A Answers (7)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredSurgical menopause occurs when a women has her ovaries removed. This causes her to go into menopause suddenly. The procedure is called oophorectomy or ovariectomy. Sometimes this is done at the same time as a hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus, but not always. The ovaries can be removed because of cancer, or to treat or prevent certain types of breast cancer that are fueled by estrogen. Some women with a family history of ovarian cancer have their ovaries removed as a preventive measure. The symptoms of surgical menopause are heightened and quite severe, especially if the woman is relatively young when surgical menopause occurs.
Marjorie Nolan Cohn, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Surgical menopause is the result of having to remove both ovaries or what is called a bilateral oophorectomy. A woman’s ovaries produce female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, and after surgery, the sudden drop in these hormones can produce menopausal symptoms that can be more severe than they might be during natural menopause.
The most common reasons a woman may have her ovaries removed include
- Cancer (including endometrial or ovarian cancer)
- Hysterectomy (although not all hysterectomies result in oophorectomy)
- Endometriosis, a condition when cells from the womb lining grow outside the uterus causing pain at many points during a woman’s cycle
- Myomectomy, the removal of uterine fibroids, non-cancerous tumors that grow into the uterine wall and may cause excessive bleeding, pain, or infertility
- Treatment for other infections or conditions
Menopause is the cessation of normal menses for one year. It occurs normally when the hormones of the ovary stop sending signals to the part of the brain, the pituitary gland to stop the normal cycle to cause a monthly menses.
Surgical menopause occurs when the ovaries are removed from the body. The ovaries produce Estrogen and Progesterone among other hormones needed for the menstrual cycle. When they are removed no hormones from the ovaries are able to send signals to the brain and uterus. Menstruation ceases and postmenopausal effects are felt in the entire body. Since women are unique the response to menopause varies among cultures, environment, body habitus, self-perception and nutritional intake, to name a few variables.
Some women have their ovaries removed (bilateral oophorectomy) prior to menopause for medical reasons. This surgery causes a sudden change in estrogen level, rather than the gradual changes of natural menopause. Thus, women undergoing surgically induced menopause usually experience more abrupt and often more severe hot flash symptoms.
Boston Women's Health Book Collective, answered
The removal of your ovaries (oophorectomy) or injury to your ovaries from other surgeries can cause what is known as surgical menopause. Some women's ovaries are removed because they are damaged or are cancerous. In addition, many women's healthy ovaries are removed in conjunction with removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or to prevent the recurrence of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Ovaries may also be removed during a surgery to treat colon, rectal, and cervical cancer.
Julia Schlam Edelman, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answeredSurgical menopause occurs when a woman's ovaries are surgically removed before she has made the transition into postmenopause on her own. (If the ovaries are surgically removed after age 55, for example, and a woman is already postmenopausal, she has not experienced a surgical menopause.)
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Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Surgical menopause is when a woman has her ovaries removed by surgery. This makes her periods (monthly menstrual cycles) stop and causes her body to begin menopause. The ovaries release eggs as well as produce estrogen, which regulates monthly periods.
If the ovaries are surgically removed, a woman does not have a natural source of estrogen, and she enters surgical menopause. Menopause can also happen naturally, when a woman’s periods end and she’s no longer able to have children.