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Surgical menopause: Effects, dangers, and outlook

Menopause happens when a lady has not had her interval for 12 months or longer.

This course of naturally occurs as a lady ages, because the ovaries cease producing or produce decreased quantities of feminine hormone. This often happens when she is in her 40s or 50s.

However, some lady might undergo menopause at a youthful age. This is definitely the case for women who’ve had their ovaries eliminated.

The ovaries are small organs located both aspect of the uterus. They produce hormones, corresponding to estrogen and progesterone, that management a lady’s menstrual cycle.

Without ovaries to launch hormones, a lady will undergo menopause at an earlier time. This can have each short- and long-term results on women that they need to put together for and concentrate on.


[surgical instruments]
Oophorectomy is a surgical process by which a lady’s ovaries are eliminated.

Surgical menopause, which is also called a bilateral oophorectomy, is a process during which a lady’s ovaries are eliminated.

In most instances, the process is minimally invasive, which means a surgeon will make small cuts within the decrease stomach to entry and take away the ovaries.

Sometimes, a physician will carry out an oophorectomy together with different gynecological surgical procedures, together with:

  • hysterectomy, which is the removing of the uterus
  • salpingectomy, which is the removing of the fallopian tubes which might be close to the ovaries
  • salpingo-oophorectomy, which is the removing of each the ovaries and the fallopian tubes

Preventive surgical procedure and surgical menopause

There are a number of explanation why a physician might carry out an oophorectomy, which induces menopause. These embrace:

Some women have an oophorectomy to scale back their danger of creating ovarian or breast cancers. Doctors name this a prophylactic oophorectomy.

Women who’ve ovarian or breast cancers of their household historical past are at larger danger for creating these kind of cancers. Some women bear genetic testing to determine whether or not they have mutations within the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These genes produce proteins that suppress cancerous tumor progress.

However, if a lady has inherited genetic mutations to those genes, she is extra more likely to develop most cancers varieties, similar to ovarian and breast cancers.

According to the National Cancer Institute, mutations within the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for 15 % of all ovarian cancers. These gene mutations additionally account for 20 to 25 % of hereditary breast cancers. Women who’ve these genes usually tend to get most cancers, and at an earlier age.

[illustration of a dna strand]
Some women select to have a preventive surgical procedure if they’ve inherited genetic mutations which improve the danger of sure cancers.

The ovaries produce hormones that may trigger cancerous cells to develop extra shortly, probably growing the danger for breast most cancers. Removing the ovaries might scale back a lady’s danger of creating the illness.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene could be recognized via blood or saliva samples. If a lady has a household historical past of breast or ovarian cancers, some insurance coverage corporations will cowl the prices of genetic testing and counseling to find out if she is extra in danger.

A constructive end result doesn’t imply that a lady will develop breast or ovarian most cancers, however she is at larger danger. A medical specialist generally known as a genetic counselor can talk about a lady’s particular dangers together with her.

Some women might go for an oophorectomy because of having an elevated danger of most cancers. However, they need to solely have this surgical procedure with a full understanding of the potential health results of experiencing menopause early.

Side results related to surgical menopause

Any surgical procedure comes with some dangers as a result of an individual is being put beneath anesthesia and a physician is introducing devices into the physique.

Immediate problems that would happen after surgical procedure embrace an infection, injury to close by organs, or a blocked gut.

A surgically induced menopause might end in some long-term results that a lady should additionally think about. Without her ovaries, a lady’s provide of estrogen and progesterone lower dramatically. This may cause a variety of unwanted side effects, together with:

  • Menopause signs: These signs embrace scorching flashes, lowered vaginal lubrication, problem sleeping properly, and reminiscence issues. While these signs don’t all the time seem instantly after surgical procedure, women who’ve had an oophorectomy are more likely to expertise them before women who haven’t had the process.
  • Osteoporosis: Estrogen may help to help robust bones. When the quantity of estrogen decreases, a lady is at greater danger for osteoporosis, a bone-thinning illness. Having osteoporosis signifies that a lady is extra more likely to break her bones.
  • Risk for coronary heart illness: Less estrogen is related to a rise in coronary heart illness. This can result in stroke, coronary heart assault, and might have an effect on coronary heart perform. If a lady didn’t have healthful habits earlier than surgical procedure, resembling exercising, not smoking, and consuming a nutritious weight loss plan, it will be important that she adopts them afterward.

A lady ought to talk about these dangers and extra together with her physician in order that she will take advantage of knowledgeable selection about having surgical procedure.


Doctors might prescribe hormone remedy after surgical procedure to scale back the danger of unwanted effects related to surgical menopause. Hormone remedy is related to an elevated danger for breast most cancers.

However, women who bear oophorectomy to stop breast most cancers earlier than age 45 and don’t take hormone remedy are at higher danger for health issues. These embrace untimely dying, most cancers, coronary heart illness, and neurological illness.

As properly as hormone remedy, there are lots of methods a lady can scale back her surgical menopause signs at house. These embrace:

[young woman sleeping peacefully]
Having a cool and quiet bed room may also help forestall the sleep disruptions brought on by menopause.
  • Avoiding habits that improve the danger for decent flashes: These embrace not consuming alcohol and caffeine, not consuming spicy meals, decreasing stress, and limiting publicity to heat temperatures.
  • Keeping cooling gadgets handy: Having a transportable fan and ice water bottle close by may help to offer some aid. Dressing in layers may also assist, as a lady can take layers off if she experiences a scorching flash.
  • Using a water-based vaginal lubricant throughout intercourse: This can scale back the discomfort of vaginal dryness.
  • Keeping the bed room cool and quiet for higher sleep: Other helpful ideas embrace avoiding giant meals and smoking earlier than bedtime. Going to mattress on the similar time each night time and waking up on the similar time each morning also can assist promote good sleep rhythms.
  • Taking steps to alleviate stress: Relieving stress can go a great distance in decreasing menopause signs. Getting sufficient sleep, exercising, writing in a journal, meditating, and training yoga can all assist.

Some women can also be a part of a help group for these with menopause or surgical menopause. Reaching out to associates and household or seeing a counselor may additionally assist a lady relieve stress.


Women who’ve BRCA mutations can dramatically scale back their dangers for breast and ovarian most cancers by way of oophorectomy. Women who do have the BRCA mutations and have an oophorectomy scale back their breast most cancers danger by as a lot as 50 % and their ovarian most cancers danger by 80 to 90 %.

However, it’s attainable that a lady should develop breast or ovarian most cancers for causes unrelated to the BRCA genes.

Surgical menopause could be an uncomfortable and disagreeable aspect impact related to oophorectomy. However, there are drugs and residence cures that may scale back signs each time attainable. Exploring these choices with a doctor will help a lady stay a more healthy life.

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