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HomePopularCan You Go Through Menopause After A Total Hysterectomy

Can You Go Through Menopause After A Total Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy For Women Of Childbearing Age

Finding Menopausal Relief After Her Hysterectomy

Once a woman has had a hysterectomy of any kind, she cannot become pregnant. If the ovaries of a premenopausal woman are removed, she has had a surgical menopause. This means she will have a drop in production of the sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Vaginal dryness, hot flushes, sweating and other symptoms of natural menopause may occur.

Women who undergo bilateral oophorectomy usually take hormone replacement therapy ,This is also known as oestrogen replacement therapy, as usually only oestrogens are required to maintain their hormone levels and prevent the long-term risks of premature menopause.

Maggie Chose Surgery To Avoid Cancer

Maggie Gaines is a 44-year-old mom of two who inherited a mutated BRCA2 gene, which increased her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. According to the stats for my mutation, I had up to a 20 percent chance of getting ovarian cancer, she explained, adding it felt like playing Russian roulette to keep my ovaries. Im not a gambler so I just wanted them out.

At 42, she elected to remove her uterus and both ovaries. She recommends not relying on a gynecologic oncologist for information about what happens after surgery. The truth is that the gynecological surgeon is likely not an expert on menopause, she said. His or her job is to get the cancer out or to mitigate cancer with a preventive surgery like mine. So my advice is, find a surgeon who you know will do the best job doing what he or she is good at, and find someone else who specializes in managing menopausal symptoms following surgery.

Gaines found a clinic at University of Penn that specializes in BRCA patients. An oncologist there referred her to a gynecologist, who specializes in menopause. Today, she takes hormone replacement therapy and has been surprised by minimal side effects.

What Other Changes May Occur

You may encounter information saying that a hysterectomy makes you gain weight or lose your sex drive. These issues may develop, but only if both ovaries are removed. A hysterectomy alone doesnt affect your weight or desire for sex.

Many women feel healthier because the symptoms they had before surgery are gone. As a result, they become more active and find sex more enjoyable.

You should plan on six to eight weeks to rest and heal, depending on the type of hysterectomy and whether Dr. Macey performs minimally invasive surgery or you need conventional open surgery.

Many women struggle with unexpected emotions following their hysterectomy, so during your recovery, you may feel a sense of loss or struggle with depression. Though theres no way to predict how youll react or feel, please know that Dr. Macey is available, and you should call if you encounter challenges during your recovery.

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Psychological Healing After Hysterectomy Can Take Time

For some, the emotional trauma of hysterectomy may take much longer to heal than the physical effects. Feeling a little down or having a sense of loss after a surgery is normal. But be on the lookout for postoperative depression, and get professional help if you need it to deal with insomnia, loss of appetite, or hopeless feelings, if you have them.

I have to struggle with the heartbreaking reality that I can no longer menstruate or have children, says Cohen. For her, the hysterectomy was an emotionally painful experience. Each woman who undergoes one deals with it in a way that is uniquely hers, she says.

Additional reporting by Barbara Kean.

Days Before Your Surgery

Hysterectomy &  Surgical Menopause

Follow your healthcare providers instructions for taking aspirin

If you take aspirin or a medication that contains aspirin, you may need to change your dose or stop taking it 7 days before your surgery. Aspirin can cause bleeding.

Follow your healthcare providers instructions. Dont stop taking aspirin unless they tell you to. For more information, read the resource Common Medications Containing Aspirin, Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs , or Vitamin E.

Stop taking vitamin E, multivitamins, herbal remedies, and other dietary supplements

Stop taking vitamin E, multivitamins, herbal remedies, and other dietary supplements 7 days before your surgery. These things can cause bleeding. For more information, read the resource Herbal Remedies and Cancer Treatment.

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Are There Any Risks

The risks associated with hysterectomy are among the lowest for any major surgery. However, as with any major surgery, problems can occur, including:

  • Blood clot in the veins or lungs
  • Infection
  • Bleeding during or after surgery
  • Bowel blockage
  • Injury to the urinary tract or nearby organs
  • Problems related to anesthesia
  • Early menopause

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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Why Do Women Have Hysterectomies

Hysterectomies are most often done for the following reasons:

  • Uterine fibroids common, benign tumors that grow in the muscle of the uterus. More hysterectomies are done because of fibroids than any other problem of the uterus. Sometimes fibroids cause heavy bleeding or pain.
  • Endometriosis another benign condition that affects the uterus. It is the second leading reason for hysterectomies. It occurs when endometrial tissue begins to grow on the outside of the uterus and on nearby organs. This condition may cause painful menstrual periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding and loss of fertility.
  • Uterine prolapse a benign condition in which the uterus moves from its usual place down into the vagina. Uterine prolapse is due to weak and stretched pelvic ligaments and tissues, and can lead to urinary problems, pelvic pressure or difficulty with bowl movements. Childbirth, obesity and loss of estrogen after menopause may contribute to this problem.
  • Cancer the reason for about 10 percent of all hysterectomies. Endometrial cancer, uterine sarcoma, cervical cancer, and cancer of the ovaries or fallopian tubes often require hysterectomy. Depending on the type and extent of cancer, other kinds of treatment such as radiation or hormonal therapy may be used as well.
  • Hyperplasia thought to come from too much estrogen and occurs when the lining of the uterus becomes too thick and causes abnormal bleeding.

The Female Reproductive System

What to expect with a hysterectomy

The female reproductive system is made up of the:

  • womb a pear-shaped organ in the middle of your pelvis where a baby develops the lining of the womb is shed during a period
  • cervix the neck of the womb, where the womb meets the vagina the cervix is the lower part of the womb and not separate
  • vagina a muscular tube below the cervix
  • fallopian tubes tubes that connect the womb to the ovaries
  • ovaries small organs by the fallopian tubes that release an egg each month

Page last reviewed: 01 February 2019 Next review due: 01 February 2022

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What Are The Long

Following any type of hysterectomy, youll no longer have your period. You also cant get pregnant. These are permanent effects of having a hysterectomy.

Problems with organ prolapse can happen after a hysterectomy. A 2014 study of more than 150,000 patient records reported that 12 percent of hysterectomy patients required pelvic organ prolapse surgery.

In some organ prolapse cases, the vagina is no longer connected to the uterus and cervix. The vagina can telescope down on itself, or even bulge outside the body.

Other organs such as the bowel or the bladder can prolapse down to where the uterus used to be and push on the vagina. If the bladder is involved, this can lead to urinary problems. Surgery can correct these issues.

Most women do not experience prolapse after hysterectomy. To prevent prolapse problems, if you know you are going to have a hysterectomy, consider doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting your internal organs. Kegel exercises can be done anytime and anywhere.

If you have your ovaries removed during the procedure, your menopause symptoms can last for several years. If you dont have your ovaries removed and havent gone through menopause yet, you may begin menopause sooner than expected.

If you have your ovaries removed and go into menopause, some of your symptoms may impact your sex life. Sexual side effects of menopause can include:

  • vaginal dryness
  • pain during sex

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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Its Time To Get Real About Post

At 35, hearing cancer was a nightmare, so I immediately focused on what I needed to do to save my life, Sherry shares. I had no idea the surgery I needed to survive would mean Id start menopause!

Women who have surgery to remove both ovaries will go through menopause. For younger patients, menopause side effects may be more profound. But doctors rarely talk with a patient about such side effects because oncologists are focused on saving the patients life. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance offers tips on coping with menopause symptoms.

I didnt have a choice: I had to have a radical hysterectomy to remove both ovaries because otherwise I would die, Sherry explains. But that unavoidable decision pushed me right into a phase of life I thought I had another 20 years to prepare for. Who wants to go through menopause at 35?

It can be brutal, but I think a huge support is knowing were not alone. YOU are not alone. No matter what combination of events leads you to an early experience with menopause, I promise someone else has traveled a similar path.

Read more about stress relief: I want you to try meditation! Just minutes can help!

The Cons: Reasons To Lean Against Hrt After Surgical Menopause

Mood Swings After a Hysterectomy
  • Your menopausal symptoms aren’t bothering you, or other treatments work fine. Some women don’t have very severe symptoms after surgical menopause and don’t want or need treatment. Even if you do have acute symptoms, HRT is not the only way to control them. Other drugs or lifestyle changes can help. Talk to your doctor.
  • You’re 50 or older. Many women who go into surgical menopause at 50 or older — the natural time of menopause – decide not to get HRT. That’s because their supply of estrogen would naturally drop during menopause anyway. There is some evidence that the older you are when you start HRT, the higher the cardiovascular risks – at least initially.
  • You have liver disease. Estrogen pills can put a lot of stress on the liver. So if you have liver disease, your doctor may not want you to take oral HRT. Other ways of getting estrogen – like patches and gels – bypass the liver and are safer options.
  • You’re concerned about the side effects. HRT can also cause symptoms of its own. Many resemble the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome — swollen and painful breasts, headaches, and nausea.
  • You’re at a higher risk of health problems like:

o Strokes. Hormone therapy can increase the risk of stroke, although your odds are still very low.

o Blood clots. Oral estrogen, at least, may also raise the risk of blood clots. Estrogen patches and creams may pose a lower risk, but that’s still unclear.

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The Morning Of Your Surgery

Instructions for drinking before your surgery

  • If your healthcare provider gave you a CF® drink, finish it 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. Do not drink anything else after midnight the night before your surgery, including water.
  • If your healthcare provider didnt give you a CF drink, you can drink a total of 12 ounces of water between midnight and 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. Do not drink anything else.

Do not drink anything starting 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. This includes water.

Take your medications as instructed

If your healthcare provider told you to take certain medications the morning of your surgery, take only those medications with a sip of water. Depending on what medications you take, this may be all, some, or none of your usual morning medications.

Shower with a 4% CHG solution antiseptic skin cleanser

Shower with a 4% CHG solution antiseptic skin cleanser before you leave for the hospital. Use it the same way you did the night before.

Dont put on any lotion, cream, deodorant, makeup, powder, perfume, or cologne after your shower.

Things to remember

What to bring

  • Your breathing device for sleep apnea , if you have one.
  • Your Health Care Proxy form and other advance directives, if you completed them.
  • Your cell phone and charger.
  • Only the money you may want for small purchases .
  • A case for your personal items , if you have any.
  • This guide. Youll use it when you learn how to care for yourself after surgery.

Where to park

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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Tools To Help Evaluate Gyn Surgeons

Knowing what to ask can help ensure the best outcomes for patients. We see so many women who wish they had come to CIGC first. If you are unsure about the procedure that has been recommended for you, please keep asking questions.

Here are some of the most important questions and answers to help you navigate your GYN surgical consultation. If your surgeon cant answer these to your satisfaction, please get a second opinion. Read this blog post on questions women must ask their OBGYN about surgery to help you assess your physicians surgical skill level and the procedures that are being offered.

To book a consultation with Dr. Paul MacKoul or Dr. Natalya Danilyants, please book online or call 888-787-4379.

At The Center for Innovative GYN Care, we perform GYN procedures using highly advanced techniques, including DualPortGYN and LAAM.

What Should I Ask A Doctor Before Having A Hysterectomy

Will a Hysterectomy Cause Early Menopause?

A hysterectomy can be a life-changing procedure with major benefits and some potential risks. Thats why its so important to find a doctor that you trust and feel comfortable talking to before having the procedure.

A good doctor will set aside time to listen to your questions and concerns before surgery. While you should bring up any questions on your mind, here are some specific questions to consider asking:

  • Are there any nonsurgical treatments that may improve my symptoms?
  • Which type of hysterectomy do you recommend and why?
  • What are the risks of leaving my ovaries, fallopian tubes, or cervix in place?
  • Which approach to surgery will you take and why?
  • Am I a good candidate for vaginal hysterectomy, laparoscopic surgery, or robotic surgery?
  • Do you use the latest surgical techniques?
  • Is there any new research related to my condition?
  • Will I continue to need Pap smears after my hysterectomy?
  • If you remove my ovaries, would you recommend hormone replacement therapy?
  • Is general anesthesia always necessary?
  • How long will I need to be hospitalized after my surgery?
  • What is the standard at-home recovery time?
  • Will I have scars, and where?

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Five Things To Expect After A Hysterectomy

    Often recommended for the treatment of gynecologic cancer, a total hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a womans uterus, cervix and surrounding tissue. If a hysterectomy has been recommended as part of your treatment plan, you may be wondering what to expect. Among other things, your experience will be influenced by the specific type of procedure performed. For instance, depending on your specific needs, your gynecologic oncologist may recommend a minimally invasive approach such a robotic assistance or laparoscopy, an open approach or a vaginal approach.

    In addition to a hysterectomy, you may have a separate but related procedure called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes. This procedure may be performed during the same surgical session as your hysterectomy.


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