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Surgical menopause: effects on psychological well-being and sexuality

Shifren, Jan L. MD1; Avis, Nancy E. PhD2

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318032c505
Articles

Objective: Women anticipating surgical menopause often have significant concerns regarding the effects of surgery on psychological well-being and sexuality.

Results: The impact of hysterectomy, often with concurrent oophorectomy, on well-being and sexuality will vary depending on many factors. These include a woman's preoperative mental health and sexual function, the indications for surgery, and the specific procedure being performed. Whether or not estrogen therapy is an option also will affect a woman's postoperative symptoms and experience of surgical menopause.

Conclusions: The majority of research on the effects of surgical menopause shows improved psychological well-being and sexual function after hysterectomy for benign disease. Women with depression or sexual problems preoperatively are at increased risk for experiencing a worsening of mood and libido postoperatively.

The majority of research on the effects of surgical menopause shows improved psychological well-being and sexual function after hysterectomy for benign disease. Women with depression or sexual problems preoperatively are at increased risk for experiencing a worsening of mood and libido postoperatively.

From 1Vincent Ob/Gyn Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and 2Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC.

Received October 3, 2006; revised and accepted December 27, 2006.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Shifren serves on the advisory board for Procter & Gamble and Wyeth, is a consultant for Boehringer Ingelheim, and Procter & Gamble, and receives research support from Procter & Gamble and Watson.

Address correspondence to: Jan L. Shifren, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Yawkey 10 A, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail: jshifren@partners.org.

©2007The North American Menopause Society