Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I am 64 and I had a hysterectomy 35 years ago. Do I need to stop taking my hormones?"
Will I have bone loss and start aging quicker?
The answer to your question is most likely yes, it would be advised that you would stop taking hormones. However, this depends somewhat on the type of hysterectomy had and additionally your past medical history. So it is important that you discuss this concern with your primary care physician. Most of the time women undergoing hysterectomy, their ovaries are left in place. For this reason, replacement of the hormones are not needed. When they are, we try to continue only until the age at which they would normally undergo menopause which is around age 50. The reason for this is that these hormones increase the risk of stroke and heart attack in women. We learned this about 15 years ago in a major study that showed that women that were on hormone replacement therapy were more likely to die of a heart attack and stroke. It is true that these hormones help to reduce bone loss and they also help to reduce symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. At this point, the only reason for you to stay on the hormones is if you are having significant symptoms of menopause that you find completely unacceptable and are not treatable with any other medication or if you have severe osteoporosis and your doctors are worried that if you go off the hormones should be at very high risk for fracture. Otherwise, it would probably be advisable for you to come off. You should discuss this issue with your primary care physician before doing anything.
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