The symptoms of menopause (e.g. hot flashes, vaginal dryness) are due to the dramatically lower levels of estrogen that occur when women stop ovulating permanently. These symptoms can be caused by surgical removal of both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy). A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. Depending on the reason for the surgery, sometimes one, or both, ovaries may be removed along with uterus causing rapid onset of menopausal symptoms. If the ovaries are not removed, they continue to produce hormones and menopause occurs at its natural time although women will no longer have periods since they don’t have a uterus.