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Alternatives To Hormone Replacement Therapy After Hysterectomy

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Just A Few Of The Hormonal Conditions Our Doctors Specialize In Treating

Abdominal Hysterectomy: Everything You Need to Know

PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women of childbearing age and is one of the most common causes of infertility. Symptoms include irregular periods or no periods, excessive hair growth, weight gain, and acne.

Hashimotos thyroiditis

More common in women, Hashimotos involves antibodies that attack the thyroid gland so it cant function properly. Symptoms include fatigue and sluggishness, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, and hair loss.

Adrenal dysfunction

This stress-related condition stems from chronic elevation of adrenal hormone levels. Symptoms might include chronic fatigue, allergies, and insomnia.

Insulin resistance

This condition occurs when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver dont respond well to insulin and cant use glucose from your blood for energy, causing your blood sugar levels to go up over time. Symptoms might include weight gain and high blood pressure.

Infertility

Millions of women are misdiagnosed with infertility every year because few doctors are doing the advanced testing needed to discover the root cause of their inability to get pregnant, which can be hormonal.

Why Take Hormone Replacement Therapy After Hysterectomy

1. Hormone replacement therapy after hysterectomy reduces some risks for younger women. Risks associated with HRT in the WHI study primarily involved older menopausal women . Women who undergo hysterectomy, including the removal of their ovaries will experience menopausal symptoms due to caused by the removal of the ovaries which are the primary manufacturers of estrogen. Health experts are convinced that instead of being harmful, hormone replacement therapy after hysterectomy is beneficial in helping younger women to go on with their normal lives even after the surgical procedure. Proof that HRT helps decrease the risks for heart disease and Parkinsons disease among young women is gradually taking shape and has long been shown to prevent/treat osteoporosis.

2. HRT after hysterectomy is shown to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes by as much as 75 percent. HRT is proven to be effective in relieving many menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness. Other alternative treatment options are not as effective.

3. HRT after hysterectomy offers other health benefits. It has been demonstrated to have a role in decelerating osteoporosis and in intensifying bone density. Estrogen and progesterone therapy is also believed to somehow lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Oestrogen Formulations And Modes Of Delivery

Oestrogens are available as tablets, skin patches and gels. These products contain different kinds of oestrogen which are all effective in treating menopausal symptoms. There is no clear consensus about which delivery method is best overall, although there are some circumstances where transdermal therapy is preferred.

Patches or gels are better for those who have high triglyceride concentrations, those with hypertension, those who may not absorb tablets adequately and those at increased risk of venous thromboembolic disease . This includes those women who are overweight or smokers . Patch therapy may be better tolerated by women with migraine .

Vaginal oestrogen in creams, pessaries or tablets is available for women with symptomatic vaginal dryness and can be used either alone or in combination with systemic therapy .

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How Is Uterine Prolapse Treated

Uterine prolapse may be improved in some cases with Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the uterus and control urine. Since the pelvic floor muscles can become stretched due to obesity, smoking, or chronic cough, losing weight and quitting smoking can also help relieve pressure on the pelvic muscles.

For women past menopause, taking hormones can also help keep the pelvic muscle tissues stronger.

For some patients, surgery is an option, which may or may not involve removal of the uterus.

Alternatives To Hormone Therapy

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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.

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There Are Three Parts To This Post About Natural Remedies For Your Hormones After A Hysterectomy

In the first part I’m going to go into some of the facts about the different types of surgeries – it’s not that fun but it’s short and useful so stick with me – because then we’ll get into some of the wonderful natural remedies you can use to help nurture, support and enrich your hormones after surgery.

In the second part of this blog we’ll cover the different focus you want to have with your natural remedies depending on which type of surgery you’ve had.

And in the third part I’ll show you how to use those natural remedies.

Lets dive in:

Potential Benefits Of Risk

The USPSTF found convincing evidence that risk-reducing medications provide at least a moderate benefit in reducing risk for invasive estrogen receptorpositive breast cancer in postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer .

*See Nelson, et al.3,4

Trials included women whose 5-year risk of breast cancer may have been lower than 3%.

Per 1000 women over 5 years of use.

§Results from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene trial.

Both tamoxifen and raloxifene can reduce risk of some types of skeletal fractures, independent from the risk of breast cancer.

The USPSTF found that the benefits of taking tamoxifen, raloxifene, and aromatase inhibitors to reduce risk for breast cancer are no greater than small in women not at increased risk for the disease.

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How To Get Started On Hrt

Speak to your local GP practice if you’re interested in starting HRT.

You can usually begin HRT as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms and will not usually need to have any tests first. However, a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if you’re aged 40 to 45. Blood tests may also be carried out to help diagnose suspected premature menopause if youre under 40 and have menopausal symptoms.

Your GP can explain the different types of HRT available and help you choose one that’s suitable for you.

Estrogen Therapy And Cancer Risk

Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Endometrial cancer

In women who still have a uterus, using systemic ET has been shown to increase the risk of endometrial cancer . The risk remains higher than average even after ET is no longer used. Although most studies that showed an increased risk were of women taking estrogen as a pill, women using a patch or high-dose vaginal ring can also expect to have an increased risk of endometrial cancer.

Because of this increased cancer risk, women who have gone through menopause and who still have a uterus are given a progestin along with estrogen. Studies have shown that EPT does not increase the risk for endometrial cancer.

Long-term use of vaginal creams, rings, or tablets containing topical estrogen doses may also increase the levels of estrogen in the body. Its not clear if this leads to health risks, but the amounts of hormone are much smaller than systemic therapies.

Breast cancer

ET is not linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. In fact, certain groups of women taking ET, such as women who had no family history of breast cancer and those who had no history of benign breast disease, had a slightly lower risk of breast cancer.

Ovarian cancer

The WHI study of ET did not report any results about ovarian cancer.

To put the risk into numbers, if 1,000 women who were 50 years old took estrogen for menopause for 5 years, one extra ovarian cancer would be expected to develop.

Colorectal cancer

Lung cancer

ET does not seem to have any effect on the risk of lung cancer.

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Are There Any Alternatives To Estrogen In Surgical Menopause

In the case of breast cancer, studies suggest that estrogen does not increase risk of breast cancer when used in surgical menopause, even among those who are BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriersprovided they do not have a personal history of cancer. In those in surgical menopause who have a Factor V Leiden mutation , the long-term protective effects of hormone therapy may often outweigh the risks posed by the use of hormones.

Nevertheless, if you are concerned about using estrogen due to a family history of estrogen-dependent cancers, blood clots, or other risks, it is wise to discuss this with your doctor to make sure that you are carefully dosed and monitored to avoid adverse effects of hormones in surgical menopause. Alternative medications can also be used in some extreme cases .

Estrogen therapy is the most effective way to prevent all of the symptoms and risks associated with surgical menopause. However, for those who absolutely cannot take estrogens, there are some alternative therapies available:

For osteoporosis, effective alternatives include biphosphenate medications and selective estrogen receptor modulators such as raloxifene, tamoxifen, or bazedoxifene+estrogen.

Possible Side Effects Of Hormones Therapy After Hysterectomy

Some possible side effects associated with HRT after total hysterectomy include:

  • Increased risk of developing heart diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction, etc.
  • Increased risk of developing different types of cancers including breast cancer and endometrial cancers
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Increased density of breast mass , which can cause problems in detection of breast cancer.

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Hormones And Breast Cancer

The hormones estrogen and progesterone make some breast cancers grow. They are called hormone-sensitive breast cancers. Most breast cancers are sensitive to hormones.

Estrogen and progesterone are produced in the ovaries and other tissues such as fat and skin. After menopause, the ovaries stop producing these hormones. But the body continues to make a small amount.

Hormone therapy only works on hormone-sensitive cancers. To see if hormone therapy may work, doctors test a sample of the tumor that has been removed during surgery to see if the cancer might be sensitive to hormones.

Hormone therapy can work in two ways:

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What Is Known About Hormone Therapy And The Risk Of Breast Cancer

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Taking combined hormone therapy can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Here are some important findings:

  • Taking combination hormone therapy showed a rare increase of absolute risk of less than one additional case of breast cancer per 1000 person years of use.
  • There was a nonsignificant reduction in breast cancer seen in women with hysterectomies on estrogen only therapy.
  • If youve been diagnosed with breast cancer you should not take systemic hormone therapy.

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Lifestyle For A Lifetime

The most effective alternative to hormone therapy, however, doesn’t come in a bottle. Physicians say that preventing heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer often boils down to lifestyle, one that includes regular exercise and a healthy diet. A diet high in calcium along with weight-bearing exercise bolsters bones. Avoiding high-fat foods and participating in regular aerobic exercise keeps the heart healthy.

These habits can prevent the diseases studies have proven it over and over again. Consider it, Greenwood advises. “Those things are so much more effective than any pill you can put in your mouth.”

Nelson Watts, MD, director of the Osteoporosis and Bone Health Program at The Emory Clinic in Atlanta, and principal investigator at the Atlanta site of the Women’s Health Initiative, offers a word of caution. “Often, diet and exercise are not enough by themselves.” he tells WebMD. “A woman needs to first talk with her doctor about what symptoms she wants to relieve, and look at the treatment options.”

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Hormone Replacement Therapy And Hysterectomy

Women who go through natural menopause experience a slow decline in hormone production. The symptoms of menopause, if they occur at all, may also happen slowly. That is not the case for women who undergo a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. Surgical menopause often starts quickly, bringing with it a host of menopausal symptoms. That is the basis for this report on hormone replacement therapy and hysterectomy.

Now, just because a woman undergoes a hysterectomy does not mean she will enter menopause. If the doctor leaves behind the ovaries, she will continue to produce the hormones progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. It is only when an oophorectomy removes the ovaries will a female experiences a decline in hormone levels.

There are also differences between the types of hormone replacement therapy for hysterectomy following surgery. The treatment depends on whether ovarian removal occurred, or if just the uterus was removed.

There is also a difference in the use of hormone replacement therapy without hysterectomy. The doctor will determine the type of treatment best suited to each womans needs.

Hormone replacement therapy after a hysterectomy depends on symptoms, and whether the ovaries were removed.

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Try This: 36 Alternatives To Hormone Replacement Therapy

Although hormone replacement therapy is considered a safe and effective way to treat perimenopause symptoms, it still carries certain risks.

Because of this, many people have turned to home remedies and other holistic methods to help ease their symptoms.

While some of these therapies are backed by clinical research, many others have only scant or anecdotal evidence to support their use.

Always talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider before you try any alternative treatment. They can discuss possible dosage, side effects, and interactions with you.

How Long Does Estrogen Therapy Last

Learn what SottoPelle Therapy does for hormone replacement therapy

If youve had a complete hysterectomy, youll likely be on a medically-supervised hormone replacement therapy for at least a few years. This is longer than a woman undergoing regular menopause . This is especially true if youve already had the surgery and youre closer to normal menopause age .

In fact, some experts recommend estrogen therapy until you hit the age of natural menopause . And some experts favor ET until age 60 and beyond

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Here’s Where It Gets Interesting Because Your Ovaries Make Most Of Your Female Hormones

If your ovaries are removed – the surgery will put you into what is called surgical menopause. So yes – if you have this surgery you will be in menopause afterward. If your ovaries are left in – you will no longer have your period – but you are not in menopause! Your ovaries will continue to make hormones just like anyone elses. You will go into menopause naturally at whatever age is normal for you. The average age is around 51. Removing the ovaries and going into menopause early means your hormone levels decrease suddenly, and this can lead to hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. It may also increase your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis – because lower hormone levels at a younger age may cause these increased risks.

You can learn more about the details of the different types of surgery in this article from the University of Michigan medical school or in this one from the mayo clinic.So that’s the first part of the video with the facts about the different types of surgery and how they affect your hormones – that’s our starting point for knowing how to nurture and care for your hormones.

What About Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are made in a lab from chemicals found in plants. Theyre said to be more similar to hormones your body naturally produces than those used in HRT.

Researchers are still working to figure out if bioidentical hormones are a safe and effective way to treat menopause symptoms.

These supplements havent been rigorously tested on humans, so they could pose long-term health risks we dont know about yet. As of now, theres no evidence to suggest these are safer or more effective than traditional HRT.

If youre interested in bioidentical hormones, talk to a doctor. They can discuss your options and may be able to prescribe an appropriate pill, patch, or cream.

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How Does Surgical Menopause Influence Your Estrogen Levels

When you have both ovaries removed , you remove your bodys main source of estrogen, and your estrogen levels will plummet lower than in natural menopause. These extremely low levels of estrogen are thought to be the main cause of both bothersome menopausal symptoms and long-term health risks in surgical menopause. Thankfully, taking estrogen in surgical menopause reduces both.

Now For The Second Part Of This Video Let’s Talk About Why You Need To Take Different Approaches To Caring For Your Hormones Depending On Which Surgery You’ve Had

Menopause Miracle

If your ovaries were left intact you won’t need HRT or special remedies for your hormones, and you won’t go into menopause right away.

This is what all women focus on in all the years post menopause. And if it’s safe for you you can also use herbs that are rich in plant estrogens and other hormone building blocks to help your body build up your hormone levels – almost like a replacement for HRT. You can learn more about how your body can keep your hormone levels high enough without relying on your ovaries in this blog postIn this case you also want a hormone friendly diet and lifestyle, because they’ll help your body maximize every bit of hormones it’s able to make – or to better balance and manage side effects of any hormones you’re taking.

That’s the second part of this blog – the different focus you want to have in caring for your hormones with natural remedies depending on which type of surgery you’ve had.

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