What is surgical menopause?

Keywords: Surgery. Surmeno, Hysterectomy. Ovary removal. Bilateral oophorectomy. Ovaries. Menopause. Post-op.

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Written by IAPMD
Updated over a week ago

Surgical menopause (sometimes called it “surmeno” for short) refers to the menopausal (low) hormone state that occurs following surgical removal of both ovaries.  Surgical menopause is simply a surgically-induced menopause. 

The procedure of removing both ovaries is called a bilateral oophorectomy. When both ovaries are removed, this removes the main source of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in your body. This means you will no longer have a menstrual cycle.

Removal of just one ovary (leaving the other) is called a unilateral oophorectomy. When just one ovary is removed, this does not result in surgical menopause and the remaining ovary continues to produce normal hormone cycling each month. This is not a treatment for PMDD.

Often, though not always, a surgical removal of the uterus (called a “hysterectomy”) is performed at the same time as removal of your ovaries (oophorectomy).

If you have a hysterectomy but keep your ovaries, you will not experience a surgical menopause-- your hormones will continue to cycle as they normally would each month, even though your uterus is gone (and you will have no menstrual bleeding).

To read more about the types of surgery for PMDD click here.

Visit www.iapmd.org/surgery for lots of evidence-based information and resources for those considering, going through or recovering from surgery for PMDD/PME.

Read through all FAQ on surgical menopause here. Find out more about where to get support here.

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