What Happens to Your Hormones After a Hysterectomy?

By: | Tags: | Comments: 19 | July 12th, 2017

What Happens to Your Hormones After a Hysterectomy?

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

Hot Flashes
Night Sweats
Weight Gain
Depression
Anxiety
Vaginal Dryness
Low Libido
Insomnia
Brain Fog
Mood Swings
Fatigue
Migraines
Frequent Urination
Urinary Incontinence

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!

Related Content

The Do’s and Don’ts for Hot Flash Relief
Bioidentical vs. Synthetic Hormones for Women
Bioidentical Hormones: Capsules, Creams, Pellets – Which is Best?

Comments

19 thoughts on “What Happens to Your Hormones After a Hysterectomy?

  1. Joseph Brandl

    My girlfriend had breast cancer and a left breast mastectomy in 1987. Then in 1993 she had a hysterectomy and then in 2004 she had breast cancer again in her right breast with a lumpectomy. After the hysterectomy she was on hormone replacement therapy for a while but stopped it because of breast cancer. She has never been on any kind of hormone replacement since. She now has a very low libido, practically no sex drive at all, vaginal dryness, sleep disorder, brain fog, problems with cognitive thinking and depression. I have tried to get her to try bio-identical hormones, but she is afraid that the estrogen will cause her to develop breast cancer or other cancer again. I would like to know if it is safe for her to use bio-identical hormones and since she has been without her natural hormones for so long, would this treatment even make any difference in her health and well being and would it increase her libido and sex drive and help her feel like a woman again.
    Please email me a response to [email protected]. Thank you for any information you can send me.
    Sincerely; Joe Brandl

    Reply

  2. Kristy

    Dr. Hotze:

    I had a total hysterectomy with BSO. I was 58 then. I am 60 now and feel awful. I have a lot of medical problems now. Am I too old for BHRT?

    Reply

  3. Amy

    I had a complete hysterectomy in 2014 at age 39. I was put on estrogen only in July 2014. Since then my health has deteriorated to the point where I am barely able to function. The change in my health and personality from before and after the hysterectomy is like night and day. In my husbands words, I have become like a neutered cat. Between August 2016 and January 2017, I put on 60+ pounds which eventually led to a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. At that time I was put on Synthroid. After several months and no improvement, I sought a second opinion and eventually a third and fourth opinion. Every endocrinologist said the same thing. I just needed to eat less and move around more. At the time I was exercising for roughly 40 minutes, 5 days per week and eating less than 1300 calories per day. The scale never moved. I finally made an appointment with a hormone specialist who switched my thyroid medication and added progesterone and testosterone to my daily meds. I’ve only been on the progesterone for about a week, but I have noticed that I am finally sleeping better at night. I’m taking 100mg of bioidentical progesterone about an hour before I go to bed and then taking sublingual estrogen/testosterone in the morning. So far, I feel ok but I am still not back to being myself and I don’t know if I ever will get back to being the person I was.

    Reply

    • Hotze Team

      Dear Amy,

      We’re so sorry to hear what you are going through. Getting on progesterone is the right move, and it will help you sleep better, among many other benefits.
      Testosterone can help improve libido. If you still have any symptoms, then that is a sign that your hormones need to be adjusted so that you are on the right dose for you. Don’t stop working with your doctor to tweak your dose until you get the optimal results you want.

      Here is a video of our doctors explaining why Synthroid is not the best choice for hypothyroidism, and why desiccated thyroid is superior: https://www.hotzehwc.com/2016/01/myth-synthroid-is-the-best-treatment-for-hypothyroidism/

      Here are the many benefits of progesterone: https://www.hotzehwc.com/2017/04/10-reasons-you-cant-live-without-progesterone/

      Again, even if you are on desiccated thyroid, but are still having hypothyroid symptoms, then that is telling you that you may need a higher dose in order to resolve your symptoms. You would need to consult with your doctor about this.

      Our doctors do specialize in evaluating and treating hormonal imbalance. We will be happy to help you. If you would like a complimentary wellness consultation, please call us at 281-698-8698.

      Please don’t lose hope!

      To your health,

      Hotze Team

      Reply

  4. Charlotte Cook

    I had a total back in 1996. My doctor finally took me off my hormones. The night sweats and hot flashes are bad. Cannot sleep. Been off for about two weeks. Will it get any better. What can I take .

    Reply

  5. Queen

    I have a question. How long does one have to be one treatment after having a complete removal? I had mine done in 1997 and been on HRT since. If I don’t take mine I suffer bad migraine, night sweats, body/joint pains. How long do I go through this? I’m really tired of it right now!!!!

    Reply

    • Hotze Team

      Dear Queen,

      Thank you for your question. Most likely you will need to be on hormone therapy for the rest of your life to replenish the hormones your body would normally make. The dosage of hormones may need to be tweaked by your doctor over the years to maintain hormone balance. It really is different for each person and you would need to ask your doctor about this. You mentioned that when you stop taking your hormones that your symptoms return, so that is an indicator that your body needs those hormones right now. Are you on bioidentical hormones?

      If we may be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call our wellness consultants for a complimentary wellness consultation at 281-698-8698.

      To your health,

      Hotze Team

      Reply

  6. Susan

    I had a complete hysterectomy a year and a half ago, never had any problems with being on synthroid, now I’m on a higher dose and on estradiol 1mg-but have joint pain all over my body, I work out and eat healthy, i try and do everything I always do but I push myself, it’s so frustrating, I’m 51 and have a 7 yr old, would upping my estodial help my joint pain?

    Reply

    • Hotze Team

      Dear Susan,

      Thank you for your question. We recommend desiccated thyroid for hypothyroidism. Synthroid is only T4, the inactive thyroid hormone, so most people still have symptoms while taking it. Our doctors have great success with desiccated thyroid, which has T3, the active thyroid hormone, and T4. Here is a great article and video of our doctors on this: https://www.hotzehwc.com/2017/03/synthroid-was-supposed-to-stop-my-hypothyroid-sym/

      Joint and muscle pain are common symptoms of hypothyroidism. If you are still having symptoms of hypothyroidism, then you may not on the optimal dose for you. Here is another article that may be helpful: https://www.hotzehwc.com/2017/09/lady-gaga-reveals-she-has-fibromyalgia/

      It is possible that estradiol could help. After a hysterectomy, our doctors would never recommend estradiol without progesterone, as well. True joint pain seems more likely a thyroid/adrenal issue. After surgery, your progesterone loss may aggravate your hypothyroidism and increase joint pain. Muscle pain is pretty common with low thyroid and low progesterone.

      If you would like a complimentary wellness consultation with a wellness consultant, please give us a call at 281-698-8698. We will be happy to help you!

      To your health,

      Hotze Team

      Reply

  7. Pam

    I had a surgical hysterectomy 17 years ago at the age of 53. Everything was removed. I was put on Premarin. Fast forward to now age 70. I’m a young age 70 I might add. People think I’m 50. I sometimes wonder if the Premarin has been instrumental in keeping me young looking and feeling young too. I sleep, I have still have moisture in my vagina, which is really important. And, my bones are protected from osteoporosis. My GYN wanted me to taper off the Premarin as he says it can cause a stroke. So he recommended taking one tablet every other day, then every 2 days, etc. I have been off Premarin for a week now. So far no side affects. But I’m concerned that I will I start aging faster, my vagina will dry up and my bones will become thin and weak. You speak of Bioidentical hormones. Is this a new kind of HRT? Are there any side affects? Will my doctor even know about this stuff? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Reply

  8. Becky

    I am 43 and recently had a hysterectomy despite trying to fix my issues with supplements and bioidenticals. I had enlarged uterus with a cyst in one ovary and high CA125 so we decided to go ahead with surgery due to cancer scare even though we knew the CA125 was probably high for other reasons. Anyway, it turns out I had stage 4 endometriosis and the cyst was a chocolate cyst in my ovary. They did leave one ovary and I immediately went to a reflexology that put me on standard process supplements to help support my ovary and composite for my missing uterus. (The uterus that the doctors tell you does you no good anymore and I won’t miss it) So 6 week after surgery I am feeling pretty good. I am also on iron due to blood lose during surgery and on standard process for stress due to very stressful situation at home. My big issue is my libido. I have been struggling for 15 years with hormonal issue and low libido has been one of them. Now that my uterus is gone I feel like my desire is even less. After a hysterectomy can you say what is causing the worst libido? Would it be the loss of uterus and lose of testosterone. Like I said, I am feeling pretty good otherwise (or maybe I don’t know what good feels like). Apparently with stage 4 endometriosis I should have been feeling bad all the time. I think I just go used to it I am not having hot flashes or night sweats so I am pretty sure my ovary is working. I have not gained weight and I was worried about that . I do feel anxious and down at times but I know a lot of that is due the constant stress at home. Typically the only time I feel like having sex is during ovulation and even then I might not feel like it. Thanks for any help.

    Reply

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