A hysterectomy often leads to a drop in estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, which can cause unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, sleep disruptions, and more. There are several natural hormone replacement options that may help alleviate these issues.
Bioidentical hormones are identical in molecular structure to the hormones naturally produced in the human body. They are often derived from plant sources and can be customized to match a woman's natural hormone levels before menopause. Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone can be taken in various forms like pills, patches, gels, implants, and creams prescribed by a healthcare provider.
Some benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) include:
Compounded bioidentical hormones
- Relief of menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal atrophy
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis by maintaining bone density
- Improved mood, sleep, libido, and cognition
- Decreased cardiovascular disease risk when started early in menopause
are made by specially trained pharmacists to meet individual needs. The combinations, dosages and delivery method can be customized as per the patient's hormone levels and symptoms. These may provide more flexibility than commercially available standard doses.
Plant-derived estrogen options
like soy isoflavones from soybeans, red clover extracts and wild yam creams can mimic estrogen in the body. However, research on their efficacy is limited. They may provide mild symptom relief for some women.
derived from wild yams and soybeans can be absorbed through the skin. Using them on a cyclic schedule like the monthly menstrual cycle can provide natural progesterone to counter estrogen exposure. However, dosage standardization can be difficult with creams.
Lifestyle changes and home remedies
may also help manage symptoms, such as:
- Phytoestrogen-rich diet: Soy, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, oats, barley, beans, lentils, apples, carrots, fennel, ginseng, licorice root, red grapes, cherries, nuts and olive oil contain varying levels of plant estrogens that may mildly mimic estrogen in the body.
- Stress management: Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, massage, etc. can help alleviate mood swings, sleep issues and hot flashes.
- Acupuncture: Some studies show acupuncture can reduce hot flash frequency and improve sleep quality.
- Black Cohosh: This herbal supplement may help relieve hot flashes and night sweats. However, there are some concerns about its long-term safety. Consult a doctor before using it.
If adequate symptom control is not achieved through natural remedies and lifestyle changes, traditional hormone replacement therapy may be needed - at least until the body adjusts to functioning without ovaries. The benefits and risks should be discussed with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
At Equilibrium Hormone Institute(), our physicians and pharmacists specialize in customized bioidentical hormone replacement therapies to help women transition smoothly through perimenopause and post-menopause. Contact us today for a consultation!
In summary, natural hormone options like bioidentical estrogens and progesterone, plant-based choices and lifestyle measures may help ease menopausal symptoms in some women after hysterectomy. Work closely with your doctor to determine if you are a candidate for natural hormone replacement and to find the optimal regimen tailored to your needs and hormone levels. Persistent bothersome symptoms may warrant traditional hormone therapy
and routine follow-ups are essential to ensure treatment safety.