Surgical menopause: Should one be prescribed HRT?

Patient

Q: Do the ovaries continue to produce some hormones after menopause? If menopause is surgical--bilateral oophoretomy--is hormone replacement therapy advised?

Doctor

A:   Menopause is a time in a womans life when the ovaries regress and stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The follicles in the ovaries undergo atrophy and thus are no longer viable. Even if the ovaries do continue to produce some hormones immediately after menopause they do so in very very small amounts. In terms of the use of hrt after bilateral oophorectomy it depends on a case by case basis. The postives( ie decreased menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings etc, decreased risk of colon cancer and improved bone strenght and decreased osteoporosis) have to be carefully weighed againsts the negatives ( ie increased coronary artery and heart disease, increased risk of clot formation, increased risk of breast cancer) of HRT. Moreover you have to rule out any contraindications which may be present in an individual for HRT. It is best to talk to your physician in detail about this method along with other possible methods of dealing with surgical menopause.

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