Hysterectomy is the procedure performed to remove the uterus of a woman. The removal of the uterus may be required in the treatment of certain medical conditions such as cancer, fibroids, and excessive bleeding among others. When there is cancer, for instance, it may be necessary to remove the uterus, or even the cervix, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, in order to prevent the cancer from spreading to the other organs. The removal of the uterus and the other reproductive organs may also be necessary to stop bleeding.
Undergoing a hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries will trigger menopause in a woman, and it would also make the woman unable to bear children.
But what about hysterectomy after menopause? How would the effects of hysterectomy be different for the post menopausal woman? Well, women who undergo hysterectomy after menopause may or may not experience great changes in their body.
When a woman undergoes a complete hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes) during peri-menopause or menopause, the woman becomes post menopausal. In this case, the body stops producing estrogen and progesterone, which in turn increases the levels of testosterone in the body. This could cause the development of some masculine features such as increased hair growth on the chin and upper lip. Also, women can experience increase body fat deposition along the abdomen, hips, and thighs. Osteoporosis risks increase as well. Some women may continue to have significant vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and require some sort of hormone replacement.
Hysterectomy after menopause can cause immediate psychological effects on the woman. These can include transient bouts of mild depressive symptoms, and/or anxiety. Furthermore, the woman who undergoes hysterectomy after menopause rarely undergoes physical or psychological changes because the ovaries have already stopped functioning by this time, and their removal does not make a difference to the woman.