To describe practice patterns with hormone therapy (HT) in women after a surgical menopause and to describe their experience of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
This was a cross-sectional chart-review with telephone follow up interview of women between the ages of 20 and 50 years who had a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) before menopause at an academic teaching facility in Edmonton, Canada between December 1, 2006 and November 30, 2007.
Seventy women were interviewed. Mean respondents age at surgery was 44.3 (±5.2) years and mean time since surgery was 10.2 (±3.8) months. Twenty-eight women (40%) were started on HT after surgical menopause; 23 (33%) were still taking HT at the time of the interview. Estrogen therapy (ET) was the only HT prescribed in all instances, with over half the women on transdermal estrogen at time of the interview and 70% on ET doses equivalent to 0.625mg conjugated estrogens. Women not taking HT were more likely to experience daily hot flashes (74% vs 30%, p=0.006) and to classify them as moderate or severe intensity (57% vs 47%, p=0.033). Night sweats and difficulty sleeping were reported equally in both groups.
Over 2/3rd of women were not on HT after a surgical menopause and many of these women were still having daily hot flashes. Targeted patient education prior to surgery or at discharge may help improve the management of menopausal symptoms and long term health consequences in women after a surgical menopause.