Surgical and Cancer-Induced Menopause: A Unique Experience

Surgical and cancer-induced menopause are unique experiences with unique challenges. Learn how to manage your symptoms and live a full and healthy life with individualized care.

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Surgical menopause, where the ovaries are removed, and cancer-induced menopause are unique experiences that can be both physically and emotionally challenging. For women who undergo these types of menopause, symptoms are often abrupt and severe, and the emotional and social impacts can be significant.

This is why it is important to understand the unique needs of women experiencing surgical and cancer-induced menopause and to provide them with individualized care.

The unique challenges of surgical and cancer-induced menopause

The challenges are made more complex by whatever was going on medically to make them happen – by the inherent trauma of cancer diagnosis and treatment, or by the long-reaching impacts of other physical or gynaecological problems significant enough to need treating surgically.

Some women have prophylactic removal of ovaries in the hope of reducing cancer risk in the future – however the situation arose, it comes with a set of emotional and social or relational challenges to come to terms with too. There is often a sense of grief over the loss, including the loss of fertility.

Why one-size-fits-all treatments don’t work

Too often, menopause is grouped into one homogeneous group, as if all women experience it at one time, in one way, and need one treatment.

The same can happen when talking about subsets of women: no two women undergoing cancer induced/surgical menopause will have the same feelings about it, the same symptoms or the same impacts.

What this means is that we can’t assume everyone will need or want the same thing. We can’t assume the same thing will suit everyone in the same way.

Individualised care is key

Individualisation is the key. Some women will need HRT to manage symptoms and protect bones and brain from early hormone loss. Some will want it despite increased risk because symptoms are severe enough to impact quality of life. Others will want or need to avoid it because their cancer may be hormone sensitive and the risks outweigh the benefits for them. Some women will be concerned about sexual function. For others, it will be at the bottom of the list – they all need offering information and choices about sex though: not giving this can remove choice later. Risk needs discussing because it will feel different to each woman. There are so many non-hormonal and lifestyle approaches that help too – it’s not all HRT or nothing.

Conversations around menopause get polarised but the truth of the issue is this – individualisation and proper information exchange is the key to giving women autonomy over what happens next.

Conclusion: Individualization and information exchange is key

Surgical and cancer-induced menopause can be challenging experiences, but there is help available. If you are undergoing one of these types of menopause, it is important to talk to your doctor, or our experts here at Spiced Pear Health, about your individual needs and treatment options. With the right care and support, you can manage your symptoms and live a full and healthy life.

online menopause consultations
Online consultations available to help you with:
HRT & HRT Alternatives
Surgical Menopause
Menopause After Cancer

A note on our language

Throughout this website, we use the term women when describing people who experience hormonal symptoms. However, we acknowledge not only those who identify as women require access to menopause and hormone health information. For example, some trans men, non-binary people, intersex people or people with variations in sex characteristics may also experience menopausal symptoms and PMS/PME or PMDD, and we warmly welcome everyone who needs this support in our clinic.

Spiced Pear Ltd is a company registered in England & Wales. Company No. 13003182

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