Ladies, has your doctor recommended that you have a hysterectomy? Whether it’s for heavy bleeding, uterine fibroids, or something even more serious, this solution sounds simple enough, right? Your doctor ensured you that when you take out your uterus, everything will be okay. However, that’s not necessarily the case. You need to know what happens to your hormones after a hysterectomy, because it can severely affect how you feel. Having a hysterectomy is not without its negative consequences. It affects your general well-being and health and we want to share how you can keep that from happening so you can have a great quality of life.
What is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus. It is usually recommended for uterine fibroids (the most common reason for hysterectomy), heavy or unusual vaginal bleeding, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, adenomyosis (when the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus), cancer, abnormal uterine bleeding, or chronic pelvic pain. There are four different types of hysterectomy surgeries:
• Total hysterectomy – removal of the entire uterus and cervix
• Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy – removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes (salpingo) and ovaries (oophor)
• Supracervical (also called subtotal or partial) hysterectomy – removal of the upper part of the uterus leaving the cervix in place
• Radical hysterectomy – a total hysterectomy that also includes removal of structures around the uterus
This procedure puts a woman into surgical menopause. Unlike natural menopause, surgically induced menopause causes an immediate decline in progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone production, rather than the natural, gradual decline that occurs in these hormones over the years. As a result, a woman will feel a dramatic change in her body as she experiences the symptoms of rapid hormonal decline.
What Happens to Your Hormones
When your uterus alone is removed, it would seem to make sense that since you kept your ovaries, that they are still making all the hormones you need, so you shouldn’t feel the effects of menopause. However, since the uterus and the ovaries share a blood supply, by removing the uterus, that blood supply to your ovaries is compromised so ovarian dysfunction or atrophy can still occur, causing a decline in your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels.
Women often aren’t told that even though their ovaries are left in, that they still can be negatively affected by the loss in blood supply and feel the effects of declining hormones. If your ovaries are removed in addition to your uterus, then you will have menopause symptoms right away. Either way, this drastic drop in estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels can make women feel absolutely miserable and often not feel like themselves anymore. This can make you feel sad, anxious, and moody. It can also have a devastating effect on libido.
Common Menopause Symptoms
Options for Menopause Treatment
It is critical that women are informed about the types of hormone replacement therapy that are available, because their health and quality of life depend upon it. There are synthetic hormones, which are foreign to the human body, and bioidentical hormones, which are identical to the hormones made by your body. You can probably guess which one is the right choice.
Solutions Offered by Conventional Doctors
Conventional doctors will typically offer synthetic hormone drugs such as Premarin, Prempro and Provera as menopause treatment. They will also commonly offer antidepressants, anti-anxiety and sleep medications, none of which resolve the underlying cause of symptoms and have many adverse side effects. All of these options are drugs that are foreign to the human body.
• Premarin – Premarin is made of horse estrogens derived from pregnant mare urine, hence the name, “Pre-mar-in”. Premarin has serious side effects that include blood clots, breast tenderness, fluid retention, gall stones, headaches, high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of endometrial cancer and breast cancer, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, leg cramps, nausea and vomiting, vaginal bleeding, worsened uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
• Provera – Although its generic name (medroxyprogesterone) makes Provera sound like it is a form of progesterone, it is not. It is a progestin, a drug that exists nowhere in nature. Progestins increase risk of breast cancer, blood clots, and prevent pregnancy (clearly the opposite of progesterone).
• Prempro – A combination of Premarin and Provera.
• Birth Control Pills – These contain progestins. Oral contraceptives pose far greater health risks even beyond potentially fatal blood clots such as increased risk for developing certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.
The Right Solution
By restoring your estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels back to normal with bioidentical hormones, you can get rid of your symptoms and feel like your old self again. Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones made by your body. Why take a risk with synthetic hormones that can harm your health? It makes no sense to prescribe a drug to treat a symptom of an underlying hormone deficiency when the deficiency itself is so easily remedied by replacing the natural hormone.
A Note About Progesterone
Don’t let a doctor tell you that you don’t need progesterone just because you don’t have a uterus anymore. Conventional doctors believe that women who’ve had their uterus removed do not need to take progesterone because there’s no risk of estrogen replacement causing endometrial cancer. However we know that progesterone has many more important functions in the body than to just oppose the carcinogenic properties of estrogen in the uterus. It is important for bone health, thyroid function, sleep, brain health and more. Whether you have a uterus or not, don’t let a doctor prescribe estrogen without an adequate amount of progesterone to balance it out.
Watch Janae’s story to give you hope that you can feel great again after a hysterectomy:
Are you feeling terrible after your hysterectomy? Let us help you on your path back to wellness. Contact a wellness consultant today at 281-698-8698. It’s time to get your life back!