What is surgical menopause?
When menopause happens naturally, it’s a gradual process that can start anytime around age 45 until around 51. During this time, you’ll experience fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, as your ovaries produce less and less of these hormones.
Once you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months, you have officially reached menopause and are now entering post-menopause.
With surgical menopause, however, menopause symptoms can begin overnight. With the removal of the ovaries, the body stops producing estrogen and progesterone, which immediately stops the menstrual cycle. The medical term for the procedure that removes both ovaries is bilateral oophorectomy.
If you have a hysterectomy, the surgeon removes only your uterus, so you may not experience surgically induced menopause right away. Your ovaries will continue to produce estrogen and progesterone, but your periods will stop. With a partial hysterectomy, you’re more likely to experience early menopause. Depending on why you’re having a hysterectomy, the surgeon may also remove your ovaries, particularly if they’re treating a disease or condition such as endometriosis.