Surgical Menopause

What is Surgical Menopause?

Surgical menopause is a medical condition that occurs when a woman’s ovaries are surgically removed, leading to a sudden decrease in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. This can happen due to the surgical removal of both ovaries, also called bilateral oophorectomy, or the removal of the uterus, also called hysterectomy, which may also involve the removal of the ovaries in some cases.

Since the ovaries are the primary source of estrogen and progesterone hormones in a cis-woman’s body, their removal can cause a variety of symptoms and long-term health effects. These symptoms can include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, mood swings, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Those who undergo surgical menopause may also be at increased risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, and other health problems associated with low levels of estrogen.

The management of surgical menopause typically involves hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves taking synthetic hormones to replace the estrogen and progesterone that the ovaries would normally produce. HRT can help alleviate symptoms of surgical menopause and reduce the long-term health risks associated with low hormone levels. However, the use of HRT may also be associated with some risks, and women should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HRT with their healthcare provider.



What is a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus. In some cases, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix may also be removed during the procedure.

Hysterectomies are performed for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Gynecologic cancers

Kinds of Hysterectomies

  • Total hysterectomy: This procedure involves the removal of the entire uterus, including the cervix.
  • Partial hysterectomy: Also called subtotal or supracervical hysterectomy, this procedure involves the removal of the upper part of the uterus, while leaving the cervix in place.
  • Radical hysterectomy: This type of hysterectomy is typically performed for the treatment of gynecological cancer. It involves the removal of the entire uterus, cervix, and the upper part of the vagina, as well as the surrounding lymph nodes and tissue.
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy: This procedure is a minimally invasive approach to hysterectomy, which involves making several small incisions in the abdomen to remove the uterus.
  • Vaginal hysterectomy: This type of hysterectomy is performed through the vagina, without any external incisions.
  • Robotic-assisted hysterectomy: This is a type of laparoscopic hysterectomy that is performed using a robotic system to control the surgical instruments.

The specific type of hysterectomy recommended will depend on the individual’s medical condition, age, and overall health.


I Had Cancer

On December 6th, 2021 I had a laparoscopic total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both fallopian tubes and ovaries. I had stage 1 endometrial cancer and this was the recommended treatment. This procedure meant I experienced surgical menopause.

What Is endometrial cancer?

What is a hysterectomy?

What is surgical menopause?