It’s unfortunately common for a premenopausal woman who has had her ovaries removed during her hysterectomy to experience mild to moderate mood swings after hysterectomy.
Not All Hysterectomies Are Alike
Depending on the underlying causes necessitating your hysterectomy, you may or may not have to have your ovaries removed during the surgery. If they are not removed, and you have not entered menopause, while you will no longer have a period and will not be able to get pregnant, you will still produce hormones and ovulate like a premenopausal woman. If your ovaries are removed during the surgery, and you had not yet entered menopause before the surgery, you will immediately enter menopause after the surgery.
Menopause and Mood Swings
Experts believe that the moods swings associated with menopause are caused by the shift in hormones that takes place when the body prepares to cease ovulating. During perimenopause and menopause the body gradually stops producing the hormones that control ovulation. Generally this process takes place over a number of months or years, but when a premenopausal woman has her ovaries removed during a hysterectomy, the change is much more sudden, which can lead to even more severe mood swings.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can treat many of the symptoms associated with menopause, including mood swings, by supplementing the hormones that your body stopped producing when your ovaries were removed. There are risks associated with HRT, and it’s not suitable for all patients. Ask your doctor about HRT if you are experiencing post-hysterectomy mood swings that you suspect may be caused by hormone shifts. Many physicians also recommend support groups for women having a hard time with post-hysterectomy mood swings who don’t want to or can’t take HRT.
Some women experience depression and mood swings after their hysterectomies that are not related to any hormonal changes, but to the psychological impact of the surgery itself. This is especially common in women who have hysterectomies at a young age or before they felt they were finished having children. Let your doctor know if you suspect you are experiencing any emotional symptoms from your hysterectomy that are not related to changing hormone levels. Your doctor may recommend counseling, medication, or both to help combat the symptoms.
“Vaginal hysterectomy – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-hysterectomy/MY00099.
“Abdominal hysterectomy: What you can expect – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hysterectomy/MY00163/DSECTION=what-you-can-expect.
“Depression in women: Understanding the gender gap – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/MH00035.