Hormone Replacement Therapy, HRT / ERT

Hormone Replacement Therapy is the substitution of naturally occurring hormones in the human body with those that are manufactured. In the case of women that have had a hysterectomy we are talking about oestrogen and possibly testosterone replacement therapy. When a woman has had a hysterectomy that removes her ovaries she will no longer produce oestrogen from her ovaries although she will continue to produce small amounts of oestrogen from the adrenal glands and fatty tissues. However, this will not be enough to counteract the possible effects of oestrogen deficiency that we see begin with the onset of the menopause. If a woman has a hysterectomy that leaves her ovaries in place, she has a 50% chance of suffering ovarian failure within five years of surgery. This is not age dependent.

There are many things that women need to consider when they are faced with an surgical menopause and one of the major issues is whether or not to take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). HRT can be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of the menopause. Women should also consider the fact that they will be longer without the female sex hormones than their age related peers and that some of the natural protections that are offered by the sex hormones are lost. These may include protection against heart disease, osteoporosis and alzheimers disease.

Factors In favour of taking HRT include:

  • family history of osteoporosis
  • high risk category related to osteoporosis
  • family history of heart disease
  • high risk category related to heart disease
  • Severe climateric symptoms

All HRT given to women that have had a hysterectomy is oestrogen only although you may also receive additional treatment to replace testosterone. The usual method of administering HRT is to start with the lowest dose and to gradually increase it until the menopausal symptoms are relieved. However, this may not provide enough oestrogen to protect the bones and heart. Women that have their hysterectomies before the age of 40 will need more oestrogen as they will have been producing more before their operation.

HRT can be administered in a variety of ways, including tablets, patches, implants, vaginal pessaries, gels and creams. Not all types of HRT will suit all women and it is important to work with your GP to find the most suitable form of treatment for your own particular circumstances.

There seems to be some consensus that women who have an early menopause through surgery should take HRT at least until the age that they would naturally have gone through the menopause, this is so that they reduce the risk of suffering from age related conditions earlier than they would have done. Women naturally produce oestrogen up to the age of the menopause and it would appear to be sensible to replace what would be there naturally. What a woman decides to do after the age of 50ish will be determined by looking at the same factors that affect all women and will again be a matter of choice. At the very least women who still have ovaries after surgery should be having regular blood tests to check the amount of oestrogen they are producing so that they can make an informed choice. There seems to be little argument that HRT taken for up to five years after a natural menopause does not adversely affect the body and there seems to be some evidence that women who do develop breast cancer have a better prognosis if they have taken HRT than if they had not, although this may of course be related to the type of cancer that they have.

Some early studies have also indicated that oestrogen supplementation in the form of HRT may also help to delay the onset and risk of developing Alzheimers Disease. A study based in New York found that women who had taken oestrogen, after a natural menopause, for more than ten years were between 30 – 40% less likely to develop the disease than those women who had never taken HRT. The effects of HRT may be due to oestrogen regulating neurochemical transmitters and thus positively affecting neuronal atrophy

You may decide NOT to take HRT for the following reasons:

  • history of breast cancer
  • family history of breast cancer
  • high risk category related to breast cancer
  • history of thrombosis
  • family history of thrombosis
  • high risk category of thrombosis

Recommended Reading:

star buy Healthy Eating for the Menopause – £12.99. The perfect antidote to the menopause, jointly written by Marilyn Glenville and Lewis Easson.

  • The New Natural Alternatives to HRT – £10.99 from The Hysterectomy Association. is essential reading for everyone going through the menopause who prefers not to use hormone replacement therapy.

Recommended Resources:

More Information:

118 thoughts on “Hormone Replacement Therapy, HRT / ERT

  1. Linda

    I had a total hysterectomy at age 25 due to polycystic ovarian disease and was put on estradiol. I am now 52. My doctor weaned me off last year due to the risks of breast cancer because of the prolonged use. I now suffer from hot flashes and night sweats. Short of going back on the estradiol, what are my options?

  2. Susan

    I had a hysterectomy when I was 47 I am now nearly 70 I have been on HRT on and off since then, I am now on oestrogen only patches I have tried over the years to cut the dosage down by cutting the patch I half it has worked for a period of time but not for long, I have tried coming off HRt but the flushes come back with avengence. I get extremely hot sweating in my hair and face which can be embarrassing in company, but it’s the night time ones that wake me and the desire to spend a penny is very strong. I realise the way forward it to come off HRt completely so my body can go through the nornmal procedure of the menopause but I check my breasts regularly and exercise by walking twice a day eat reasonably healthy ,so think while my doctor is happy for me to continue with the HRT at 70 I will continue as I normally feel good on it.
    One thing I would ask is there a oestrogen only hormone cream which is more natural than the artificial one I am using as a patch??

  3. Lisa miller

    Hello! I had a complete hysterectomy at age 32. Now at age 57,I am having what seem to be hot flashes which leave me looking like I just showered! I have been taking estrogen since after this surgery and wondered if hot flashes are really back due to my age. Is this possible or are there other issues I should be looking into? Thank you for your response! ~Lisa

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      If you are still taking oestrogen then it’s unlikely to be menopausal symptoms unless you’ve changed dosage or type. Thyroid problems can often masquerade as the menopause though so it might be worth investigating.

  4. Robin

    I am 56. I had a partial hysterectomy back in 1986. About 7 years ago, my ovaries were removed due to large cysts. Through me into menopause. Have been on HRT since because I could not handle the symptoms on my own. How do you know when you have made it through menopause and can come off of HRT?

  5. Pharmacist

    Hello I was just wondering why oestrogen-only HRT is not recommended in an elderly patient who has had a histerectomy and has a history of endometriosis?

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman

      It’s because the oestrogen can trigger a regrowth of the endometriosis. It may be that it’s suitable further down the recovery line (after 9-12 months say) but that depends on medical advice of HRT in the elderly I guess where you are.

  6. Tracey

    Hi , I had as full hysterectomy 14 years ago. I have been taking Cenestin tablets ever since. I will be 52 this year. How much longer should I continue to take the Cenestin?

  7. Loretta

    I had a total and complete hysterectomy in ’97 and have been on some type of hrt ever since (I’m now 58 and now use bio-identical hrt). I noticed in the majority of your posts recommendations of getting off hrt at normal menopause age. Why? Seriously, what is the benefit? I myself have no family history of family breast cancer. A mother who, not having taken any type of hrt in her later life, had so many broken bones I can’t remember the numbers. I have foggy thinking and memory loss as it is. A husband who, (with a high libido) and hates “quickies”, I need to please for marriage sake. Two doctors have allowed my hormone blood level drop to lowest border-line (nearly out of range) areas and I totally feel crappy without any help. (I’m so frustrated and want to feel better again.

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      The recommendation has been made based on the Million Women Study findings. However, it is worth noting that the advice is for women who have gone through the menopause naturally, there is no specific advice for women post hysterectomy.

  8. joy porche

    hi im 53 yrs old had a subtotal hysterectomy at 33 and my ob/gyn never prescribed hrt for me i have mild hot flashes feel like i look older… is it too late now to ask about hrt?

    1. helen

      Hi hope u don’t mind mind but I had a hysterectomy 17 years ago at the age of 29 all of a sudden for the past 3 or 4 months I’ve had pain in my left breast I’m a little worried about it as I had a mamagram not long ago and all they found was cysts I’ve not been in such pain for a long time hope u can put my mind to rest x

  9. leanne

    hi, im 34 and i have the brca1 gene, i had a full hysterectomy when i was 30, and had a double mastectomy and 32, im very confused by the H.R.T i want to take it as i dont want to age before my time but then i dont want it to harm me? i went to my doctors before i had the mastectomy and he wouldnt let me have them at least untill i had mastectomy even though the specialist i went to see told me it was fine to take them and would be better to take them given my age, i went back to my doctors about 6months after my mastectomy and he wasnt to keen on giving me them then, but i took them for a little while and they were fine but im getting told off family members i shoudnt be taking them! so i stop and start i dont want to get ill after all the opps ive had to to prevent cancer i want to be around for my children, my mam died at 37 she was my age when she got overian cancer, my sex life at the moment is none exsistant! i just dont feel like it anymore my husband has been brilliant with me and has held my hand the whole way, he says he understands but it must be so frustrating for him sexually at times, im a very confused lady!! please help thanks,

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      Hi Leanne, there are versions of HRT which are suitable for women who have a risk of cancer such as yours and it would be worth asking your GP or a friendly one in the practice for a prescription. They are non-oestrogenic which is why they don’t present the same problem.

  10. Susan

    I went through menopause at 37 and was put on HRT, after several different ones we found prempac worked really well, over the years I’ve been taking just the oestrogen with only a few times a year the progesterone . This has been great. My concern now is I feel an urgency to get my ovaries removed as my mother, and both Grandmothers died in their early seventies from ovarian cancer….. All horrific deaths. I am feeling very “heavy, dragging sensation and somewhat bloated over past six months or so. My doctor said it’s not worth testing me as feels sure i would have the gene. I am in my mid fifties and would rather not wait . Do I have the right to request removal of ovaries in my case, is it a sensible and reasonable request? Can I keep taking HRT afterwards and will I feel any different afterwards if I keep on with HRT re skin,breasts and sex as all are great right now!

  11. Val

    I had a total hysterectomy 11yrs ago at the age of 36… I’ve been on the same hrt patches ever since although latly I’ve noticed some menapaual symptoms! My body heat is hotter than Normal even needing to sit under an open window when everyone else is cold, I’m tired all the time, feel tireful and can’t b bothered with anything and feeling fedup, I’ve also had a few headaches lately which is unusual, can it be possible for the hrt to stop working or need changing I’m on the highest dose because of my age thanks

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      It is possible for the body’s need to change as we grow older and it may be this that’s causing the problem. Alternatively, thyroid problems can also have similar symptoms to the menopause so a chat with the GP might be advisable.

  12. Tracey potts

    Hi I’m 36 yes old had a total hysterectomy due to endometriosis. I’m on estrogen patches 250 mg. And was all going well for the last 4 months as before that I was having seizures due to my levels. Then all of a sudden I have another fit. The Dr’s said I need more estrogen so upped the patch to 3oomg. I’m worried confused and scared. I’ve had my driving licence took of me and it’s one big nightmare. Never had fits before writing is clear. And MRI. Any help appreciate :-(

  13. Sonia Skretas

    I’m 40 and found out that i’m BRCA1 positive. I’ve decided to remove my ovaries, cervix, tubes and uterus. I am also having a double masectomy. I’m worried about being on HRT and with the BRCA1 gene, should I be worried about increasing my chances of breast cancer despite the masectomys??

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      Normally you wouldn’t be advised to use HRT if you have a risk of breast cancer, however I’m not sure how this risk is affected by having the double mastectomy and you should chat it through with your oncologist/gynaecologist.

    2. sunny

      I have been reducing my HRT and I think I have reduced too quickly. Ten days ago I developed a constant urge to urinate and a pressure in my urethra and bladder that is diving me crazy. Also extreme irritability. Is this normal when you reduce HRT?

  14. cat

    Hi i am 28 years old. I had a emergency total abdominal hysterectomy & removal ovaries last month & now my doctor has sent me a letter with a prescription in it to start taking microgynon pills once a day but i ain’t got a clue how long i will on the pills for. I don’t feel myself since the operation as i now feel like i ain’t a women anymore is this normal & does anyone know how long i will have to take the pills for?

    1. cat

      Thanks your reply has helped me out alot but now i need 2 know as i can’t stop thinking about it & i know this going 2 sound very silly but

      1. cat

        Will i eventually lose my breasts due to all that has happened to my body & the fact that i now have to take hrt as to be honested i don’t understand why i have to be hrt & what they are doing for my body, i feel so silly about asking this but i really need to know as its driving me mad. Any help would be greatly appreciated

        1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

          Breasts shrink as a normal part of the menopause Cat. You need to speak with your GP about why you are taking HRT as it is given when a woman is going into the menopause. If you kept your ovaries when you had your hysterectomy then it’s likely they have failed and you are now menopausal; if you had them removed as part of the hysterectomy then you are definitely menopausal.

    2. cat

      Hi again linda sorry 4 messaging u again as bet u r getting fed up of all my questions now, but u r only person that seems 2 understand me. Since i had my hysterectomy i have been feeling really low & i was wondering if there is any web sites where i can chat 2 other women who have been through the same as me or feel somewhere along the same line as me, as i am not coping with everything very well

  15. Samantha

    Hi just need a bit if advice. I’ve just had a full hysterectomy 9 weeks ago for endometriosis im 42 years of age..iv been to see my consulton today and he says he’s goin to put me on combined hrt as if I go on just one pill the endo will prob come back im a bit down hearted that I went throught the hysterectomy from witch then I got kidney failure then I had to have 4 pints of blood cus somebody didn’t want to bother the consultant from withch then I nearly die.them tobe told today that the endo could still b there im so comfussed with everything now..please help. :'(

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      Endometriosis is oestrogen dependent this means that by replacing the oestrogen you would have produced by the ovaries by an artificial oestrogen you run the risk of triggering a regrowth of endometriosis. It may be that you will need to avoid HRT for up to 12 months before taking it.

  16. caroline james

    Hello.
    I am a 46yrs old and having severe menopause symptoms.
    I had a hysterectomy at aged 30 due to severe endometriosis but they left my ovaries in.
    Currently I am on a combined hrt (kliovance/0.5mg)as I had a bad endometriosis flair up some years after hysterectomy. Symptoms are better but I still don’t feel right,have weight gain,fatigue and spots.
    I feel I could do with more estrogen but this would effect endometriosis.
    Is there anything you could recommend ? I am so desperate and run down.

  17. Ger

    I had a complete surgical hysterectomy at 35 after years of dealing with endometriosis. Over the years we tried many things, diet, exercise, I took birth control pills for 6 months without a break, had my tubes tied. Nothing worked.

    Finally decided to have the hysterectomy, only to find out that both my ovaries were infested with the endometriosis so after the surgery I was left with no ovaries. I was immediately plunged into menopause, what a shock it was, I had many nasty symptoms, my doctor recommended HRT patches which worked great for me for about 10 years, then I took estrogen pills for 5 years which also worked well, they enabled me to have a relatively normal life.

    For the last 5 years I have not taken anything, my doctor recommended that I stop the HRT pills because of other health issues.

    I tried several different natural estrogen products, they didn’t help me and actually created new issues. My body has slowly adjusted to not taking any HRT, but I do have a lot of severe symptoms.

    My questions are these: Will the hot flashes and flushes ever stop? At what age does menopause end?

    I can deal with the other symptoms but am really struggling with my bodies loss of normal body temperature. I can’t remember what its like not to be burning hot or ice cold. Who knew that a body could sweat so much.

    No one warned me that my body would turn into a furnace whenever it wanted, for as long as it wanted, starting at my head and ending at my feet, then instantly make you as ice cold as you were hot. I certainly understand why some woman feel that they are going crazy.

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      All the menopausal symptoms will stop but when that happens is a question like ‘how long is a piece of string?’ No-one knows for sure but it might be worth asking your mum if you can about how long it lasted for her – it’s as good as indicator as you can get.

  18. anne

    hi dear Linda, please help me give me some advise. I m 47now i had fibroids bleeding so much i was considering hysterectomy. then a Month ago my period stopped. so i thought no need for surgery anymore. but my doctor say actually I can still go for surgery because after that taking estrogen will help me stay away from a lot of illness due to the decline of hormone production. Which way I should go? Please help I’be been searching online seem my doctor is right. Thank you in advance!

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      I can’t answer that question for you Anne, only you can decide what to do. You have two options, to wait until the menopause causes the fibroids to shrink and the bleeding to stop or to have a hysterectomy. Both can ease or solve the problem and it depends on whether you are prepared to put up with either the symptoms or the recovery.

  19. Kim Torevell

    Hi i had a hysterectomy 8 years ago i kept my ovaries, no mention after about hrt ,i am having alot of
    back problems pins and needles in legs arm i wondered if because not on hrt and need to have bone scan.

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman

      If you still have your ovaries and are not menopausal then you probably don’t need to check your bone density. This is normally for women who are surgically menopausal or post menopausal.

  20. Rose

    Hi all,
    I had a total hysterectomy in 2008 for severe endometriosis & an ovarian cancer scare (my mum died of this age 53) I waiteed a while & then asked for HRTas I wasn’t coping with the hot flushes, about every 15 mins. I was fine on this although my doctor wanted to take me off it last year as I had been on it for five. It suited me very well although I had read that a balanced HRT ie all three hormones is better than just oestrogen alone. I know that progesterone isn’t necessary if you have no uterus but it does make sense to me that a balance would be better. I moved house & the doctors were happy for me to continue as i’m not overweight (although post hysterectomy I have gained nearly a stone!) my weight gain is more vanity issues trhan health. My neighbour is a nurse & said to try to wean off slowly as I should bite the bullet as I have to come off it sometime! Only someone who has not yet reached menopause could say that ha. So i’m trying to, I weaned off over a period of a good 6 weeks ( no weight lost though) & i’m struggling~ constant hot flushes, night sweats so no good sleeps, libido dropped, emotional
    wreck & moody. I work full time & I have gone form very energetic( I walk miles when I can) to tired,tired.tired. I’m on the verge of going back on, what do you think? I also have a small bladder prolapse that is worse. So, ok, I have to come off it sometime but it’s now that I still work
    & want a sex life, go to work without dropping with exhaustion, have nice hair & skin & maybe later these things are not so important? Help!

    Regards,
    Rose

  21. Teodoro

    I think that I have hirsutism I mean its very severe I have to use a hair removing cream twice a week.. and the unwanted hair isn’t just on my face and neck its all over I spend so much time shaving and trying to look normal its horrible… please give me some advice….

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman

      If you haven’t had a hysterectomy or removal of the ovaries it’s possible that you have PCOS – polycystic ovary syndrome – as this is a common symptom.

  22. Lissa

    Hi, i had a total hysterectomy (cervix and womb and left my ovaries )at the age of 36, 3 years ago. I was never told of any support and took it upon my self last year, and this year, to demand my hormone levels were checked. Last year the doc said they were amazingly healthy, and this year even better, but not to rely on these as the levels can fluctuate day by day. I have days when im feeling great, and days when im so low..hot flushes are not that bad, the weight gain is annoying even tho i am highly active.My back is becoming weak, and im get occasional ovarian pain. I have been told by the nurse, that i have seeked advice from, to take the HRT, as i am a high risk , but wondered if there was a natural version that u recommend that would balance out the hormones and replace the depleting ones. Very confused xox

  23. caroline

    Hi can you please help I had a Total Hysterectomy in Dec 2012 been on Climival 2mg ever since but lately feeling miserable, terrible mood swings, want to cry all the time, sleep, I snap at all my family, I have been on Prozac for around 10years 10mg but I also have an irritated stomach so I am on Omperazole but feel every time I take my Prozac it burns my stomach and it is not helping my moods, do you think a change of HRT is in order, scared to ring GP as I feel they think I am a Hypochondriac , this last year has been hell and I just want to feel good again, I am only 45yr have 4 kids and one grandson and I feel I cant cope no more x

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      In brief, yes. Not every brand of HRT suits everyone and it’s worth checking out the different ones available before writing them off. However, it might also be worth looking at the effect the other tablets may be having on the chemical soup in your body too.

  24. Denise

    I had a complete hysterectomy, ovaries, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, 12 years ago when I was 25 years old. I have not been on HRT at all. I used an herbal remedy for the hot flashes and menopause symptoms at the time. In the past 2 months or so I have noticed that I have been having hot flashes where I am just dripping with sweat. I also have a problem with migraines. 2 years ago I ended up getting a large blood clot in my leg and multiple blood clots in my lungs. My question is: Do I need to be on HRT? Is not being on HRT a bad thing since I have been in surgical menopause since such a young age? I had the hysterectomy due to endometriosis and now have problems with adhesions.
    Thanks,
    Denise

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      The answer is maybe Denise. You effectively had an extremely early menopause and although you will have produced small amounts of oestrogen etc .. from other glands your body will have reacted to the lack in the usual way. You may have missed out on the benefits of those hormones and it might be worth asking your GP for a blood oestrogen test to see what, if anything is happening. It’s not wildly accurate but is a good indicator.

  25. Julie

    Hi has anyone got any advice for me there are so many pros and cons I’m unsure what to do for the best. I had a full hysterectomy 16 years ago (not cancer related) at the age of 40. I have always been an advocate of HRT and have felt great whilst I have been taking it. So much so I would happily take it forever.

    My mother had breast cancer in her early 50s and she is now 83 with osteoporosis so I also feel that the HRT will help prevent this.

    However my father and paternal grandfather both died from sudden heart attacks at the age of 57 and as my father neither smoked drank or was overweight this was deemed to be hereditary. He developed high blood pressure which he took medication for the last five years of his life.

    A month ago, after always having had low to normal blood pressure, I too have developed high blood pressure and my cholestrol levels have started to increase. I don’t smoke, drink within accepted levels, am not overweight according to my doctor (although I have put on 3/4 stone over the last 2 years) and eat sensibly.

    My doctor has decided that I too have the hereditary gene and I have now been put on blood pressure medication and also the wonder drug that is simvastatin with a view to bringing my blood pressure down and reducing my cholestrol levels.

    However my doctor also wants to discuss coming off HRT as they say it could contribute to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

    I asked if it was necessary to come off it as the medication I am now taking is designed to reduce blood pressure and cholestrol which are the main risk factors but she wasn’t eally sure how HRT contributed to increasing the risk.

    I now have to make a decision and without the full facts I am finding the very difficult. Can anyone help please.

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      HRT has been found to cause an increased risk of heart disease, if you already have a high risk then you are probably increasing that even more so. It also causes a slight increase in breast cancer too and as your mother has already had it then you probably have an increased risk of that too. Coming off any oestrogen based HRT might be a good idea, but you could chat about the non-oestrogen based HRT’s and see if they might be better. Alternatively check this book out on our online shop, it’s fab for women in your situation: http://shop.hysterectomy-association.org.uk/new-natural-alternatives-to-hrt/

  26. christine

    Hi everyone, please can someone body help, I had a total surgical hysterectomy 5 years ago at the age of 40, everything went well and I went back to fulltime work, I have been on and of HRT since more off than on. I have been off it now for about 4 months because I blamed it for making me put weight on I also have an underactive thyroid.

    My manapause symptoms seem to be ruling my life now, nite sweats, hot flushes that are so overpowering they make me feel sick, forgetfullness, I just feel that I am in a state of feeling per menstral, crying at nothing,, dry skin and hair, cant be bothered with myself, I have tried herbal but they arent working, I went back to the doctors and got some new HRT but as soon as I took them my breasts swelled and got realy tender so I stopped taking them after only a week. I dont no what to do please can someone advise.

  27. Bonnie

    I had a hysterectomy in 2006 – I was 45. I have never had any hormone treatment. Currently I am experiencing joint pain, hand tingling, hot flashes and exhaustion. All my blood tests have come back normal – just tired of having the lack of “pep”. Is it too late for hormone therapy and would it help?

  28. my2sonsgm@yahoo.com

    I had a complete hysterectomy at 29. I’m now 46. I’ve suffered with hormone related migraines since I was 12. I was on premarin until last year. I started bioidentical hrt. The migraines intensified to 3 or more per week. I lowered the dose. Still no change. I stopped the bioidenticals and started estroven. The migraines have stopped but I have horrible hot flashes and can’t sleep. I need HELP! Any suggestions? Thank you.

  29. jo

    Hi I had a total hysterectomy just over a year ago – womb ovaries etc and due to a bladder problem they used my cervix to make a new bladder. My dr started me on Premarin lowest level 0.3 then due to mouth dryness/headaches doubled my doseage. I experienced migranes that made me out of action for days. I was changed to oestradot patches these made me unable to sleep/headaches achy joints so put back on to Premarin – I have now experienced the headaches but my skin is also dry, facial spots racing/heart palpatations at night aching joints and general tiredness to the point of not wanting to get up at all. I have reported this to my dr and he suggested taking them every other day???? I just dont feel like myself at all and hate how i feel. I have 4 children work part time and have a very hectic life so cannot afford to feel like this – any advice would be appreciated as my dr just doesn’t seem interested and I dont know what to do next???? regards Jo

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      You may want to revisit the type and dosage of HRT – there will be one that works, you just haven’t found it yet. It can take a couple of years to get it right though so you need to be prepared to be patient.

  30. Dee

    I have had a total hysterectomy and removal of ovaries as a result of my severe endometriosis, the doctor has prescribed me with oestrogen only HRT. I am concerned as all the research I have done has suggested that oestrogen only HRT can fuel any remaining endometriosis left in the pelvis. I have tried to discuss this with my doctor who just says that this is what they prescribe for surgical menopause and I should keep taking it as the benefits outweigh the side effects. Is it better to keep on taking it at the risk of making my endometriosis flare or would I be better to stop taking it and use an alternative? Thank you.

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      Your doctor is right that it’s benefits can outweigh other symptoms, however if it does trigger a regrowth of endometriosis there was no point in having the hysterectomy done. You could wait a while to see if it does trigger anything and if not then carry on taking it. If it does though you’ll want to stop it for a good 9-12 months to allow the endo to die back completely. You should then be ok to take it again. A great book for alternatives it Marilyn Glenvilles New Natural Alternatives to HRT and you can pick it up here if you want: http://shop.hysterectomy-association.org.uk/new-natural-alternatives-to-hrt/

  31. Ellen

    Premarin 0.3mg
    Hi, please could you assist me. I have not had a hysterectomy, but due to mood swings and placing the milk in the cupboards, and putting things in places that they should not be in my GP placed me on Premarin 6 months ago. I truly fell on top of the world. 3 weeks ago I started to get pains in the left hand side of my stomach, feet started to swell and so did my face. I went to visit my GP this week because I needed a repeat script and to get my blood pressure checked. My GP told me that I can’t take Premarin anymore because I have not had a hysterectomy. He said he made a mistake in giving me Premarin. He is now changing my HRT. Please could you tell me is this correct. Can you take Premarin if you have not had a hysterectomy. What effects will Premarin have on your body?
    I would be so grateful if you could help me with this.
    Best wishes

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      Hi Premarin is normally given to women who no longer have a uterus because they have had a hysterectomy. Normally women who have the uterus intact will take a different brand so your GP is quite right to change it.

  32. Ruth

    I had a total hysterectomy when I was 37 years old. I was fully recovered after just six weeks. The only noticeable sign was a gain in weight which i am trying to control by exercising and eating healthy and I can see the clear signs of gradual weight loss. I am now 43 and not taking any medication since nothing was prescribed for me. Am I at any risk at all?

  33. Sheila

    Hi
    I had a hysterectomy 3 years ago and was on hrt for 1 yr and came off it I was fine. Then about a month ago I started with terrible night sweats and hot flushes. Doc put me back on hrt two weeks ago but no improvement whatsoever, haven’t had any sleep I feel like I’m in a swimming pool and hot flushes all day. It’s the patches @ 50mg twice a week. Any advice.
    Sheila

  34. denise

    hi , i had a hysterectomy in 2002 due to complications after child birth. they left the neck of my womb in and 1 overy. i am now experiancing breast pain and was wondering if it is related. i have not had ant hrt at all. thank you. denise

  35. debbie

    I had a total hysterectomy 2 years ago (it wasn’t cancer-related). I’ve felt okay, but recently I’ve been becoming more and more aggressive, and at the same time I’m easily upset and weepy. I look and feel like I’m about 80 years old. My skin is completely dehydrated (ok – I do suffer from dry skin anyway, but it seems worse). My eyesight is often blurry and worse with my glasses on. I have little interest in anything. My body hurts – I am violently overweight and am in so much pain I can barely walk. At the same time, I’m desperate to move so as to lose some of this weight and ease the pain in my back and legs. Do you think the lack of hrt is the cause of these diverse problems?

  36. Deborah

    I had a total Hysterectomy at the age of 39 years and now I’m 61 years of age. How many times I said to myself that I’m not going to take that estrogen and more. But always after not taking the estrogen after 6 months my body starts dieing. I start to collapse. I am very tried and depress all the time. I suffer so. My teeth are falling out, my complexsion is sagging, my skin is dry, and the inside of me (down below) start burning (pain).

    You gain so much weight around the middle that you are not the same person you were once before.

    So I need my will power back so I can lose the weight and I started again to take my estrogen (patch).

    Deborah

  37. Tracy

    Hi im looking for some advice i had a total hysterectomy 12 weeks ago i have had no follow up or advice on HRT from surgeon so My doctor prescribed me on elleste duet 1mg to try and help with the mood swings and hot flushes after 2 weeks of these with no difference she has now prescribed Elleste solo 2mg hopefully these will start to work soon but is it normal not to have a follow up and should i push for an appointment?

  38. Joi

    I had a complete hysterectomy 21yrs ago. I was 40. I was put on estrogen only and took it for 10 yrs. I felt great. Went off when all the controversy came out. Now, at 61 I would like to go back on HRT. I am aging rapidly and feel and look so tired all the time. My body aches and I feel so much older. I eat pretty well and only have a glass of wine maybe 3 a year! What do you think? Thank you.

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      Hi Joi, the only person that you need to speak with about this is the person who will prescribe it for you. In practice there is no reason why you shouldn’t take HRT right through middle and old age, as long as you are aware of the possible health risks. Interestingly though, the risk of breast cancer amongst HRT users is lower in those who have had a hysterectomy :-)

  39. Liv

    I had a hysterectomy 3 months ago. Kept my ovaries and cervix. I have taken 0.75 mg estradiol in a gel + natural progesterone cream for about 3 years due to menopause, I am 55. Now I can see that I should stop the progesterone. but my question is, should I take my estrogen every day of the month or in a cyclus? And, have you any experience with a pregnenolone cream?
    Kind regards from Liv

  40. Mhe

    Hi, I was diagnosed with stage 4 endo last year. I had two laps. doc removed two cysts and some of the endo, but I’m again suffering from the same pains which I used to have before laps. I went to my doc again and he said it’s because of adhesions, plus he said he could not remove all of the endo because my intestines were invloved as well. Now he advises me a total hysterectomy because otherwise endo will recur. I’m 33 years old, thank God I have two kids. Now I’m worried about HRT and scary stories about it. Nobody mentioned weight gain in above comments. plzzzzz helppppppppp..

    1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

      If you are having a hysterectomy due to endometriosis that has already caused adhesions then the normal advice from a doctor will be to avoid oestrogen based HRT for up to 12 months post op. This is because the oestrogen will do the same thing your ovaries have been doing, which is stimulating the endometriosis. I think you might want to get hold of a copy of The New Natural Alternatives to HRT as that will help you manage your menopausal symptoms for the first 12 months. You can pick up a copy from us here: http://shop.hysterectomy-association.org.uk/new-natural-alternatives-to-hrt/ if you want to.

  41. Ali

    I am 46 and had subtotal hysterectomy 18 July 2012. I was very unlucky as I developed a wound infection 10 days post op. This caused a major delay in my recovery as I was bed ridden for 4 weeks and had to have the cavity packed and dressed daily for 7 weeks. I was put on Livial during my symptoms of fibroids and endometriosis and I am still taking it. I am not feeling great at all. My energy levels are low and I am up and down (mostly down) with my moods sometimes feeling very aggravated by the slightest things. I am considering coming off the livial or perhaps visiting my GP to discuss alternatives. Everyone I have spoken to during this last year has said I will feel so much better after my surgery. After almost 9 months I am waiting for this to happen. Am I normal?

  42. Sharan

    I am looking for some advice from you (your book has been my bible over the last couple of months)…. I am 45 and have just had a total hysterectomy – the surgery went well. I followed all the tips in the booklet “101 Handy Hints (saved my sanity!)….” I am in the middle of recovery (3rd month) and doing ok so far…., however I wanted to see what you think about the HRT I am on…. Initially everything was fine and I am on a combined HRT (Oestrogen and Progestogen) (hospital wrote to GP when I was discharged) but having seen the Consultant yesterday (you always think of things to ask once you get home!!!!)…. the consultant said that I should only be on the Oestrogen only HRT and would inform my GP to change the HRT. I have read that with a total hysterectomy you don’t need Progestogen? Is this right? Also, I am experiencing terrible headaches (never suffered before) is this also normal. I would be very grateful for any advice.

  43. carell

    I had a hysterectomy in 1999. I wasl left with one ovary. In 2002 my doctor prescribed premarin .625, which I have taken ever since. Recently I tried a generic version of premarin Conjy .625, It is made in India, however I am now having hot flushes & night sweats. Is this normal?I don’t know if it’s because the generic is not so good or because my ovary has finally packed up! I am 55. My mother is 80 & she has taken premarin 35 years without problems. I think I may go back on premarin.

    1. Valerie

      I have taken premarin 0.625 for 19 years. I am 71 and my Doctor is refusing to prescribe HRT any longer because of my age and the risk of stroke/heart disease etc. I have Atrial Fibrillation which is controlled by medication and have felt very well until the HRT stopped. I have very severe flushes, irritability etc. I accept that he has to advise me but I think it should be my decision whether to carry on with HRT.

      1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman Post author

        It is normally a joint decision between the patient and the doctor and it might be worth talking with another GP in the practice if you can. However, if it’s still not possible then you could either try the private prescription route or get hold of Marilyn Glenville’s book, The New Natural Alternatives to HRT from our online shop as it’s full of excellent advice and information : http://shop.hysterectomy-association.org.uk/new-natural-alternatives-to-hrt/

  44. Debbie

    I had a hysterectomy at 37 although I retained my ovaries and also my cervix , I read somewhere that you can’t have oestrogen alone hrt if you still have your cervix is that true ? I am now 47 and starting to suffer menopause symptoms of hot flushes ( especially at night ) and feeling extremely tired , changes in my skin ( dryness and spots ! )

      1. Belinda

        Hi I’m 44 and just started hrt 5 days ago I’ve had a subtotal hysterectomy when I was 41 , I’m confused as my dr is talking about spotting or light bleeding while taking hrt but how can I get these symptoms if I have no uterus or womb ???

          1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman

            If you have had a hysterectomy then you’d normally only be giving oestrogen. If you are getting progesterone as well then it might be worth asking your GP why he’s recommending this. Some do but many don’t.

  45. sue

    I had a total hysterectomy at the age of 35 and have been taking hrt premarin ever since but over the last 18 months I have been experiencing sleep problems feeling hot then cold headaches blurred vision and dry itchy skin is this normal is it the menopause cos the hrt not working or just natural progression. Was put on hrt to replace what I would normally have had. Any info would be great help.

  46. Jeannie

    As a former nurse I noticed that many woman who had hysterectomys also ended up getting their gallbladder removed. It’s one of the reasons they warn us to maintain a healthy diet post surgery.

    I had my total hystectomy when I was going on 38 and I’m 53 on my next birthday. Each time I go into the GP to get my prescription renewed they spend most of the consult telling me it’s time to come off it (Zumenon 2mg). To be honest I don’t know what to do as I’ve been absolutely fine taking it all these years. I tried to reduce it for a few months and I felt tired and washed out…….sex was no picnic either. I knew one thing for sure I was nowhere near the person that I was. On the other hand I don’t want to put myself at risk from breast ca, clots or whatever.

    It really is a dilemma as I feel like going into instant menopause is like a death sentence on my life as I know it. I probably wouldn’t be so upset about this decision if I was 70ish (no offence intended) but being still relatively young (in my opinion lol) and still enjoying an active sex life as well as life in general which is what I hoped to do for at least another 10 years I find it so hard to come to terms with.

  47. Christine

    I have been on HRT for 20 years – it has never been mentioned when I should stop I was just told at the age of 30 that I would need if for the next 30 years. I have just discovered that I will have to have my gall bladder removed, as I have multiple stones. Apparently taking HRT is the cause. This the first time I have realised that a side effect of HRT is gallstones. I only ever read about delaying osteoporosis and breast cancer risks. I have a full hysterectomy at 30 and am now 51.

    1. danna

      Hi Christine, I had full hysterectomy at 43, was not offered or advised to take hrt. by the time i was 46 I thought I was going crazy and felt absloutely terrible, I went on 1mg hrt for the past 4 years, and felt so much better, however I came off of it 3 months ago due to the negativity relating to serious health issues, I must say I feel quite drained and fatigued with very achy joints etc, im not sure if I have made the right decision as I see the changes in my hair, and my eyes feel gritty and dry. I am trying red clover as a substitute and if it doesnt make me feel better I think I will go back on my hrt. so please think before you decide as I beleive a quality of life outweighs the risks that are documented. Also oestregeon only is not quite so dangerous as the combined type. hope this helps.

    2. Faith Nagle

      I had a total hysterectomy at the age of 32.. I am now 54 (or will be in 2 weeks. I was told it was necessary to take HRT after and I did for about 18 years, then weaned to the lowest. My dr. told me to try to wean myself off, so I was down to 2 per week and sometimes none… however this past week my hot flashes are more frequent and persistent…I do not sweat just very hot..I am ok if I take 3 per week steadily and I will talk to my doctor to see what is happening. I was under the impression that when I had my Hysterectomy that If I took the HRT that I would not have the flashes, which I was wrong. My mother died of Ovarian Cancer at 67. She was diagnosed at 62 and it was in Stage 3.

      1. Linda Parkinson-Hardman

        Well you’ll only have menopausal symptoms if you don’t produce enough oestrogen or take it through HRT. This means that when you come off HRT you’ll experience menopausal symptoms until your body adjusts to the level.

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