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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) after Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

HRT 101What do I need to know about HRT before I decide whether or not to use it?

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a big topic in the world of women's health. If you have had your ovaries removed, it is an especially important topic for you. Is it necessary? Is it effective? Is it safe? There are many voices for and against it, and the media often skews the truth about it, but the most important question is whether or not it's right for you. Here are the basics you need to know to make an informed decision:

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is therapy (pills, patches, creams, etc.) given to replace missing hormones from the slow down or loss of ovaries during menopause. Menopause can come naturally (usually around the age of 50), or it can be caused by the removal of the ovaries (surgical menopause). Either way, keeping a healthy balance of hormones helps fight menopause symptoms, prevents osteoporosis, and generally keeps your body functioning well.

Whether or not you should use it largely depends on a number of factors including your diagnosis, your family medical history, and your own personal medical history. Women who go through natural menopause are a lot less likely to need it than those whose ovaries were damaged by chemotherapy or who go through surgical menopause. Also, the younger a woman is when she goes through surgical menopause, the longer she will likely need to take estrogen.

The results of past studies of HRT scared many women away from HRT, but present studies are showing that the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks for many women.

You will likely benefit from HRT if you:
  • Had your ovaries removed, especially before the age of 50
  • Suffer from moderate to severe menopause symptoms
  • Are at risk for osteoporosis and other treatments haven't helped

Some health conditions may impact your use of HRT. Those conditions, along with your menopause-related health risks, will have to be considered when determining if and which type of HRT is right for you. As you discuss HRT with your doctor, be sure he/she knows if you:
  • Have a personal or family history of gynecologic or breast cancer
  • Have been diagnosed with endometriosis
  • Have a history of stroke
  • Have a heart condition

This is an important decision, and there is no right answer for everyone. Certainly, you don't want to take it if it is unsafe for you, but you also don't want to continue to suffer if a safe treatment is available. Be thorough in your research and work closely with your doctor as you make your decision. If HRT is not for you, you can look into alternatives like Effexor, Estroven, and Brisdelle.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

12-07-2013 - 06:13 PM


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