Should you get a hysterectomy? And if you’ve had a hysterectomy, how do you deal with the aftermath of symptoms? In this podcast, Dr. Hotze offers a very in depth, thorough explanation of hysterectomies, why you may not want to get one, and what you can do if you have already had a hysterectomy to regain your health.
1:35: Did you know, on an average, every year there are approximately 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States? Currently, there are over 20 million women in the United States that have had a hysterectomy.
2:56: In talking with OBGYNs, they’ve told me they spend the first half of their live delivering babies, and the second half of their career they spend performing hysterectomies, or bladder suspensions.
3:46: …it’s not always necessary to get a hysterectomy.
4:45: Often after a hysterectomy, women have a rude awakening. They don’t feel like themselves anymore. They have headaches. They develop anxiety. They can’t sleep. They have moodiness. Their energy level has gone into the tank. In short, they just feel terrible. Why does this happen?
5:46: Well, why do people feel badly after a hysterectomy? Well, it’s due to the immediate decline in hormones if they’ve had a complete total hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries. By removing both the uterus and ovaries, a woman immediately has a dramatic decline in her hormone levels. She no longer makes any estrogen, progesterone or testosterone.
7:12: Premarin, it’s pregnant mare’s urine, and it was used ubiquitously up until the early 2000s, when it was shown Premarin, alone, created estrogen dominance, which led to an increased risk of breast cancer.
8:34: Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones your body makes, and they can help resolve the symptoms, and help you feel normal and natural again.
Stacey Bandfield: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield, here with Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. And ladies, today we are going to talk about hysterectomies. Should you get a hysterectomy? And if you’ve had a hysterectomy, what do you do at that point? How can you experience optimal health? Dr. Hotze, please share with us your thoughts on hysterectomies.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Thank you so much, Stacey. And thank you for joining us today on Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I do believe that you, and every individual, needs to have a physician and a staff of professionals who can coach you and have the wherewithal, the know-how, to coach you onto a path of health and wellness naturally, and that’s without pharmaceutical drugs. So as you mature, you have energy, you have vitality, and you’re enthusiastic about life, right?
Stacey Bandfield: About life.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Everybody should feel that way. Now, today we’re going to talk about a subject that really affects, literally, millions of women across the United States, and it’s the topic of hysterectomies. Did you know, on an average, every year there are approximately 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States? Currently, there are over 20 million women in the United States that have had a hysterectomy. It’s the second most frequently performed surgical procedure besides cesarean section for women in reproductive age.
Now ladies, let me ask you a question. Do you have heavy bleeding? Do you have clotting? Do you have intermenstrual bleeding, their regular periods? Do you have uterine fibroids? Have you been trying to find the solution to this misery because it’s interfering with your life? When you do, who do you normally see?
Well, you go see your OBGYN, and routinely an OBGYN, when he evaluates a woman that’s having dysfunctional uterine bleeding, heavy clotting, severe cramping, and/or fibroids, his recommendation is going to be to perform a hysterectomy. He says a chance to cut is a chance to cure. That’s the way we can stop the bleeding. Now, mind you, OBGYN doctors are surgeons. They’re trained as surgeons. They do obstetrical and gynecological surgery. In talking with OBGYNs, they’ve told me they spend the first half of their live delivering babies, and the second half of their career they spend performing hysterectomies, or bladder suspensions.
So has your doctor recommended to you to have a hysterectomy? Well, it sounds simple enough, a chance to cut is a chance to cure. We’ll cut out the uterus you won’t have any abnormal bleeding, and most women go like, “Whatever you have to do. We’ve got to stop this. It’s terrible. I have these irregular periods. I might start bleeding at an unknown time, and it’s terribly painful, and it lasts days to maybe weeks and longer.” It’s a real problem with conducting your life. And so, women, obviously, when you have this problem you want it taken care of, I understand that.
But, it’s not always necessary to get a hysterectomy. It’s time to address some important facts having a hysterectomy, whether it’s really necessary, and how a hysterectomy can affect your health adversely. So knowledge is power, and we want to arm you with what you need to have to make the best and safest decision for your health and well-being. Remember, you’ve got to take charge of your health. And if you simply rely upon your doctor, or your insurance company, or the government to change your health without doing any education on your own, then you have relinquished your personal responsibility. There’s plenty of information out there that you can gain online, like on this podcast, to learn whether or not you really need a hysterectomy and what are the problems that occur after a woman has a hysterectomy.
Often after a hysterectomy, women have a rude awakening. They don’t feel like themselves anymore. They have headaches. They develop anxiety. They can’t sleep. They have moodiness. Their energy level has gone into the tank. In short, they just feel terrible. Why does this happen? Well, this can be to an immediate decline in your hormones, if you’ve had a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. That’s a lot of words, doctor, what is that? In lay terms, lay people call it a total hysterectomy. In lay terms that means they took out my uterus, and they took out my ovaries. A hysterectomy is when you take out the uterus. When you take out the ovary and the tubes that go to the ovary from the uterus that is called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Oophorectomy relates to removal of the ovaries, that’s a Latin term.
Well, why do people feel badly after a hysterectomy? Well, it’s due to the immediate decline in hormones if they’ve had a complete total hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries. By removing both the uterus and ovaries, a woman immediately has a dramatic decline in her hormone levels. She no longer makes any estrogen, progesterone or testosterone.
Stacey Bandfield: So that immediately puts her into menopause? Is that what that basically does?
Dr. Steven Hotze: We call it surgical menopause. Now, if the ovaries are left in, oftentimes women still have problems, because you’ve ligated part of the blood supply, or clamped down on part of the blood supply to the ovaries and oftentimes the ovaries then begin to shrink. They’re already not functioning right, or you wouldn’t be having dysfunctional uterine bleeding and fibroids. You already have your hormones out of balance, and it just further deteriorates. So within a couple of years, women will go through the change of life after a hysterectomy, if they’ve left the ovaries in.
Dangers of Premarin (Horse Estrogen)
Now, after a hysterectomy, when the ovaries removed, routinely, and historically, doctors will prescribe Premarin. Premarin is estrogen derived from pregnant mare urine. That’s how they get the name, Premarin, pregnant mare, pre-mare, mare urine. Premarin, it’s pregnant mare’s urine, and it was used ubiquitously up until the early 2000s, when it was shown Premarin, alone, created estrogen dominance, which led to an increased risk of breast cancer. It does relieve hot flashes and night sweats, when you take the pregnant mare urine, but it has some adverse effects. It’ll put you in estrogen dominance, and I’ll talk about that in just a minute.
There are many negative consequences to taking Premarin, and I’ve seen so many women that have Premarin. They get weight gain, because they’re in estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is when you only have estrogen and little or no progesterone. So in this case, a woman who’s taking Premarin alone, or another prescribed estrogen hormone by a doctor, like estradiol or estrone. Primarily they give estradiol. When they give this, all you’re getting is estrogen. You don’t have a balance in your hormones between natural occurring progesterone and estrogen.
The natural solution to this is to replenish your hormones and restore what is missing with natural bioidentical hormones. That means hormones that are identical to the hormones your body made and are easily available. Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones your body makes, and they can help resolve the symptoms, and help you feel normal and natural again.
Now what’s a hysterectomy? This is a little course on hysterectomy 101. It’s a surgery to remove the uterus. There are four different types of hysterectomy surgeries. You have a total hysterectomy, where you remove the entire cervix and the uterus at one time. The uterus and the cervix, which extends into the vagina, are removed. A total hysterectomy, as I’ve mentioned, and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, removal of both the uterus, cervix and the fallopian tubes, as well as the ovaries.
There’s something also called a super cervical hysterectomy, where the upper part of the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left intact. And then a radical hysterectomy in which you have a total hysterectomy, removal of all the structures, including the ovaries and other tissue around the uterus. Why do doctors recommend hysterectomies? Well, you may have uterine fibroids. That’s benign growths in the uterus, like the size of maybe a golf ball, and they grow, and they’re caused by the production of estrogen dominance. When a woman marches through her menstrual life, if at any time she had natural balance between estrogen and progesterone, when she marches through her menstrual life, progesterone, which is the hormone of the last 14 days of the normal 28 day cycle, doesn’t get produced in the amount to balance the estrogen. Estrogen’s a proliferative hormone. It proliferates the tissue in the uterus, so all the uterine beefs up, getting it ready for fertilization.
Estrogen also cause breast tenderness, or breast swelling, and uterine fibroids, if you don’t have enough progesterone to balance. Mid-cycle, when a woman on day 14 or 15 ovulates, gives off an egg, at the location on the ovary. It’s called the corpus luteum. It produces progesterone and it should balance out the estrogen. As a woman marches through her menstrual life, and it can happen after child birth. Some women have it after the first child. But by the time a woman hits 35 or 40, her ovaries are no longer as healthy as they had been when she was at a younger age. And so, you may even have a decline in progesterone, but the progesterone levels decline even more, so there’s no balance, so this proliferative effect keeps stimulating the uterus to build up more and more intrauterine tissue.
And so the periods go from three to five days, to five to seven days, to seven to nine days, from mild, to moderate, to very heavy. And then women will begin to develop intermenstrual bleeding. They’ll bleed between their periods, because they have this breakthrough bleeding because all this tissue is built up, and women have anovulatory cycles as they march through their menstrual life. When they get to 35, 40, until menopause, many months women will not give off an egg, and all she has is estrogen. And that’s why someone will say I had such a heavy period last month. It lasted me 12 days. And then the next one comes back to normalize when she ovulates the next month, and she has this problem because the ovaries are aging and a woman’s not as fertile as she was when she was in her teens and 20s.
Uterine fibroids are one of the reasons that doctors recommend a hysterectomy. Heavy, usual and intermenstrual dysfunctional uterine bleeding. You may have a uterine prolapse, where the uterus prolapses into the vagina and the cervix, literally, falls down into the vagina. Even some women, I’ve seen the uterus literally comes out of the vagina because they’ve lost the tensile strength of their ligaments and the musculature that holds the uterus begins to fall as you age. Gravity takes its effect, right? And so they begin to have those problems. Cancer is another reason people have hysterectomies, and chronic pelvic pain, maybe from endometriosis, can lead a woman to have a hysterectomy.
Now, most hysterectomies are not required. Many, if not most, are not required. Why? Because if the doctors that are the surgeons, the OBGYNs, really understood that the problem is not with the abnormal bleeding, but it’s with the hormonal production that adversely affects the hormonal bleeding and the stimulation of the buildup of the tissue in the uterus. So if a woman is not making enough progesterone, if she’s having heavier periods, it’s simple to solve that. We simply supplement the same natural progesterone in a woman from day 14 through the end of the month to help balance this out. And we can shorten the cycles again, and we can balance out the estrogen.
Remember, when women have estrogen dominance, they also get premenstrual symptoms, and this can happen at any age. But it happens predominantly and more frequently as a woman marches through her menstrual life, as she has estrogen dominance. This adversely affects her body. She gets weight gain, fluid retention. She gets breast tenderness premenstrually. She gets mood swings, may get headaches, or even migraine headaches. Oftentimes those can be debilitating, and those often start maybe a day or two before the period. And then it continues as a woman ages, or matures, to three to five days, to seven days, to 14 days and she feels terrible for the whole last half of the month. She has all these symptoms and problems. She’ll go to the doctor, and maybe she doesn’t have fibroids, and maybe her bleeding isn’t bad enough. The doctor says, “well, let’s just try you on a few antidepressants, trying to help you with your mood swings, or we’ll give you sleep medication, or we’ll give you some anxiety medication.”
It does cause, when you have estrogen dominance, you get panic attacks, and you get anxiety attacks. Those are very common symptoms of an imbalance in your female hormones. And it’s interesting, oftentimes the doctors say, well, your hormones are imbalanced, so we’re going to do a hysterectomy. Your questions should be, doctor, why don’t we just balance my hormones? You need to ask your doctor, what’s causing the symptoms in the first place? Why do I have these symptoms? What’s causing my uterus to bleed heavily? Why am I developing fibroids? Why do I have all these premenstrual symptoms? And I’ll ask women this when they tell me they have these problems. I’ll say, “What do you think is causing these problems?” It happens cyclically, what do you think is causing them? She says “my hormones?”
Yes, your hormones are causing the problems. Some doctors, by the way, will simply put women on birth control pills, which are counterfeit hormones which have a host of adverse side effects of their own. They’re not natural, so they cause a problem. Let’s look at some of the symptoms that are caused by low progesterone and estrogen dominance. While these symptoms are very common among women, it doesn’t mean they’re normal, healthy, or natural. They’re indications of declining ovarian functions. Your ovaries just aren’t working well anymore, and this results in an imbalance between the estrogen and progesterone, as I’ve mentioned. We can safely correct this by replenishing the bioidentical hormones that are identical to those that are in your body.
Here are some common symptoms and disorders associated when your body goes into estrogen dominance, and I’ve written about this in my book, Hormones, Health, and Happiness. I have a whole section on female hormones, and how they function, and how they work, and how an imbalance can cause health problems, like estrogen dominance. By the way, estrogen dominance causes the liver to produce high levels of thyroid binding globulin, TBG, thyroid binding globulin. What do you think thyroid binding globulin binds? It binds thyroid. It’s a thyroid binding protein, and it binds under the thyroid hormones as they’re produced and it attaches to them so they can’t be properly assimilated into your cells. Thyroid doesn’t do anything in the blood. It has to enter your cells. In the cells, the thyroid hormones, in the active T3 part, that’s where it has three iodine atoms on a thyroid molecule. They go to the generators in your cells. The generators are called mitochondria. They’re the power plants that produce electrical energy that allow you to carry out your biochemical processes within the cell.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
And if you don’t get enough thyroid into the cells, then your power plant, your generators, your mitochondria, are down regulated. So women commonly with estrogen dominance will have the symptoms of hypothyroidism. They’ll have decreased energy level, difficulty with weight, cold body temperatures, inability to focus and think clearly, mood swings, depression. They’ll have joint and muscle aches and pains. They may have constipation. They’ll have irregular and dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Women commonly with low thyroid situation have a difficulty time become pregnant. It can also lead to recurring and chronic infections because you don’t have enough energy in your immune system. You’re not producing enough energy in the power plants to help you have a very active and healthy immune system, so you may tend to get infections more commonly.
Women will have hair loss. They get puffiness. They get loss of lateral third of the eyebrows. You may have an enlarged tongue. You can look at your tongue in a mirror and let it hang out, and look and see if you have any modeling or scalping along the borders. That indicates the tongue is enlarged and growing up against the teeth. That’s a sign of hypothyroidism, and loss of body hair, as well.
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
Well, here are some of the symptoms that we see with estrogen dominance: severe menstrual cramping, heavy periods with clotting, irregular menstrual cycles, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, infertility, multiple miscarriages, fibrocystic breast disease, premenstrual breast tenderness, premenstrual fluid retention and weight gain, anxiety and panic attacks or depression, premenstrual mood swings, premenstrual headaches and migraine headaches, and a decline in romantic moods and inclinations, which is termed libido.
The problem today in traditional medicine is when a woman consults her OBGYN for help with these symptoms, she’s usually given two options, as I’ve mentioned. One is prescription drugs, most commonly, synthetic hormones like birth control pills, that can actually worsen a woman’s problems, or surgery. Now, this is how bad it’s been. I knew an OBGYN doctor that said, this is really going to get you upset. He said that he goes to the office every day looking and trying to find potential patients who need a hysterectomy. He is searching and seeking for women in whom he can perform a hysterectomy. That’s how they make their living is performing hysterectomy. They get a whole lot more money on a hysterectomy then they do on an office visit when they prescribe medication.
That’s bad to think about that, but when you’re incentivized… We have an old adage, always beware of someone who’s got a knife in his pocket when you go for a problem, because oftentimes his answer is going to be surgery. Because, to a surgeon, a chance to cut is a chance to cure. That was a common saying we had when I did a year in surgery. A hysterectomy, when she has a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, immediately causes surgical menopause.
Symptoms of Menopause
She’s thrown into menopause. And that’s going to cause some problems: hot flashes, weight gain, anxiety, low libido, brain fog, fatigue, frequent urination, night sweats, depression, vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood swings, migraines. And some of you women that are listening have been through that or going through that now, or you’ve seen family members, parents, mom, have gone through this, and they had a tough time during their peri and post-menopausal time because of the significant decline in hormones. That’s what happens to women.
This is natural. As you go through puberty, you begin making your hormones. You march through your menstrual life. You’re fertile. You make good levels of hormones that balance, and then they begin to decline and become imbalanced. And then you stop making them, and now you’re into menopause. Well, those hormones are very important molecules that instruct cells what to do and how to do it. That’s very important. And, most importantly, they affect neural transmitters and the functioning of our brain. So as the hormone levels go down, it causes the host the problems that I’ve just mentioned. And, obviously, if you’ve had your ovaries removed in a hysterectomy you begin to have these problems, just as if you went through the menopause without a hysterectomy.
Stacey Bandfield: And it’s trashy, because the reason why people get hysterectomies, you know women want to feel better, and they’re hoping that that will make them feel better, but it actually doesn’t in many cases.
Dr. Steven Hotze: In many cases they feel worse. I can’t tell you the number of women that we see here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. We have seen 33,000 guests since 1989. We’re in our 31st year. And, of course, about 75% of our guests are women. I can’t tell you the number of women that we’ve seen post hysterectomy that feel terrible. And we also have many women that come in that have symptoms that, if they were seeing their OBGYN, would lead to a hysterectomy, and oftentimes women come here because they don’t want a hysterectomy, and they want to try something natural to help prevent removing their organs.
Well, a hysterectomy is major surgery. It’s not without risk, at all. The risks include infection, heavy post-surgical bleeding, injury to nearby organs, blood clots, difficulty with pulmonary problems and heart problems related to anesthesia, and even death. As we’ve discussed, the decision on whether or not you should undergo a hysterectomy is a very difficult decision that a woman has to make. It may be the last resort, but unfortunately it has become all too common as the only treatment offered. Birth control pills and surgery are often the only option that women are given when it comes to female issues of dysfunctional bleeding and all the other symptoms that we’ve described.
Bioidentical Hormones – The Natural Solution
Natural alternatives would be bioidentical hormone replacement, but they’re rarely mentioned by conventional physicians as a form of treatment. Why is that? I’ve been doing this since 1996. We have been treating people at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, myself, and our team of professional providers, have been providing natural bioidentical hormones and it has made a dramatic, dramatic change in the lives of, literally, tens of thousands of women in our practice who say, “Doctor, I got my life back. Thank you for giving me my life back.” That’s the common thing we hear.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor About a Hysterectomy
The biggest tragedy, meeting women who choose to have hysterectomy, they’re not informed of the serious risks that occur and come and develop after surgery. Let me give you a few questions you might ask your doctor. I’d write these down and we’ll put them on this broadcast. Ask your doctor:
- Why do I need to have a hysterectomy?
- What are causing these symptoms?
- What organ or organs will be removed?
- Will my ovaries be left in place? If not, why not?
- Will my cervix be removed? If so, why?
- Are there any alternatives besides a hysterectomy?
- What are the advantages? What are the risks? What are the benefits of each of these?
- What are the physical affects that I will have after a hysterectomy? Are the affect permanent?
- What will happen to my figure? To my weight? To my breasts?
- How will it affect my romantic moods and inclinations with my husband?
- Will I experience menopause after a hysterectomy?
- Can the symptoms of menopause be treated?
- How are you going to recommend I treat them?
- What are the risks and benefits of the treatment you’re offering me, doctor?
- Will the operation be a vaginal hysterectomy or will it be an abdominal hysterectomy? Why?
- Why do you choose one over the other?
- What can I expect in the hospital?
- What preoperative procedures will I have?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What type of anesthesia will I have?
- What’s the possibility that I can develop infections? Will I need transfusions?
- Am I going to have a urinary catheter to help me drain my bladder?
- What kind of cure will I be offered after my hysterectomy?
- What should I do to prepare for coming home from the hospital?
- How soon could I go back to work?
- How soon could I do heavy housework?
- When can I resume having relations with my spouse?
These are key questions you need to write down and you need to ask your physician when he makes those recommendations of a hysterectomy.
Now, if you’ve had a hysterectomy and are experiencing negative symptoms of hormonal decline, then we can help you here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. We would normally put you on, depending upon your symptoms, we would put you on natural progesterone. OBGYNs are like “why would they put you on progesterone? You don’t have periods anymore.” Your hormones have to balance. The reason you ended up having a hysterectomy was because you had dysfunctional uterine bleeding, you had all the associated cramping, pains, severe pain that was associated with your periods. You had premenstrual symptoms that were debilitating. You had debilitating migraine headaches. You had fibroids. All these are symptoms and we can help with those symptoms by treating with natural estrogen Bi-EST, which contains estriol and estradiol. There are three natural hormones, estriol, estradiol and estrone, and we use estriol and estradiol. Those are the safest, and give enough to help prevent night sweats and hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
We also add to the mix progesterone, which balances the estrogen at all times, so you take them both simultaneously. We also add a little bit of testosterone. Women make testosterone during their menstrual cycle. Interestingly enough, the day they make it, primarily, is on the day they ovulate they make testosterone. Testosterone stimulates sexual desire, so the man that didn’t look very attractive to you, for the first two weeks of the month, all the sudden, when you ovulate he’s looking pretty good, and you have the desire. God made it that way to help us want to recreate the species and reproduce the species.
So we use that, and that’s very important. We oftentimes will check and see, and women will commonly have symptoms of hypothyroidism. And if a woman has the symptoms of hypothyroidism, which I’ve described earlier, the fatigue, difficulty with weight, one, some or all of these symptoms, cold sensitivities, difficulty focusing, mood swings, depression, joint and muscle aches and pains, sluggish bowels, recurring infections, hair loss, puffiness, loss of the lateral third of the eyebrows, puffy tongue. If she has one, some or all of these symptoms, we will give her an empirical trial of low dose of natural thyroid to help stimulate energy production within the cell.
And, of course, we also recommend vitamins and minerals to help women detox, help an individual detox. We use that both for men and women. We recommend a good healthy eating program, which would be a yeast-free eating program. We eliminate and cut down on sugars, and any grain product that would convert to sugar, particularly wheat products, and that’s all your pizza, pasta, cookies, cakes and donuts. Corn, potatoes, and rice all convert to sugar, so we eliminate those and help get a good healthy colonic bacteria, good healthy microbiome in the gut, because you have to have healthy intestines to be healthy. And then we recommend an exercise program, and this will get a woman on a path of health and wellness naturally so she has energy, so she has vitality, and so she has enthusiasm for life.
Stacey Bandfield: Well, Dr. Hotze, thank you. I mean, I know the audience feels the same way I do that, that was a very in depth, thorough, explanation of hysterectomies, why you may not want to get one, but what you can also do if you’ve already had a hysterectomy. And so, Dr. Hotze shared with you a little bit earlier in the podcast about his book, Hormones, Health and Happiness. We’d love to offer that to anyone who wants to be call us. His bestselling book, his first book. You can call us at (281) 698-8698. We’d be more than happy to ship you a copy of that, again, (281) 698-8698. And we’d also love to have a consultation with you, talk to you about your specific needs and issues, and see if our center is a fit for you.
We hope that you have been blessed by this program. Thank you for joining us here today at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.