Did you know that out of the 1.3 million women experiencing menopause in the US every year, approximately 1% experience induced menopause? Typically, menopause symptoms should start appearing when a woman reaches 45. However, certain medical conditions could necessitate surgically induced menopause. If this happens, the symptoms will be more abrupt and may take a toll on both physical and mental health and, therefore, it’s advisable to seek immediate professional help. If you happen to live in or around Texas, you should visit the San Antonio menopause center for specialized and customized treatments.
What Is Surgical Menopause?
Menopause is an inevitable phase in a woman’s life that stops menstruation and estrogen production. This process occurs naturally for most women, and for some, this occurs after surgical removal of ovaries (oophorectomy) hence the term induced.
The most common symptoms of induced menopause are hot flashes, cognitive decline, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.
Some of the reasons why women undergo surgical menopause include:
· To relieve endometriosis symptoms
· During a hysterectomy which is performed to reduce the danger of ovarian cancer
· To treat recurrent and benign cysts and tumors
· When performing an ovarian torsion surgical procedure
Risks of Induced Menopause
Studies show that induced menopause, especially in young women under 40, increases the mortality rate. Experts, therefore, discourage ovary removal in low-risk cancer patients.
Additionally, this procedure also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The risk is even higher when the surgery involves a combination of both an oophorectomy and hysterectomy. A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic Cohort of Oophorectomy and Aging (SUA) revealed the risk of cognitive decline as well as early dementia due to surgically induced menopause.
The surgery prevents the production of ovarian testosterone, which disrupts normal sexual function causing decreased libido and hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
Despite there being little evidence, some studies show that surgical menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis. This is because of the abrupt drop in estrogen levels, which leads to low bone mineral density.
Though high-risk, surgical menopause is a life-restoring procedure for some women. By halting estrogen production, this procedure reduces the chances of getting ovarian cancer, which is the cause of death for approximately 13,940 women in the US each year.
Treatment and Management of Induced Menopause
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
This is the most common treatment option used in reducing menopausal symptoms. HRT involves taking medication that contains hormones that a woman can no longer produce naturally.
Your doctor will either prescribe estrogen or progesterone or both, depending on the type of surgery that was performed. Estrogen therapy, for instance, is often utilized in women who have undergone hysterectomy and helps to reduce vaginal incontinence.
Other benefits of HRT include reducing the risks of diabetes, bowel cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, this procedure is not free of risks. Some of the side effects of HRT include fluid retention, nausea, headaches, depression, and breast tenderness.
You should consider making some lifestyle changes to reduce the symptoms of menopause. These include eating a healthy diet that is free of spices, doing regular exercises, limiting your alcohol intake, staying hydrated as well as managing your stress levels.
Finally, before choosing any treatment, you must first get correct medical advice from an experienced OB/GYN. Dr. Patricia K. Brougher and her team at Bluebonnet OB/GYN in San Antonio guarantee their clients effective menopausal treatments to improve life quality and overall well-being.