Estrogen therapy, also commonly known as hormone therapy, is generally prescribed to women who have undergone menopause or have had a hysterectomy. Estrogen therapy can replace the hormones that women no longer produce in their bodies and can help protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, anxiety, depression, early death, and more.
In addition to treating and preventing severe health conditions that can result from lack of hormone production, estrogen therapy can help treat common postmenopausal symptoms that most women experience after a hysterectomy, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and itchiness, and uncomfortable sexual intercourse.
Prior to the year 2002, estrogen therapy was prescribed to most women who had undergone hysterectomies and menopause, but declined in use drastically after an inconclusive study showed that estrogen therapy could have adverse effects on a woman’s health.
The study, which did not fully address the benefits for women who had hysterectomies, showed that estrogen therapy could increase the risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and blood clots. Although estrogen therapies showed favorable results specifically for women who had hysterectomies, the study came to a halt and estrogen therapy declined steadily after 2002.
However, in 2011, the benefits of estrogen therapy were revisited after another study was conducted on mortality rates in women who had undergone hysterectomies but did not receive estrogen therapy. Researchers found that some patients were able to become healthier after estrogen therapy and reduce their risk for major complications, especially women who had undergone hysterectomies.
New evidence shows that estrogen therapy is now an ideal treatment for women with postmenopausal symptoms, as long as the risks are weighed in regards to risk factors such as family medical history.
Medical experts now recommend that women who have had hysterectomies receive estrogen therapy if they experience moderate to severe hot flashes, have experienced bone loss and are failing to benefit from other treatments, or they have had a hysterectomy before the age of 40.
To reduce the risk for cancer and other health problems that may be associated with estrogen therapy, your doctor or healthcare provider can work with you on finding the best and safest estrogen treatment based on your medical history. Estrogen therapies are available in many different forms and can be administered at different dosage levels according to the severity of certain postmenopausal symptoms.
When taking estrogen therapy, it is very important to follow up with your healthcare provider on a regular basis to receive screenings, and to make sure you are practicing healthy lifestyle choices that can help boost and maintain your health.
If you have had a hysterectomy, Shawnee Mission Medical Center can work with you on finding an estrogen therapy that works best for you. Contact Shawnee Mission Medical Center today to learn more about our women’s health services.