Hysterectomy and menopause: those are two words associated closely with women, health, and aging. In this brief article, we will outline hysterectomy and menopause and offer definitions as well as links between the two and how a hysterectomy can affect menopause.
A hysterectomy is a medical procedure that involves an operation to remove the woman’s uterus. In some procedures, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix are all removed as well as the uterus. If a woman has not yet reached menopause, a hysterectomy will stop all periods and associated issues and will make pregnancy impossible. A complete hysterectomy is the type of hysterectomy that removes the cervix as well as the uterus. This is also the most common type of this procedure.
A partial or sub-total hysterectomy, on the other hand, removes the upper part of the uterus and leaves the cervix in the body. Also possible, mainly in some cases of cancer and other illnesses, is a radical hysterectomy in which part of the vagina is removed along with everything else. This is only done in, as the name would suggest, cases with which no other methods are possible to curb the illness.
Menopause occurs in all women. It is known as the ceasing of all production of menstrual cycles and all that entails. Menopause is often referred to as “change of life” or climacteric because it signals the “end of an era” in women and the end of the ability to become pregnant. Essentially, menopause is the act of the ovaries ceasing estrogen production. The reproductive system gradually shuts down and the body begins to adapt to changing hormone levels, causing some unpleasant results.
Normally menopause comes around at around the age of 50 or so. There are cases of menopause occurring earlier in women, however, for a variety of reasons. Hysterectomy and menopause are closely linked because of the removal of the ovaries. Often this combination is referred to as “surgical menopause” because of the fact that the menopausal cycle was originated through the surgical procedure as oppose to the natural act of the body’s changing.
Hysterectomy and menopause, therefore, is an instantaneous bodily reaction to the surgery. Pregnancy is no longer possible and the woman no longer menstruates. However, if one or both of the ovaries are retained through a hysterectomy then the normal onset of menopause is still possible without the surgical interference of the removal of the ovaries. Talk to your medical professional for more information.