HRT needed??

I had a full hysterectomy plus both ovaries a week ago. Had big endometriomas 10+cm on both ovaries plus lots of adhesions, endometriosis and other fun things. The doctor prescribed estrogen patches to start wearing. (I'm 47) but I'm in two minds about wearing them. In the past week I've had no menopausal symptoms different to what I was already feeling. Wondering if my ovaries had already given up the ghost?? (After years of IVF, fertility drugs, ovarian hyper stimulation etc etc they really had been through hell and back over the years). How long after my surgery should I be expecting to feel the full brunt of instant menopause? Any time I've ever taken things that mess with my hormones my body reacts badly so I'm nervous.

21 Replies

  • I'm much older than you... 52 and had begun menopause (or so I thought) just before being diagnosed with OC ... I had been bleeding constantly and really heavy for a couple of months I thought it was menopause as my periods had always being heavy ... So for me having the lot removed improved my health... Had my op in May and almost at the end of 6 cycles of chemo the menopause symptoms have not caused me anymore discomfort ... I do feel warm at night but so is everyone else because it's been hot lol... Other than this there is nothing to write home about ... Hope this helps

  • Thank you. Thinking I'm going to "go for the ride" without the HRT and see where it goes too.

  • Hi, I'm 53 but had not been through my menopause before having a total hysterectomy in June. I am having symptoms how, hot flushes and night sweats but have decided not to take HRT and let it take it's course!! Obliviously it is an inidivdual choice, but with already having chemo I didn't want to add yet another drug to the mix!!

    Take care, Helen X

  • Thanks. Sometimes you just need to think enough is enough!! Good luck with your chemo.

  • I totally agree... I didn't want the extra drugs hate taking pills lol... To be honest I was told because of my age HRT was not something they would offer as u should be menopausal anyway.

  • Hi,

    I'm even older and had already been through the menopause with no adverse effects, but now that I have had the hysterectomy,it has come back big time!mood swings,hot flushes, night sweats.I have been offered hrt,but heard it can heighten the chance of breast cancer, so,.....enough is enough!

    I just figured my mum got through without it,so I have a fan on during the night and it's fine.

    It's a personal choice,but,yes I feel my body has been through enough

    Carole xxx

  • Hi I'm 47 and had a total hysterectomy in November 2014 due to OC, 3 weeks later I had hot flashes, I asked my onc if he could prescribe anything to help as they were quite severe and he said a big fat no lol, he said a definite no to HRT, like yourself I had been through many IVF treatments over the years so had a lot of fertility drugs so I didn't really want anything like HRT but thought he might suggest something herbal etc but he didn't want me to have anything as I was just starting chemo so now I carry a hand held fan and water wherever I go as it all helps to keep me cool.

    Best wishes



  • Hi I had my hysterectomy 9 years ago at nearly 48 and HRT wasnt even mentioned. To be honest I think Ive bern lucky and didnt notice much apart from night sweats which lasted a couple of years and were helped by using a 'Chillow Pillow' . Im surprised you have been offered it to be honest. I hope whatever you decide is right for you xx Kathy xx

  • I've low grade OC and HRT is not recommended as the type I have can be very hormone driven. I was given the patch post surgery as my temp was up but I removed it 2 hours later and have never used it since. I had my surgery in Jan and it's only the last week or so that the flushes are increasing but it's not too bad at all. I'm 43 so no menopause before surgery.

  • Ps I had loads of endometriosis as well. Doctor was surprised that I didn't have any symptoms.

  • I had a mini menopause with chemo and Zoladex last year... The hot flushes where just horrible. As my tumors were hormone responsive, my oncologist put me on a birth control pill with higher level of estrogen and that balanced them out.

    I've just had a complete hyst/staging surgery (remaining ovary out) and my oncologist started me on HRT the next morning.

    I'm only 2 weeks out, but I haven't had a hot flush yet and haven't had any of my normal bad reactions to hormones except sore boobs. If anything, I feel like my emotions are a bit more stable. (I got PMS from hell... I'm not going to miss it. Neither will anyone else come to think of it, haha)

    I also have severe endometriosis, but I can't really say how the HRT has impacted it because my surgeon took as much of it as she could find, so I've ended up having excision surgery, so that will have reduced the pain significantly. I'm also still taking a fair amount of post op pain relief.

    But, I'm only 32 and I have a family history of osteoporosis and heart disease. So for me, HRT is about more than avoiding those bullshit hot flushes.

    HRT isn't a simple thing. Your medical history, and your family history, along with how you respond to hormones, or lack of hormones, will all play a part in deciding if HRT is right for you.

  • ...Annnnndd that was meant to go as a normal reply, not a reply to a reply... whoops.

  • If you can leave HRT well alone.

    Take care xxx

  • Hrt was not an option for me because estrogen levels in my body caused the cancer in a way. I had a TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) in May and the last month I have noticed the hot flushes so much worse in the day and I sweat like a pig at night. Make sure you take calcium tablets for your bones.. Take care of yourself..🌝

  • Hello dasprior, Yes, question care giver recommendations. Remember that doctors do not all AGREE with each other. Some are far more up to date with new research than others. I am actually SHOCKED that with your health history your doctor would put you on HRT!

    Hormone levels and HRT are already linked to breast and OC. Honestly, your little body has already been subjected to massive hormonal disruption. I would not take any more hormonal interference. Your endogenous estrogen and hormone levels may have already been premenopausal, so please either get a second opinion or keep researching this yourself. BioMedical Publications is a great source of scientific information. Just be certain to find the most recent studies. Tesla

  • Thanks. The more I read the more I feel I don't want to use it. Will keep seeking answers.

  • dasprior, when I was visiting doctors for symptom root causes for the two years prior to my OC diagnosis, I went to a urologist to have my bladder checked out. She did a trans-vaginal ultrasound, which did not pick up the OC. She put a camera up my urethra just to check out my bladder. Looking at the inside of it, of course there was nothing but a healthy bladder. She prescribed estrogen cream, whereupon I told her I was already a breast cancer survivor and that putting estrogen cream into my vagina didn't seem like a good idea since I was concerned about ovarian cancer. She told me "a pea sized blob" a few times a week wouldn't hurt! At any rate, I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer about 12 months later. My surgeon said that I probably had OC for two years or more before it was detected. With epithelial OC the outside of my organs were encrusted with it!!!! All the other tests: colonoscopy, endoscopy, PAP smear had all looked normal. My GP must have been comatose, because she should have ordered a CAT scan which would have found it over a year earlier. I relate this maddening story because I just don't trust doctors to actually look beyond their immediate specialty!!!! They cannot be counted on the connect the data!!!!! This is why we must all be vigilant in our own advocacy. Tesla

  • cannot be counted on to connect the data!

  • It sounds like you need a chance to discuss this more fully with your CNS. There is not much information out there about the risk of taking HRT after treatment for ovarian cancer - in fact we are involved in helping with a Cochrane review about the subject at the moment. A lot of the risks of HRT relate to people taking HRT after the menopause - receiving additional hormones to the amount they have naturally received- whereas in your case and for the people receiving it before the menopause it is a case of just replacing what you normally would be having. However it is important you take advise from your medical team about this and sometimes it is worth checking whether there are oestrogen receptors on your tumour.

    It is useful to have a bone density scan Dexa scan as a baseline to check how strong your bones are at this stage and whether there is any need to check them in the future as far as osteoporosis is concerned. For any further information do please feel free to contact Ovacome on 0800 008 7054

    The Ovacome Team

  • Hi just by way of balance, I had my op aged 40. I had a long conversation with my surgeon about early surgical menopause and HRT. He discussed my specific details with the senior oncology professor at The Christie and they both agreed that in my case, a low dose of oestrogen only was appropriate. A key factor will be whether someone's cancer was hormone driven.

    As has been said above, there will be specific individual potential risks and benefits to each individual. HRT is not prescribed just to minimise hot sweats etc but also has a role in many other factors which depending on your age, circumstances, medical history etc may be significant.

    I would suggest, getting your questions and thoughts together, writing them down and then having a conversation with your consultant. You are an individual....

    Very best wishes, Sx

  • I was prescribed a low dose of oestrogen as a patch. Over the last 24 hours have had a few hot flushes and restless sleep. Feeling for my poor body - been through hell and back. Have an appointment with my surgeon next week and I'll go through it all again with him.

    Thanks for your balance!

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