Hysterectomy link to early menopause

US researchers studied some 400 women aged 30–47 years who were undergoing hysterectomy without bilateral oophorectomy, finding they had nearly twice the risk of ovarian failure compared with women without hysterectomy.

After four years of follow-up, the study showed 15% of women who had hysterectomies had experienced ovarian failure, compared with only 8% of women in the control group.

The risk of ovarian failure was highest in the group of women who had unilateral oophorectomy, at nearly three times the rate of controls.

Professor Louise Farrell, vice president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and chair of its Women’s Health Committee, said it was important to know that women who have had hysterectomies were at increased risk of premature menopause.

“You would need to monitor women who had a hysterectomy more closely for hormonal levels post-hysterectomy because you

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