If your gynecologist says it’s time for a hysterectomy in Arizona, you’ll need to know what it could mean for your sex life, your hormones, and your future before you agree. Although hysterectomy is one of the most common surgeries for women living in the United States, myths about the removal of the uterus abound.
Here are 9 things your doctor might not tell you when discussing the procedure, but that you need to know.
1. Your sex life isn’t over. How soon you can have sex after a hysterectomy really depends on the type of hysterectomy – partial, total, or radical. Waiting two to four weeks to get back to sex is generally acceptable 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.
2. Hysterectomy is never a cure for endometriosis. The vital fact is that having a hysterectomy is absolutely NOT a cure for endometriosis. In fact, endometriosis – a condition marked by severe menstrual cramps, chronic pain, and painful intercourse – is not cured by removal of the uterus.
3. You won’t necessarily go into menopause. The myth about hysterectomy is that a woman will go through menopause following the procedure. The only one who will experience this is a woman who has her ovaries removed during the procedure and was not in menopause already.
4. Hysterectomy may include your ovaries. Losing both ovaries means these hormones are also lost abruptly, 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.
5. Hormone therapy could help with physical changes after surgery. If you have a hysterectomy that removes your ovaries, you should talk about the pros and cons of estrogen therapy with your Arizona gynecologist. After the ovaries are removed, estrogen therapy can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
6. You may be able to avoid a hysterectomy in Arizona. Depending on the condition you are facing, you may be able to keep your uterus intact. Fibroids, for example, may be treated using a nonsurgical procedure called uterine artery embolization that cuts off the fibroids’ blood supply.
7. 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.
8. Hysterectomy in Arizona may prevent certain types of cancer. For women who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene defects, risks of developing ovarian cancer are much higher, according to the National Cancer Institute. Only about 1 percent of women who do not have BRCA1 or BRCA2 get ovarian cancer, compared with 45 percent to 65 percent of women who have the mutations.
9. 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.
If you have questions regarding hysterectomy in Arizona – or are curious if the procedure might be right for you – call our office today to schedule a consultation. We’ll be happy to address any concerns you may have and discuss your options for treatment.