Hysterectomy and Menopause Part 1

This month I thought that I would write up a little more on Hysterectomy and Menopause, following up on the Facebook Live that I did in May. I will split this over two blogs. I hope to add a little more for you so that you gain further insight and understanding into

  • Why you would need to have a hysterectomy
  • Types of hysterectomys
  • What to expect with hysterectomy induced menopause
  • How to manage peri-menopausal symptoms.

Reasons for Hysterectomy

Some of you may be experiencing heavy and painful periods, which can be quite debilitating. So much so, that you may not be able to function for many days, due to the severity of these symptoms.

Heavy and painful periods can be caused by

  • Poor liver clearance of oestrogen from your system.
  • Fibroids – non-cancerous growths in the uterus.
  • Endometriosis – endometrial tissue growing in other areas of your body such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, rectum and bladder.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory disease – a bacterial infection of your reproductive system.
  • Adenomyosis – where the endometrium begins to enter the muscles of your uterus.
  • Cancer – of the uterus, cervix or, ovaries.
  • Prolapse of the uterus – loss of muscle strength, causing your uterus to  ‘fall down’ from its natural position.
  • Other reasons – diabetes, Intrauterine Device (IUD), blood thinning medications, herbal supplements (ginseng, soy, ginkgo).

You may experience some or, all of the following symptoms to varying degrees of severity

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful or discomfort during sex
  • Back pain

Due to the severity of some of these symptoms, you may need to have a hysterectomy in order to improve your quality of life. This is not an easy decision for you to make. This will depend on your age, whether you want to have children or, more! You may be hesitant to have a hysterectomy, as you may feel that you are no longer ‘a woman, sexual or, less attractive’. If this is the case, then you should seek counselling to work through your emotions and thoughts. It is only natural that you feel this way.

There may be other reasons as to why you are experiencing heavy, painful and irregular periods. So it is important that you seek medical advice to see what is happening with you.

Types of Hysterectomy

There are four types of hysterectomies that you may have done but, this depends on the situation that you are in. It will also depend on what you are experiencing. You may not have a choice as which type of surgery needs to be performed.

  • Partial hysterectomy – only the uterus is removed; generally done if you have fibroids, adenomyosis, endometriosis.
  • Total hysterectomy – your uterus and cervix are removed. Generally when cancer of the cervix is present or if you have severe endometriosis.
  • Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy – your uterus, cervix, both ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed. Generally performed if there is a history of ovarian cancer, severe endometriosis or other issues.
  • Radical hysterectomy – your uterus, cervix, both ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed, as well as part of the vagina, lymph glands and fatty tissue.
  • Oophorectomy – only the ovaries are removed. Generally, if you have cancer of the ovaries or, polycystic ovarian syndrome.

If you are in the situation of having to have a hysterectomy, you will have to decide as to what type of surgery you would like to have. Again, depending on the reason as to why you need to have this operation done, you may not have the option as to how it will be performed.

Types of surgery
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy – often referred to as keyhole surgery. Small incisions are made in your abdomen and recovery is quicker.
  • Vaginal hysterectomy – an incision is made at the top of the vagina and, your recovery is also quicker.
  • Abdominal hysterectomy – an incision is made in your abdomen. Generally done if you have pelvic tumours or fibroids and/or if the ovaries need to be removed also. Your recovery will take a little longer, compared to the other two types of surgery

In next months’ blog, I will look at

  • What to expect with hysterectomy induced Menopause
  • How to manage peri-menopausal symptoms.

References

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