How long can we expect our surgical menopause symptoms to last?
Since natural menopause is your body's reaction to decreasing estrogen, it makes sense that it goes on for a long time (since the estrogen level is decreasing slowly). With the "immediate" absence of estrogen from removal of the ovaries, can we expect that our bodies will adjust more quickly?
It just seems to me (in my uneducated logic!) that our bodies just have to adjust to the lack of estrogen, rather than having to adjust to an ever-fluctuating level from natural menopause.
Is there any basis for my assumption, or am I just wishful-thinking?! thanks!
I think I understand your question but if I have this wrong, sorry.....
Our bodies produce estrogen and it takes a couple days for it to deplete from our bodies after surgery (some people sweat right away but this also can be a side effect from GA). Since our ovaries rend to go into a shock, they have to reawaken. The cause for the shock is the uterus via ateries provides half of the blood supply to the ovaries. As they re-awaken, our estrogen levels return. I had flashes and night sweats from about day 4 until about day 20 and then things returned pretty much to normal. The only thing 'not normal' is a still am easy to tear up.
The return varies greatly from woman to woman. Your Dr might be able to provide characteristics that impact this timeline. There was someone on here a couple weeks ago who found out like 6 months out that she had ovary function when they had basically determined hers had permanently shut down. I certainly wouldn't worry about it for 4 to 6 weeks.
Thank you for your reply, but I don't think we are talking about the same thing . . .
I had my ovaries removed, so in my case my body needs to adjust to having no estrogen, correct? (I am not taking HRT.) So my question is how long can I expect to have hot flashes, etc. i.e., how long will it take for my body to adjust? Does that make sense?! (Or is it just a stupid question?!!!)
I think it's not a stupid question at all! Extrapolating from what I've read, sudden menopause issues are slightly more intense than our natural, regular menopause might have been. For this reason, I, as you evidently do, believe the whole process might take a shorter amount of time for those of us who no longer have ovaries. (I also will not take HRT.) The issue is this: how are we to know how long our menopause might have been? Some women have menopause symptoms as long as ten years! I do believe the intensity will diminish within a year or so, simply because our bodies are, essentially, running on empty. I figure that right now, they are struggling around in there saying "where's everybody," but that'll stop when they don't get any answer. But I also think we'll likely have *some* symptoms of menopause (but not so strong as immediately post-hyst BSO) for 2 maybe 3 years, anyway. Will hope that someone with more reading or experience will reply to your post!
The way I get it is this --- If your ovaries are removed, you are in menopause immediately. So no natural hormone production. I don't think anyone knows for sure what - if any - symptoms of menopause you will have or for how long afterwards. Your age at the time of your hyst. would play a role I think. If you were say over 45-50 at the time, you were likely in perimenopause already and may exp. a shorter time of symptoms. If you were 30, you may have a longer time with it.
It's important to remember that natural or surgical menopause does not `guarantee` horrible, long-lasting, disruptive symptoms. Some women experience next to no difficulties.
Have you spoken with your doctor about HRT or is it not suitable for you?
Evening Primrose Oil and others have been quite popular as a non-hormone alternative. You could check into that too?
Just my opinion.
Thank you for the feedback! I have talked to both of my doctors (Obgyn & primary physician) about HRT and they both believe that it is up to me and my symptoms. I.e., if I can cope with the symptoms I am better off without any HRT. I am 43 and was not experiencing any premenopause symptoms before surgery.
What I am experiencing now is that in the last week or so, 4-5 weeks out of surgery, I am having increasing hot flashes and insomnia. Mild headaches as well. The thing I am most concerned with is my blood pressure - it is going up, which I understand can also be menopause related - ???
Excellent question! I have wondered the same thing but haven't been able to reason it out as yet.
My 7th month with no period (before my hyster, of course) my gyno did the blood work to test for meno just to pacify me. His nurse called me the next day and informed me that I was definitely in menopause. That was 14 months prior to my hysterectomy. OTC progesterone cream helped with my hot flashes and I stopped using it several months before surgery. Thought I was home free.
Like you, I now have no ovaries. SInce I am 48 and had no period for over a year, I ASSUMED I would have no meno symptoms to speak of. I was a bit miffed that my gyno immediately started me on estrogen before leaving the hospital. I tried the patch for a week, Cenestin for a month and Compounded HRT for 8 days with Vagifem in between here & there. I sooo felt estrogen dominant. Went off ALL hormones.
Have been on NOTHING since June 23 and this past week I feel like I have crashed into a brick wall. Not sure what to do. I feel like pure dirt!
So, like you ask, the question is: Do we with no ovaries, go through meno faster, or slower since we don't have the ovaries the put out a small amount of estrogen for several years?
I think that for some of us menopause effects are immedately releaved after the ovarie are removed. With just a few days of actually having the body adjust. Point in cause if you ovaries are non functioning and have had no hot flashes night sweats and ect. Does the body have an adjustment period?
My answer to that would be NO!
but then again what would i know being i have never had my own estrogen flow naturally.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for me. Wish it had been that simple. Though I was clearly "in menopause" before surgery, ie blood work & no periods for more than 12 months, My ovaries had huge cysts which my gyno said indicated estrogen production, albeit not a LOT of estrogen was being produced. He also informed me that our ovaries continue to produce (declining) amounts of estrogen for about 7 years after NATURAL meno. I had never heard that one before, but then again I never really thought about it.
That said, I wonder if it takes 7 years after natural meno to feel the same as someone who has surgical meno and has had time to totally deplete their hormonal "stores"?
For the first couple of months with no HRT, I felt great. Currently 6 months post-op and almost 4 months with no HRT, I feel absolutely horrible. I can only assume I had an estrogen overload with the small amount already in my body + the HRT and now I'm finally totally depleted.
In other words, the hormone replacement was way above what I was getting prior to surgery with "natural" decline, and now I have nothing.
Then again, why do we with no ovaries seemingly feel worse than someone say, 10 years post natural meno? AArrgg, so confusing.