Post surgical menopause: Do I need to take HRT?

Patient

Q: I am 36 years old and have 4 children. 5 weeks ago i had a total abdominal hysterectomy to remove cancer. I haven't been told about HRT's, do i need to go on this?

Doctor

A:   Since you have had a total abdominal hysterectomy you have technically undergone surgical menopause. So you will be starting to expereincing the symptoms of menopause which may include but are not limited to hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood changes, increased risk of osteoporosis as well as cardica diseases. In the past hormone replacement therapy was widely propagated as it was thought to decrease the risk of heart disease in post menopausal women. In fact the contrary is true today. The start of HRT has to be carefully analysed keeping in mind both the benefits and risks of the same after ruling out any contraindications. HRT has been proven to be beneficial in protecting agaisnt osteoporosis as well as colon cancer. However there are many risks like increased heat disease, increased risk of clot formation etc. You do not have to take HRT to manage the symptoms of menopause. However if the symptoms are severe then you need to talk to your family physician in person for a more detailed history nd plan of management. All the best.

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