What You Need to Know About Hysterectomies
Are you aware of what a hysterectomy involves? It's a procedure that some women undergo, and is tied to medical conditions like severe endometriosis, uterine polyps and cancer.
What are hysterectomies? This is a surgical procedure in which doctors extract a women’s uterus or womb.
The reasons behind the procedure may vary. For example, it may be necessary when women suffer from certain medical conditions. Also, those who choose to undergo a sex-change may also have a hysterectomy.
There are three different types of hysterectomies: Total, partial and radical – in which the superior part of the vagina is also removed.
This procedure – performed by an OB/GYN – is indicated for patients who suffer illnesses such as uterine cancer, constant prolapses and endometriosis, among others.
What are hysterectomies?
Hysterectomies – the procedure for removing the uterus – are one of the most common operations performed in women. In fact, it’s even more common than C-section.
This phenomenon occurs because the partial, total or radical removal of the uterus – according to Western medicine – can be the solution to many medical conditions.
There are diverse causes behind the performance of hysterectomies. Before performing this procedure, doctors must carefully study the medical history of their patients.
The procedure is irreversible, induces the appearance of menopause and also produces infertility. As you well know, the uterus is the space where the fetus grows and develops.
Illnesses that lead to hysterectomies
When doctors recommend the extraction of the uterus, it’s likely that the patient presents one of the conditions described below:
- Uterine fibroids: Known as benign tumors or also myomas, can appear during a woman’s child-bearing years. They produce, among other things, intense pain and abundant bleeding.
- Cancer of the uterus, ovaries or Fallopian tubes.
- Uterine prolapse: This occurs when the tissues and ligaments that hold the uterus in place lose their tonicity. As a consequence, the uterus descends and also places pressure on the vagina.
- Endometriosis: This condition involves abnormal tissue growth outside of the uterus.
- Malpractice after a miscarriage.
- Placenta accreta: In this situation, the placenta adheres too strongly to the uterine wall and the only solution is a hysterectomy.
- Molar pregnancy: Produces the abnormal multiplication of tissue within the uterus.
- Endometrial or uterine polyps: These produce chronic and painful swelling and even obesity.
Experiencing strong symptoms of any of the above conditions is reason for a hysterectomy. Furthermore, women who desire to carry out a sex change can also choose to undergo this procedure.
“A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which doctors extract a women’s uterus or womb”
Changes in the body and possible side effects
Before undergoing this surgery, women should be aware of the following related information:
- A hysterectomy is an irreversible procedure. Therefore, the most radical and obvious consequence is that women who undergo a hysterectomy can no longer become pregnant. However, if a woman undergoes only a partial extraction and keeps her ovaries, she can fertilize her eggs and use a surrogate mother.
- Women whose uterus has been extracted begin to present symptoms of menopause like heat flashes, agitation, anxiety and major mood swings.
- Many women don’t experience any issues or discomfort during sexual activity after the procedure. However, there are also those who state just the opposite.
- Possible incontinence, both urinary and intestinal.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Vaginal prolapses: This is a controversial issue, because this is one of the reasons women undergo the procedure in the first place. The fact of the matter is, some women continue to experience this issue even after their hysterectomy.
- Emotional and psychological changes: Many patients report suffering emotional changes and psychological alterations after undergoing a hysterectomy. Some of these symptoms have to do with the onset of menopause. Other changes may include depression, anxiety and even lowered self-esteem, given that these women can no longer conceive.
Support and indications
In regards to the final point above, it’s fundamental that women who experience these symptoms consult their doctor or psychologist right away. Feeling confused or upset after this type of procedure.
Lastly, it’s important to point out that even though a hysterectomy is performed in the case of many benign illnesses such as those described above, priority always goes to patients with cancer (uterine, ovarian, or cervical). In other cases, the procedure will always follow strict analysis by a medical specialist.