What’s Surgical Menopause? A natural part of the aging process, menopause typically happens for women in their 40s and 50s. Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Sometimes women will experience menopause earlier than normal as a consequence of medical issues.
These issues can be a result of cancer, endometriosis, debatable cysts on the ovaries, and any number of other causes associated with a woman’s reproductive organs. So, exactly what is surgical menopause? This is when both of a woman’s ovaries are removed surgically, before the natural occurrence of menopause. Typically, this happens with a hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus. If a woman has both ovaries removed after going through natural menopause, she won’t feel any differently.
The major source of estrogen, progesterone, and androgens in the body are the ovaries. If the ovaries are removed, hormone levels drop and the changes related to menopause will occur. After this sort of operation, the female body is thrown to the change of life because of radical shift in their hormone levels. One day a woman is having menstrual cycles and the very next day after surgery, she’s postmenopausal.
This can be quite confusing and discouraging to the individual. If a girl goes through natural menopause, it’s a more gradual change that could take many years. With surgical menopause, the girls are usually younger than those undergoing natural menopause. Surgical menopause causes the individual to have both physical and psychological changes which can be life-altering. Some physicians will give estrogen instantly to the patient after surgery in a bid to protect against the intense changes.
However, because of a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, estrogen isn’t always advisable for women with high risk factors. The rule of thumb with estrogen is to take the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time. There are other therapies such as herbal or aspirin treatment. Black cohosh or a diet high in soy might help alleviate hot flashes. Progestin may be prescribed but it’s usage and benefits are controversial. In reply to this question, what is surgical menopause, some women find it is a solution to many of the medical issues.
If they had pain, heavy bleeding, or painful intercourse, those signs are gone and they feel healthy again. They no longer worry about getting pregnant. And, ovarian cancer is not a significant concern. Educate yourself before the operation and speak with menopause experts – ask your doctor for recommendations. Most of all, give yourself time to adapt to the physical and psychological changes which will occur after surgical menopause. Cathy Yeatts is a writer and researcher on menopause signs and symptoms.