If you’ve ever had a horrible menstrual cycle filled with cramps that make you wish your uterus was gone, we understand. But what happens if that moment actually comes and your uterus gets removed? Find out here:
What is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the entire uterus. According to Healthline, this procedure is done to treat different menstrual problems including:
- Uterine fibroids: Noncancerous growths that form in the uterus.
- Cancer: This can include cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix and endometrium.
- Endometriosis: Tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of it causing irregular periods and sometimes extreme pain.
- Adenomyosis: The lining of the uterus grows into the muscle of the uterus. This causes the uterine wall to thicken and cause pain and heavy bleeding.
- Infection: Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID) specifically. This can be treated with antibiotics if found early, but if untreated it can spread and cause uterine damage and severe pelvic pain.
- Hyperplasia: The lining of your uterus is too thick, sometimes caused by too much estrogen, leading to heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding and sometimes uterine cancer.
Sometimes your doctor will recommend removing one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes, but this procedure (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) results in surgical menopause. Discuss this option with your provider if you feel it is necessary or want to find out more information.
How is a hysterectomy performed?
Southdale ObGyn has multiple ways to perform a hysterectomy including vaginally, laparoscopically (small incisions in the abdomen with the aid of a camera), abdominally or with robotic assistance.
What happens after I have a hysterectomy?
One of the largest changes after a hysterectomy is the procedure ends your ability to become pregnant. If naturally carrying a baby is part of your plan, speak with your provider about alternatives.
Another change is the end of your menstrual periods. With no uterine walls to shed, you will no longer deal with periods every month. You can go ahead and celebrate the need to no longer carry feminine products with you, but take a second to understand the other meanings of this change. The Office on Women’s Health describes an important factor to note:
- If you keep your ovaries during the hysterectomy, you should not have other perimenopause symptoms aside from the end of your menstrual cycle. However, you may experience those symptoms younger than the average age.
- If both ovaries are removed during the hysterectomy, you may have other perimenopause symptoms right away. It’s important to be prepared that your symptoms may be stronger than natural menopause because of the quick drop in your hormone levels.
Can I get ovarian cancer after my hysterectomy?
In short, yes you can still get cancer after a hysterectomy. The risk of getting ovarian cancer, as Mayo Clinic explains, remains after your hysterectomy; however, it is less likely to occur if you get both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed with your uterus.
A hysterectomy is a big decision that has alterations on your life following the procedure. However, it can provide relief for a range of menstrual problems and help women live a more comfortable life. If you think a hysterectomy might be the right choice for you, schedule an appointment with your provider to discuss options, ask questions and learn about Southdale ObGyn’s minimally invasive hysterectomy surgical procedure.