Surgical menopause: will I still have symptoms?
Menopause is an unavoidable, natural, rite of passage that occurs in the female body. It is the cessation of the period, and with that, the discontinuation of fertility. With some women, they may experience complications with their reproductive systems which may generate early menopause or sometimes require surgical menopause.
Hysterectomy and oophorectomy often come to mind when talking about surgical menopause and many people confuse the two. It is a fairly commonly held opinion that if a woman experiences early or surgical menopause, the symptoms are often more severe than that of a woman who experiences menopause naturally. Read on to learn more about surgical menopause, the reasons for it, and advice.
Hysterectomy and oophorectomy
A hysterectomy is most basically understood as the removal of the uterus, though there are three different types and they differ based on what parts of the reproductive system need to be removed. Some women only need their uterus and cervix removed while others need their uterus, cervix as well as ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. An oophorectomy is the removal of the ovaries. Itís easy to see why many people confuse hysterectomies and oophorectomies as the territories are often blurred. Oophorectomies are what is most commonly considered surgical menopause because women no longer have a period after their ovaries are removed, but may still menstruate if they had a hysterectomy.
Why have surgical menopause?
Many women must have part, or all, of their reproductive system removed for many reasons. Endometriosis, for one, can cause a lot of pain and most often occurs during the height of estrogen production, which can be relieved through hysterectomy or oophorectomy. These procedures are also often done to treat cancer, remove a large ovarian cyst, or to treat pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Why are surgical menopause symptoms more severe than natural menopause?
Induced menopause often results in harsher symptoms because of the abrupt severance of the reproductive system. Many hormones, like estrogen, are produced in the ovaries (though estrogen is also produced in the adrenal glands). With the sudden removal of the ovaries, the body is confused by the change in its customary level of estrogen. As a result of the unexpected hormone fluctuation, symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings occur and are often more severe than if the body is given time to adjust to a gradual decrease of estrogen.
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