HRT after a hysterectomy - what about progesterone?

by Jane
(London, UK)

I had a history of polycystic ovaries which was managed with the Pill. In my late forties my periods became excessive and fibroids were diagnosed. Symptoms worsened and in 2006 I had a hysterectomy (womb and ovaries retaining my cervix). HRT implants were inserted during surgery and I have continued with this form of HRT ever since (iliac fossa). Six years later, (I am now 56) 50mg of oestradiol and 25-50mg of testosterone are inserted every six months (dose depends on resultant hair growth) and blood tests show my hormone levels are normal.

I have felt fine with no menopausal symptoms although there has been a continual undercurrent of lethargy, procrastination, slow recall and lack of energy. At times I have felt quite low and overwhelmed but have put this down to a busy and demanding schedule.

The testosterone implants are no longer available and so for the past two weeks I have used a gel daily or every other day. I am noticing anxiety, palpitations, confusion and withdrawal. I crave sugar and feel quite weak when I need to eat. My blood pressure is always low and feels noticeably so.

I wonder where progesterone fits it to the equation as clearly this isn't part of the cocktail I take. Reading your advice and stories makes me realise I should consider coming off HRT but am fearful of the symptons of sweats, poor sleep, thickening waist and aging! I would like to regain my mojo.

Your thoughts, advice and guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks Jane (UK).

Comments for HRT after a hysterectomy - what about progesterone?

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Sep 15, 2012
HRT after a hysterectomy - what about progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Jane Well you've probably read my comments on giving a woman oestrogen and testosterone! I don't believe either are needed, certainly not testosterone. I'm surprised you don't have a thickened waist by now, as it's notorious at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. Plus causing Insulin Resistance, with an increased risk of getting heart disease and cancer, see here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Your 'continual undercurrent of lethargy, procrastination, slow recall and lack of energy' were some of the symptoms I had prior to using progesterone, thankfully they all went. I wasn't using any form of hormone replacement and never have. You say you're 'fearful of the symptoms of sweats, poor sleep, thickening waist and ageing'. I'm surprised you don't have all those now! Bar the sweats which oestrogen can help, but so can progesterone, see our page on Hot Flushes. Oestrogen is an excitatory, inflammatory hormone, whereas progesterone is calming. It's therefore helpful for sleep, see here, here and here.
Continued below.

Sep 15, 2012
HRT after a hysterectomy - what about progesterone? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jane The thickened waist I mentioned above, and ageing, well it's excellent for this, see here, here, here, here and here. Particularly for the skin, whereas oestrogen does nothing for it, see here and here. HRT can cause numerous adverse side effects, one of which is dementia or memory loss. If interested in using progesterone, and stopping the other two, please see our page on Coming off HRT, the Pill etc. Plus the three following pages on How to use progesterone cream, Menopause and Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

Sep 15, 2012
Thank you
by: Jane

Many thanks Wray - I will read the links you recommend and then speak with my doctor. I really appreciate your prompt response. I am certainly not firing on all cylinders and probably in denial about about how low in energy, unenthusiastic and indecisive I am for much of the time. I had wondered if progesterone wasn't appropriate as I don't have a womb but clearly that is not the case. Warm wishes, Jane

Sep 15, 2012
Thank you
by: Wray

Hi Jane I hope the links help. It's fixed in most doctors minds that progesterone is only useful for pregnancy. And therefore of little use if the uterus has been removed, which is not the case at all. I wish you luck with your doctor! You might find some resistance there, specially if he was the one who prescribed the oestrogen and testosterone. Take care Wray

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