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Should You Have Hormone Replacement Therapy After A Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the uterus, is a common medical procedure for women entering menopause. It is often combined with an oophorectomy, which is the removal of the ovaries.

When these parts of the woman are removed, it often creates a hormone imbalance. In many cases, a doctor will prescribe hormone replacement therapy, such as oestrogen or progestin. If only the hysterectomy has been performed, then progestin won’t be necessary. Progestin is absolutely necessary when the ovaries have been removed, however, as it greatly reduces the risk of cancer.

It is believed that hormone therapy, especially added oestrogen, is necessary for preventing cancer in younger women who have had a hysterectomy. There have been fears in the past involving hormone therapy following hysterectomies and oophorectomies, but they were mostly unfounded fears and only applied to HRT in older women. It is now understood that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is crucial for preventing Parkinson’s disease and dementia following these procedures.

HRT following the removal of the uterus or ovaries is also a common way to prevent osteoporosis and colorectal cancer, as it can ensure the bone density levels stay where they are supposed to be.

There are some risks for older women who receive hormone therapy following menopause and the removal of their ovaries and uterus. The health risks are primarily cardiovascular in nature. There is a chance that boosting the oestrogen levels artificially would create heart problems, but this risk tends to go away after receiving the hormone therapy for a while.

Younger women - those under 50 - should definitely consider coupling HRT with a hysterectomy procedure. The benefits are considerable, and while they are not definitive, by any means, they lower the statistical risk of a number of health problems later in life.

If hormone replacement therapy would put you at risk of health problems of any kind, a doctor may recommend natural alternatives, such as changes in diet or weight to combat your low hormone levels.

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