Hysterectomy Natural Hormone Replacement

By Sava Tang Alcantara

  • Overview

    When a woman has a hysterectomy it is generally because she is experiencing extreme discomfort, such as very heavy or very painful periods or other symptoms. According to a 2007 study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a woman who still has a uterus intact after a hysterectomy usually only requires estrogen supplementation. A woman who has had her uterus removed may benefit from also supplementing progesterone. Natural sources of hormones include the use of bio-identical hormones and the consumption of estrogenic foods, such as tofu, carrots, beets and flax seeds. Bio-identical hormones are available by prescription only.
  • Identification

    Bio-identical hormones include progesterone and the three types of estrogen--estradiol, estrone and estrione. Generally, a woman sees her doctor to have a saliva, blood or urine test to determine what hormones she needs to supplement. After a hysterectomy, estrogen and progesterone levels are usually low as the ovaries no longer are present to produce these hormones. Phytoestrogens are found in tofu and estrogenic foods include alfalfa, carrots, beets, eggs, dairy foods and flax seeds.
  • Significance

    After a hysterectomy, a woman has no ovaries, from which estrogen is produced. Low estrogen levels creates a surgical menopause. Low estrogen levels can produce unpleasant symptoms, including sleep loss, weight gain, night sweats, little or no interest in sex and depression. By using natural sources of hormones, such as prescription bio-identical estrogen and progesterone, or consuming estrogenic foods, these symptoms may be reduced or eliminated.


  • Function

    Natural hormone replacement means using bio-identical sources to replace estrogen and progesterone to reduce uncomfortable symptoms related to hysterectomy. Eating a diet high in estrogenic foods can also boost a woman's estrogen levels. For example, estrogen helps to reduce hot flashes and complaints of vaginal dryness.
  • Considerations

    If you have not used bio-identical hormones before, consider getting all your hormone levels checked. Women tend to focus on estrogen and progesterone levels but testing the thyroid hormone may also be useful. Always consult your doctor. The idea is that the endocrine system is interrelated--the decline in one hormone may affect the level of other hormones.
  • Misconceptions

    It is a misconception to believe that all women who have a hysterectomy will not achieve good health or a positive attitude. In a 2007 study published by NIH, women who had a hysterectomy reported finding relief from the unpleasant physical symptoms that made a hysterectomy necessary.
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