Menopause with ovaries left in?

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I had excessive bleeding, enough to require hospitalization and blood transfusions. It was determined that multiple, large fibroids were the cause. I had an FSH test that determined that I was not close to menopause so I couldn't wait it out and hope that the bleeding would stop. After weighing options, and seeing multiple doctors, I decided to have a hysterectomy.

I had a hysterectomy 6 weeks ago and my ovaries were supposed to be left in (with the understanding that they would be removed if the surgeon found a reason to while i was in surgery) After surgery, I was told that my ovaries were not removed

A few days after surgery, I started to have menopausal symptoms. A few weeks later, my regular doctor, not the surgeon, did a blood test and confirmed that my FSH level was low and I was officially in menopause.

I followed up with the surgeon who first tried to explain it as a coincidence. When I pointed out that was one heck of a coincidence, he offered another explanation. He said that my ovaries had maybe just stopped producing hormones and could start up again in 6 months. Then he added that it was ok if they didn't because I was close to menopause anyway (it had already been established that I wasn't which is why I opted for the surgery). Then he tried to say that the FSH test is not necessarily proof of menopause. I have undeniable menopause symptoms that are now being treated with HRT by my regular doctor.

Have you heard of anything like this? Menopause that isn't really menopause? Or ovaries producing hormones and coming out of menopause 6 months after it started? I've never heard of anything like this.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I have seen written Katy that once a hysterectomy is done, the blood supply to the once attached remaining ovaries is reduced/cut off so ovaries stop working. The HRT should help if done with the right amount for you

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  • Posted

    Hi there

    sorry you are having a tough time.

    I am not sure how old you are, I am 46.

    i can't explain everything but I am a womens health nurse and have also been through the same heavy bleeding due to fibroids and needing blood transfusions. i am almost 8 weeks post op hysterectomy but with tubes and ovaries removed and I do not have any menopausal symptoms at all.

    we are all different.

    you said that the dr said your FSH was low meaning you had gone through the menopause. The FSH is actually raised with the menopause as opposed to going down. with regard to your FSH levels the result is only a snapshot of what is happening with your hormones ie during the peri-menopausal phase (the run up to the menopause) a result on one day could potentially show menopausal levels and the next day could be normal levels. once you are post-menopausal the results will stay in the menopausal range. one raised FSH does not confirm menopause, just as one normal FSH does not mean that you are not leading up to menopause. Sometimes a repeat test in a few weeks would give a much clearer picture, however the oestrogen HRT that you are taking would now interfere with this result.

    ovaries can fail following total hysterectomy but that would be very quick in your case so I would not expect that to be the case.

    its worth saying that people can still experience menopausal symptoms and need HRT with still normal hormone levels.

    if this is bothering you, you could ask for a meeting with the consultant at the hospital and then they can have your notes with them and normally are happy to show you the operation notes. Or you could ask for a copy of your notes to be sent to you, however it is not always easy to understand what has been written, Drs are not renowned for good handwriting! Alternatively go back and speak with your GP again.

    hope that helps a little x

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. I am 49. Thank you for explaining that the FSH level can vary from day to day. I was not aware of that. I assumed it was a one and done test, FSH=49 so the definition is menopause. It sounds like it is more complicated than that. I actually requested and received the operating notes (typed up) and the pathology report. It was confusing for sure but my GP looked at them and said there was nothing there that would explain suddenly entering menopause right after surgery. i guess the idea that it was coincidental seemed wrong to me and the idea that I could come back out of menopause was something I had never heard of. Thank you so much for explaining that the FSH levels could vary from day to day. I hope your recovery goes smoothly!

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  • Posted

    no problem at all.

    certainly a level of 49 would be suggestive of menopause and would stay high (say above 30) if definitely menopause. it only varies prior to menopause.

    the other thing i perhaps should have said is that the hormone blood tests you had prior to the surgery cannot really suggest a timeline as to how long until menopause x

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    • Posted

      Interesting, thank you. In determining whether surgery was needed, I was told that the FSH indicated that I was far away from menopause. That, along with my continuous 5.2-5.4 hemoglobin and bleeding without stopping, was the basis for needing the hysterectomy. We had a discussion about how maybe that test would show that I was " close enough to menopause" that I could make it a short time on blood transfusions. I guess I was just really surprised that menopause, that would have made the hysterectomy unecessary, happened only a few days after the surgery. Thanks so much for your help.

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  • Posted

    hello

    yiu are not done menopause till yiu have no period for 12 months. I do know that after a hysterectomy our ovaries shut down comply within 5 years,some women it happens sooner.

    I had mine 20 mths ago at age 50 but I had gone through natural menopause at age 45.

    I still have my ovaries however my symtoms are very mild .

    your ovaries may ramp up again but it is inevitable that they will shut down within 5 year may be sooner.

    x

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