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When does surgical menopause start? When does surgical menopause start?

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Unread 01-25-2010, 06:16 AM
When does surgical menopause start?


I had a surprise and emergency TAH/BSO on 3 Jan for ovarian cysts and massive uterine infection caused by my IUCD.

Saw my GP 10 days post op, who told me HRT would not be started until I had my outpatient appointment with the consultant at 6 weeks post op. When I asked if my menopause would start she smiled and assured me it wouldn't.

I felt great for the 1st 2 weeks post op, presumably as my body was no longer having to fight the infection, but have barely slept for the last week, due to 4-5 episodes of sweats each night, and therefore feel exhausted, somewhat tearful, feel slightly pre-menstrual (in that if hubby doesn't agree with EVERYTHING I say, I will snap at him, poor thing). Could this be "come down" after the op, and reality sinking in, or is this the menopause I was assured I wouldn't yet get??
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Unread 01-25-2010, 07:43 AM
Re: When does surgical menopause start?


Technically, surgical menopause begins the moment your ovaries are removed, because that is that point in time that your ovaries can no longer give you the estrogen your body needs.

However, our bodies store extra estrogen in fat and other tissues. This supply can take anywhere from days to weeks to months to use up. During this time, many feel symptoms of hormone fluctuations. Even using HRT during this time, often does not bring an end to the hot flashes and other symptoms of fluctuation.

When she assured you that menopause wouldn't start, I wonder if she was referring to natural menopause, which is the slow decrease in the amount of estrogen being supplied by the ovaries?

Doctors differ in their HRT treatments. I had a Dr who put a patch on my abdomen before I went to recovery. Then, there are Dr's who wait until later checkups. It also depends on your personal health and risks for endometriosis and cancer.

You can always call your and describe your symptoms. Maybe there will be something he can give you to help you through this time. You will also find others experiencing the same at this point in recovery in the Post Op forum, where you can discover what others are doing to get through this difficult time.

Unread 01-25-2010, 09:40 AM
Re: When does surgical menopause start?

I had to wait until my 2 week appointment for estrogen replacement and those 2 weeks were horrible! I couldn't sleep, had terrible hot flashes, and night sweats so bad I had to change clothes and sheets in the middle of the night and dry off or sleep on towels. I am very thin so I had little fat stores, but mine happened pretty quickly!
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Unread 01-25-2010, 01:38 PM
Re: When does surgical menopause start?

Made an emergency appointment with GP this afternoon, who flippantly told me that the menopause would not have started and usualy takes a YEAR to start - surely this is not true??

I too am thin - although not underweight am at the lower end of "normal" BMI and don't carry much body fat - is this a factor?

The upshot of this is that I have to wait for my 6 week post op check and carry on feeling this way... and hope my lovely man can handle a menopausal me and pubescent teen daughter too!!!
Unread 01-25-2010, 01:49 PM
Re: When does surgical menopause start?

I'm 53. My dr. told me I might not have any symptoms, since I should be about through menopause. Even though my last period was in November. Maybe it was the power of positive thinking, but I had no symptoms until week 3. Then hot flashes all night every night every 2-3 hours. I haven't slept a full night for 5 and a half weeks. I was also getting weepy for no reason. (Maybe exhaustion)The dr.said they didn't believe in giving you anything until you had symptoms. When I called the office, the dr. was in surgery and prescribed estrace. I'm not to have estrogen! I don't think he looked at my file. My advice if you call in to the office, make sure they are looking at your file! A RN at the hospital suggested I read the Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause by Holly Thacker. This book was published in 09 and had alot of helpful information.
Unread 01-25-2010, 04:56 PM
Re: When does surgical menopause start?

kazzle -

I can tell you I wasn't perimenopausal at the time of the surgery and menopause hit me like a truck 5 days after surgery. It was like going off drugs (which it is technically). 3 days of nasty sweats and killer migraines and then it started to ease up but between that and a cancer dx it threw me into clinical depression.

Some people skate with no symptoms but others do not and they can hit hours, days, weeks or months after surgery.


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