Stop hot flashes after a hysterectomy: Surgical menopause can be more severe

October 4, 2011 at 9:03 am in Healthy Living by VN Editors

If you believe you’re going to stop hot flashes or circumvent the symptoms of menopause, you’re out of luck. Surgical or induced menopause tends to be more severe.

A hysterectomy is major surgery often performed to treat a health issue. The procedure includes removal of the uterus and sometimes one or both ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and the cervix. Women who’ve undergone a hysterectomy can still produce estrogen if one or both ovaries are intact. Whether or not there’s been a hysterectomy, the fall in estrogen levels will likely bring signs of menopause and lead to a desperate search to find something to stop hot flashes.

According to menopause specialist Dr. Holly M. Thacker — who wrote Vibrant Nation’s guide about recognizing and treating menopause symptoms, one of every six to ten women whose ovaries were removed during a hysterectomy is thrown into a tailspin during menopause. Not only are her hormones out of balance, her body may be depleted of estrogen and testosterone. Hysterectomy surgery can cause a woman to lose most or all of her estrogen and as much as 25 to 50 percent of her testosterone sources.

A hysterectomy may leave you wanting to stop hot flashes, along with other symptoms such as dizziness and heart palpitations. For most women in this situation, hormone therapy is an effective treatment choice for the alleviation of severe menopausal symptoms. And there are many different ways to take HT, including pills, creams, gels, vaginal rings, and patches.

There are few things quite as disturbing as experiencing a hot flash. One moment, you’re carrying on with your regular business. The next moment, you’re sweating uncontrollably and have to stop. Hot flashes may make women feel flushed and ill, even dizzy and weak. They strike without warning, and may last from a few seconds to several minutes. Commonly, hot flashes are preceded with or end with a deep chill. To go from being cold to being uncontrollably hot (or vice versa) is a shock to the system and the psyche.

In the short term, you can use several cooling techniques to stop hot flashes. Cool down quickly when hot flashes occur in the literal sense by exposing the body to cold temperatures. Try

  • Putting ice on your wrists
  • Sticking your head in the freezer (crazy, but recommended by VN members!)
  • Snack on a popsicle or frozen fruit fruit
  • Wear socks soaked (and wrung out) in cold water

Discover more ways to stop hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopause symptoms in the Vibrant Nation special report Top 5 Remedies to Stop Hot Flashes and Hormonal Night Sweats During Menopause.