Hysterectomy & Surgical Menopause
A hysterectomy will result in a woman becoming menopausal at an earlier age than usual. Broadly speaking the surgery will be either a hysterectomy or an oophorectomy. In all cases your periods will stop and you will no longer be able to become pregnant.
In the case of an oophorectomy where the ovaries are removed, you will immediately become menopausal, post-surgery. If the ovaries have not been removed as part of the hysterectomy, you will become menopausal any time up to 5 years following the surgery.
This early menopause will give you the same symptoms as any normally occurring menopause.
Oophorectomy & Early Menopause
After an oophorectomy you will go through early menopause regardless of your age. This is because menopause happens when the ovaries stop producing oestrogen and progesterone hormones. If the ovaries are removed, then you will no longer ovulate and you will no longer produce hormones, so your body will go into immediate menopause.
Often, symptoms after an oophorectomy can be more severe, due to the very abrupt start of menopause so this is something you might want to prepare for if you are about to have an oophorectomy hysterectomy.
A hysterectomy should not cause early menopause because your ovaries are still regulating hormones and still releasing eggs. Your periods will stop once the womb has been removed, but this does not mean you will go through menopause straight away. It can be more difficult to tell when you eventually do start menopause, since menstruation will no longer be an indication.
Typically you will go through menopause around the normal age, mid-late 40’s or early 50’s. However, some women who have had a hysterectomy do experience premature menopause by 1-2 years.
Symptoms You May Experience
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- Reduced skin tone
- Low energy levels
- Sleep disturbance or insomnia
- Mood swings – anxiety, irritability, low confidence
- Weight gain
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of sex drive
- Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse
- Difficulty concentrating, lapses of memory
- Urinary problems – incontinence, urgency, bladder infections
- Hair loss
- Digestive problems – indigestion, cramping, nausea
- Sore muscles, tendons and joints
- Breast soreness or tenderness
- Increased muscle tension