Will a Hysterectomy Cause Immediate Menopause?
It is a misconception among many women considering a hysterectomy that the procedure will cause menopause to occur immediately. The truth is that most women seeking hysterectomies for heavy periods, uterine fibroids or pelvic pain are able to keep their ovaries intact following the surgery. Since the ovaries regulate the hormones that facilitate menopause, women who receive a partial hysterectomy (leaves the ovaries and cervix intact) or total hysterectomy (removes the whole uterus and the cervix) will not experience menopause immediately.
The Ovaries and Their Role in Menopause
The ovaries are two small organs located on either side of your uterus. The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, two hormones essential to female ovulation and reproduction. As you near menopause, the ovaries slow down their production of these two hormones so that periods become more infrequent. Eventually your periods will cease altogether and after one year with no periods, you have officially entered the menopausal period. Many women experience hot flashes, sexual dysfunction and sleep disturbances as a result of menopause.
Women who undergo a radical hysterectomy will experience immediate menopause due to the removal of one or both ovaries. This type of menopause is called surgical menopause. Because this change is so abrupt, many women report suffering from much more severe menopause symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive, fatigue, night sweats and insomnia. Surgical menopause is linked with bone loss, osteoporosis and heart disease.
Women who undergo partial hysterectomies or total hysterectomies that leave the ovaries intact often experience menopause a couple of years earlier than if they hadn’t undergone the surgery. However, this type of menopause more closely replicates natural menopause and many women find the transition to be smooth. Because hysterectomy often alleviates pain, discomfort and sexual dysfunction, many women find that the benefits of hysterectomy outweigh the risk of entering menopause early.
Your Hysterectomy Options
If you are living with pelvic pain, heavy periods or uterine fibroids, and nothing you and your doctor have tried has alleviated your symptoms, a minimally invasive procedure can be a viable option for you that won’t automatically induce menopause. The MIRI team of specialists can develop a customized plan including minimally advanced hysterectomy that is designed for your unique symptoms.
Content Sponsored by: MIRI Women – The Minimally Invasive Reproductive Surgery Institute (MIRI) brings together highly skilled, board-certified specialists who are focused on women’s health. Our team of professionals is trained in advanced gynecology, specifically hysterectomy surgery. Philosophically, our partner physicians take a “less is more” approach to health care, by first treating patients with the most conservative therapies. MIRI focuses on physical healing, while emphasizing that a patient’s emotional well-being is just as important.