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Post Hysterectomy

What Are The Side Effects of Hysterectomy?

When you've been told that you need a hysterectomy, it's common to have questions. After all, a hysterectomy is a big deal. One question you may have that should be answered: Does a hysterectomy have side effects?

There is only one right answer to this question. Yes, there are side effects to having a hysterectomy. Think about what it means to have a hysterectomy.

A hysterectomy is the surgical process that removes a vital female organ: the uterus. Data concludes that the majority of women who undergo a hysterectomy are between 20 to 49 years old. Of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed every year in the United States, a high percentage of African-American women living in the southern states region will have the surgery.

Two Kinds of Hysterectomies: Partial and Complete

A woman may undergo a partial hysterectomy, which means the uterus will be removed while the ovaries are untouched. It's been found in most cases of partial hysterectomies that ovarian functions will quit because of the reduced blood circulation that occurs to the ovaries.

A woman who undergoes a complete hysterectomy has all her female reproductive organs removed. This means her uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. A complete hysterectomy means the production of ovarian hormones is interrupted.

When a woman has undergone a complete hysterectomy, she'll likely be thrown into a hormonal imbalance called menopause. She'll also suffer some, if not all, of the mood swings listed below:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Low sex drive
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Painful sex intercourse
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Urinary problems
  • Vaginal dryness

Any woman who has had a hysterectomy also increases their chances of arthritis, heart disease and osteoporosis.

As noted before, hysterectomy will throw a woman into premature menopause. This occurs because her body suddenly lacks a hormone needed to balance the chemicals in her body. A woman who has had a hysterectomy will find that her ovaries tend to quit working within three years of the surgery, throwing her into menopause.

It's vitally important that a woman has estrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones for her body to react as it should. When does a woman's body make progesterone? When she has her monthly cycle, and when that is gone, she doesn't make progesterone.

Why is it so important that the levels of progesterone and testosterone stay at the levels before a woman's hysterectomy? When the levels fall, a woman's body goes through a kind of withdrawal, there are many side effects that stem from it.

Once a hysterectomy has been performed, a woman's progesterone levels will fall dramatically within two months. When this occurs, a woman will suffer the above side effects along with the possibility of developing one of several types of cancer. Testosterone levels that fall will result in the following possible side effects:

  • Depression
  • Low energy levels
  • Low sex drive
  • Thyroid deficiency

It's imperative that a woman who has undergone a hysterectomy monitor all three chemical levels by way of a saliva test. Remember not to take natural estrogen without natural progesterone since they do relate to one another. Hormone replacement therapy may be needed to deal with the hormone level drop off; however, it also comes with its own risks and side effects.

Any woman who has had or is considering a hysterectomy should work with a physician closely to ensure the correct doses of hormone replacement therapy such as bio-identical hormones or synthetic drugs such as Prempro and Provera. There are also side effects to synthetic drugs.

There are many reasons a hysterectomy is considered though the most common reason is for the removal of fibroids. Still, a woman may use other treatments besides a hysterectomy is deal with these conditions although the majority of women choose the surgery out of fear of developing cancer. In terms of malignant cancer, a hysterectomy is the surefire way to rid the body of the cancer.

Remember that a hysterectomy is permanent. There's no chance of returning "back to normal" with the surgery so unless there are no other alternatives, it would be best to save this surgery as the last resort.



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