For women considering hysterectomy surgery for fibroids, abnormal bleeding or heavy periods, one of the biggest concerns about the surgery might be the effects of surgical menopause. Women who undergo a radical hysterectomy will experience immediate menopause due to the removal of one or both ovaries. This type of menopause is called surgical menopause. Because this change is so abrupt, many women report suffering from much more severe menopause symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive, fatigue, night sweats and insomnia.
Fortunately, most women who have a hysterectomy for fibroids or other conditions are able to have a partial hysterectomy that leaves the ovaries intact. Women who have this type of hysterectomy will still experience menopause at a normal rate, but it may occur a couple of years earlier than it would have without the hysterectomy.
Natural Treatment for Hot Flashes
Naturally, many women are concerned about the hot flashes that come with menopause. They can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and cause nights of lost sleep. Estrogen is most often the treatment of choice for menopausal symptoms, but many women want to try natural therapies for hot flashes before beginning hormone therapy. Different treatments work for different people, but black cohosh is a herb that many women find effective at treating hot flashes.
Black Cohosh for Hot Flashes
Black cohosh is biologically similar to estrogen, and as such, its effects are similar at alleviating hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. The herb has been used for centuries by Native Americans as the treatment for painful periods, PMS and the side effects of menopause. Black cohosh is an American wildflower that is often dried and taken in supplement form. It is available at most health food and vitamin stores.
Black cohosh has been studied in many research trials with favorable results. Most of the research on black cohosh reports relief in menopausal women with hot flashes in 50-95% of women who try the herb. It also shows promise at relieving some other symptoms of menopause like vaginal pain, vaginal itching, depression and bone loss due to both natural and surgical menopause. Because it has properties similar to estrogen, it may also protect against breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.