If you haven’t entered yet menopause, but are schedule to have hysterectomy you are probably wondering if there is any connection between the two.
Hysterectomy which is the removal of uterus is the second most common surgery among women. The uterus is the organ in the lower abdomen where the baby develops when the women is pregnant. And it’s the uterus that is removed during the hysterectomy.
The ovaries, which produce eggs and women’s hormones, may also be removed. This combination is called hysterectomy and oophorectomy.
Doctors decide that hysterectomy should be performed for number of reasons. In only 10% of cases the procedure is done to treat cancer of the reproductive organs. Remaining 90% of hysterectomy are performed for non cancerous conditions. Among them is endometriosis, where uterus tissue grows outside the uterus, often leading chronic pain.
Women who have fibroid, which are non cancerous tumors on the womb, often need hysterectomy as well, because the condition may cause severe pain or bleeding.
Whatever the reason for hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus itself does not trigger the start of menopause.
This is confusing for many patients’, because menopause is technically defined as the secession of menstrual 12 consecutive months. Yet women who undergo hysterectomy will stop menstruating immediately after the procedure.
However menopause begins when ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. Woman, who had hysterectomy, still have their ovaries. They will not undergo menopause until their hormone production slows naturally as they age.
It is important to understand that women, who have had oophorectomy, are in the different situation. When ovaries are removed along with uterus, hormone production will stop and menopause will begin immediately after the surgery.
If your doctor decides that you are good candidate for hysterectomy or oophorectomy, make sure you discuss the procedures short and long term effects on your body.
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