Although hysterectomy is one of the most common surgeries for women living in the United States, myths about removal of the uterus abound.
In days long past, hysterectomy in Arizona was used as a treatment for women with “hysteria” – a broad diagnosis that covered symptoms like anxiety and depression.
Now, hysterectomy is one of many options if you have fibroids, excessively heavy periods, or uterine prolapse. Hysterectomy could also be a real medical necessity, not simply another option, if you have invasive cancer of the reproductive organs.
A partial hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus alone, and a myomectomy is removal of only fibroids. A total hysterectomy removes the cervix as well as the uterus. In certain cancer cases, the upper vagina is also taken out. This surgery is called radical hysterectomy and is extremely rare.
Here are 8 things you need to know about your hysterectomy in Arizona.
- Your sex life isn’t over.How soon you can have sex after a hysterectomy really depends on the type of hysterectomy you have. Waiting two to four weeks to get back to sex is generally okay, with your doctor’s go-ahead, if your cervix was not removed along with your uterus. But if your cervix was removed, it takes about six weeks for the back of the vagina to heal.
- Hysterectomy is never a cure for endometriosis. Endometriosis – a condition marked by severe menstrual cramps, chronic pain, and painful intercourse – is not cured by removal of the uterus. And of the many treatment options, which include pain medications and hormone therapies, hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries as well, is not a first line treatment. Conservative surgery using a minimally invasive method may be one option, and will preserve the uterus.
- You won’t necessarily go into menopause.The most common myth about hysterectomy in Arizona is that a woman will go into menopause following the procedure. You won’t have periods, and can’t get pregnant after your uterus is removed. But that doesn’t necessarily mean menopause.
- Hysterectomy may include your ovaries. During surgery, your doctor may remove one or both ovaries and your fallopian tubes, as well as your uterus. Losing both ovaries means these hormones are also lost suddenly, 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.
- Hormone therapy could help with physical changes after surgery.If you have a hysterectomy in Arizona that removes your ovaries, then you should talk about the pros and cons of estrogen therapy with your doctor. After the ovaries are removed, estrogen therapy can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
- You may be able to avoid a hysterectomy.Depending on the condition you are facing, you may be able to keep your uterus intact. Alternatives are out there for about 90 percent of hysterectomies surgeons do. Before scheduling a hysterectomy, have a discussion with your doctor about the alternative treatments for your condition.
- Less invasive surgery may be the right option for you.Ask your doctor about minimally invasive surgery, also called laparoscopic or robotic-assisted hysterectomy. This newer type of surgery requires general anesthesia but only uses tiny incisions, causes less blood loss, and comes with shorter hospital stays. Recovery is quicker, with fewer complications.
- 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.
Have questions about hysterectomy in Arizona? If you are considering this procedure, call our office today to schedule a consultation so we can answer your questions and discuss the best option for your treatment.