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HomeExclusiveCan You Still Have Menopause Symptoms After A Hysterectomy

Can You Still Have Menopause Symptoms After A Hysterectomy

Managing Surgical Menopause Symptoms

What to expect with a hysterectomy

To reduce negative side effects of surgical menopause, doctors may recommend hormone replacement therapy. HRT counteracts the hormones youve lost after surgery.

HRT also lowers the risk of developing heart disease and prevents bone density loss and osteoporosis. This is especially important for younger women who have removed their ovaries before natural menopause.

Women younger than 45 who have their ovaries removed and who arent taking HRT are at an increased risk of developing cancer and heart and neurological diseases.

However, HRT has also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer for women with a strong family history of cancer.

You can also manage your surgical menopausal symptoms through lifestyle changes that help to reduce stress and alleviate pain.

Try the following to reduce discomfort from hot flashes:

  • Carry a portable fan.

What Is Premature Menopause

Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered “natural” and is a normal part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention or damage to the ovaries . Menopause that occurs before the age of 45, regardless of the cause, is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause.

What Is The Most Profound Change You Will Experience

Being told you may need a hysterectomy is a difficult and deeply emotional experience because it means your menstrual periods stop, and you wont be able to get pregnant. Dr. Macey only recommends a hysterectomy when all other treatment options have been considered tried, if possible and failed to improve your symptoms.

The most common health conditions treated with a hysterectomy — uterine fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal uterine bleeding, and uterine prolapse — can often be treated with procedures that preserve your uterus, but it depends on the severity of your problem and your overall health. If you have cervical cancer, uterine cancer, or severe uterine hemorrhage, hysterectomy may be the best choice for your health.

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Will I Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause

You should still be able to enjoy sex after menopause. Sometimes, decreased sex drive is related to discomfort and painful intercourse. After treating the source of this pain , many women are able to enjoy intimacy again. Hormone therapy can also help many women. If you are having difficulties enjoying sex after menopause, talk to your healthcare provider.

Causes Of Partial Hysterectomy And Hormonal Imbalance

Gynecology Health &  Treatments

A partial hysterectomy is commonly performed to treat a medical problem. Surgery is completed to remove the uterus and sometimes the ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes.

Women often choose this option when theyre experiencing:

Heavy menstrual bleeding

Generally, a menstrual period lasts up to seven days as your body sheds the uterus lining. If the bleeding lasts for more than seven days or if you have these signs of heavy bleeding, it could be a sign you need medical attention:

  • Changing pads/tampons every one to two hours
  • Getting up in the middle of the night to change pads/tampons
  • Blood clots the size of a quarter or larger
  • Feeling tired or shortness of breath

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Most are not cancerous, but they can be hard to live with. Uterine fibroids can cause pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.


Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that makes up the uterus lining begins to grow outside the uterus. The endometriosis growths swell and bleed each month, just like the lining of the uterus. This common condition can cause pain, bleeding or spotting, infertility, and digestive issues.


Hormonal imbalance may cause an increased risk of cancer of the endometrium . Women may experience heavy menstrual periods, pelvic pain, and pain during sex. Different treatment options are available, and a hysterectomy may be recommended.

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Putting The Risks And Benefits Of Hrt In Perspective

If you’re just glancing at list above, some of the risks of HRT might seem to overwhelm the benefits. Could a reduction in vaginal dryness possibly be worth an increased risk of cancer?

But look at the details. The risks of HRT — while real — are quite small for an individual person. For example, the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study found that ERT increased the risk of strokes by 39%. That sounds frighteningly high. But the actual number of people affected is very small. Out of 10,000 women who are not taking ERT, 32 have strokes each year. Out of 10,000 who are taking ERT, 44 have strokes each year. That’s an increase of just 12 people out of 10,000.

On the other hand, when it comes to controlling the symptoms of surgical menopause, a huge number of women feel the benefits. One out of four menopausal women has severe hot flashes. Treatment with hormone therapy cuts down the number of hot flashes per week by 75%. So if a woman had 24 hot flashes per week, HRT would drop that number to six. That could make a big difference in the quality of their day-to-day life.

What Are Hot Flashes And How Long Will I Have Them

Hot flashes are one of the most frequent symptoms of menopause. It is a brief sensation of heat. Hot flashes arent the same for everyone and theres no definitive reason that they happen. Aside from the heat, hot flashes can also come with:

  • A red, flushed face.
  • Sweating.
  • A chilled feeling after the heat.

Hot flashes not only feel different for each person they also can last for various amounts of time. Some women only have hot flashes for a short period of time during menopause. Others can have some kind of hot flash for the rest of their life. Typically, hot flashes are less severe as time goes on.

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What Is Hormonal Imbalance After Partial Hysterectomy

A partial hysterectomy may cause hormonal imbalance symptoms in some people that affect them both emotionally and physically.

If a hysterectomy is performed in which the uterus is removed but the ovaries are not, the body will still produce hormones, but at a lower level. Removal of the uterus without the ovaries causes less dramatic changes in hormone levels than a full hysterectomy does, but a partial hysterectomy can still cause a hormonal imbalance.

Hormones are the bodys chemical messengers they tell your body what to do, when, and for how long. They affect many different things like:

  • Growth and development
  • Mood

What Happens To Your Cervix

Your Cancer Risk: Estrogen Replacement After a Hysterectomy

There are a few types of hysterectomy. In total and radical hysterectomies, the cervix is removed along with the uterus, and potentially other reproductive organs.

If you have a partial hysterectomy, also known as a subtotal or supracervical hysterectomy, your cervix is left in place. While the top of the cervix is no longer attached to anything, the bottom is still attached to your vagina.

A partial hysterectomy can be performed for many conditions that dont affect the cervix, such as fibroids, endometriosis, and heavy uterine bleeding. It cannot be performed if youve had cancer in any of your reproductive organs or if youve ever had an abnormal Pap smear.

Its important to get screened regularly, because you can still get cervical cancer if you have a partial hysterectomy. Talk with your doctor about how often you should have a Pap smear or other screening tests for cervical cancer.

Although you wont menstruate after having a hysterectomy, you may still experience some bleeding during the time you would normally get your period, if you had a partial hysterectomy. This is because the cervix has some of the same cells that line the uterus, called endometrial cells.

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Are There Any Other Emotional Changes That Can Happen During Menopause

Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including:

  • A loss of energy and insomnia.
  • A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
  • Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
  • Headaches.
  • Aggressiveness and irritability.

All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause. You have probably experienced some of them throughout your life. Managing emotional changes during menopause can be difficult, but it is possible. Your healthcare provider may be able to prescribe a medication to help you . It may also help to just know that there is a name to the feeling you are experiencing. Support groups and counseling are useful tools when dealing with these emotional changes during menopause.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Hysterectomy

The length of your hospital stay and recovery will depend on the type of hysterectomy you had abdominal, vaginal or laparoscopic. Most women stay in the hospital for one to two days, though some may stay up to four days. It takes longer to recover from an abdominal hysterectomy, with complete recovery usually taking four to eight weeks. Most women can return to normal activity in one to two weeks following a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy.

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Determining Risk By Procedure Type

Your risk for developing cancer after surgery depends on the type of hysterectomy you had, which may include:

  • Partial hysterectomy: With this procedure, the uterus is removed, but the ovaries are not.
  • Total hysterectomy: This involves removing the uterus and cervix but leaving the ovaries.
  • Total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy: Surgeons remove the uterus, cervix, both ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Though studies show it’s less likely that you will develop ovarian cancer if your ovaries are removed, its still possible.

Even if your ovaries are removed, you can develop primary peritoneal cancer, a cancer that starts in the covering that lines the abdominal organs. This type of cancer mimics ovarian cancer, causes similar symptoms, and is treated the same way.

If your cervix or fallopian tubes were not removed, your risk of developing cancer in these organs is low.

If you had a hysterectomy as a treatment for cancer, you should know that your cancer can still come back. This is called a recurrence.

Will Hormone Therapy Help Prevent Long

Pelvic Adhesions

The benefits and risks of hormone therapy vary depending on a womans age and her individual history. In general, younger women in their 50s tend to get more benefits from hormone therapy as compared to postmenopausal women in their 60s. Women who undergo premature menopause are often treated with hormone therapy until age 50 to avoid the increased risk that comes from the extra years of estrogen loss.

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Why Does Menopause Happen

Natural menopause menopause that happens in your early 50s and is not caused by surgery or another medical condition is a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding to artificially stop As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of a hormone called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop. Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause are all part of your bodys adjustment to these changes.

Is Anyone Going Through A Menopause 12/13 Yrs After Full Hysterectomy And Hrt


I had a full hysterectomy at 36 – I was put on HRT because of my age at the time of the operation. I took the advice of my GP and weaned myself off of HRT about 2 yrs ago – I’m still getting hot flushes several times a day – my moods are up and down – I have headaches and fairly recently noticed slight heart palpitations. I continually have an anxious feeling – I’ve been to GP who did blood pressure etc and said that it was all good but is referring me for a 24 hr heart monitor but doesn’t expect it to pick up anything. I feel like I am constantly saying how unwell I feel – I suffer from constipation, aches and pains in joints and I’m finding it hard to concentrate at work – I just want to feel human again! Apologies if this sounds like me feeling sorry for myself – I’m usually the one helping everyone else to deal with their traumas but I need to focus on me just now – and figure out how I’m going to get through this. I would be very grateful for any info, advice or words of wisdom as my faith in medicine is waning.

1 like, 81 replies

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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.

Read: What Every Woman Should Know About Menopause.

Effects Following Removal Of Ovaries

VIDEO: How to recover from a hysterectomy faster

Ovaries produce testosterone and estrogen. These hormones are an integral part of your libido, or sex drive. They also produce natural lubrication in the vaginas tissues. If your ovaries are removed as part of a hysterectomy, youre more likely to experience long-term side effects.

These side effects include hot flashes and night sweats. Removing ovaries may also cause and vaginal dryness.

Your doctor can prescribe hormonal treatment to ease these symptoms immediately following the surgery. You can also use a lubricant to ease dryness and make penetration more comfortable.

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Can Menopause Cause Facial Hair Growth

Yes, increased facial hair growth can be a change related to menopause. The hormonal change your body goes through during menopause can result in several physical changes to your body, including more facial hair than you may have had in the past. If facial hair becomes a problem for you, waxing or using other hair removers may be options. Talk to your healthcare provider about your options to make sure you dont pick a product that could harm your skin.

Can Menopause Affect My Sex Life

After menopause, your body has less estrogen. This major change in your hormonal balance can affect your sex life. Many menopausal women may notice that theyre not as easily aroused as before. Sometimes, women also may be less sensitive to touch and other physical contact than before menopause.

These feelings, coupled with the other emotional changes you may be experiencing, can all lead to a decreased interest in sex. Keep in mind that your body is going through a lot of change during menopause. Some of the other factors that can play a role in a decreased sex drive can include:

  • Having bladder control problems.
  • Having trouble sleeping through the night.
  • Experiencing stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Coping with other medical conditions and medications.

All of these factors can disrupt your life and even cause tension in your relationship. In addition to these changes, the lower levels of estrogen in your body can actually cause a decrease in the blood supply to the vagina. This can cause dryness. When you dont have the right amount of lubrication in the vagina, it can be thin, pale and dry. This can lead to painful intercourse.

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What Are The Different Types Of Hysterectomies

To fully envision how your body may change after a hysterectomy, you need to know the different types of surgery. Dr. Macey may recommend one of three types of hysterectomies:

  • Partial or supracervical hysterectomy: Upper part of the uterus is removed, while the cervix is left in place
  • Total hysterectomy: Entire uterus and cervix are removed
  • Radical hysterectomy: Uterus, cervix, and upper part of your vagina are removed

Although a hysterectomy doesnt include your ovaries or fallopian tubes, they may also be removed depending on the reason for your surgery. When one or both ovaries are removed, the procedure is called an oophorectomy. Removal of your fallopian tubes is called a salpingectomy.

What You Need To Know About Surgical Menopause

Mood Swings After a Hysterectomy

This is part of an ongoing series featuring interviews with physicians on topics related to hereditary cancer. This is a summary of a discussion with Ann L. Steiner, MD, anobstetrician-gynecologist and clinical professor at Penn Medicine. The Symptoms of Surgical MenopauseMenopause is the absence of estrogen. When women stop making estrogen, this can result in several key symptoms. On average, natural menopause occurs around 51 years of age, when periods cease. Menopausal symptoms may begin before the final menstrual period when the loss of estrogen begins gradually. But if a 35 year old woman with regular, monthly periods has her ovaries removed, she is likely to be much more symptomatic then if she had gradually gone into menopause.

Surgical menopause can affect hot flashes and mood, and can increase the rate at which a woman loses bone and may develop osteoporosis. Theres a concern that younger women who go into menopause might be at an increased risk of heart disease later in life. It could also affect cognitive function. If women dont have a history of a cancer that would contraindicate the use of estrogen, such as breast cancer, we discuss giving estrogen, both for symptoms and for potential prevention of these problems.

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