Top Advices For Husbands After Hysterectomy
Any major surgical procedure can have a big effect on a relationship, and hysterectomies are no exception. Due to the sensitive nature of the surgery, many men struggle with how to care for and interact with their wives following a hysterectomy procedure. The best advice for husbands after hysterectomy is simply to continue treating your wife with love, respect, and attention. To avoid making any major mistakes, follow these dos and donts of maintaining your relationship after a hysterectomy.
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Reasons For Having 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.
What Are The Different Types Of Hysterectomy
There are several types of hysterectomy that can be performed, depending on the reason for your surgery.
- Total hysterectomy: the uterus and cervix, but not the ovaries, are removed. This is the most common type of hysterectomy.
- Subtotal hysterectomy: the uterus, but not the cervix or ovaries, are removed. This type of hysterectomy is less common, as there is still a risk of cervical cancer if the cervix is left in place.
- Hysterectomy with oophorectomy: the uterus and cervix, and one or both of the ovaries, are removed.
- Hysterectomy with Salpingo-oophorectomy: the uterus, one or both of your ovaries, and your fallopian tubes are removed.
- Radical hysterectomy: the uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, part of your vagina, lymph glands, and fatty tissue are removed.
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Removal Of The Ovaries
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that a woman’s ovaries should only be removed if there’s a significant risk of associated disease, such as ovarian cancer.
If you have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer, removing your ovaries may be recommended to prevent you getting cancer in the future.
Your surgeon can discuss the pros and cons of removing your ovaries with you. If your ovaries are removed, your fallopian tubes will also be removed.
If you have already gone through the menopause or you’re close to it, removing your ovaries may be recommended regardless of the reason for having a hysterectomy.
This is to protect against the possibility of ovarian cancer developing.
Some surgeons feel it’s best to leave healthy ovaries in place if the risk of ovarian cancer is small for example, if there’s no family history of the condition.
This is because the ovaries produce several female hormones that can help protect against health problems such as weak bones . They also play a part in feelings of sexual desire and pleasure.
If you’d prefer to keep your ovaries, make sure you have made this clear to your surgeon before your operation.
You may still be asked to give consent to treatment for having your ovaries removed if an abnormality is found during the operation.
Think carefully about this and discuss any fears or concerns you have with your surgeon.
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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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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What Can You Do
Now, what can you do in this case? There’s no hard and fast rule. And as I said before, it’s going to be very frustrating because you’re working from nothing. You don’t have a set start point, therefore it’s very difficult to…excuse me, talk about when you’re getting to that last particular point.
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Potential Positive Effects Of Surgical Menopause
- Reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women who are known to be at high inherited risk. Having this operation also usually reduces anxiety about developing ovarian cancer. In some high risk women, surgical menopause may also reduce their risk of breast cancer.
- Reduced pelvic pain for women with endometriosis or dense adhesions around the ovary.
How Can You Tell
And I know, you know, its a huge gap, when on Earth are you going to know when youre starting the menopause when youve got no periods to give a really clear indication of whats going on? In this situation, it really is a question of being aware of how you are feeling.
Are you starting to get menopause-like symptoms like hot flushes or night sweat? Or maybe joint aches or low mood or anxiety or maybe a bit of fatigue, or youre just feeling out of sorts? If youre in the average age group, then its more than likely that this is you starting the approach to the menopause.
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Can You Get Pregnant After Menopause
This is especially true for women nearing menopause or after menopause. Other causes include abnormal tissues such as fibroids, polyps, or cancer of the endometrium or uterus. Endometrial ablation lessens menstrual bleeding or stops it completely. You may not be able to get pregnant after endometrial ablation.
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.
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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.
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Removal Of The Cervix
Even if you do not have cancer, removing the cervix takes away any risk of developing cervical cancer in the future.
Many women are concerned that removing the cervix will lead to a loss in sexual function, but there’s no evidence to support this.
Some women are reluctant to have their cervix removed because they want to retain as much of their reproductive system as possible.
If you feel this way, ask your surgeon whether there are any risks associated with keeping your cervix.
If you have your cervix removed, you’ll no longer need to have cervical screening tests.
If you do not have your cervix removed, you’ll need to continue having regular cervical screening.
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What Is The Most Profound Change You Will Experience
Being told you may need a hysterectomy is a difficult and deeply emotional experience because it means your menstrual periods stop, and you wont be able to get pregnant. Dr. Macey only recommends a hysterectomy when all other treatment options have been considered tried, if possible and failed to improve your symptoms.
The most common health conditions treated with a hysterectomy — uterine fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal uterine bleeding, and uterine prolapse — can often be treated with procedures that preserve your uterus, but it depends on the severity of your problem and your overall health. If you have cervical cancer, uterine cancer, or severe uterine hemorrhage, hysterectomy may be the best choice for your health.
What Is Surgical Menopause
The ovaries are the main source of estrogen production in the female body. Their removal triggers immediate menopause, despite the age of the person having surgery.
While surgery to remove the ovaries can operate as a stand-alone procedure, its sometimes performed in addition to hysterectomy to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. A hysterectomy is surgical removal of the uterus.
Periods stop after a hysterectomy. But having a hysterectomy doesnt lead to menopause unless the ovaries are removed too.
- vaginal dryness
Surgical menopause also causes hormonal imbalances. The ovaries and adrenal glands produce progesterone and estrogen, the female sex hormones. When both ovaries are removed, the adrenal glands cant produce enough hormones to maintain balance.
For that reason, and depending on your medical history, some doctors may or may not recommend hormone replacement therapy after an oophorectomy to reduce the risk of disease. Doctors will avoid giving estrogen to women who have a history of breast or ovarian cancer.
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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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When Will You Go Through Menopause After A Hysterectomy And How Will You Know It It Depends On The Type Of Hysterectomy
After trying various treatments with little improvement or success, I’m scheduled for a total hysterectomy. I’m OK about this, because I’m finished having children, and, frankly, I’ll be relieved to end the frequent bleeding and pain.
Many of my friends are starting to go through menopause and commiserating over hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness and the like. That makes me very curious about something: I haven’t gone through menopause yet, so how will I know if I’m going through it if I’ve had a hysterectomy?
Waiting for Menopause
First, let’s discuss what a total hysterectomy is. Your uterus and cervix will be removed. If you are having your fallopian tubes and ovaries removed as well , that makes it much more likely that menopause will begin abruptly, since your body will no longer be producing as much estrogen.
You will experience menopause differently than your friends who are going through a “natural” menopause. Your menopause is known as a surgical or induced menopause, and symptoms will likely begin immediately after the procedure. Because a surgical menopause is more sudden and abrupt than a gradual and natural menopause, it’s likely your symptoms will be more severe.
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The Cons: Reasons To Lean Against Hrt After Surgical Menopause
- 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.
Hysterectomy With Ovaries Left Intact
People who have their ovaries intact, but without their uterus, won’t get their period anymore. They may, however, still experience premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder because the hormones made by the ovaries cause the body to continue to “cycle” monthly.
Occasionally, people whose ovaries were not removed during a hysterectomy experience hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. This is mostly due to the disturbance of the blood supply to the ovaries during surgery.
In addition, some people may undergo menopause a few years sooner than they normally would if they never underwent a hysterectomy .
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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.
How Does Premature Menopause Affect Your Body
Youll go through the same changes during premature menopause as you would if you entered menopause naturally. The sudden loss of hormones triggers all the classic symptoms, including:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
Since estrogen affects tissues throughout your body, system-wide changes take place such as:
- Loss of bone density and increased risk for osteoporosis
- Accelerated skin aging due to dehydration and loss of collagen
- Changes in blood vessels that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease
Although hormone-related changes following an oophorectomy can be difficult and affect your quality of life, its important to know that medical therapies and rejuvenation with the advanced MonaLisa Touch® are available to alleviate premature menopause symptoms.
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