Can a hysterectomy make bipolar stop
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Can a hysterectomy make bipolar stop? 

Q: i am 28 yrs. old and i have recently had a hysterectomy. i was told that it might be possible that since i amon hormones, my bi-polar will go away. is this true? BB

 Dear BB -- Well, you're surely right that there's some sort of relationship between the two, i.e. hormones and mood stability. Problem is, we don't really understand that relationship very well. So, surely there are some women out there whose mood stability would improve after a hysterectomy and ovarectomy -- I saw such a woman last week in my practice. (I think this may be possible even if the ovaries are left in place, but not sure why; I just talked to a reproductive endocrinologist today who described a woman whose mood problems developed after a tubal ligation, and seemed to go back to normal after she had the tubal surgically reversed -- meaning, somehow the closed tube was associated with mood problems, and opening it again solved the problem? 

Or was it just a strong sense of being "no longer potent" somehow, and reversing that reversed the problem?). As described on my website about bipolar II, we should think about "diagnosis" not so much as "do you have bipolar disorder?" but rather as "how bipolar might you be?" So a woman who only has very mild symptoms might find that "her bipolar went away" after hysterectomy, as you asked. However, for most women with bipolar symptoms of significance, my sense from my clinical practice is that having no symptoms at all after hysterectomy would be unlikely. My patient's mood stabilizers seemed to work better, though, after the surgery -- after we lowered her estrogen replacement from 0.1mg patches to 0.05mg. 

Dr. Phelps

Published December, 2000

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