What is abrupt menopause?

Abrupt menopause is when a premenopausal woman undergoes surgery to remove her ovaries. This surgery abruptly begins menopause for her. In most cases, the woman is premenopausal before surgery. Menopausal symptoms can frequently be more severe with abrupt menopause than with natural menopause.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Abrupt menopause occurs, as you may have expected, when menopause comes about suddenly. While most women will go through menopause gradually over a 10-year period, some women experience abrupt or induced menopause because of surgery (removal of ovaries), medication, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. These procedures shut down, remove, or damage the estrogen factory in your ovaries, so they cannot produce estrogen anymore, throwing you into menopause as quickly as you put food felon products back on the shelf.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Menopause is normally a gradual process. It typically occurs over several years as a woman's ovaries slowly stop functioning. However, women who have their ovaries removed at any age between their first and last menstrual period will undergo abrupt or sudden menopause.

A woman with ovarian cancer or certain other cancers of the reproductive organs may need to have her ovaries removed. However, some women who have a high risk for breast or ovarian cancer because they carry certain genes choose to have their ovaries removed as a pre-emptive measure. Some other medical conditions may require removal of the ovaries. In all cases, a woman will immediately enter menopause.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.