Removal of the ovaries causes women to experience an abrupt loss of hormones after their surgery
My bio-identical testosterone replacement medical practice helps many women and men come back to normal life after aging decreases their testosterone and limits their productivity and joy of living. Most of my patients experience slow negative changes in their quality of life and begin to accumulate medical diseases including heart disease, over the first 10 years after their testosterone level becomes critically low. However, the most severely affected patients are women who have had a hysterectomy before menopause. These women generally have their ovaries removed because they have a gynecological condition or disease that makes removal of the uterus and ovaries necessary. However, women without ovarian removal, with only a hysterectomy, also have a high risk of experiencing the same symptoms and diseases as those women who also have their ovaries removed!
Women are not warned about the symptoms of hormone loss because it is not covered in the medical curriculum of OBGYNs, therefore their doctors are not adequately trained to treat menopause and low testosterone. This lack of knowledge and the incorrect expectation that menopause will not cause severe symptoms, that testosterone is essential to the health and working of the female mind and body, is disastrous for the patients who think they will be “all better” after their hysterectomy!
By the time most post-hysterectomy women get to me for care, they have seen an average of 5 (3-9) specialists and have gone through a myriad of tests and treatments that haven’t worked for their multiple symptoms and complaints. Removal of the ovaries causes women to experience an abrupt loss of hormones after their surgery and the outcome is a whole list of symptoms coming from the abrupt loss of testosterone and estradiol, the two most necessary hormones that are made in the ovary.
Symptoms of Testosterone Loss:
- Loss of libido/sexual dysfunction
- Weight Gain/Obesity
- Lack of ability to remember names and places
- Lack of motivation
- Generalized pain
- Loss of Muscle
- Loss of physical stamina
- Migraine headaches
- Hot flashes
- Rapid aging of the skin
- Hair loss
- Vaginal dryness and shrinkage
- Painful intercourse
- Clitoral shrinkage
- Osteoporosis at a young age
Symptoms of Estradiol Loss:
- Hot flashes/and or night sweats
- Dry vagina
- Loss of hair in the front of the head
- Lack of sexual response=vaginal lubrication
- Bladder spasms with urine loss
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Painful intercourse from a shrinking and dry vagina
- Osteoporosis at a young age
My patients who have had hysterectomies and removal of their ovaries fly in from all over the country and the world, because they are desperate to get their lives back! Most of them have been verbally demeaned, dismissed, called crazy, and fat and lazy, and ripped off by charlatans who were the doctors who should have been finding the problem and curing it. Their own doctors usually don’t offer them hormones, or they give them an FDA approved estrogen-only pill that makes their symptoms almost survivable, but they still don’t get completely back to normal better. This leaves them depressed, hopeless and suspicious of the medical profession. Consequently, they are afraid to seek help until they read my experience with hysterectomy and hormone loss on my website.
I have successfully treated all of the patients with this problem who have come to me, and they are the most grateful of all of my patients. It is really a shame that replacement of hormones after hysterectomy should even be an issue! It should be a simple diagnosis based on the fact that the ovaries make testosterone and estradiol, they are removed, and then a woman is left with a deficiency of these hormones, which logically leaves them with various symptoms. These symptoms should resolve when the two hormones are replaced, but for some reason very few gynecologists replace both hormones! This diagnostic exercise should be obvious, even simple, to doctors trained in gynecology, but for some reason they miss the answer because they have been trained for decades that women don’t need testosterone! It is a blatant lie!
Now comes the worst news for women who have not had their T and E2 replaced after their total hysterectomy and ovary removal…not only are they miserable, but they now are at high risk for heart disease, the most frequent killer of aging women!
FACT: Women who have had a hysterectomy are at 300% higher risk for heart disease than women who have NOT had a hysterectomy even if their estrogen was replaced!
Journal of Women’s Health, Dr Susan Rako, April 2009.
It seems that testosterone has a beneficial effect on the heart by protecting the lining of the blood vessels throughout the body (the endothelium) from collecting plaque, improving insulin resistance, preventing diabetes, and in maintaining coronary circulation. It is in these ways that testosterone replacement protects women after a hysterectomy from vascular disease and normalizes their risk of getting heart disease to the level of women who have never had their uterus or ovaries removed.
The benefits don’t stop there. Post hysterectomy women on T replacement are cured of the symptoms that occur after ovary removal (see above), the most frequent of which are: No libido and sexual dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, insomnia, fatigue, loss of quality of life, depression, anxiety, migraine headaches to list a few.
If you have had a hysterectomy with or without removal of your ovaries, and have had any of these symptoms, please seek out a doctor who will replace both your estradiol and testosterone in the most physiologic way possible, preferably with long-acting Testosterone and estradiol pellets! Then have a cardiologist who is accustomed to treating women’s heart disease and have a cardiac calcium scan to see if you already have plaque on your heart arteries or have had any damage to your heart!
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.