Surgical menopause symptoms – How is menopause after hysterectomy different?

Undergoing surgical menopause can be a challenging experience, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, and other surgical menopause symptoms are common after surgery, whether your ovaries and uterus are removed or not. This website is here to offer you support and empathy as you navigate through this difficult time.

surgical menopause after hysterectomy

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Hysterectomy is a common treatment for several conditions related to female reproductive health. It is one of the most common surgical procedures among women, with nearly 60,000 undergoing surgery yearly.

According to researchers at Duke University, younger women who undergo a hysterectomy face a nearly two-fold increased risk of developing menopause early.

Difference between natural menopause and surgical menopause symptoms

Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s aging process. It usually occurs between the ages of 35 and 51. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop producing eggs, resulting in the end of menstruation.

This transition of phase from the reproductive stage to peri-menopause or menopause is often associated with several uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

For some women, these symptoms are mild and easily managed by diet, exercise, and stress management techniques.

What is surgical menopause?

Women who have a hysterectomy with oophorectomy start experiencing menopausal symptoms shortly after the operation. Removing the ovaries in premenopausal women causes an immediate plunge into the post-menopausal stage.

Generally, surgical menopause symptoms are more sudden as there is a drastic decrease in estrogen and progesterone when the ovaries are removed. Anyone suffering from surgical menopause symptoms can confirm that removing the ovaries is a shock to the system. As there is no transition phase, you may experience symptoms of menopause after a hysterectomy more severe than with natural menopause.

Why does it occur?

In a female body, the ovaries maintain normal levels of hormone progesterone and estrogen. If both of your ovaries are left intact during the hysterectomy, there are two possible outcomes:

Your ovaries may function normally and continue to produce estrogen and progesterone until the usual age of menopause. So, you may experience pre-menopausal symptoms even if you are not menstruating. This happens due to the fluctuating female hormones.

In some cases, ovaries stop producing hormones sooner than they normally would. This condition is known as apparent early ovarian failure and usually happens one or two years after the surgery. This is the most common outcome when the patient undergoes early menopause. It is still unknown what triggers ovaries to shut down after a hysterectomy.

When they remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus, you enter into the surgical menopause stage. Apart from the sudden surgical menopause symptoms, women may experience long-term negative effects such as osteoporosis,  lack of sex drive, and cardiovascular diseases.

Management of menopause after hysterectomy:

Ideally, all women(especially the younger ones) need to learn about the potential consequences of surgical menopause from their doctor. Treatment of surgical menopause focuses on easing the symptoms and preserving long-term health.

Different treatment measures, such as hormone replacement therapy and Bio-Identical hormones, help relieve surgical menopause symptoms in 80 to 90 percent of women. Consult your healthcare provider to discuss the best possible treatment for you.

surgical menopause symptoms


A hysterectomy relieves several conditions, including uterine and cervical cancers, fibroids, and endometriosis. They usually do this surgery when other less invasive treatments fail to give relief. However, surgical menopause symptoms are the major side effects of a hysterectomy that one needs to consider along with its benefits.

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  1. I’m 2 Years Post Op this month and still dealing with the change. I departed with my uterus, ovaries and all due to endometriosis and cysts that had grown on both ovaries. There’s not enough information out there to prepare us. I haven’t heard from my doctor since and I was referred to her. It seems she did it and got paid and that’s all that mattered to her. I’m still trying to figure this Surgical Menopause thing out! Doesn’t help that I’m a newly empty nester as well. Just all kinds of emotions in the atmosphere. I feel the need to share with others my experiences in hopes to help others who may be facing the changes.

    1. Hi Natasha, why not join our Facebook group Life after hysterectomy. It’s a private group where members, women like you, share their experiences and help each other.

  2. Oh my!! I do u understand how it feels like castration. I had abnormal bleeding and a growing enlarged Cyst. I had loss of appetite and bloating , pressure a week prior to d surgery. This was a very uncomfortable time. I did have a cervix biopsy and was not cancerous. I did sign for a abdominal hysterectomy as I told my daughter that when he goes in and he deems it to be best to do so. Now.. I’m not sure if I really needed one!! A biopsy was done of mass during surgery, and he said it came back inconclusive. So now the whole cyst and ovary has been send for testing. My concern is if it is benign and no cancerous cells. I cannot go back!! I just pray that all will work out well moving forward.

  3. Let’s be real. After a hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries, female hormones don’t just decline they stop. Two months after mine, I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and then the drug ARAVA that they put me on gave me Peripheral Neuropathy. They said I would hardly miss my female body parts and because I was 55 and they would be sure to check my hormone levels. Absolute liars! After 14 months of begging for HRT and the threat of a law suit, they finally put me on it. Sad thing is I feel no difference. My life will never be the same. 6,000 women will have a hysterectomy this year. 6,000 women that will never be the same; all the while the butchers get richer.

    1. True nobody tells you what to expect…I also had to ask for hormones and now Im having neck and back problems…and ???? arthritis

  4. I just had a hysterectomy and 2 weeks later I’m m complete mess. One to the next changes I’m not always happy, on the edge of anger or tears, not ever really sure of how I feel except miserable. I’ve only been to bathroom 3 times in two weeks it seems as if everything around me is going wrong I can’t shake off the way I feel no matter how much I sleep or take docs given drugs I do not feel better. My body may be better eventually but as for me not sure yet.

  5. Let’s tell it like it is. It’s castration. The sooner we stop using a tame term like “surgical menopause,” the sooner the stigma that’s imposed by themselves and non-castrated women around them, for being failures for not being able to handle “menopause.”

  6. “Women may experience… loss of fertility”?! Well, if we don’t, something has gone radically wrong with the hysterectomy process. Also, is it really necessary to paraphrase the preceding sentence TWICE in the same paragraph? “Impaired sexual function” arguably encompasses “lack of sex drive”, just as “loss of bone density” implies “increased risk of osteoporosis”. Not sure if you’re trying to be thorough, or simply padding out an otherwise brief paragraph, but this repetition can only serve to exacerbate the anxiety of your readers. Nobody visits this page lightly; we have enough to worry about already without having the downside of hysterectomy presented then immediately re-presented from every bloody angle, thanks very much! As a writer (and a woman facing hysterectomy), I’d respectfully recommend some nice, neat, easily grasped bullet points. Why add to the burden of stress that we’re already bearing?

    1. Where you see stress, I see validation – as someone who’s been there, done that. If you can’t handle reading the possible outcome in all its splendor, you’re not ready for a hysterectomy. No one is doing you any favors by minimizing the severity of this procedure.

    2. I have to say that getting a hysterectomy was the best thing I did. I still have my ovaries, but I feel so much better. I was in so much pain everday. I couldn’t do my job easily passing meds as a med-tech because of the bleeding and blood clots. I am over all a better person. My cravings are gone and my mood swings are gone(I was very hateful). I do have insomnia and I take melatonin, but I have lost weight and my intimate relationship with my husband is still strong. I am sure that I am lucky and I don’t want to gloat, but I just want women out there to know that not all women have negative effects. It might be because I have my ovaries, I don’t know. I hope this helps someone who also has concerns/questions.

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