While getting a hysterectomy can help solve many serious medical issues it can also come with a price. If you are feeling tired or depressed after a hysterectomy you’re not alone.
Many women experience negative symptoms of low estrogen after getting a hysterectomy such as sexual discomfort or mood swings.
Luckily, you do not have to live with these negative symptoms.
In this article, we will explain the symptoms of low estrogen after a hysterectomy and what you can do to treat it.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is when a doctor performs a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus, also known as a womb. After a hysterectomy women no longer have menstrual periods or are able to become pregnant.
Many women who get a hysterectomy also get an oophorectomy during the procedure. This is when they surgically remove the ovaries. Nearly half of American women who have had a hysterectomy have also had their ovaries removed during the same surgery.
Types of Hysterectomies
There are three main types of hysterectomies:
- Supracervical, or subtotal, hysterectomy – removes the upper part of the uterus
- Total hysterectomy – removes uterus and cervix
- Radical hysterectomy – removes auteur, tissue, cervix, and the top of the vagina.
Additionally, your doctor may also recommend removing your fallopian tubes in a procedure called salpingectomy. This procedure is where your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes are removed.
The type of hysterectomy your surgeon performs will depend on the cause and what they think would be best for your desired outcome.
Causes for a Hysterectomy
There are several reasons a doctor may recommend getting a hysterectomy including:
- Cancer of the uterus or ovaries
- Uterine fibroids – benign lumps on a uterus that causes bleeding and pain
- Uterine prolapse – when the uterus slides out of its usual position
- Endometriosis – when tissues grow outside of the uterus that is meant to be inside
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding – bleeding that occurs between periods
- Chronic pelvic pain – pain in lower abdomen/pelvis that lasts at least 6 months
- Adenomyosis – uterus inner lining thickening and breaking through muscle walls
If you are experiencing any of these health problems contact a doctor to see if you should get a hysterectomy.
What Happens After a Hysterectomy?
Hormones are essential for key brain functions. When you remove your uterus and ovaries, you are no longer producing hormones at the necessary level. Your ovaries make the most estrogen in your body so an oophorectomy causes a large drop.
Depending on the type of hysterectomy you get your side effects may vary. When you get a subtotal hysterectomy you’re still producing hormones, just at a lower level.
The loss of hormones can affect your:
- Sexual health
It is important to understand what symptoms to look out for to determine if you are experiencing low levels of estrogen.
Symptoms of Low Estrogen After Hysterectomy
Some symptoms that you may experience after a hysterectomy are not treatable. However, if you start to experience symptoms due to a hysterectomy you may want to take action to address low estrogen. Treating your hormonal imbalance early on you can prevent more serious symptoms from forming.
Some symptoms you may experience from low estrogen can include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal discomfort
- Difficulty sleeping
- Early menopause
- Memory loss
- Muscle weakness
Not only that but lack of estrogen can also cause serious long-term effects.
Alzheimer’s Caused By Lack of Brain-Nourishing Hormones
One study found that women who removed their ovaries before 40 and did not receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have double the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
This is because the sex hormone, estrogen, binds together with a receptor in your brain reducing the production of the protein amyloid-beta. This causes plaque to form on the brain of those with Alzheimer’s.
Hormone Therapy Balances Hormone
Hormone therapy, specifically estrogen therapy, can help reduce symptoms of low estrogen after a hysterectomy. It is especially recommended to women in their 20-40’s who had the procedure and have not started menopause.
What is Estrogen Therapy?
Estrogen therapy is when a doctor prescribed estrogen to replace your naturally produced estrogen. The treatment can come in the form of a cream or pill. The level of estrogen in a dose also varies depending on your body’s hormonal needs.
Depending on the treatment plan you determine with your doctor you may need to take multiple doses.
Too much estrogen is also not good for you, so talking to a doctor and getting tested is important.
Tip: In caring for your sexual health, you should also consider abnormal pap smear testing.
Benefits of Estrogen HRT
With hormone therapy, you can improve your sexual health and overall well-being. For some, it can help reduce the side effects of early menopause.
When you have just gotten a hysterectomy to improve your health the last thing you want is to experience more health issues.
Hormone replacement therapy can help balance your hormone levels which can:
- Strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Decrease hot flashes
- Reduces risk of gum disease
- Improves sleep
- Prevents vaginal dryness and soreness
- Slows loss of skin collagen
Additionally, bioidentical hormone replacement can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Balance Your Estrogen Levels With Whole Health
If you are experiencing symptoms of low estrogen after getting a hysterectomy, Whole Health JC can offer treatment options.
Dr. Jen will start with a comprehensive visit with you during which your hormone levels will be tested either through drawing your blood or by saliva testing. This will help determine if estrogen treatment is necessary.
You will receive a customized hormone replacement treatment to give your body what it needs.
At Whole Health JC, we do not use a commercially-branded bioidentical hormone replacement and instead use Tolson Drug Apothecary which will compound your unique hormone cream or prescribe traditional hormone replacement.
Visit our website or call us at 573-893-5500 for a free consultation.