Posted on: September 19, 2019
There are around 425,000 US women who have hysterectomies each year. Of those cases, approximately one third also have their ovaries removed. This is a significant number. That being said, this is an important issue for women’s health and the health of the country. Read on to discover how hormone replacement therapy benefits younger women and can improve their outcomes after a hysterectomy.
Ovary removal, in conjunction with a hysterectomy, can be beneficial because it lowers a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. However, in women under 60, ovary removal causes a rapid decline in estrogen levels, which can lead to osteoporosis and heart disease.
It is common for doctors to prescribe estrogen therapy (also known as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT) for women who have undergone a hysterectomy. HRT helps to decrease the hormonal effects incurred from a hysterectomy. One new study is indicating that not only does HRT decrease unwanted side effects from a hysterectomy, but it may also help women live longer after a hysterectomy. Specifically, HRT therapy benefits younger women.
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In the study, researchers followed the health of post-hysterectomy patients for 18 years. Some of the patients were receiving estrogen while some were receiving a placebo. They found that the patients receiving the estrogen, who were under the age of 50 at the time of surgery, had a 32% lower risk of dying during the study! Women who were over the age of 60 did not show altered outcomes based on hormone replacement therapy. Women who did not have their ovaries removed, as a part of their hysterectomy, also did not show altered outcomes with or without HRT.
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This new research is a huge step in improving outcomes and quality of life for hysterectomy patients. As new studies are completed, in the field of hormone replacement therapy, hopefully, more and more patients will come to have longer and healthier lives.
If you have undergone a hysterectomy and would like to explore whether or not hormone replacement therapy is right for you, schedule an appointment today.