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Does Getting a Hysterectomy Induce Menopause?

Does a hysterectomy cause menopause? It depends. Learn the different types and their impact on your hormones.
October 19, 2023

A hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, is a common procedure for women experiencing various health issues. One key question for premenopausal women is whether it will trigger menopause. The answer depends on whether the ovaries are also removed. Let's explore this relationship.

Hysterectomy and Menopause: The Link

  • Menopause Basics: Menopause is a natural stage where a woman's ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, leading to the end of menstrual periods.
  • Hysterectomy Alone: If only the uterus is removed, you'll no longer have periods. However, if the ovaries remain intact, they continue producing hormones, and natural menopause will occur at the typical age.
  • Hysterectomy with Oophorectomy: Removing both the uterus and ovaries (oophorectomy) triggers immediate menopause, called surgical menopause, as the body's primary source of estrogen is gone.

Types of Hysterectomies

It's essential to understand the different types of hysterectomies and their specific effects:

  • Total Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus and cervix.
  • Hysterectomy with Oophorectomy: Removal of the uterus and one or both ovaries.
  • Hysterectomy with Salpingo-Oophorectomy: Removal of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
  • Radical Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus, cervix, surrounding tissues, and sometimes pelvic lymph nodes (usually for cancer treatment).
  • Supracervical Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus, but the cervix is left in place.

Surgical Menopause: Symptoms and Considerations

Surgical menopause due to ovary removal can bring about sudden and often more severe menopausal symptoms compared to natural menopause.  These include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Bone density loss
  • Changes in libido

Hysterectomy without Oophorectomy: Potential Impacts

Even if ovaries are left intact, a hysterectomy can sometimes affect their function:

  • Temporary Menopausal Symptoms: The surgery may disrupt blood supply to the ovaries, leading to temporary hot flashes and other symptoms that usually ease with time.
  • Slightly Earlier Menopause: In some cases, menopause may occur a few years earlier than otherwise expected.

Important Note: Every woman's experience is unique. Discuss the potential effects of a hysterectomy on your hormones and menopause journey thoroughly with your doctor.