Menopause after Hysterectomy
I had a complete hysterectomy at the age of 29. I am now 52 and am experiencing extreme fatigue, crying, night sweats, and depression. If I had my hysterectomy at 29 can I be having menopause now at 52?
Yes, women who had a hysterectomy before menopause can still go through menopause later in their life once they hit a certain age. It depends on whether or not the ovaries were removed during the hysterectomy. A complete hysterectomy is the most common type of hysterectomy performed, and it involves the removal of the cervix and uterus, but not the ovaries.
In cases where the ovaries are removed during the hysterectomy, this causes the body to almost immediately go into premature menopause (only if the woman has not already gone through menopause). This is called surgical menopause and occurs because of the sudden loss of estrogen hormones.
The symptoms that are experienced during surgical menopause are often more severe and frequent than regular menopause. Usually these symptoms are controlled using hormone replacement therapy (HRT). If only one ovary is removed, then the body will not go through surgical menopause because the remaining ovary can make enough estrogen to make up for the other.
When the ovaries are not removed during the hysterectomy they continue functioning like normal. Once the woman reaches the natural age for menopause, she will go through the process like other women. She will still experience most of the symptoms of menopause even though she no longer has her periods. This is because the ovaries are still producing a regular balance of hormones until the time of menopause. When estrogen hormones begin to decline, this causes the symptoms.
Some women wonder how they will know when they are going through menopause after having a hysterectomy. The first hint is that usually the normal menopausal symptoms will be present. If you're still not sure, you can get a blood FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) test to determine if you're going through menopause. FSH are hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs - during menopause, the levels of FSH are raised.