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Do You Go Through Menopause After A Hysterectomy

Treatment For Hot Flashes After Hysterectomy

Menopause After Hysterectomy | How Are They Connected?

Since many women who undergo a hysterectomy may be passing through perimenopause around the same time, treating the hormonal imbalance at fault for hot flashes and other symptoms will bring them ultimate, long-lasting relief. As such, leading a healthy lifestyle in addition to alternative medicine is the most effective treatments for hot flashes.

Hysterectomy Increases Risk For Earlier Menopause Among Younger Women Study Finds

Date:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
In a finding that confirms what many obstetricians and gynecologists suspected, researchers report that younger women who undergo hysterectomies face a nearly two-fold increased risk for developing menopause early.

In a finding that confirms what many obstetricians and gynecologists suspected, Duke University researchers report that younger women who undergo hysterectomies face a nearly two-fold increased risk for developing menopause early.

The study, published in the December issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, is the largest analysis to track over time the actual hormonal impact of woman who had hysterectomies and compare them to women whose uteruses remained intact.

“Hysterectomy is a common treatment for many conditions, including fibroids and excessive bleeding,” said Patricia G. Moorman, PhD, MSPH, an associate professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University and lead author of the study. “Most women are very satisfied with the results of a hysterectomy. But this is a potential risk of the surgery that should be considered along with the benefit.”

Up to 600,000 women in the United States undergo hysterectomy each year, but the long-term consequences of the procedure have not been well documented. Studies have been small or relied on the recollections of women about the onset of menopause.

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Hysterectomy With Ovaries Left Intact

People who have their ovaries intact, but without their uterus, won’t get their period anymore. They may, however, still experience premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder because the hormones made by the ovaries cause the body to continue to “cycle” monthly.

Occasionally, people whose ovaries were not removed during a hysterectomy experience hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. This is mostly due to the disturbance of the blood supply to the ovaries during surgery.

In addition, some people may undergo menopause a few years sooner than they normally would if they never underwent a hysterectomy .

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Can You Have Periods Without Ovaries

Removal of one ovary still allows a woman to continue to menstruate and to have children, as long as the remaining ovary is not damaged. When both ovaries are removed, menstrual periods stop, a woman can no longer become pregnant, and estrogen and progesterone are no longer produced by the reproductive system.

What Are The Long

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There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things like your family history, your health before menopause and lifestyle factors . Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a “brittle-bone” disease, occurs when the inside of bones become less dense, making them more fragile and likely to fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones to stop breaking down.

People lose an average of 25% of their bone mass from the time of menopause to age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead to bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want to test the strength of your bones over time. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone density is decreased and this can be a precursor to later osteoporosis.

If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy.

Coronary artery disease

  • The loss of estrogen .
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • A decrease in physical activity.
  • Bad habits from your past catching up with you .

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Hot Flashes After Hysterectomy: Your Guide

Contents

Research shows that hot flashes and night sweats are almost twice as common in women who have had a hysterectomy, than those who are going through ânaturalâ menopause. How long you have them for and how you manage them will largely depend on the type of hysterectomy you have had, as well as your stage of life and other lifestyle factors.

In this article, weâll take a look at hot flashes after a hysterectomy, and what management tools are available to you.

What Should I Do If Im Considering A Hysterectomy

If you are planning to get a hysterectomy, talk through it with your doctor. Ask questions to make sure its whats best for your health.

For people having both ovaries removed, hormone therapy may be an option. This type of therapy helps the body adjust to the loss of estrogen, making any menopause symptoms milder. Hormone therapy can help reduce the risk of age-related health issues, too, such as bone loss. Lifestyle changes including exercise and diet can also help reduce symptoms.

Ultimately, its about weighing the risks of keeping your ovaries and/or uterus with the risks of removing them and possibly developing age-related health issues. For many patients, a hysterectomy brings a sense of relief.

At Providence, your doctor can help you understand more about this surgical procedure. Its important that you feel prepared for any changes that could result from a hysterectomy.

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Management & Treatment After Surgical Menopause

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 womans 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.

Other Roles Of The Uterus And Ovaries

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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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Does Having A Partial Hysterectomy Make You Gain Weight

While a hysterectomy isnt directly linked to weight loss, it may be related to weight gain in some people. A 2009 prospective study suggests that premenopausal women whove had a hysterectomy without the removal of both ovaries have a higher risk for weight gain, compared with women who havent had the surgery.

How Does Natural Menopause Occur

Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought on by any type of medical treatment. For people undergoing natural menopause, the process is gradual and is described in three stages:

Perimenopause or menopause transition: Perimenopause can begin eight to 10 years before menopause when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. It usually starts when youre in your 40s. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many people may experience menopause symptoms. But you are still having menstrual cycles during this time and can get pregnant.

Menopause: Menopause is the point when you no longer have menstrual periods. At this stage, your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing most of their estrogen. Menopause is diagnosed when youve gone without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.

Postmenopause: This is the name given to the time after you have not had a period for an entire year . During this stage, menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, may ease for many people. However, some people continue to experience menopausal symptoms for a decade or longer after the menopause transition. As a result of a lower level of estrogen, those in the postmenopausal phase are at increased risk for several health conditions, such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

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Reasons For Having A Hysterectomy

There are many different reasons why hysterectomy may be necessary. These include:

  • Painful, heavy or frequent periods which are not improved with medical treatments
  • Fibroids Swellings of abnormal muscle that grow in the uterus, which can cause painful, heavy periods or pressure on other pelvic organs
  • A prolapsed womb, which is caused by the dropping of the uterus.
  • Endometriosis, a condition where tissue segments from the womb attach and grow in the wrong place, causing pain
  • Adenomyosis the same problem as endometriosis, but affecting the muscle of the womb
  • Severe, recurrent or untreatable pelvic infection
  • Cancer or precancerous changes in the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries

Very rarely, hysterectomy is performed as an emergency procedure, such as if bleeding becomes uncontrollable during childbirth. Usually though, the operation is planned.

If My Cervix Was Removed In My Hysterectomy Do I Still Need To Have Pap Tests

Do women who have had a hysterectomy earlier in life ...

If you have had a total hysterectomy in which the cervix was removed along with the uterus, you will not usually require Pap testing. An exception is if your hysterectomy was done because of cervical cancer or its precursors. Ask your health care provider if you need to have periodic Pap tests. It is important for all women who have had a hysterectomy to have regular gynecologic exams as part of their health care.

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Should You Take Estrogen After Your Hysterectomy

Prevention of osteoporosis is another potential benefit of estrogen replacement therapy after a hysterectomy. Taking supplemental estrogen may help prevent some of the bone loss these patients may otherwise face. This can be particularly beneficial for women who have a hysterectomy early in life.

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Can Menopause Affect Sleep

Some people may experience trouble sleeping through the night and insomnia during menopause. Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due to another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause.

If hot flashes keep you awake at night, try:

  • Staying cool at night by wearing loose clothing.
  • Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated.

Avoiding certain foods and behaviors that trigger your hot flashes. If spicy food typically sets off a hot flash, avoid eating anything spicy before bed.

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Can You Go Through Menopause Twice

Menopause induced by the removal of uterus and ovaries is associated with hot flashes that occur almost immediately. There is an intense feeling of heat, followed by a sensation of feeling cold and fatigue. Hot flashes can happen several times during the day and night. Vaginal dryness, mood swings and lack of sex drive may follow. Menopause is also associated with bone loss, with an increased risk for osteoporosis and fractures.

If only the uterus is removed, a woman will no longer have periods, making it harder to recognize when menopause starts. This is especially the case if it occurs earlier than expected and there are no typical symptoms, because the woman will not have periods. In this case, a doctor will order a blood test to confirm the diagnosis of menopause.

How Will I Know I Am In Menopause After My Hysterectomy

How to Get the Right Menopause Treatment After a Hysterectomy – Joy’s Story

No periods for 12 months is the common sign that menopause has arrived. But what about for you? Youve had a hysterectomy, so you have hadnt periods in years. How are you going to know when menopause arrives?

No worries. More than likely, menopause is going to arrive with plenty of notice. More than you want.

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Hrt And Surgical Menopause

So what is surgical menopause? It’s menopause that develops suddenly after the ovaries — the main producers of the hormone estrogen — are surgically removed.

The removal of the ovaries is called an oophorectomy. The procedure is often combined with a hysterectomy — removal of the uterus — but not always. And in fact, women who only have their uterus removed will not go into surgical menopause. Their ovaries are still making estrogen. They’ll go into menopause naturally when they get older, although sometimes a bit earlier than usual.

Estrogen plays a key role throughout the body. It affects the brain, the bones, the skin, the heart, the blood vessels, and more. While estrogen levels lower gradually during natural menopause, they plummet with surgical menopause. That sudden drop in estrogen can lead to menopausal symptoms that can be quite severe.

Hormone therapy after surgery — either with estrogen and progestin or with estrogen alone — is a way to counteract the supply of estrogen you’ve lost. Women who have both the uterus and ovaries removed usually just get estrogen replacement therapy alone. But women who have only the ovaries removed need both estrogen and progestin. That’s because estrogen alone can increase the risk of cancer in the uterus. Adding progestin removes this risk.

Rarely, if ever, will both ovaries be removed without the uterus. Often, only one ovary may be removed, which will negate the need for HRT at the time of surgery,

Vaginal Discharge After Hysterectomy

For several weeks after your hysterectomy, youre likely to experience some type of vaginal discharge. This is especially true if you had a complete hysterectomy and now have a vaginal cuff.

Most of the time, the discharge is a normal part of healing. Now and then, however, it can be a sign that something is wrong.

Knowing what to expect and when to call the doctor can help ease your mind during recovery, so here are some basics about vaginal discharge after hysterectomy.

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Will My Sex Life Change After A Hysterectomy

It might. If you had a good sex life before your hysterectomy, you should be able to return to it without any problems after recovery. Many women report a better sex life after hysterectomy because of relief from pain or heavy vaginal bleeding.

If your hysterectomy causes you to have symptoms of menopause, you may experience vaginal dryness or a lack of interest in sex. Using a water-based lubricant can help with dryness. Talk to your partner and try to allow more time to get aroused during sex. Talk with your doctor and get more tips in our Menopause and sexuality section.

How Will I Feel After A Hysterectomy

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Physically

After a hysterectomy, your periods will stop. Occasionally, you may feel bloated and have symptoms similar to when you were menstruating. It is normal to have light vaginal bleeding or a dark brown discharge for about four to six weeks after surgery.

You may feel discomfort at the incision site for about four weeks, and any redness, bruising or swelling will disappear in four to six weeks. Feeling burning or itching around the incision is normal. You may also experience a numb feeling around the incision and down your leg. This is normal and, if present, usually lasts about two months. It’s normal to have scarring, both internally and externally. Laparoscopic surgeries will cause smaller, less visible scars as opposed to abdominal hysterectomy.

If the ovaries remain, you should not experience hormone-related effects. If the ovaries were removed with the uterus before menopause, you may experience the symptoms that often occur with menopause, such as hot flashes. Your healthcare provider may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms.

People who undergo a subtotal hysterectomy may continue to have a light period for a year after the procedure. This happens because small amounts of the endometrial lining can remain in the cervix, causing light periods.

Emotionally

Emotional reactions to a hysterectomy vary and can depend on how well you were prepared for the surgery, the reason for having it and whether the problem has been treated.

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What Other Changes May Occur

You may encounter information saying that a hysterectomy makes you gain weight or lose your sex drive. These issues may develop, but only if both ovaries are removed. A hysterectomy alone doesnt affect your weight or desire for sex.

Many women feel healthier because the symptoms they had before surgery are gone. As a result, they become more active and find sex more enjoyable.

You should plan on six to eight weeks to rest and heal, depending on the type of hysterectomy and whether Dr. Macey performs minimally invasive surgery or you need conventional open surgery.

Many women struggle with unexpected emotions following their hysterectomy, so during your recovery, you may feel a sense of loss or struggle with depression. Though theres no way to predict how youll react or feel, please know that Dr. Macey is available, and you should call if you encounter challenges during your recovery.

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