Question about HRT for 36yo after oophorectomy

I am 36 and have had both of my ovaries removed by surgery 2 months ago as a result of OC. My gynae-onc and another gynae-oncologist I saw for a second opinion both recommended that I do not use HRT given that I don't have any serious symptoms apart from ocassional hot flashes and difficulty sleeping through the night (but not insomnia as such). It's hard to say if I am experiencing some other symptoms like restlessness and fatigue as a result of surgical menopause or because I'm going through chemo (taxol/carbo/avastin). I have read about surgical menopause giving rise to other problems like brain fog, loss of memory, difficulty concentrating etc which bothers me slightly as I still hope to go back to work after chemo.

My gynae-onc also said that the symptoms are most serious about a week or 2 after surgery and that if I am not experience any serious symptoms now then it's unlikely I will in the future. Is this true?

Another concern I have is osteoporosis and joint pain as I'm a very active person and really hope to get back into sports after chemo is over or when my body allows it. Doctor suggests that I start doing bone density scans next year and then decide what meds I should take. Does the sound right?

Sorry for this long post but just want to see if anyone has gone without HRT after having both ovaries removed and how that has worked out for you?

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  • I hope you'll get some replies from younger women, but in the meantime just a few thoughts.....

    The range of experience of menopause ( be it "natural" or surgical) is very wide. Many women sail through it; many others have lots of unpleasant symptoms. Many don't take HRT; others do. I think that no-one knows why women fall into either camp or all the places in between.

    So perhaps you're a lucky one and perhaps your onc is right.

    The things you're describing could be reactions to the chemo or the anti-nausea meds and until you've finished the chemo, and a while after it, you're not really going to know what your "normal" body is telling you.

    I like to assume things will be fine and deal with any problems as they arise, if they arise, so assuming you'll return to your life of work and activity before OC sounds great.

    It might be worth finding out whether or not your OC is oestrogen positive or not. HRT comes in different forms and topical cream can be useful for any dryness. There are alternatives to oestrogen as well. This was one of the subjects discussed at the recent members' day.

    The bone density scans sound a brilliant idea and give you a head start on the rest of the population if you do look to be developing problems. The only person I know who had one had it when she was 50 and only because her mother had suffered really badly with osteoporosis.

    Wishing you all the best xxx

  • Thanks a lot for all the ideas and hearing it from women who's been through it just somehow seems more reassuring than from the doc as I know they are professional but when it comes to symptoms it is often quite personal! I guess you are right I need to wait till after chemo to see how my body reacts. Thanks !!

  • Hi Amanda. I was 40 when I had a total hysterectomy with removal of Ovaries and Omentum. I was advised not to use HRT and have not done so. I have experienced over the last 3 years since that operation various levels of menopause. Hot flushes, night sweats, weight gain, joint pain, etc. Nothing however that I cannot cope with. I also have had taxol, carbo, gemictibine and I am currently on Avastin. I never have experienced 'chemo fog' or loss of memory/confusion/difficulty concentrating/mood swings, actually during this time I wrote two Top Twenty Billboard songs and wrote two children's books. I am not as mobile as I once was but I can walk and am as active as possible. My skin is the same as before my hair is healthy and thick and my nails are fine. I haven't gone for bone density scans but I might mention that to my Onc at my scan results tomorrow. As everyone is different I cannot tell you if you will ever have any symptoms but so far so good for you. My symptoms kicked in fairly immediately . I haven't any great solution for some of the symptoms I have a fan in hot weather and have some cold compresses to hand during the winter. I wear only natural materials near my body definitely no Nylon etc. I hope this helps somewhat. Anything else you need to know PM me, or reply here. Much Love x Trish

  • Thank you Trish, and impressed with your achievements during treatment! Guess I need to figure out what my new normal is and just deal with it!

  • I had my last chemo on the 4th February this year, this followed a hysterectomy where I had everything taken away. I have returned to work, part-time, and do suffer from the symptoms you describe. I was told by my OC that it would take another 12-18 months before I was 100%. He didn't want me to go back full time, which i'm glad about as I don't think I could work full time at the moment. It's lovely to be back at work, but i'm not as confident as I was. I work in a post office so have a lot of customers and it takes your mind off your systems. Good Luck xxxx

  • Thanks for your response wonkylegs I can imagine when you said not feeling as confident as you were. I still have 3 more months of chemo to go and work seem quite far away but I have doubts that I can go back to my original work given the high stress environment. 12-18 months seems like a long time to be back to normal but I guess that's a reminder that we need to give our bodies time to adjust and not push too far....

  • I had a bone density scan last year when I was taking tablets that can cause osteoporosis. If you do take that route, it was a simple painless scan, no dyes or anything to have

    Di

  • Hi Di thanks that's great to know :-)

  • Hi: I was 35 when had the TAH and similar to you, was told no HRT. In my experience I had a few 'chemo' flushes but that's it... 18 months later and still no menopause type symptoms (no hot flushes, no mood swings, no dryness, no joint aches); so if you haven't had them yet; I still haven't, so probably true. I take extra calcium and vitamin D and B but that was my choice, not something which was specifically prescribed. Yes: I suffer with brain fog and concentration; but I've found techniques to cope with that. Hope this reassures x

  • Thanks for sharing Laurie it does reassure! Come to think of it i have a bit of brain fog even before surgery and chemo just that now I have found a clinical 'reason' for it!

  • I agree wirth Laurie that there are other ways of copign with menopause symptoms. Physical activity is one of the best for osteoporosis. It used to be said that weightbearing exercise was needed but I was told by a physio that the important thing is that it's against resistance so not just the obvious 'weight-bearing' of walking and running. I asked becasue I swim and cycle. I'm older now - that was when I was coming up to the menopause myself and also doing some work on osteoporosis.