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HomeExclusiveCan You Go Through Menopause After A Full Hysterectomy

Can You Go Through Menopause After A Full Hysterectomy

What Are The Different Types Of Hysterectomies

What to expect with a hysterectomy

To fully envision how your body may change after a hysterectomy, you need to know the different types of surgery. Dr. Macey may recommend one of three types of hysterectomies:

  • Partial or supracervical hysterectomy: Upper part of the uterus is removed, while the cervix is left in place
  • Total hysterectomy: Entire uterus and cervix are removed
  • Radical hysterectomy: Uterus, cervix, and upper part of your vagina are removed

Although a hysterectomy doesnt include your ovaries or fallopian tubes, they may also be removed depending on the reason for your surgery. When one or both ovaries are removed, the procedure is called an oophorectomy. Removal of your fallopian tubes is called a salpingectomy.

Hysterectomy Is Never A Cure For Endometriosis

Not a day goes by in which I dont wish, with every fiber of my being, that my doctor had stressed to me the vital fact that having a hysterectomy is absolutely not a cure for endometriosis, says Rachel Cohen, 33, of Woodmere, New York, about her total hysterectomy.

In fact, endometriosis a condition that can be marked by severe menstrual cramps, chronic pain, and painful intercourse is not cured by removal of the uterus, according to the Office on Womens Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And of the many treatment options , hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries is not a first-line treatment. Conservative surgery using a minimally invasive method may be one option, and will preserve the uterus. Cohens hysterectomy at age 28, recommended by her gynecologist, did not even diminish her endometriosis symptoms.

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How Will I Feel After The Operation

After the operation you may have an intravenous drip for uids or occasionally blood. You may also have a catheter to drain urine.

If your operation is performed through an abdominal incision, the wound will be held together with clips or stitches. There will still be some stitches with laparoscopic surgery. The internal stitches used in vaginal hysterectomy will dissolve naturally. The wound will heal in a week or so but internal surgery will take longer. This is why the recovery period can take up to twelve weeks.

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Dont Let The Hysterectomy Get In The Way Of Your Sex Life

It is quite common for husbands to have a lot of mental reservations after their wife had hysterectomy. However, you should not let these concerns completely derail your sex life. For many women, sex after a hysterectomy can help them feel like things are finally getting back to normal. Therefore, there is no reason to stop enjoying a healthy sex life with your spouse.

If her hysterectomy is making you see your wife in a new light, it is important to take a step back and realize that her hysterectomy does not change who she is. Think of all the things that made you fall in love and feel attraction to your wife in the first place.

For many couples, sexual problems that developed long before the surgery have a way of coming to the forefront after the hysterectomy. It may be tempting to use concerns about hurting your partner as an excuse to avoid sex. However, this is ultimately unwise. Being able to confront your problems head-on and openly address your sexual needs is more effective in the long run.

Hysterectomy May Prevent Certain Types Of Cancer

Hysterectomy &  Surgical Menopause

For women who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene defects, the risk of developing ovarian cancer are much higher, according to the National Cancer Institute. Only about 1 percent of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer over their lifetime compared with about 44 percent of women who have inherited the BRCA1 mutation and about 17 percent of women who have inherited the BRCA2 mutation. In some cases, after genetic testing, women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 choose to have a preventive surgery. This removes both ovaries, called prophylactic oophorectomy, and can be done either alone or at the time of hysterectomy. Studies show having the surgery lowers risk of dying from ovarian cancer by 80 percent.

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Hysterectomy May Include Your Ovaries

During surgery, your doctor may remove one or both ovaries and your fallopian tubes, as well as your uterus. Ovaries are the source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These are critical for both sexual health and bone health. Losing both ovaries means these hormones are also lost abruptly, a condition known as surgical menopause. This sudden loss of female hormones can cause stronger symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and loss of sex drive.

The emotional trauma of hysterectomy may take much longer to heal than the physical effects.

Your Sex Life Isnt Over

While the surgery can have lasting effects on your body, and youll need time to heal, this does not mean that youll never have sex again. How soon you can have sex after a hysterectomy really depends on the type of hysterectomy: partial, total, or radical. Waiting two to four weeks to get back to sex is generally okay, with your doctors go-ahead, if your cervix was not removed along with your uterus, says Lauren Streicher, MD, an Everyday Health columnist, an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University in Chicago, and the author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever. But if your cervix was removed, it takes about six weeks for the back of the vagina to heal.

Ask your doctor to define what they mean by sex, advises Dr. Streicher. What doctors usually mean is vaginal intercourse. Orgasm may be fine, oral sex too, and vibrator use as well your questions need to be specific.

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What Is A Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is surgical removal of the uterus and sometimes the cervix and supporting tissues. It is the most common non-pregnancy-related major surgery performed on women in the United States, with one in three women having a hysterectomy by age 60. If you have not reached menopause, a hysterectomy will stop your monthly bleeding . You also will not be able to get pregnant. If the ovaries are removed in a woman before she reaches menopause, the loss of female hormones will cause her to suddenly enter menopause .

Common Side Effects Of Hysterectomy

Finding Menopausal Relief After Her Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy may affect the physical and mental health of a woman, especially when it is performed in the menopausal or perimenopausal stage. The woman suddenly and directly enters the post menopause stage without passing through the phases of perimenopause and menopause. The body cannot accept this drastic change and therefore a woman usually faces a lot of problems.

Hormonal changes do have a major impact on the womans health. Levels of hormones after hysterectomy decrease considerably. This increases the risk of cardiovascular and skeletal diseases. A reduction in the testosterone level may cause height loss and osteoporosis . Side effects of partial hysterectomy and side effects of total or radical hysterectomy are almost the same. They may vary slightly, depending upon the reason for which the surgery is performed and the procedure followed. Surgical complications are not discussed in this article.

Common side effects of hysterectomy include

  • Hot flashes
  • Development of excess facial hair on the upper lip and chin region
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

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Hrt After Surgical Menopause: Pros And Cons

To give you a better sense of what to consider in your decision, here’s a list of reasons you might lean toward getting HRT, along with a list of reasons against. Keep in mind that few if any of these pros or cons are definitive. Instead, you and your doctor have to consider them all and decide which apply.

The Morcellation Technique Has Both Advantages And Risks

To be able to remove the uterus during a minimally invasive surgery, surgeons cut it into small sections and may use a process called morcellation. In the past, the practice was criticized because of evidence that it could potentially increase the risk of spreading cancerous cells.

In response to these concerns, researchers developed new approaches to the procedure including contained and in-bag morcellation methods.

Streicher believes that many women undergo unnecessary open procedures, when morcellation is a better option. Its a real disservice to women, she says.

Morcellation doesnt cause cancer, adds Streicher, but if the person had a specific kind of cancer, you could potentially spread the cancer by morcellation. This type of cancer is extremely rare, Streicher adds. Informed consent is a must before going ahead with this procedure, says Streicher.

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Managing Surgical Menopause Symptoms

To reduce negative side effects of surgical menopause, doctors may recommend hormone replacement therapy. HRT counteracts the hormones youve lost after surgery.

HRT also lowers the risk of developing heart disease and prevents bone density loss and osteoporosis. This is especially important for younger women who have removed their ovaries before natural menopause.

Women younger than 45 who have their ovaries removed and who arent taking HRT are at an increased risk of developing cancer and heart and neurological diseases.

However, HRT has also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer for women with a strong family history of cancer.

You can also manage your surgical menopausal symptoms through lifestyle changes that help to reduce stress and alleviate pain.

Try the following to reduce discomfort from hot flashes:

  • Carry a portable fan.

Reasons For Having A Hysterectomy

Mood Swings After a Hysterectomy

There are many different reasons why hysterectomy may be necessary. These include:

  • Painful, heavy or frequent periods which are not improved with medical treatments
  • Fibroids Swellings of abnormal muscle that grow in the uterus, which can cause painful, heavy periods or pressure on other pelvic organs
  • A prolapsed womb, which is caused by the dropping of the uterus.
  • Endometriosis, a condition where tissue segments from the womb attach and grow in the wrong place, causing pain
  • Adenomyosis the same problem as endometriosis, but affecting the muscle of the womb
  • Severe, recurrent or untreatable pelvic infection
  • Cancer or precancerous changes in the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries

Very rarely, hysterectomy is performed as an emergency procedure, such as if bleeding becomes uncontrollable during childbirth. Usually though, the operation is planned.

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Reasons For A Hysterectomy

Conditions that may be treated by hysterectomy include:

  • fibroids non-cancerous growths that form within the muscular walls of the uterus, outside the uterus or within the uterine cavity
  • heavy or irregular menstrual periods however, new techniques now used to treat this include endometrial ablation or use of a levonorgestrel-releasing inter-uterine device
  • severe period pain due to adenomyosis or severe recurrent endometriosis
  • cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes
  • endometriosis a condition in which cells similar to those in the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body, especially around the ovaries and peritoneum in the pelvis
  • adenomyosis a condition where endometrial-like cells grow in the muscle of the uterus
  • prolapse the uterus falls into the vagina because of loose ligaments or damage to the pelvic floor muscles, usually from childbirth
  • pelvic inflammatory disease , caused by bacterial infection, often from sexually transmitted infections .

Management & Treatment After Surgical Menopause

Because symptoms of a surgical menopause are likely to be more severe, often the best way to manage and treat symptoms is with menopausal hormone therapy, or MHT . Your doctor can advise you about the risks and benefits of using MHT.

If the ovaries have been removed but not the uterus , MHT will include both oestrogen and progestogen, with or without testosterone. Progestogen is used to protect against uterine cancer. When a woman is on oestrogen therapy, she needs a progestogen to stabilise the lining of the uterus, which reduces her risk of cancer of the uterus.

If both an oophorectomy and hysterectomy are performed, oestrogen and possibly testosterone are needed. Progestogen is not needed, as there is no risk of cancer of the uterus. The hormone therapy is best started within 2448 hours after surgery.

Sometimes MHT is not an option after surgical menopause, perhaps because of a woman’s increased risk of breast cancer, or a clotting condition such as Factor V Leiden mutation, which increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis .

The alternatives to MHT may include:

  • some complementary therapies, although there is no evidence to support their use in surgical menopause for more information go to Menopause & herbs
  • some antidepressant, anticonvulsant and migraine/blood pressure medications, which work to reduce hot flushes.

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Sex Drive And Functioning

Research shows that a woman’s sex drive after a hysterectomy tends to actually be the same or better, perhaps due to a reduction in symptoms like pain or bleeding. Every woman is different, however, and some women do notice a reduced libido after surgery.

Besides a change in sex drive, some women experience physical changes that affect their sexual functioning, such as:

  • Difficulty reaching orgasm
  • Vaginal shortening
  • Loss of vaginal lubrication

If you are experiencing a loss of sexual desire or functioning after your hysterectomy, be sure to reach out to your doctor for a proper evaluation and treatment plan. Your doctor can discuss several therapies with you, including non-medication and medication options like:

  • Sexual education and partner involvement

You May Be Able To Avoid A Hysterectomy

Will a Hysterectomy Cause Early Menopause?

Depending on the condition you are facing, you may be able to keep your uterus intact. Alternatives are out there for about 90 percent of hysterectomies surgeons do, according to Streicher in her book The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy. Fibroids, for example, may be treated using a nonsurgical procedure called uterine artery embolization that cuts off the fibroids’ blood supply. Another option is myomectomy, which removes fibroids but spares the uterus. For heavy bleeding, an ablation procedure which freezes or burns the uterine lining may be a treatment option. Before scheduling a hysterectomy, have a discussion with your doctor about the alternative treatments for your condition.

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Do Affirm Your Wifes Femininity

Most women know on a logical level that their femininity is not tied to having a uterus. However, it can be hard to ignore years of social and cultural conditioning that link womanhood to fertility. It is extremely common for a woman to feel a sense of grief after losing her uterus or her capability to bear children.

Some advice for husbands after hysterectomy encourages them to step aside and let women deal with it on their own. However, the reality is that you can play a very important role in helping your wife through this grief. Though you may not have first-hand experience in these sorts of womens matters, your support is still invaluable during this difficult time. There are all sorts of things you can do to help your wife remain in touch with her femininity.

Try to reassure her by regularly complimenting her looks, personality, intelligence, and special characteristics. Plan date nights and social activities that let your wife know just how much you treasure her. Avoid getting frustrated with her emotions or speaking about her loss in a flippant way. Being extra sensitive and thoughtful will give your wife the strength and inspiration she needs to process this major change.

Hormone Therapy Could Help With Physical Changes After Surgery

If you have a hysterectomy that removes your ovaries, then you should talk about the pros and cons of estrogen therapy with your doctor, Streicher says. After the ovaries are removed, estrogen therapy can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. However, oral hormone therapy carries increased risks of stroke, blood clots like deep vein thrombosis, and heart disease, which you should also discuss with your doctor.

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Will You Go Into Premature Menopause

You may have heard that your hormone levels drop after a hysterectomy, but that isnt accurate. Your uterus, cervix, and vagina arent part of your endocrine system, which means theres no effect on your hormones, if they must be removed.

You can have one ovary removed and, as long as it stays healthy, it produces the hormones you need. Its different when both ovaries are removed, however. A bilateral oophorectomy causes an abrupt loss of hormones. As a result, you enter premature menopause.

Why Is Hysterectomy Performed

Pin on Side effects of a hysterectomy

A hysterectomy may be performed to treat:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding that is not controlled by other treatment methods.
  • Severe endometriosis .
  • Leiomyomas or uterine fibroids that have increased in size, are painful or are causing bleeding.
  • Increased pelvic pain related to the uterus but not controlled by other treatment.
  • Uterine prolapse that can lead to urinary incontinence or difficulty with bowel movements.
  • Cervical or uterine cancer or abnormalities that may lead to cancer for cancer prevention.

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Is Anyone Going Through A Menopause 12/13 Yrs After Full Hysterectomy And Hrt


I had a full hysterectomy at 36 – I was put on HRT because of my age at the time of the operation. I took the advice of my GP and weaned myself off of HRT about 2 yrs ago – I’m still getting hot flushes several times a day – my moods are up and down – I have headaches and fairly recently noticed slight heart palpitations. I continually have an anxious feeling – I’ve been to GP who did blood pressure etc and said that it was all good but is referring me for a 24 hr heart monitor but doesn’t expect it to pick up anything. I feel like I am constantly saying how unwell I feel – I suffer from constipation, aches and pains in joints and I’m finding it hard to concentrate at work – I just want to feel human again! Apologies if this sounds like me feeling sorry for myself – I’m usually the one helping everyone else to deal with their traumas but I need to focus on me just now – and figure out how I’m going to get through this. I would be very grateful for any info, advice or words of wisdom as my faith in medicine is waning.

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