A hysterectomy represents many things. For those who desire one, the risk of conception and complication from issues such as cancer or uterine fibroid is gone. For others, it may be a threat to the dream to start a family. In any case, this life-altering decision must be handled with careful thought. If you had a hysterectomy or will have one in the future, these post-surgery considerations will surface; so how do you tackle them? The objective is to ensure that your life will be as rewarding as possible, and that this decision is the best for you and family.
Is Hormone Replacement the Best Route?
The biological fact is that when your uterus is removed, estrogen and progesterone levels will decrease. The first thing you should ask yourself is, "Can I live with the side effects?" If facial hair, painful sex, hot flashes (and more) don't bother you, skipping hormone replacement could be an option. Besides, phytotherapy and herbs like ashwagandha have been known to support the sex hormones after a hysterectomy.
But is that all the procedure could spare you? Not really. Studying hysterectomy rates between 2001 and 2011, research has found that more than 50,000 women's lives could have been spared with estrogen replacement through a company like Genemedics Health Institute. You really could benefit in general from hormone replacement, as all-cause mortality has been found to increase when post-menopausal women don't get hormone replacement therapy.
Should I Remove the Ovaries as Well?
A significant number of women will be advised by their OB/GYN to remove the womb after a cesarean section, after fibroid removal or when treating heavy uterine bleeding. But the question remains if they should get rid of the ovaries as well. How do you weigh the pros and cons? If you have a family history of ovarian cancer, you may want to consider this option. If you are of childbearing age without children, you'll want to think long and hard about this.
Harvesting your eggs post-hysterectomy is quite viable. If you have a surrogate, she could carry your child so if biological connection to your child is important, it's best to discuss the possibility with your OB/GYN. In addition, studies are now showing increased risk of heart disease and stroke in women under 50 who have had their ovaries removed.
A hysterectomy is not to be taken lightly. It is always best to discuss the implications thoroughly with an experienced medical professional. As you have learned, hormone replacement could effectively handle some of the post-surgery issues such as diminished sex drive or physical changes like hair growth. You've also learned that removing the ovaries is not a light decision. In any case, make these decisions through careful consideration, with your goals for yourself and family on mind.Share