If you happen to be a woman suffering from medical issues with reproductive organs, you’ve probably recently reviewed the benefits of hysterectomy with your physician. Hysterectomies, also known as uterus removal surgeries, are among the most common surgical procedures completed throughout the country. With today’s advanced technology, there are many different approaches to this procedure. Some of which include robotic, laparoscopic, vaginal, and abdominal surgeries. Every procedure to remove the uterus is different.
Why Women Consider Removing Their Uterus
Most hysterectomies are scheduled because the woman has suffered from abnormal uterine bleeding, which is distressing, painful and can lead to anemia. Hysterectomies also prevent uterine cancer and can provide relief to women who have experienced the symptoms of fibroids, such as cramping, bleeding, and other urinary issues.
Although hysterectomies are only recommended by physicians when they are deemed necessary, it doesn’t necessarily mean uterus removal is your only option. Some conditions can be easily resolved with natural or alternative methods. Whether uterus removal surgery is imminent or a suggestion, here are some of the reasons that most women follow through with a hysterectomy:
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine prolapse
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Periods that are abnormal or heavy
While removing the problem (cancer, pain, bleeding) altogether can seem like the obvious solution, it’s important to understand how a woman’s body may respond. Aside from the complications that can occur during surgery, there are a number of precautions after the removal of the uterus and ovaries that women should consider. Knowing what to expect allows you to confidently proceed with the procedure and understand how life after uterus removal might be. This will help you persevere when setbacks require a little bit of fortitude and some communication to overcome.
Learn more about our uterine fibroid embolization procedure.
The Disadvantages of Uterus Removal Surgery
Once the uterus removal surgery has taken place, a woman’s body will experience significant changes. While there are many reasons to remove your uterus, there are some disadvantages as well. A hysterectomy causes a woman’s body respond by going into what’s called a premature menopause. This means, the effects of menopause will occur earlier than expected. At the same time, when a woman’s ovaries are left intact, there’s a chance that they’ll still be able to produce hormones. Because of this, they shouldn’t anticipate additional signs of menopause.
If your surgery involves removing the ovaries and the uterus, additional menopausal symptoms will result. Hot flashes and increased moodiness should be expected. When both ovaries must be taken out, hormone levels fall right away and the symptoms of menopause might onset quickly and forcefully. In order to prepare for this change, you will need to talk with your doctor about managing the menopausal symptoms moving forward. Mental preparation can be a great form of medicine in this scenario.
Aside from fast track aging, women that go through with uterus removal surgery are no longer able to experience a menstrual cycle or pregnancy. These consequences can be difficult to process for women who have yet to start a family or would like to have more children. It’s why so many search for alternatives to a hysterectomy.
For some women, the benefits of a hysterectomy outweigh the disadvantages. Others don’t really have a choice. In our opinion, being forced to consider ovary or uterus removal surgery is a disadvantage in itself. It may not seem fair that something so vital needs to be removed in order to live a normal life. Not all women are faced with this decision. Learning to cope with reality can also impact a woman’s outlook on life and affect those around them. Removing any element of your body puts you at a disadvantage. So, before going through with the surgery, make sure you’re completely comfortable with these outcomes.
What to Expect Leading up to Uterus Removal Surgery
Before making the decision to go through with the procedure, your physician will go over the different approaches (some of which we mentioned above) to surgically remove the uterus and possibly your ovaries. During this time it’s extremely important that you’re open and honest about other symptoms, previous experiences or other relative conditions. The goal here is to help you decide which approach will be best for your specific needs. Every women is different and there isn’t a one size fits all solution. This is a complicated region of your body we’re talking about here. Knowing how your body might respond will help you make the best decision.
If you don’t have a lot of free time and are looking for a fast procedure to remove the uterus, you might be in luck. At the same time, your best option might take some time to recover from. Depending on what makes sense, some surgical procedures allow you to go home from the hospital the next day while others require a two-or three-day hospital stay. Make sure you understand the timeline leading up to your procedure so you plan accordingly.
What to Expect After Surgically Removing Your Uterus
Once the procedure is over with, your physician will review the hysterectomy process as well as expectations moving forward. Similar to preliminary preparations, knowing what to expect and understanding the recovery process are the keys to getting back on track as quickly as possible.
Having a hysterectomy is major surgery, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the recovery is going to take several weeks. Although a good number of women are eager to improve their quality of life (because they thoroughly understand what they’re agreeing to) and eliminate their symptoms, here are some of the more frequent changes that a woman might notice following the removal of the uterus:
- Weight gain – Some women experience weight gain after a hysterectomy.
- Fatigue and loss of stamina – Many women complain they stay tired and suffer from a loss of stamina after surgery.
- Menopause – You will not have periods anymore. If your ovaries were taken out with the uterus, you would have the symptoms of early menopause, which will include hot flashes and moodiness.
- Sexual changes – You will notice changes in your sexual feelings. You might lose interest in sex or suffer vaginal dryness, and this is especially true if the ovaries were taken out during the procedure. Some women say that they end up having a better sex life after surgery because they don’t suffer from severe pain or heavy vaginal bleeding. The loss of uterine orgasms is also a problem.
- Grief – Many women sense the loss of fertility and the change in their body as a loss. They might suffer from depression or grieve after the hysterectomy. If you notice extreme sadness, a loss of interest in hobbies, decreased appetite, or less energy for more than a couple of weeks following surgery, talk with your physician.
- Other medical issues – If both of your ovaries were taken out during the hysterectomy, you could be at higher risk for other conditions, such as urinary incontinence, heart disease, and bone loss. Your doctor will discuss these issues with you and make recommendations on preventing these issues.
As you can see, removing your uterus and ovaries can have a number of disadvantages. Before reading this article, you were probably asking Google, “can you get your uterus removed?” Eliminating the problem is a common first step for women dealing with reproductive medical concerns, but it’s not always the only solution. While getting rid of current symptoms might seem like a priority, it’s important to completely understand your options before moving forward with an invasive procedure. The complications of a hysterectomy and health problems after uterus removal might not be worth it.
If you’re currently dealing with uterine fibroids in Phoenix and your physician has recommended a hysterectomy, we’d love to discuss the benefits of UFE with you. Unlike uterus removal procedures, Uterine Fibroids Embolization keeps your organs intact and blocks blood flow to fibroid tumors in your uterus. Shrinking the tumors inevitably relieves you of symptoms in a short period of time. Without missing a beat, you can get back on track while avoiding the disadvantages of removing your uterus and ovaries.