Will I Go Through Menopause if I Have a Hysterectomy?
There are different types of hysterectomies. A hysterectomy refers to removal of the uterus and the cervix (total hysterectomy) or removal of the uterus without removal of the cervix (supracervical or partial hysterectomy). If the ovaries are removed at the same time, this is called a hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy (BSO). The ovaries are usually left in place unless there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer based on family history or if a significant abnormality is seen at the time of surgery.
Hormones are secreted from the ovaries. These hormone levels decline with age and are minimal in post-menopausal women. If the ovaries are left in place at the time of a hysterectomy, there is no change in the level of hormones excreted by the ovaries and pre-menopausal women will experience menopause naturally. If the ovaries are removed in a pre-menopausal woman, she may experience vasomotor changes after surgery including hot flashes or mood changes. If planning a BSO in a pre-menopausal patient, we will usually recommend she initiate hormone replacement therapy (HRT) post operatively. Often these medications are used temporarily or as needed. Some women will stay on HRT, this is usually determined by the patient.
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