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Progesterone After a Hysterectomy: Should Women Use It?

Progesterone After a Hysterectomy: Should Women Use It?

by Dr. Barb DePree MD

When it comes to hormone therapy post-hysterectomy, there's a common question that arises: Is there a benefit to using progesterone after the removal of the uterus? This is a crucial query for those undergoing estrogen therapy and considering the implications of hormone balance in their overall health.

The Role of Progesterone in Hormone Therapy

Progesterone is often discussed in tandem with estrogen when it comes to hormone replacement therapy (HRT). For women with a uterus, progesterone is added to HRT to prevent estrogen from causing the lining of the uterus to grow excessively, which could lead to cancer. However, for women who have had a hysterectomy, the situation is different.

Do You Need Progesterone After a Hysterectomy?

The short answer is typically no. Without a uterus, there is no risk of endometrial cancer, which means the protective role of progesterone is no longer a factor. Most women do not require progesterone after a hysterectomy and often do not appreciate its side effects, which can include bloating, fluid retention, and mood swings.

Potential Benefits and Risks

Despite the general lack of necessity, there are instances where progesterone might be used. Some evidence suggests that progesterone can aid in sleep quality. However, it's important to note that progesterone might counteract some of the cardiovascular benefits of estrogen and has been associated with a slightly increased risk of breast cancer when used in combination with estrogen.

Estrogen Dominance: A Non-issue Post-Hysterectomy

The concept of estrogen dominance pertains to the endometrium's response to estrogen. Since the endometrium is no longer present after a hysterectomy, estrogen dominance is not a concern in this context.

Personalized Care for Optimal Health

Ultimately, the decision to use progesterone post-hysterectomy should be personalized. A healthcare provider specializing in menopause and hormone therapy can offer guidance based on individual health profiles and treatment goals.


For the majority of women post-hysterectomy, estrogen alone can be sufficient and even preferable for hormone therapy. Progesterone is generally reserved for specific cases where its benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks. As always, consult with your healthcare provider for advice tailored to your unique situation.


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