I am 41. I had a hysterectomy in 2001 with my right ovary removed. I had to have my left ovary removed last month, the ultrasounds and Mri's were coming back that a mass on my ovary was possibly malignant and my estrogen levels were above 800, which 3 doctors told me was very high. I had only a month to prepare for this surgery. There was no malignancy, Thank God!
I know this is really going to sound stupid, but is it possible that I am NOT going through menopause? Also, if removing ovaries causes "surgical menopause", then when are you considered to be post menopause?
My husband says I am in denial. I was placed on estradiol 1 mg and decided to wait to take it, because I thought maybe I was getting estrogen from somewhere else. (Logically, I know estrogen comes from the ovaries) I started to take the estradiol 2 days ago, since I was having bad night sweats that kept waking me up at night, and I am somewhat more emotional than I was before the surgery.
When I had my first post-op visit, I asked the gyn/onc if I was in menopause, and she said I was. (She did NOT take another hormone test, she said it wasn't necessary since both my ovaries are gone) I just wanted another opinion, and don't want to sound stupid asking her again if it is at all possible that I am NOT going through menopause and when does post menopause start.
If both your ovaries have been removed, you should be in menopause. There is a possible exception; if you are making estrogen from some other source. An estrogen of 800 is high from a normal ovary (though possible) and you did not say what the pathology report said about the last ovary removed. There could have been a benign tumor of that ovary making higher than usual estrogen, or the high estrogen could have come from another site.
It is reasonable to get another blood test for estrogen and you will know what the level is for sure. Menopausal levels are usually < 20. Also get one for FSH which should be >40 if you are in menopause. The fact that you had night sweats makes it sound like you are in menopause and all the estrogen was coming from your remaining ovary. It takes about two days to two weeks after surgery for the blood levels to clear from your blood and drop to menopausal levels unless there were another location making estrogen.
Machelle M. Seibel, MD
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