What is Surgical Menopause - Medtalks

What is Surgical Menopause - Medtalks

What is Surgical Menopause?

Surgical menopause occurs when a woman undergoes menopause through surgery rather than the natural aging process. After an oophorectomy, which removes the ovaries, the chances of occurrence of surgical menopause increase. In the female body, the ovaries are the primary source of estrogen production. Regardless of the age of the individual having surgery, their removal causes rapid menopause. While surgery to remove the ovaries can be done independently, it's frequently done in conjunction with a hysterectomy to lessen the chance of chronic illness. The uterus is surgically removed during a hysterectomy.

After a hysterectomy, your periods will stop. However, unless the ovaries are also removed, a hysterectomy does not always result in menopause.

Menopause & its Side Effects

Women between the ages of 45 and 55 are most likely to experience menopause. When a woman's periods have been absent for 12 months, she is considered to be in menopause. Some women, however, will start to experience perimenopausal symptoms years before they reach menopause.

The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause:

  • Irregular periods

  • Hot flashes

  • Chills

  • Dryness of the vaginal canal

  • Mood swings

  • Hair thinning

  • Dry skin

  • Weight gain


Drawbacks of Surgical Menopause

Surgical menopause has several negative effects in addition to those associated with menopause, such as:

  • Declining bone density 

  • Declining libido

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Infertility


Hormonal abnormalities are also a side effect of surgical menopause. The female sex hormones progesterone and estrogen are produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are unable to create enough hormones to maintain equilibrium when both ovaries are removed.

Hormonal imbalance can put you at risk for a range of illnesses, including heart disease and osteoporosis. As a result, some clinicians may or may not offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT) following an oophorectomy to lower the risk of illness, depending on your medical history. Doctors will not provide estrogen to women who have had breast or ovarian cancer in the past.


Advantages of Surgical Menopause

In certain cases, removing the ovaries and going through surgical menopause can save a woman's life. Some malignancies thrive on estrogen, which can lead to cancer in women developing at a younger age. Because their genes may be unable to prevent tumor growth, women with a family history of ovarian or breast cancer are at a higher risk of acquiring these diseases.


In this scenario, oophorectomy can be performed to lower the chance of acquiring cancer as a preventative strategy. Endometriosis-related discomfort can be relieved with surgical menopause. Uterine tissues expand outside the uterus as a result of this disorder. This abnormal tissue can cause substantial pelvic discomfort by affecting the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or lymph nodes. The ovaries can be removed to decrease or delay estrogen production and alleviate discomfort symptoms. For women with this background, estrogen replacement treatment is typically not an option.


Managing the Signs & Symptoms of Surgical Menopause

Doctors may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to help patients cope with the unpleasant symptoms of surgical menopause. HRT replaces the hormones you've lost as a result of surgery.HRT also reduces the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis by preventing bone loss and osteoporosis. This is especially true for younger women who have had their ovaries removed before natural menopause. Women under 45 who have their ovaries removed and do not take HRT are at a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders.HRT, on the other hand, has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women with a significant family history of the disease. Surgical menopausal symptoms can also be managed by lifestyle modifications that assist to minimise stress and discomfort.


To alleviate the discomfort of hot flashes, try the following:

  • Carry a portable fan with you.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Avoid excessively spicy meals.

  • Consume alcohol in moderation.

  • At night, keep your bedroom cool.

  • Keep a fan at your bedside.


You may also do the following to relieve stress:

  • Maintain a regular sleeping pattern

  • Exercise

  • Meditate

  • Join a pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women's support group.


The Bottom Line

Women who get an oophorectomy and go through surgical menopause have a lower chance of acquiring reproductive malignancies.They are, however, at a higher risk of acquiring additional health problems. This is especially true for women who have their ovaries removed before they reach menopause.Surgical menopause can bring up several unpleasant side effects. Before coming to any conclusions about it, talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options.


Reference: 


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/surgical-menopause

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