Estrogen Matters: Postoperative Healing

So you’ve just had surgery and your doctor is recommending you take estrogen.  You’ve never needed hormone therapy before and you are wondering why you need to now.

Let’s break it down for you!

As women age, their estrogen production begins to decrease, especially in those who are post-menopausal or who have had surgical removal of their ovaries.  There are other instances that can cause decreased estrogen production as well including pituitary disorders, kidney disease, and Turners syndrome.  As estrogen decreases, the vagina, unfortunately, suffers too and women can start to develop vaginal dryness and with time, vaginal atrophy.  These problems can cause the day to day dysfunction including painful intercourse or just vaginal discomfort.

When preparing for and recovering from surgery, vaginal dryness and atrophy play a big role in healing and returning to normal function. From a preoperative standpoint, your surgeon may start you on estrogen to help promote a healthy environment for surgery. By starting estrogen before surgery, you increase the blood flow to the vaginal tissue as well as help thicken the vaginal tissue which helps with healing.

Postoperatively, if estrogen is recommended it is for the same purpose and promoting the optimal environment for healing.  Once patients are cleared for sexual activity,  estrogen can also help with vaginal dryness and help to decrease pain associated with friction.  As with any type of hormone replacement, your doctor will decide if estrogen therapy is appropriate for you. Some patients are not candidates for estrogen therapy due to prior medical conditions and other patients may need to take combined hormones as well.

If you would like to learn more information feel free to contact us today.

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