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.



Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a cis-woman’s reproductive years. It is defined as the time when you have not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

During the menopause transition, the ovaries gradually stop producing eggs, and hormone production, particularly estrogen and progesterone, declines. This decline in hormone production can cause a variety of physical and emotional changes, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, mood changes, and changes in sexual function.

Menopause can be a gradual process that occurs over several years, known as perimenopause, or it can occur suddenly due to medical treatment or surgery that removes the ovaries. The symptoms of menopause can be managed with lifestyle changes, such as stress reduction, a healthy diet, and regular exercise, as well as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves taking estrogen and/or progesterone to replace the hormones that the ovaries are no longer producing.

It is important to discuss options for managing the symptoms of menopause with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

To find a menopause specialist in your area (Canada and USA) search The North American Menopause Society database.