Hysterectomy is a form of surgery performed to remove uterus and is the second common surgery in women of reproductive age. Removal of uterus even when it no further functions as implantation unit of pregnancy may be harmful for women’s health in certain undefined ways. Hysterectomy is commonly performed for women showing abnormal bleeding post menopause. Other causes may include cervical cancer, uterine fibroids, persistent pelvic pain and endometrial cancer.
Though, hysterectomy term refers to uterus removal, but the procedure can also be performed to remove one or both ovaries, cervix or/and fallopian tubes. Hence, women need to know about it fully with all pros and cons before going ahead with the surgery.
Vital Associations Between Hysterectomy And Menopause
Hysterectomy Influences Menopause
It is a usual myth amongst women that hysterectomy saves them from the distressing effects of menopause, but in reality, it does not relieve symptoms of menopause, but will actually enhance menopause in women. Hysterectomy brings on an average menopause earlier by 1 to 2 years, mainly due to surgical aftermath effects on blood supply to the ovaries. The usual menopause age range from 40 to 60 years and is more commonly observed around the age of 51 years.
Due to absence of menstrual periods pot hysterectomy, women are not able to gauge whether they are going through menopausal transition phase. But with typical symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, one can suspect it to be there that can be confirmed with an FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) test. If FSH results come normal, then one may be still in perimenopausal stage.
Ovarian Hysterectomy – A Surgical Menopause
Hysterectomy is termed as ‘surgical menopause’ in premenopausal women as menstrual periods are ended. But hormonal deprivation effects are not felt as long as ovaries are functioning properly. In hormonal sense, hysterectomy is not a complete menopausal state till ovaries are also not removed.
In case, hysterectomy involves removal of both the ovaries, the hormonal source is lost. The sudden hormonal deprivation cause severe effects on women and they undergo a difficult menopausal stage that may continue for a number of years.
Ovarian Dysfunctioning With Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy is still referred as the factor for an early menopause as even after ovaries remain preserved, they tend to become non-functional in 50% of cases, within a period of 3 years after surgery.
After ovaries turn dysfunctional, hormonal deprivation affects appear, progressing towards the menopausal stage. Nevertheless, ovaries should be preserved if it is reasonable to keep them for maintaining hormonal balances in women, especially those who are below 50 years of age.
Severe Menopause For Ovarian Hysterectomy Without Hrt
Women, who undergo hysterectomy with ovaries removed and are not manifesting hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) suffers the most severe prolonged consequences of reproductive hormonal deficiencies with severe symptoms of menopause that last for several years.
The quality of life, health and longevity are severely affected and women show a shorter life expectancy due to higher risk of death from osteoporosis, heart attacks and strokes.A significant increase in death rate has been observed amongst women who had hysterectomy without estrogen replacement, between the ages of 40 to 50 years.
Those with uterus removal had 3 folds higher risk of death and those who had both ovaries removed showed even higher death risk of 8 folds more. It is crucial to have a careful and appropriate consideration for HRT, after surgical menopause has been employed with use of hysterectomy procedures.
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