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Don’t blame the hysterectomy!

August 10, 2015

Hysterectomy May Be Associated With Higher Likelihood Of Cardiovascular Risk Factors And Disease.
Another study showing metabolic disease more common in hysterectomy patients.  Really it’s not the hysterectomy it’s the hormone deficiency and the reason younger patients are worse is because they experience the deficiency for a longer period of time.  Hormone deficiency increases metabolic disease such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, death etc.  So all the studies trying to pin this on hysterectomy are missing the point.  Studies looking at hormone replacement compliance showed that women followed the medication regimen only about 40% of the time.  This is why we make patients clearly understand that we are not removing ovaries unless they fully agree to comply with hormone use and to be adequately monitored.  Secondly, most doctors don’t follow estrogen levels on treated patients, and therefore many  are under treated with hormones and thus would suffer some of the issues this study refers to.  The hormone replacement world continues to be sectioned off into a different category of drug treatment – one laced with misconceptions and emotional pleas to have women pursue avenues of treatment that are unproven and many times unsafe or ineffective.
When is the last time someone asked their general doctor prescribing high blood pressure medicine if that medicine came in a cream, natural form, or bio identical formulation.  It just doesn’t happen but somehow hormones are different.  The most difficult aspect of hormone replacement is the outside influence on the patient by friends, family, TV and written material.  Studies are flashed in the media like it’s the gospel, just as the above study is being covered, without qualification or without considering the whole body of scientific knowledge on the subject that might include 10,000 to 100,000 studies.  So why would this one study be such a newsworthy event.  It truly isn’t yet many suffering patients will likely continue suffering because of this report and their decision not to pursue a needed hysterectomy.  I tell my patients to completely ignore the media when it comes to medicine and just ask us.  That’s what we’re here for!!
Michael D. Fox, MD
Jacksonville Center
Reproductive Medicine 

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