The association of hysterectomy and menopause: a prospective cohort study

BJOG. 2005 Jul;112(7):956-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2005.00696.x.


Objective: To determine whether or not hysterectomy leads to an earlier onset of the menopause.

Design: A prospective cohort study.

Setting: Gynaecology service of large urban hospital.

Population: Premenopausal women with and without hysterectomy.

Methods: Multivariate survival analysis techniques were used to adjust for differences in initial follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, body mass index, smoking and unilateral oophorectomy between the groups.

Main outcome measures: FSH levels were measured for five years following hysterectomy and compared with the comparison group. Menopause was defined as a single FSH measurement of at least 40 IU/L.

Results: Two hundred and fifty-seven women undergoing hysterectomy were compared with 259 women who had not undergone a hysterectomy. Fifty-three women (20.6%) in the hysterectomy group and 19 women (7.3%) in the comparison group reached menopause over the five years of the study. Women in the hysterectomy group with a pre-operative FSH <10 IU/L reached menopause 3.7 years (95% CI 1.5-6.0 years) earlier than women in the comparison group independent of BMI, smoking and unilateral oophorectomy. Twenty-eight women in the hysterectomy group had unilateral oophorectomy and 10 (35.7%) of these women reached menopause over the five years of follow up. Women in the hysterectomy group with unilateral oophorectomy reached menopause 4.4 years (95% CI 0.6, 7.9 years) earlier than women with both ovaries in the hysterectomy group independent of baseline FSH, BMI and smoking.

Conclusions: Hysterectomy is associated with an earlier onset of menopause. Hysterectomy with unilateral oophorectomy is associated with an even earlier onset of the menopause in this study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects*
  • Menopause* / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Ovariectomy
  • Postoperative Complications / blood
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone