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HomeExclusiveCan You Still Go Through Menopause After A Full Hysterectomy

Can You Still Go Through Menopause After A Full Hysterectomy

Do Pay Attention To The Positive Effects Of A Hysterectomy

Menopause After Hysterectomy | How Are They Connected?

A hysterectomy will invariably result in some changes for you and your wife. However, many of these changes could actually be positive. Hysterectomies help treat dangerous conditions and ease chronic pain. They can end painful periods that made it hard for your wife to function, or they can give peace of mind following a cancer diagnosis. Once your wife recovers, you may find that she has a lot more energy and enthusiasm for life.

Focusing on the bright side of things can help both you and your partner find joy and meaning following a hysterectomy. Many women are happy to have their husbands tell them things like I love seeing you feeling so great again! Bringing up the positives of a hysterectomy, such as not having to worry about birth control, getting treatment for medical conditions, and avoiding period inconvenience, can help you and your spouse celebrate your new normal.

Ultimately, a little extra support and attention to your wife make a big difference, so we hope this guide has helped you come up with some ways to assist your partner during hysterectomy recovery. At the offices of Dr. Krinsky, we work hard to provide high-quality gynecologic care for all patients. Do you have more questions? Our team is always happy to answer questions you may have both before and after your wifes hysterectomy. If you would like to learn more, call today.

Reasons For A Hysterectomy

Conditions that may be treated by hysterectomy include:

  • fibroids non-cancerous growths that form within the muscular walls of the uterus, outside the uterus or within the uterine cavity
  • heavy or irregular menstrual periods however, new techniques now used to treat this include endometrial ablation or use of a levonorgestrel-releasing inter-uterine device
  • severe period pain due to adenomyosis or severe recurrent endometriosis
  • cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes
  • endometriosis a condition in which cells similar to those in the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body, especially around the ovaries and peritoneum in the pelvis
  • adenomyosis a condition where endometrial-like cells grow in the muscle of the uterus
  • prolapse the uterus falls into the vagina because of loose ligaments or damage to the pelvic floor muscles, usually from childbirth
  • pelvic inflammatory disease , caused by bacterial infection, often from sexually transmitted infections .

Will I Enter Menopause After A Hysterectomy

Whether or not you enter menopause after a hysterectomy will depend on the type of surgery you have.

Menopause begins when the body reduces producing estrogen. Because your ovaries produce a large amount of your bodyâs estrogen, their removal through a radical hysterectomy, or a hysterectomy with oophorectomy, will trigger a sudden decrease in estrogen and lead to menopause. This is known as induced or surgical menopause.

If your hysterectomy doesnât involve the removal of your ovaries, or only one ovary is removed, you wonât enter surgical menopause, but you are still likely to enter menopause within five years.

Even with both ovaries intact, donât be surprised if, for a short time, you still experience menopause symptoms like hot flashes. This can happen because of the reduced blood flow to the ovaries, but should improve as you heal from the surgery.

If you are experiencing surgical menopause, you may experience other symptoms associated with a decrease in estrogen, not just hot flashes. These can include:

  • Hot flashes

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Potential Positive Effects Of Surgical Menopause

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women who are known to be at high inherited risk. Having this operation also usually reduces anxiety about developing ovarian cancer. In some high risk women, surgical menopause may also reduce their risk of breast cancer.
  • Reduced pelvic pain for women with endometriosis or dense adhesions around the ovary.

Management & Treatment After Surgical Menopause

Menopause After a Hysterectomy: Can You Go Through ...

Because symptoms of a surgical menopause are likely to be more severe, often the best way to manage and treat symptoms is with menopausal hormone therapy, or MHT . Your doctor can advise you about the risks and benefits of using MHT.

If the ovaries have been removed but not the uterus , MHT will include both oestrogen and progestogen, with or without testosterone. Progestogen is used to protect against uterine cancer. When a woman is on oestrogen therapy, she needs a progestogen to stabilise the lining of the uterus, which reduces her risk of cancer of the uterus.

If both an oophorectomy and hysterectomy are performed, oestrogen and possibly testosterone are needed. Progestogen is not needed, as there is no risk of cancer of the uterus. The hormone therapy is best started within 2448 hours after surgery.

Sometimes MHT is not an option after surgical menopause, perhaps because of a woman’s increased risk of breast cancer, or a clotting condition such as Factor V Leiden mutation, which increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis .

The alternatives to MHT may include:

  • some complementary therapies, although there is no evidence to support their use in surgical menopause for more information go to Menopause & herbs
  • some antidepressant, anticonvulsant and migraine/blood pressure medications, which work to reduce hot flushes.

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What Is Surgical Menopause

Surgical menopause is when surgery, rather than the natural aging process, causes a woman to go through menopause. Surgical menopause occurs after an oophorectomy, a surgery that removes the ovaries.

The ovaries are the main source of estrogen production in the female body. Their removal triggers immediate menopause, despite the age of the person having surgery.

While surgery to remove the ovaries can operate as a stand-alone procedure, its sometimes performed in addition to hysterectomy to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. A hysterectomy is surgical removal of the uterus.

Periods stop after a hysterectomy. But having a hysterectomy doesnt lead to menopause unless the ovaries are removed too.

Surgical menopause also causes hormonal imbalances. The ovaries and adrenal glands produce progesterone and estrogen, the female sex hormones. When both ovaries are removed, the adrenal glands cant produce enough hormones to maintain balance.

Hormonal imbalance can increase your risk of developing a variety of conditions including heart disease and osteoporosis.

For that reason, and depending on your medical history, some doctors may or may not recommend hormone replacement therapy after an oophorectomy to reduce the risk of disease. Doctors will avoid giving estrogen to women who have a history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Top Advices For Husbands After Hysterectomy

Any major surgical procedure can have a big effect on a relationship, and hysterectomies are no exception. Due to the sensitive nature of the surgery, many men struggle with how to care for and interact with their wives following a hysterectomy procedure. The best advice for husbands after hysterectomy is simply to continue treating your wife with love, respect, and attention. To avoid making any major mistakes, follow these dos and donts of maintaining your relationship after a hysterectomy.

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What Are Some Alternatives To Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is major surgery. Sometimes a hysterectomy may be medically necessary, such as with prolonged heavy bleeding or certain types of cancer. But sometimes you can try other treatments first. These include:

  • Surgery to remove uterine fibroids without removing the uterus. This is called a myomectomy. Depending on the location of your fibroids, the myomectomy can be done through the pelvic area or through the vagina and cervix. You may be able to get pregnant after this surgery. If your doctor recommends this surgery, ask your doctor if a power morecellator will be used. The FDA has warned against the use of power morcellators for most women.
  • Surgery to shrink fibroids without removing the uterus. This is called myolysis. The surgeon heats the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and die. Myolysis may be done laparoscopically . You may still get pregnant after myolysis.
  • Treatments to shrink fibroids without surgery. These treatments include uterine artery embolization and magnetic resonance -guided focused ultrasound . UAE puts tiny plastic or gel particles into the vessels supplying blood to the fibroid. Once the blood supply is blocked, the fibroid shrinks and dies. MRUS sends ultrasound waves to the fibroids that heat and shrink the fibroids. After UAE or MRUS, you will not be able to get pregnant.
  • The Cons: Reasons To Lean Against Hrt After Surgical Menopause

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    • Your menopausal symptoms aren’t bothering you, or other treatments work fine. Some women don’t have very severe symptoms after surgical menopause and don’t want or need treatment. Even if you do have acute symptoms, HRT is not the only way to control them. Other drugs or lifestyle changes can help. Talk to your doctor.Ã
    • You’re 50 or older. Many women who go into surgical menopause at 50 or older — the natural time of menopause – decide not to get HRT. That’s because their supply of estrogen would naturally drop during menopause anyway. There is some evidence that the older you are when you start HRT, the higher the cardiovascular risks – at least initially.Ã
    • You have liver disease. Estrogen pills can put a lot of stress on the liver. So if you have liver disease, your doctor may not want you to take oral HRT. Other ways of getting estrogen – like patches and gels – bypass the liver and are safer options.Ã
    • You’re concerned about the side effects. HRT can also cause symptoms of its own. Many resemble the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome — swollen and painful breasts, headaches, and nausea
    • You’re at a higher risk of health problems like:

    o Strokes. Hormone therapy can increase the risk of stroke, although your odds are still very low.

    o Blood clots. Oral estrogen, at least, may also raise the risk of blood clots. Estrogen patches and creams may pose a lower risk, but that’s still unclear.

    Read Also: Perimenopause Light Headed

    Benefits Of Surgical Menopause

    For some women, removing the ovaries and experiencing surgical menopause can be lifesaving.

    Some cancers thrive on estrogen, which can cause women to develop cancer at an earlier age. Women who have a history of ovarian or breast cancer in their families have a greater risk of developing these diseases because their genes may be unable to suppress tumor growth.

    In this case, oophorectomy can be used as a preventive measure to reduce the risk of developing cancer.

    Surgical menopause can also help to reduce pain from endometriosis. This condition causes uterine tissues to growth outside the uterus. This irregular tissue can affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or lymph nodes and cause significant pelvic pain.

    Removing the ovaries can stop or slow estrogen production and reduce pain symptoms. Estrogen replacement therapy usually isnt an option for women with this history.

    Effects Following Total Hysterectomy

    The cervix is sensitive to touch. Pressure from a penis, finger, or sex toy may feel good. Likewise, the uterus and cervix do contract during an orgasm. That contributes to the sensations experienced during climax.

    Removing the entire uterus, including the cervix, may alter the quality or intensity of orgasm, but it shouldnt permanently prevent it.

    Read Also: Estrogen Dizziness

    Other Roles Of The Uterus And Ovaries

    The uterus has important functions other than childbearing, including:

    • sexuality the uterus rhythmically contracts during orgasm, contributing to sensations of pleasure
    • self-image the uterus is of great psychological importance to some women for many reasons, including fertility, femininity, sexuality and body image.

    The ovaries play a major role in maintaining the female hormonal system. Their removal results in menopausal symptoms . Therefore, unless diseased, a womans ovaries are not usually removed during hysterectomy

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    To give you a better sense of what to consider in your decision, here’s a list of reasons you might lean toward getting HRT, along with a list of reasons against. Keep in mind that few if any of these pros or cons are definitive. Instead, you and your doctor have to consider them all and decide which apply.

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    Will The Doctor Remove My Ovaries During The Hysterectomy

    Whether your ovaries are removed during the hysterectomy may depend on the reason for your hysterectomy.

    Ovaries may be removed during hysterectomy to lower the risk for ovarian cancer. However, women who have not yet gone through menopause also lose the protection of estrogen, which helps protect women from conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

    Recent studies suggest that removing only the fallopian tubes but keeping the ovaries may help lower the risk for the most common type of ovarian cancer, which is believed to start in the fallopian tubes.3

    The decision to keep or remove your ovaries is one you can make after talking about the risks and benefits with your doctor.

    What Happens During A Hysterectomy

    Your healthcare provider will determine the type of hysterectomy you need and the best surgical method to perform that procedure. You will change into a hospital gown and get hooked up to monitors that track your heart rate. An intravenous line is placed in a vein in your arm to deliver medications and fluids.

    An anesthesiologist will give you either:

    • General anesthesia in which you will not be awake during the procedure or
    • Regional anesthesia in which medications are placed near the nerves in your lower back to “block” pain while you stay awake.

    There are several different surgical approaches your healthcare provider may use to perform a hysterectomy:

    Vaginal hysterectomy:

    • Your uterus is removed through an incision at the top of your vagina. There is no external incision.
    • Dissolvable stitches are placed inside the vagina.
    • Most commonly used in cases of uterine prolapse and other non-malignant conditions.
    • Fewest complications and fastest recovery and is considered the preferred approach.
    • Patients often go home the same day of surgery.

    Laparoscopic hysterectomy:

    • A laparoscope is inserted in the lower abdomen through a small incision in the belly button.
    • Surgical tools are inserted through several other small incisions.
    • Your uterus can be removed in small pieces through the incisions in your abdomen or through your vagina.
    • Some people go home the same day or after one night in the hospital.
    • Full recovery is shorter and less painful than an abdominal hysterectomy.

    Read Also: Tubal Ligation Early Menopause

    Are There Any Risks

    The risks associated with hysterectomy are among the lowest for any major surgery. However, as with any major surgery, problems can occur, including:

    • Blood clot in the veins or lungs
    • Infection
    • Bleeding during or after surgery
    • Bowel blockage
    • Injury to the urinary tract or nearby organs
    • Problems related to anesthesia
    • Early menopause

    Removal Of The Cervix

    What to expect with a hysterectomy

    If you have cancer of the cervix, ovarian cancer or womb cancer, you may be advised to have your cervix removed to stop the cancer spreading.

    Even if you do not have cancer, removing the cervix takes away any risk of developing cervical cancer in the future.

    Many women are concerned that removing the cervix will lead to a loss in sexual function, but there’s no evidence to support this.

    Some women are reluctant to have their cervix removed because they want to retain as much of their reproductive system as possible.

    If you feel this way, ask your surgeon whether there are any risks associated with keeping your cervix.

    If you have your cervix removed, you’ll no longer need to have cervical screening tests.

    If you do not have your cervix removed, you’ll need to continue having regular cervical screening.

    Read Also: Sweet Potato Menopause

    Will You Go Into Premature Menopause

    You may have heard that your hormone levels drop after a hysterectomy, but that isnt accurate. Your uterus, cervix, and vagina arent part of your endocrine system, which means theres no effect on your hormones, if they must be removed.

    You can have one ovary removed and, as long as it stays healthy, it produces the hormones you need. Its different when both ovaries are removed, however. A bilateral oophorectomy causes an abrupt loss of hormones. As a result, you enter premature menopause.

    What Changes Can I Expect After A Hysterectomy

    Hysterectomy is a major surgery, so recovery can take a few weeks. But for most women, the biggest change is a better quality of life. You should have relief from the symptoms that made the surgery necessary.

    Other changes that you may experience after a hysterectomy include:

    • Menopause. You will no longer have periods. If your ovaries are removed during the hysterectomy, you may have other menopause symptoms.
    • Change in sexual feelings. Some women have vaginal dryness or less interest in sex after a hysterectomy, especially if the ovaries are removed.
    • Increased risk for other health problems. If both ovaries are removed, this may put you at higher risk for certain conditions such as: bone loss, heart disease, and urinary incontinence . Talk to your doctor about how to prevent these problems.
    • Sense of loss. Some women may feel grief or depression over the loss of fertility or the change in their bodies. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, including feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in food or things you once enjoyed, or less energy, that last longer than a few weeks after your surgery.

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    When Will You Go Through Menopause After A Hysterectomy And How Will You Know It It Depends On The Type Of Hysterectomy

    Dear HealthyWomen,

    I’m 43 and have been suffering with abnormal and heavy bleeding and pain from uterine fibroids, which were discovered during a pelvic exam and subsequent ultrasound.

    After trying various treatments with little improvement or success, I’m scheduled for a total hysterectomy. I’m OK about this, because I’m finished having children, and, frankly, I’ll be relieved to end the frequent bleeding and pain.

    Many of my friends are starting to go through menopause and commiserating over hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness and the like. That makes me very curious about something: I haven’t gone through menopause yet, so how will I know if I’m going through it if I’ve had a hysterectomy?


    Waiting for Menopause

    Dear WFM,

    First, let’s discuss what a total hysterectomy is. Your uterus and cervix will be removed. If you are having your fallopian tubes and ovaries removed as well , that makes it much more likely that menopause will begin abruptly, since your body will no longer be producing as much estrogen.

    You will experience menopause differently than your friends who are going through a “natural” menopause. Your menopause is known as a surgical or induced menopause, and symptoms will likely begin immediately after the procedure. Because a surgical menopause is more sudden and abrupt than a gradual and natural menopause, it’s likely your symptoms will be more severe.


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