When we speak of hysterectomy, it is usually the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus we refer to. When the ovaries are surgically removed, this is known as “oophorectomy”. Sometimes, a woman undergoing a hysterectomy will also need to have her ovaries removed. In such case, she will experience sudden and usually severe menopausal symptoms because the estrogen supply from the ovaries suddenly ceases.
So, what are the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after surgical menopause or hysterectomy where the ovaries are also removed? Let’s have a look.
When to Go for It?
Women who have severe menopause symptoms could consider HRT. If the hot flashes, memory problems, vaginal dryness, sleeplessness, fatigue and low libido are severe, this therapy can be considered.
Home remedies and natural cures for the symptoms could work for some women, but many find these to be quite ineffectual. Women who have tried other options but found them to be inadequate could be good candidates for hormone replacement therapy after hysterectomy.
In particular, younger women still many years away from natural menopause, who undergo this type of surgical menopause, may want to consider HRT. This is because the quality of life may be very significantly affected, making HRT the only viable option.
HRT can control menopause symptoms very effectively. There is some evidence to show that HRT could lower slightly the risk of osteoporosis and in cases also lower the risk of colorectal cancer. The use of HRT over many years is especially thought to be associated with higher risk of certain healthy problems.
The Risk Factors
Women whose symptoms are not very severe or women who find relief in home remedies may not want to undergo HRT. Women over the age of 50 may also consider HRT with some caution. Over the years, several studies have suggested that HRT can have very significant negative side effects.
There have been studies to show that HRT can increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Doctors are especially reluctant to use HRT for women who are cancer survivors.
Is It Recommended?
There is no one easy answer to this question. This is a decision that a woman needs to take after careful and informed consideration, in conjunction with her doctor. She should consider her age, the severity of her symptoms, her family history, her lifestyle and her feelings about HRT.
HRT started out by seeming like a miracle cure. Then, it was denounced as highly dangerous by some in the medical community. Now however medical opinion is changing again.
So weigh the possible risks against the many probable benefits of HRT very carefully in consultation with your doctor and then take the decision whether HRT is for you.