Symptoms of the Menopause

So how will you know if you are menopausal? Well, there are lots of different symptoms that could initially be misinterpreted as something else entirely, and we have the entire list of possible symptoms for you here:

  • Hot flushes (flashes)
  • Increase or decrease in headaches
  • Palpitations or irregular heart beat
  • Dry vagina, which can cause pain when you have sex
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Itchy skin – could feel like crawling
  • Breast tenderness
  • Muscle tension
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling light headed or dizziness
  • Tingling in the arms and legs
  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Changes in skin texture and tone
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Increased facial hair growth
  • Your breasts may shrink slightly
  • Night Sweats
  • Insomnia, difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Tiredness (over and above the normal post surgical tiredness)
  • Memory lapses
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Aching muscles, joints and tendons
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diahorrhea, wind, bloating,
  • Flatulence
  • Increase in allergies
  • Thinning hair
  • Change in body odour
  • Increase in bleeding gums
  • Changes in fingernails
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Feelings of unspecific fear and dread
  • Severe anxiety/panic attacks
  • Vaginal walls become thinner and more susceptible to infection

As you can see there are a lot of possible symptoms, and it is highly unlikely that you will experience all of them, at least not on one day:-). Those that you do have may change as time goes on, some may disappear and others may become worse.

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  1. Omg, I am 58 and am feeling the same as you, just want to get away from it all,am so lost

  2. I was at work. I got so overheated. Felt as though I was going to throw up. I had a total hysterectomy at 22. I am now 50. I have never been on meds for this. It actually scared me I came home and cried. Not sure what to do?

  3. I was at work yesturday. I am 50 I had hysterectomy a full one at 22. I got so hot I could barely work. I was that way over a half hour. When I got home I cried. Just plain scarey

  4. Hi, Ruth! I see that you wrote this way back in December, and unfortunately, I don’t have any information that would be helpful. I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you. Maybe in the past 9 months your doctors have figured something out or maybe not, but I wanted you to know that someone saw your comment and is thinking about you and wishing you the best.

  5. My mother went through menopause at 42. It is possible but you must keep an eye on yourself as my mothers early menopause led to osteoporosis.

  6. I’m a 54 yr old and had a full hysterectomy in 2013, I cannot take hurt as I had a mini stroke (TIA ) in 2014, I have severe hot flushes day and night but in the day I get my hot flushes then I sweat terribly to the point the sweat drips off my face, it isn’t very nice at all and have tried no end of products but nothing seems to help, my Dr said it could last a number of years, it’s really getting me down now, if I go out I can’t even wear makeup as I sweat so badly my husband cannot believe how bad they. HELP,,,

  7. I’m 41 and had a hysterectomy two years ago and just last month I just had the rest of everything out .ever since then I have been having hot flashes like I’m on fire and my husband says it’s in my head and I’m not in menopause.

  8. Hi. I am 58 yrs old. Had a complete hysterectomy in my mind 30s. With hrt for over 10 yrs. About a year or so I began having terrible night sweats where I would literally have to change clothes 3x a night. I have been through the mill with blood work to no avail except that white cell count is slightly elevated. I also have multiple sclerosis . I have no desire for sex which is putting a strain on my relationship. Help…:-) I can’t take much more

  9. Hi
    I’m new to this site and wondering if anyone has any advice please. I’m 9 years since my subtotal hysterectomy, my womb was removed but left my cervix and ovaries. I’ve gone 9 years totally trouble free but now suffering a dull pain in my lower abdomen which has gone on 3 weeks now. Can only describe it as a heavy dull pain across my lower abdomen. I’m 49 and have symptoms a little similar to menopause. Is this usual to get the dull lower pain? Any advice appreciated.

  10. Hello,
    I had a TAH/BSO (total abdominal hysterectomy along with removal of both ovaries and cervix) the year was 2002 and I was only 35 years old. I had stage 4 Endometriosis and PCOS. The Endo was so bad the surgery took almost 8 hours, the doctor said it was like a gunshot blast, the endo was everywhere in little pockets. I know this is gross but the surgical report states that they had to amputate piece by piece in order to remove what they could. I had a surgical scar from hip to hip and was going through a divorce at the same time. I recuperated in my sister’s basement along with my loving dog Sam and my cockatiel bird Anna. I had no HRT for 3 months, I was supposed to go 6 mo’s (cause estrogen makes endo worse) but couldn’t do it. I had severe hot flashes and anxiety so bad I was terrified at times. It took me a full year to recover. I am 48 years old now and just stopped taking 1mg of estrogen a day 2 months ago. I am having anxiety again and wonder if this is from something else or possibly maybe my body still needs some HRT? Anyway my nightmare continues from side effects of Lupron that I took for the endo, I have degenerative disc disease, my spine is awful and had to have a back surgery in 2010. I read some of the stories on here and it reminds me of the terrible days from recuperating from the TAH/BSO. All the symptoms you are feeling are real and don’t be ashamed of them. Talk to your doctor and please don’t suffer just because you want to be strong, you need to be gentle on yourself, remember this is Major Surgery and a major shock to your body if you are going through instant menopause, like I did. It was terrible for me and I couldn’t drive for about 3 months. Hang in there everyone and remember you are not alone! The website that helped me out is: Hystersysters… So, back to my question, has anyone had problems with anxiety after going off HRT? I figured I have no estrogen even stored in my fat cells anymore since the surgery was so long ago. Should I go back on maybe 1/2 of estrogen or just tough it out since I am 48 and been through the worst? I do have other health issues from the Lupron that are a mile long but that’s for a different forum. My anxiety is in the morning when I wake up and I have to take a small crumb or 1/2 mg of lowest xanax they make which is 0.5 mg. Any advice is appreciated,\.
    Thanks, Dee

  11. I’m 50 and I had a vaginal hysterectomy 4 years ago leaving only my ovaries. Over the last few months been experiencing aching joints quite painful at times! Forgetfullnes with very bad memory, Mood swings, headaches. Itchiness on arms and legs, so much so it draws blood sometimes, bloatiness and wind. I haven’t up to now had any hot flushes sweats or dryness. Coils this be the onset of menopause. I really don’t want to take HRT as heard so many bad reactions to it. Really unsure what to do.

  12. hi im 45 and had a total hysterectomy in jan.almost a yr ago was on hrt for only 2 months had no symptoms of menapause went off cold turkey felt great now 8 months later my arms,legs,neck and face are burning constantly everyday now moods and fatigue are horrible feel like im falling apart like im crazy is this normal after that long and what should i do?

  13. hi I am 51 had a Hysterectomy 25+years ish ( not a total still have ovaries) The last 2 weeks my boobs have been hurting me ( a lot ) don’t know if I should go to the doctors ( I also have MS ) only just been diagnosed, Do u think im having the start of the Menopause

  14. Hi everyone , I have had a total hysterectomy my appendix and some bowl tissue removed in June …. I’m now starting to sweat really bad and have also put a lot of weight on ? Would anyone have any thoughts as to what I should do about my sweats ! I’ve spoken to my GP and he’s not sure if it’s safe to put me on some form of HRT ! So any thoughts would be gratefully received xxxx

  15. I just had an hysterectomy on Oct 8 and post op. is good – not too much pain but feel sick, bleeding as stopped which i found is pretty early and my pulse is not high between 53 and 58. That worries me any advice?

  16. Hi I am 40 yrs old and just had Radical Hysterectomy on the 17 sep 2015 due to stage 1b cancer.I have anxiety disorder and nkw I am not sure if what I am feeling right now due to menopause or anxiety…hot flushes, palpitation, feeling fatigue, weakness on both legs and worsse of all hv this worry of an impending doom.
    I will need to go through Chemo and Radiotheraphy coming this Nov as my doctor says that there are still small cells lingering ard my vaginal wall and nkw im worried if this treatment will make it more worst.

  17. Hi I had a partial hysterectomy in 2006 and have been on HRT for around 2 years ,I have found I put on weight which sometimes makes me really fed up ,have started to try to do some things to keep myself fit by going swimming but at the moment have had a bad hip which I now need to have injections in ,and also a bad shoulder ,what can I do to reduce my weight I eat healthy and use portion control ,but feel I am loosing the battle which make me fed up ,has anyone got any advice .
    Thanks x

  18. Hi, I had a sub total histerectomy done in 21 years ago. I am 51 years now, how would I know if I am in menopause. Occasionally I have pelvic discomfort sort of like menses pain. I still have my ovaries . Please help. Thanks

  19. I’m very glad to have found this site, I’ve just turned 60 and have gone through the menopause without any probs as I had a Mirena coil fitted years ago because of heavy and painful periods, I’ve also had polyps removed but now I’m going in for a total abdominal hysterectomy in a few weeks including ovaries as the scan I had came back saying many abnormalities so its a preventive op, I would like to be able to come back here if I have any questions. Thanks

  20. I had a sub total hysterectomy 6 weeks ago. I felt great! After the 4th week I started to feel tight around my back, so I rested completely. 1 week on my back aches under my ribs ache and now across my stomach and I seem to be very swollen. I’m due to go back to work this week but know that there is no way I can manage it. I’m wondering if my healing process has slowed down due to 2 UTI’s .
    I know once I get through this I will feel better, but it’s a struggle.

  21. I had a full hysterectomy 11 years ago, was on HRT until about 4 years ago when I developed breast lumps so I stopped taking it. For the past few months I have felt that I am going mad, mood swings, sore breasts, up and down like the proverbial yo-yo. My doctor has told me it is the menopause and I have just to accept it as this is the age I am at – I don’t understand how I can be going through a menopause 11 years after getting a full hysterectomy!!

  22. As you increase activity you will naturally feel more pain and be more tired, that’s normal after any surgery; but you need to balance that against doing too much and causing a longer term problem. Only you know how much is OK and how much isn’t. And, most women go back to work at between 9 and 13 weeks post abdominal hysterectomy, it is OK to ask your GP to sign you off for longer.

  23. Hi, I’m nearly eight weeks post TAH, with BSO. I was so relieved after the operation and feel much better in myself in some ways. The hormonal cloud had lifted and am sure that once healed, life will be much improved. However for the last two weeks, and I confess I have been more active, I am sore both within my tummy and with a intermittent vaginal stabbing pain. I’m also no where being ready to go back to work. Is this normal? Sophie

  24. It sounds like an infection which is very common post hysterectomy.

  25. I am desperate. I am 44 years old and had a da Vinci hysterectomy 6 weeks ago today due to a very large fibroid (no cancer, thank the Lord!) that was causing extreme blood loss for over 6 weeks that the dr could not stop. Admitted me for emergency hysterectomy. Took everything except my ovaries. I had normal symptoms of surgery recovery and at the end of week 4, I had 3 days that I felt wonderful – almost 100% normal. Better than I had felt in a long time. Then, took a bad turn and the last week has been awful. My tummy swells to right up under my breasts, I am extremely lightheaded and nauseous, have had diarrhea for the last 2 days, bad anxiety, feel so overwhelmed and can’t stop crying. I ache all over. The center of my back hurts and my right hip is in horrible pain. Spoke with my doctor on Friday and she gave me nausea medicine and more pain medicine. I’m not taking the pain medicine and the nausea medicine makes me more nauseous. I have an appointment with her for my final check up one week from today, but I am very sick and miserable. Can’t really get out of bed or my head swims. Is this a stomach bug, hormones, surgery complication? It’s been getting worse over the past 8 days so hard to believe it’s a bug. Just looking for an opinion of this is normal?

  26. Hi Linda, I had a total hysterectomy at 47, 3 years ago, due to heavy periods, I went straight into the menopause, I went to my GP for HRT, and she refused me as I smoke said it would cause blood clots, my cholesterol is high and take a statin which stop blood clots!!!!. I had lost 2.5 stone in weight before the operation, I have put all that and some back on even though my diet has not changed, I still eat healthy, I’ve lost concentration, I’ve not had a full nights sleep for 3 years I get aches in my joint and bones, my memory is appalling, I’m tired all the time, I have zero sex drive, I have not had sex with my husband for over 12 months (I am so lucky to have an understanding husband) it must be awful for my husband as much as it is for me, I feel I have zero support from my GP she says just ride it out, but I’m more concerned about long term effects this is going to have on my body and mind.

  27. Hi Paula. I’d recommend getting hold of a book called The New Natural Alternatives to HRT. And it is possible you are again going through the menopause as your ovaries were continuing to produce some hormones until they were removed.The other thing to consider is a thyroid dysfunction.

  28. I had a complete Hysterectomy almost 3 1/2 yrs. ago I had early stage uterine cancer. It was slow growing and caught early. It was a De Vinci robotic surgery and I recuperated very fast. The only thing is I have been having anxiety attacks, weight gain, hair loss, heart Palps, and dizziness. I am 69 yrs. old and I have gone through the Menopause long before my operation. I also have these times when my head and shoulders get really hot and sweaty. Now I want to tell you I have been going through hell with this and am so depressed. But, here is the kicker my Gyno Oncologist will not let me do HRT of any kind for fear it will cause cancer somewhere else. I also want to say I was lucky and they caught it early and I did not have Chemo or Radiation. I am totally beside myself and feel so alone in this my hubby is a good guy but he doesn’t understand. What can I do!!!!!

  29. Hi know this is a long shot, but was wondering how you are feeling? I feel like you did in 2010

  30. I had TAH last Thursday and came home Sunday…..operation was due to massive fibroids which caused so much blood loss I ended up with severe anaemia……I am 52 and as ovaries were going too I was prepared for instant menopause with drenching sweats……nothing seems to be happening?? a bit warm yes but no hot flushes or sweats……..also will the swollen belly go down or am I stuck with it??…I am due to have my surgical clips removed tomorrow….will this hurt??……this web site has been an absolute godsend since I new I was having this operation……I am the biggest wuss there is and its been amazing

  31. I am 46 years old, I had my uterus removed 6 years ago, on 1/23/15 I had a large mass removed off Left overay and had both removed surgically. About 1 week after surgery I started to have numbness/ tingling feeling on the cap of my head, my PCP didn’t know what it was, I’ve read that this could be anxiety, so I requested Ativan 0.5 when needed. It seems to help but doesn’t take the symptoms away all together. Does any one else suffer from this? I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired

  32. Hi I had a full hysterectomy 15 years ago, now 44 and having night sweats, is this the menopause, I did have hrt patches in my early thirties. X

  33. Hi Sue. There is a disparity on whether women get seen after surgery or not and it depends on local hospital and NHS policy more often than not. If you are concerned though you should make an appointment with your GP. I’d like to suggest you also get hold of Marilyn Glenville’s book, the New Natural Alternatives to HRT as it is a great resource for women who would rather try a more natural approach.

  34. Hi there
    I am 48 and am 4 weeks post op after having subtotal hysterectomy leaving my ovaries and cervix. I have heard alot of sad stories, my only concern is that no one seems to get support after the operation. I haven’t even been given a date for a check up or offer of any HRT.
    I too believe that I am going through the early stages of the menopause. I would rather try herbal remedies. Could you recommend this listing ? I have heard the black cohosh is good. Any other ideas on getting a great night sleep would be helpful. Thank you in advance.


  35. Hi Sam. I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago at the age of 45 due to large fibroids. I kept my ovaries, but had everything taken away. I havent been given HRT or anything and have been waiting for all the horrid symptoms of menopause to arrive, but nothing so far! The bit I wanted to comment on was your sweating problem etc. I wondered if you have been tested for diabetes at all. The symptoms your describe are just how I was before I was diagnosed (aged 42). On the mildest of days my face would be beetroot and my hair soaking wet, but I didnt feel hot in myself. As soon as I was put on Metformin all of these symptoms stopped. Just a thought. I hope you feel better soon.

  36. Hi Louise, it’s quite normal to have some bleeding post op – but it should be light. It might last a week or two and is associated with the internal healing that needs to take place.

  37. I’m 2 weeks post op,total hysterectomy,ovaries wouldn’t give me hrt but as soon as I came out of hospital got to docs and got low dose off hrt as I’m only 44.havnt had any more symptoms as yet but am still having discharge,sometimes red sometimes brown,doctor doesn’t know if infection so gave me 2 lots of antibiotics!.this is abit worrying has anybody else had this problem?

  38. If have had your ovaries removed and as you say not taken HRT then you will already have gone through the menopause. Menopausal symptoms are often similar to thyroid symptoms and it might be worth chatting with your GP about any tests they can do.

  39. Help Please

    I had a Hysterectomy 5 years ago. I had everything removed including my cervix. I was advised to have Hysterectomy as it may solve my migraines, it didn’t. After surgery I was given a HRT Implant, it turned out I was allergic to something in the HRT, so I have taken nothing except a strong bone tablet since. I’m 47.

    My question is, I suffer from excessive head, neck and facial sweating, really embarrassing, I can walk up a flight of stairs, my face will be right red, and soaking wet with sweat, as will my hair at the back of my neck. This has steadily been getting worse for the past year- 18 months. I can be sitting watching TV, again I will sweat excessively and my head will be extremely hot, although if you touch my skin it is cold? Around my =neck it is freezing cold?
    I don’t feel this is menopausal, as I didn’t think I would/could go through the menopause 5 years post op? Surely all my hormones were gone a long time ago?

    I take triotans as and when required and alendronic acid once a week for my bones, I have been taking both tablets for over 4 years


  40. Have you spoken with a different primary care GP in the practice? Sometimes you get different answers from different doctors. Also when it comes to ‘natural’ products there is no ‘one size fits all’ and you need a combination of lifestyle, diet and exercise to help. I’d suggest getting hold of Marilyn Glenville’s book The New Natural Alternatives to HRT as that will explain all the options.

  41. I am 58 and been going through menopause for 3 years and still going strong! Had complete hysterectomy 18 yrs ago. Not taking hormones but I wish I could! I have practically been on my knees begging my primary care dr. for hormones but he says I can’t because I have heart disease. I recently scheduled an appt with obgyn. My symptoms are horrible! I swear I am losing my mind! My face is almost always flushed, hot flashes, night sweats, memory problems, aches and pains everywhere, anxiety, my fingernails are brittle, etc…. etc….. etc…. shall I pull my hair out? If I get no relief soon I will be bald. Any suggestions? I have tried “natural” products.

  42. I’m 40 and had a hysterectomy 5 years ago and still have right ovary I’ve been experiencing awlful mood swings and night sweats and nipple drainage and tenderness, they get so sore at times that they are hot. I often get depressed and just sit and cry and then it seems in the snap of your fingers I’m happy again I can’t take much more if this I’m not a pill person at all I didn’t even take the pain pills after surgery so I don’t want a doctor to think I need pills to get through this is there a more natural way to deal with all this ? I need help fast please

  43. Hi Michelle, I have had the same Hysterectomy as you. I sounds like you are still recovering from the anesthetic, I was so emotional a good few weeks after my op. I have noticed changes, such like really low mood swings, I still cry a lot, I am getting hot sweets in the night, but not sure if this is the menopause or because I had a total hysterectomy apart from my left ovary.

    Your stomach will be swollen for a while, i drank lot’s of peppermint tea, it helped a little, I found having a little gently walk even just for 5 minutes did helped it took my mind off it.

    Take Care. All the Best.

  44. Thank you Thank you for your site devoted to helping women understand the symptoms of Menopause. I have been convinced that I’m going crazy with the horrible mood swings, I have chosen to stay home from work today rather than risk loosing my job because of my anxiety, fear and dread that my coworkers hate me and are talking behind my back. I had a partial Hysterectomy 6 years ago and believe that the symptoms have been increasing in intensity over the last 2 years. My Husband of 5 years and I sleep in separate rooms because I have lost all interest in sex – it seams the only feelings I feel anymore are Sadness, Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue. I’ve increased in Weight gain of 50 lbs!! And am struggling with Insomnia. My Mother said Run, don’t walk to my Gyno’s office to get on hormone replacement therapy. but of course getting an apt the same day you call is almost unheard of unless you go to the ER. I really need to turn this around before I become a secluded spinster! Please Please what advise do you have for me –

  45. Hi Michelle, yes it is normal to have wind pain and it will ease in a week or so – things like peppermint tea and cordial help enormously. It’s also normal to be emotional as well and that will ease too in time. As for the menopause you will probably go into at least two years earlier than you might have done, but you do have a 50% chance of your ovaries failing in the next five years too.

  46. Hi I’m 28 years of age and I am 4 days post total hysterectomy. I have only my right ovary in tact as my left ovary was removed due to damage. I am currently very sore and in a great deal of discomfort. I am suffering terrible trapped wind and NOTHING IS HELPING my stomach is so swollen its hurting my skin. I am also curious about the menopause symptoms because I still have one ovary does any one know if I will still have symptoms. I can’t even have a conversation with somebody with out sobbing my eyes out is this normal.

  47. The pelvic floor excercises are good and you can feel them working. I am 3 weeks post op after having keyhole total hysterectomy. I thought that I would wake up after surgery and start having hot sweats, but not as yet. This last week I have noticed I am having trouble sleeping. I have had an infection in the naval cut. So on antibiotics and dressing it twice a day. I am 51 and don’t really want to go on HRT. So I have your books and am looking at alternatives. Jayne

  48. The abdominal cramps and wind are common and to be expected, they are one of the most annoying parts of recovery post hysterectomy Patsy. As for the scar tissue it might be worth talking to your doctor about how you can prevent it from happening.

  49. I had a sub total hysterectomy on the 27th September 2013 due to multiple fibroids which enlarged my womb 3 times it’s original size . My ovaries were left but I need reassurance from my doctor about the level of oestrogen ….,My wound area seems to be healing quite well as I seem to have regular vit c dose . However , my scar area seems to be swollen and hardened and I’m scared that the tissue might form severe scaring called keloids ….since my skin tends to over scar. Another problem that I am experiencing is intestinal cramps. .and passing out a lot of gas… this a side effect of hysterectomy ? If it is , then why didn’t the hospital / consultant offer any support group or advice? Am I alone with this symptoms ???
    Any ideas / advice would be most welcome. I am also very grateful for this website which helps to share ideas from other women!!!
    Thank you!

  50. Hi,
    I am coming up to 8 weeks post op after a total abdominal hysterectomy due to ovarian cysts. Since the surgery I have had a permenent urinary tract infection and cellulitis. My GP has prescribed an array of antibiotics but to no avail and I am still in constant pain with backache. As it was a total hysterectomy I have gone straight into the menopause which I am also trying to cope with as although I am 48 I was having regular periods every 28 which although painful were manageable. I am not sleeping due to the night sweats and anxiety attacks that I am having and I feel that I am not making much progress with my recovery. Previously to my op I was marathon runner who ran at least 3 times a week and cycled a lot too. I even ran the day before my surgery!! However even walking or being on my feet for 20 minutes makes my body ache and its starting to really upset me as I have 2 small children of 7 and 5 and I feel I am not there for them as much I want to be. My GP and myself are reluctant to use HRT due to a family history of thombosis and breast cancer. I am due to see my consultant for the first time since the op next week but I feel very down at how little I can do after 8 weeks and am still not driving. Don’t know if I am being too hard on myself or should I be concerned about my lack of energy/inclination? I thought by now I would be able to have the energy to swim or walk further. Any advise gratefully received!!!!!

    2 children 7 & 5
    happily ensconced

    ps I am so relieved to have found this site, wish the hospital had given me this when I left instead of the generic A4 info on post op recovery!!!

  51. I am 51 had ovary cyst doctors did blood work the ca-125 was elevated then ov test elevated my gyn sent me to a oncology dr he said i need a full hysterectomy he also took out my cervix, he did the davinnci robotice procedures, and he sent my cyst to lab to see if it was cancer thank god it came out benign, so would need to be on hormones?

  52. My hands hurt – and I am not menopausal as yet… I now take something called Litozin – it is a rosehip supplement – and it really really helps me – I know it works as when I ran out recently the pains come back and it feels like I want to HIT my hand to stop it aching…can’t help with anything else.. but I am sure Litozin will help…

  53. Hi Helena, it certainly sounds as if you are going through the mill at the moment. Have your doctors tried you with any form of supplement to try to help and ease the symptoms?

  54. Hi,
    I’m 51 and started losing weight when I returned from Antigua holiday last year August. I’ve been through the mill wrongly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was already in my menopause (last period around 47) when I had to have a hysterectomy subtotal with ovaries but leaving cervix. I felt worse after hysterectomy and have had quite a difficult time since as all symptoms seemed to intensify. I wonder if this does happen? So many aches and pains my hands really hurt. Very little help from my doctor and been very depressed and very low mood. Been off work for a year and being forced back to work by doctors even though still chronically unwell. Hysterectomy was in June and this week noticed paid around cut area. Went to doctor she said could be hernia which is unusual but possible she said. Told to monitor for 1/2 weeks and come back if still there and they will send for scan. Very upset with menopause its hell and im at wits end with everything. HELP someone please!

  55. Smoking puts you at risk of many things, including thrombosis and as abdominal surgery also increases the risk of thrombosis, you are at least doubling your risk and exposing yourself to major problems.

  56. Hi, I am 45 and waitting to go in for a Total Hysteretcomy should here in the next 8 weeks,i am a smoker, i have cut down a little but will i have to stop altogether, i have tryed but it is so hard, i am worried about how i will feel after the op

  57. Hi Frances. I can highly recommend Marilyn Glenville’s book, the new natural alternatives to hrt – it really is the best thing to read as it covers everything in great depth. You’ll be able to find the unique combination that will provide you with the support you need. Linda

  58. Hi, I am 45 and had a Laproscopic Subtotal Hysterectomy and BSO on January 18th this year, aside from a brief discussion with a junior doctor about HRT which was not very informative I had no expectation of what was to come!!! My symptoms started within 24 hours of my operation and I was advised by a friend of mine who is a nurse to get on the HRT straight away so I started it less than a week after my operation and although some of the symptoms are now milder I have just been told I have menopausal IBS which is quite debilitating – I have found it diffcult to get much information about it and would be really grateful for any advice on managing it – I know that I can take medication but I really want to avoid managing my symptoms (as I seem to have quite a few of those on the above list despite the HRT) with drugs and look for alternative therapies if I can – any thoughts? I do have a HRT review with my GP this week but she did a blood test a few weeks ago and said my levels were as she expected but surely if these symptoms persist the level can’t be right!

  59. i had total hysterectomy 18 days ago, in gettin night sweats, body achin but healing reasonably well, gettin light headed alot rang doc said it could be painkillers so stopped them completely still getting dizzy. think this could be part of menopause anyone else have this im 43yrs not that old ha.

  60. Hi, i’m 38 and after I’ve been dignoised with cancer i had hysterectopy.
    My recovery from surgery was very quick, but now my life is a complete mess.
    Menopouse is having the best of me.
    My night are long and no much sleep, my hands hurt very much, memory laps and most of all i lost interesting in sex. Doctors told me i can not have HRT because they don’t want to trigger cancer back. i’m only 38 i cannot go on like this. Believe me these are only part of the symptons. Hysterectomy save my life but know my life is a mysery.
    Ps: thank you for what u are doing, it’s nice to find your e-mail in my post every night, it makes me feel less lonely

  61. Hi Deb. It could be both together – the tiredness is almost certainly recovery from surgery and it is a known side effect that hysterectomy that can exacerbate conditions such as Arthritis. On the other hand both are also menopausal symptoms too.

  62. Hi, I’m ten weeks post-op, having had a sub-total, and ovaries removed. All in all I feel ok, but the two things that are really bothering me are the intense fatigue, i literally find it hard sometimes to put one foot in front of the other, and also my joints ache, i.e., fingers, shoulders, pelvis, and even my ankle (that was fractured 18 months ago, but just lately is as sore as hell). My consultant thinks I need low dose of HRT, but I’m wondering if this is menopause or post-op symptons. Anyone have any ideas? thanks

  63. Prolapse is a potential side effect of hysterectomy and is one reason why women would be advised to do pelvic floor exercises after their op. But I’m really glad to hear that you are still feeling great despite this latest set back.

  64. Having spent the best part of five years on my knees unable to walk i had a hysterectomy, I lost seven stone and felt even better. However i then suffered two month ago a rectile proplapse and have been unable to do much for two months i am now back at work ,but was told this was due to the hysterectomy. Also further to add they are not sure if i will need a further operation for a virginal prolapse. However i do feel great for the hysterectomy as nothing ache’s HIPS ,LEGS, BACK AND TUMMY !!!!

Symptoms of the menopause

Strictly speaking, the symptoms of menopause are those that identify the time leading up to the final bleed and this is usually called the peri-menopause. Symptoms can be physical and psychological in nature.

Some of the symptoms are described as “acute” which are those that will occur immediately there is a reduction in the production of oestrogen, these include hot flushes, night sweats, dry vagina, dry hair and skin, insomnia, bladder problems and moodiness. The remainder are described as “chronic” and take place over a longer period of time, these include irregular periods, breast changes and other psychological symptoms.

All women that have a hysterectomy that removes their ovaries will begin to experience acute symptoms, even as early as 24 hours following surgery. Women whose operation has left their ovaries intact have a 50% chance of experiencing acute symptoms within five years of their surgery.

101 book coverIf you have had surgery that leaves your ovaries intact and you begin to experience some of the symptoms described below you should make an appointment to see your GP or gynaecologist to have a simple blood test to measures the level of oestrogen in your blood. Physical symptoms may include irregular periods, they may vary in timing, they may be lighter or heavier and they may be a combination of these. Whatever your age heavy bleeding may also be a sign of something more serious and should be checked out with your GP.

Hot and cold flushes (flashes), sweating during the day and at night and palpitations are all known as Vasomotor symptoms. Exact causes of the vasomotor symptoms are unknown but it is thought probable that the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature, is affected by the decrease in oestrogen production and this in turn dilates the blood vessels when it affects the sympathetic nervous system. It is thought that up to 80% of women will experience vasomotor symptoms.

Insomnia and headaches are secondary vasomotor symptoms and can occur as a result of night sweats which result in loss of sleep.

Changes in the vagina include a shortening, weakening of the skin, diminishing blood supply, changes in the acidity levels and dryness due to the reduction in secretions from the mucous glands. All of these can lead to pain on sex and increase the risk of bleeding and infection.

The bladder and urethra are also affected as the linings become thin and weak and stress incontinence can occur as they atrophy. This increases the risk of infection and bleeding.

Breast changes are as a direct result of the reduction in production of oestrogen. The breasts may become smaller and less elastic and the skin will become thinner and dryer.

The skin and hair become dryer and the elasticity of the skin reduces which increases the appearance of wrinkles. The changes in the skin are due to damaging effects on the connective tissue, collagen, when oestrogen production reduces.

Psychological symptoms are similar to those experienced with Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and may include: mood swings, irritability, anxiety, poor concentration, poor memory, loss of energy and depression.

Altogether it’s thought there are 33 different symptoms that may indicate you are menopausal and you can find a list of them here.

It cannot be confirmed at present whether these symptoms are caused by oestrogen deprivation or whether they are as a result of other physical symptoms, such as lack of sleep. However, some sleep disorders are helped by hormone replacement therapy, so there appears to be a link with oestrogen deficiency and some of the psychological symptoms.
Other sources of information about menopausal symptoms can be found at the following sites:

Recommended Reading:

The Pocket Guide to Hysterectomy is essential reading and tell you everything you need to know about menopause after a hysterectomy.

More information: