After A Hysterectomy – A Doctor’s View
This is a subject on which there can be confusion. So I asked Dame Dr Shirley Bond, a private GP with many years of experience of bioidentical hormones, about exactly which hormones are needed.
Why women need progesterone after a hysterectomy
We then come to the confusion regarding what hormones you should take. Most doctors will tell you that you only need to take oestrogen as you dont need progesterone because you havent got a uterus.
This error arises because most doctors when they refer to progesterone actually mean progestogen which is the chemical hormone put into HRT to protect the uterus from the effects of excess oestrogen so of course you dont need it.
However what is so frequently forgotten is the fact the if you take extra oestrogen it should be balanced by progesterone.
Progesterone is the naturally occurring hormone made in the ovaries. Its function is to protect the body against the unwanted effects of taking oestrogen such as breast cancer and other effects of oestrogen dominance.
Extra oestrogen should never be taken without the balancing effects of progesterone. Furthermore often after the ovaries are removed a woman does not need extra oestrogen but will have more a lack of progesterone.
This is because fatty tissue (as in the abdomen, hips and thighs) makes oestrogen and often takes over when the ovaries are removed but there will not be enough progesterone available to balance it.
Many women are told after a hysterectomy that they only need oestrogen, but for protection from heart disease, strokes, breast cancer and osteoporosis women also need progesterone. This is clearly seen when symptoms of oestrogen dominance, where the progesterone levels are much lower than the oestrogen levels, are present.