The Benefits of Progesterone After a Hysterectomy
Does a Woman Need Progesterone After a Hysterectomy?
Progesterone, like estrogen, is one of the hormones we typically consider a “female” hormone. There are several factors that will influence what hormones you might need to be replaced after a hysterectomy.
What is progesterone?
Let’s begin with a brief overview of what progesterone is. Progesterone is the hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus to support a fertilized egg. When progesterone levels rise during pregnancy, ovulation stops. If a woman doesn’t become pregnant, progesterone levels fall and this triggers menstruation or a period. If pregnancy occurs, the progesterone levels remain higher throughout pregnancy. But progesterone also has a few other important functions even later in life:
- Regulation of blood pressure
- Mood stabilization
- Sleep cycles
- Improves memory and thinking
What type of hysterectomy did you have and why?
The first thing to consider is the type of hysterectomy that you’ve had. During a hysterectomy, the uterus, ovaries, or both might be removed. If you keep your ovaries, you will continue to make some hormones, but you won’t have periods without your uterus. Removal of the ovaries will abruptly stop all hormone production. In the past, many traditional healthcare providers felt that once the uterus was removed progesterone was no longer required. The main purpose of giving progesterone was to keep estrogen from causing overgrowth of the lining of the uterus that could cause cancer. Once the uterus was gone, this was no longer necessary. But now we understand there are many other reasons that progesterone is required and you might still need supplementation even once you’ve had a hysterectomy.
The second thing to consider is why you needed a hysterectomy. If you had a hysterectomy because of cancer you should discuss if hormone replacement is an option with your healthcare provider. In some cases, it might not be recommended.
And finally, consider your age and any symptoms you are having. Many healthcare providers will recommend hormone supplementation if you’ve had a hysterectomy at a young age, but even older women may have symptoms that can be improved with the right balance of hormone therapy.
It’s all about balancing hormones
If you’ve been advised to take an estrogen supplement, many times you’ll need progesterone also. Estrogen taken by itself can cause your body to experience a phenomenon known as estrogen dominance. You might experience unpleasant symptoms such as:
- Weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Mood changes
Giving progesterone with estrogen keeps the hormones in balance and prevents negative side effects from estrogen.
How do I know if I need hormone supplements?
Hormone imbalances can occur after hysterectomy. You might experience symptoms like:
- Weight gain
- Muscle or joint pain
- Decreased sex drive
- Mood changes
Our providers at Vitality Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine will take a total person approach to your care. We’ll carefully evaluate your history, why you needed a hysterectomy, symptoms you are having and determine the best treatment options for you. We have several methods for delivery of hormone therapy and will work with you to help you feel your best.