize in BHRT.
We can help you with determining your estrogen levels and help you make a plan for the best method to replace all your needed hormones.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our new New Braunfels location at (830) 627-7979. We would be happy to help!