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Ahah: The Advancing Health After Hysterectomy Foundation

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The Advancing Health After Hysterectomy Foundation (Ahah) is a non-profit, 501c3 charitable foundation registered in the State of Connecticut. The Foundation is committed to improving health and saving lives of women after hysterectomy by the use of estrogen therapy (ET). It aims to achieve both attitudinal and behavioral change in healthcare professionals, media and consumers.

Why is there a need for Ahah ? Following the report of the Women’s Health Initiative Study (WHI) in 2002 a steep decline occurred in the use of all menopausal hormone therapies. Fear of prescribing and using hormones occurred because of the negative results seen in women who had a uterus who were treated with a combination hormone, an estrogen plus a progesterone-like hormone. Two years later, when the WHI results for women who had a hysterectomy who used estrogen-only treatment were published, the findings were quite different and almost entirely beneficial. Unfortunately, these positive results had no effect on the fear of hormones and the steep decline in use persisted. As a result, millions of women, those without a uterus who would use estrogen-only (ET) are not receiving treatment. Ahah was started to raise awareness of the benefits of ET and to help dispel the fear of its’ use.

More than 15 million women in the United States have had a hysterectomy by the age of 60. As a consequence of hormone deficiency following hysterectomy, these women are at increased risk for debilitating symptoms affecting quality of life and capacity to function, diseases including sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and dementia, and all-cause mortality, mostly due to increase in heart attacks.

ET is approved by the FDA for control of menopause-related symptoms as well as prevention of osteoporosis and sexual dysfunction. There is considerable evidence that ET also protects arteries and nerve tissue, decreasing the risk for atherosclerosis and dementia when initiated within 10 years of losing ovarian function. Women using ET, in contrast to other hormone replacement therapies, have a decreased risk for developing breast and colon cancer.

Read more in Advancing Health After Hysterectomy
Med Sci Monitor 2008;14(1)CR24-CR31.

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Ahah - Advancing Health After Hysterectomy