Birth Control/Hysterectomy

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Question
I'm 43 and I need a hysterectomy due to severe uterine prolapse that resulted from a difficult labor.  I'm trying to decide if I should have a full hsterectomy or partial.  If I have a full one - will I need to take hormone replacement?  If I didn't take hormone replacement are there any risks w/ losing your ovaries?  I'm hoping if they take the ovaries that it will help me with my some headache issues that I have . . .
thank you inadvance

Answer
If you have a full hysterectomy (removing the ovaries), it's usually best to take hormone replacement, which will relieve symptoms and also help to prevent osteoporosis and heart disease.  The good news is that it's usually very easy to take estrogen daily.  After a hysterectomy there is no need for progesterone.  Estrogen alone does not seem to increase the risk of breast cancer.

The main risk of not taking hormone replacement after removing the ovaries is osteoporosis and an increased risk of heart disease.  It's also likely that you would have symptoms of low estrogen, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, etc.

I don't know the specifics about your headaches, but there is a good chance that if your headaches are related to your periods, they will improve after removal of the ovaries.  Taking hormone replacement will likely help as long as it's taken on a steady basis, since many hormone related symptoms are due to the variations in hormone levels.

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Norman Solberg

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I am an OB-GYN physician. I can answer almost any question related to women's health.

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35 years in an active OB-GYN practice.

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Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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