Can You Still Get Menopause After Hysterectomy?

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

Can you still have menopause/menopausal symptoms after having a hysterectomy?

Doctor's response

If the ovaries are removed (oophorectomy) at the time of hysterectomy, this is referred to as a surgical (or induced) menopause, and menopausal symptoms will begin immediately after the procedure. The abrupt menopause brought on by surgical removal of the ovaries often results in exaggerated and more severe symptoms of menopause (such as hot flashes, changes in sex drive, and mood changes) than when menopause occurs naturally.

If one or both ovaries are left intact and only the uterus is removed, the ovaries are still capable of hormone production. After a hysterectomy, a woman will not menstruate, but the ovaries may continue to produce hormones up until the normal time when menopause would normally occur, at which time a woman would experience the other (not associated with the cessation of menstruation) symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and mood swings.

Another possibility is that ovarian failure will occur earlier than the expected time of menopause, as early as 1 to 2 years following the hysterectomy. If this happens, a woman may or may not experience symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and changes in libido.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

Patient information: Menopause (Beyond the Basics)
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Reviewed on 6/30/2017
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