Living Beyond Anything: Menopause after Hysterectomy

Menopause after hysterectomy is a concern of many women that undergo the procedure to remove their uterus or womb. There are various reasons that women elect to undergo a hysterectomy including, but not limited to: intolerable menstrual periods, prolapse, and changes of the uterus that are uncontrollable by modern medicine. Often times the prospect of menopause after hysterectomy procedures is a concern due to the principles of what a hysterectomy involves.

A hysterectomy can either be a total procedure or a “sub-total” procedure. A total procedure involves removing both the cervix and the uterus whereas a sub-total procedure removes the uterus but leaves the cervix behind. The ovaries may also be conserved or removed. Women decide which type of hysterectomy they require by taking a look at their family’s medical history, their individual situation, consulting their doctor, and simply by their own feelings or desires on the procedure. Sometimes it can be a matter of personal preference.

About Ovaries

Now, if one or both of the ovaries are conserved in the woman’s body (that is, if they are left behind after a hysterectomy), then menopause continues as the ovaries continue their production until the normal menopausal age. The hormones produced fluctuate and this might cause pre-menstrual symptoms or PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) in women, even without having a period.

It is also possible that, following a hysterectomy, the ovaries might stop producing hormones entirely or at least sooner than expected. If they stop producing hormones sooner than expected, symptoms of oestrogen deficiency may be recognizable. At this point, it is highly recommended that the situation is discussed with a medical professional and a medical course of action is decided upon. Menopause after hysterectomy, therefore, can be quite complex.

Now, if the ovaries have been entirely removed during the hysterectomy, menopause after hysterectomy becomes a different situation once again. A sudden loss of ovarian production will occur, naturally, and the symptoms of menopause will essentially take place all at once and within a few days of this procedure which is sometimes called “surgical menopause”. The risk factors of osteoporosis are also present in these cases because of the difference in blood and fluid levels in the body.

So, depending on the procedure menopause after hysterectomy can either occur at quite a normal rate or can fluctuate greatly and produce some undesirable results. Regardless of the option you select for ovary removal or conservation, it is important to keep in touch with a medical professional at all times in the days and weeks following the hysterectomy procedure.

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