If you’re not yet going through menopause but planning a hysterectomy, you’re probably wondering if there is a connection between the two.
Hysterectomy, which removes the uterus, is the second most common operation in women. The uterus is the organ in the lower abdomen in which the baby develops when a woman is pregnant. And it is the uterus that is removed during the hysterectomy.
The ovaries that produce eggs and female hormones can also be removed. This combination is called hysterectomy and oophorectomy.
Doctors decide that hysterectomy should be done for several reasons. In only 10% of cases, the procedure for treating cancer of the reproductive organs is carried out. The remaining 90% of the hysterectomy is performed for non-cancerous diseases. This includes endometriosis, in which the uterine tissue grows outside the uterus and often leads to chronic pain.
Women with fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors in the uterus, often need a hysterectomy because the disease can cause severe pain or bleeding.
Whatever the reason for the hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus itself does not trigger the onset of menopause.
This is confusing for many patients, since menopause is technically defined as the sequence of menstruation for 12 consecutive months. However, women with a hysterectomy no longer have a menstrual period immediately after the procedure.
However, menopause begins when the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. The woman who had a hysterectomy still has her ovaries. They won’t go through menopause until their hormone production naturally slows down with age.
It is important to understand that women who have had an oophorectomy are in a different situation. If the ovaries are removed together with the uterus, hormone production stops and menopause begins immediately after the operation.
If your doctor decides that you are a good candidate for a hysterectomy or hysterectomy, you should discuss the short and long-term effects of the procedures on your body.