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Female Reproductive System

Surgical Menopause (Surmeno) occurs when the ovaries are surgically removed (Oophorectomy), with or without the uterus (Hysterectomy).  The removal of the uterus alone does not bring about Surgical Menopause, unless the ovaries fail afterwards. Below we explain the basic differences between Oophorectomy and Hysterectomy.


An Oophorectomy is a surgical procedure in which either one or both of the ovaries are removed. Your ovaries are the small organs that sit on either site of the uterus that house a woman’s eggs and produce estrogen, progesterone, and small amounts of testosterone. When a woman has one ovary removed this is defined as a unilateral oophorectomy, whereas when a woman has both her ovaries removed it is defined as a bilateral (meaning both sides) Oophorectomy. Usually, both these procedures are done in cases of endometriosis, cysts, Borderline Ovarian Tumors, ovarian cancer, or torsion. 


Salpingectomy is procedure that means the removal of one’s Fallopian Tubes.These are the tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. A Salpingectomy is often done in conjunction with a Oophorectomy, and in some cases with a Hysterectomy.


So now onto Hysterectomy. Many women get confused and believe that having a Hysterectomy means the removal of one’s entire reproductive system; however, this is not the case. There are many different ways to have a Hysterectomy.  “Hysterectomy” refers to having the uterus removed and does not involve the Fallopian Tubes or the Ovaries.  There are three different kinds of Hysterectomy:


Total Hysterectomy: The whole uterus, including the cervix, is removed


Supracervical Hysterectomy: Also called a partial or subtotal hysterectomy; only removes the upper part of the uterus, leaving the cervix intact.


Radical Hysterectomy:  This is a total hysterectomy where surrounding structures such as the cervix and part of the vagina are removed. Occasionally nearby lymph nodes are also excised. This is usually done in cases of cancer or severe endometriosis.


Those are the Hysterectomy types, and all just involve the uterus except for the Radical Hysterectomy, which in a sense is a more thorough cleaning out of the pelvic cavity.  They don’t involve the ovaries or the fallopian tubes.  If either the fallopian tubes or the ovaries need to be removed, there will be a name added to the hysterectomy type. 

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