A hysterectomy is an operation done to remove a woman’s uterus. Hysterectomies are performed for different reasons, including uterine prolapse, uterine fibroids, abnormal bleeding, cancer, and other problems. A hysterectomy is never a procedure that is done electively because a hysterectomy significantly alters a woman’s life. Yet, these changes can be managed and should be discussed with your doctor in order for you to have the highest quality of life after a hysterectomy.
A significant impact will be made to your hormonal levels following a hysterectomy. Without a uterus, and possibly the ovaries, your body will be forced to adjust to the fact that it can no longer menstruate or become pregnant. These hormonal changes are similar to the changes that women undergo through menopause; they are just abrupt through a single surgical procedure. Your physician can help minimize any discomfort and disruptions due to hormonal changes. Many women choose to take hormone replacement therapy to counter the effects that they experience.
Impact on Sex
As with any surgical procedure, the body must recover before sexual activity can resume. Most women can return to sexual activity six weeks after the procedure has been done. Once your doctor gives the go-ahead, you need to prepare for a few side-effects from a hysterectomy: vaginal dryness, low libido, and pelvic floor weakness. There are physical and medical treatments available to help make sex more enjoyable after a hysterectomy.
As with any fluctuations in hormones, emotional changes are to be expected. Many women deal with the sadness that they are no longer able to conceive, and some women struggle with “roller coaster” feelings that leave them emotional throughout the day with no specific triggers.
If you have more questions about what to expect in regards to life after a hysterectomy, please contact Marietta OB/GYN Affiliates, P.A. Our team of compassionate and knowledgeable physicians is here to support our patients throughout all life changes.