HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
SHARING IS CARING
Ovaries | Still Functioning?
From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List
I had a hysterectomy but retained both of my ovaries. I have been experiencing some symptoms that are menopausal: hot flashes and night sweats. Can our ovaries stop functioning? How can I tell if they are shutting down?
Yes, it is possible for the ovaries to shut down after a hysterectomy. Doctors say that the ovaries may go into shock after surgery, and it may take a while for them to get back to normal. This can be temporary or permanent. Some studies suggest that as many as 50 percent of women who undergo a hysterectomy and retain their ovaries will have them cease to function within five years. If you continue to have menopausal symptoms, check with your doctor. S/he can run hormone level checks and prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for you.
A hysterectomy can often damage the blood supply to the ovaries, which causes them to malfunction, thus decreasing estrogen levels. This decrease in estrogen causes menopause symptoms
. In addition to dealing with hot flashes
, night sweats, vaginal dryness
, and memory loss, you can also feel like you have an “I don't care" attitude about everything or a lack of interest in things that you used to enjoy—It may look like depression
. Diminished libido, irritability, or fatigue are also common menopause symptoms. Because these symptoms can be related to other health issues, it is always good to consult your doctor. Your physician can administer tests such as a vaginal smear and a blood test to detect your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels.
A doppler ultrasound can also help reveal any damage that might have occurred to the ovarian blood supply. If the blood supply is not damaged, then your ovaries should still be able to produce enough estrogen.
If your doctors will not test your hormones, you can try seeking a second opinion
. The guessing game can be time-consuming, and you don't want to wait any longer than necessary for relief. Some labs will accept stool and saliva samples and send you results.
You may need a specialist to interpret the results. It is important to state that you are not on hormone replacement therapy and that you want to know how your results compare to someone pre-menopausal.
Keep a calendar and track your symptoms in a symptom diary
. Then make an appointment to see your doctor anytime you experience new symptoms or concerns.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
04-12-2003 - 03:09 PM
SHARING IS CARING
Do you have a question?
If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!
Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
Mesh panties are stretchy and light - perfect for holding peri pads securely during hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Post-operative compression panty with medical grade silicone to speed hysterectomy recovery + reduce scarring. [...More]
Softest Bra Ever
When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. Two in a value pack for your hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
Find a Surgeon
|Caren C Reaves, M.D.
Caring for Women
2805 S. Mayhill Rd
Denton TX 76208
|Geoffrey Cly, M.D.
Suite 101, 11123 Parkview Plaza Drive
Fort Wayne IN 46845
|Francisco Garcini, M.D.
1870 Silver Cross Blvd
New Lenox IL 60451
|Ken Sinervo, M.D.
1140 Hammond Dr., Ste. F6220
Atlanta GA 30328
|Siobhan Kehoe, M.D.
Gynecological Oncology Clinic - SW Med
2201 Inwood Road Suite 106
Dallas TX 75390
|James Kondrup, M.D.
161 Riverside Drive
Binghamton NY 13905
|Aarathi Cholkeri-Singh, M.D.
120 Osler Drive
Naperville IL 60540
|Shaghayegh DeNoble, M.D.
20 Wilsey Square
Ridgewood NJ 07450
|Gerald Harkins, M.D.
Department of OB-Gyn
P.O. Box 850, H-103
Hershey PA 17033