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Women's Health Topics..

You are here : home > Women's Health > Related Articles For Womens Health > Hysterectomy - Indepth

Hysterectomy - Indepth

Hysterectomy - Indepth

Hysterectomy refers to surgical removal of uterus. It is carried out only in extreme cases, such as cancer of the uterus, ovary or cervix, endometriosis or uncontrollable bleeding. After this surgery a woman's reproductive capacity ends.

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy refers to an operation where a woman's uterus is surgically removed. This procedure spells the end of a woman's ability to become a mother. This may seem a rather drastic step to take, especially for women who want to have children. However, a hysterectomy becomes essential under certain circumstances. For instance, cancer of the uterus, ovary or cervix, prolapsed or 'dropped' uterus, severe pelvic infections, endometriosis or uncontrollable bleeding. In some cases, it also becomes necessary to remove the ovaries if they are diseased. If the ovaries of a premenopausal woman are removed, she goes into menopause and will need to take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

The procedure

There are basically two ways to perform a hysterectomy:

  • Total abdominal hysterectomy refers to a procedure involving the removal of the uterus and cervix through an abdominal incision. This method gives the surgeon better visibility of the pelvic organs and more space to maneuver. Doctors opt for this method if you have a large pelvic tumour or a suspected malignancy. The disadvantage of this method is that it means a longer hospital stay, greater postoperative discomfort and a visible scar. The surgeon can make a bikini incision, i.e. a horizontal incision just across the top of the pubic hairline. This scar will not be as noticeable.
  • In a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus and cervix are removed through a small incision in the vagina. While this is a technically more difficult procedure because of the limited space the surgeon has in which to operate, it is ideal for cases where the uterus is not enlarged or has dropped as a result of the weakening of the surrounding muscles.

Explore other alternatives

Pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding are the symptoms most likely to lead to the performing of a hysterectomy. However, they do not always indicate that there is a problem with the uterus requiring a hysterectomy to be performed. Pelvic pain can be linked to conditions in the urinary tract, skeletal system or digestive system. It is essential that you perform all the diagnostic tests before you decide to have a hysterectomy. You must consult your doctor about alternative remedies.

When should a hysterectomy be avoided

Hysterectomy should not be performed in a postmenopausal woman who has vaginal bleeding until a D&C has been done. Women who are obese, diabetic, or have high blood pressure should only have a hysterectomy done if it is absolutely necessary. Conditions such as these increase the risks of major surgery. A hysterectomy should not be considered for the sole purpose of sterilization. Sterilization does not warrant such a major surgery.

The procedure is irreversible

The decision to have a hysterectomy is not an easy one, especially since it affects a woman's reproductive organs. The removal of a woman's womb is not a reversible procedure. The uterus seems to be a symbol of fertility and womanhood. This belief is irrational because the uterus merely serves as a temporary home for the growing foetus. A hysterectomy is particularly painful for young women who are yet to have children.

The after-effects of a hysterectomy

On the up side, a hysterectomy spells freedom from heavy periods and from the fear of cervical and uterine cancer. However, some women have reported a decrease in their libido, less intense orgasms and slower arousal. The lack of uterine contractions may reduce the pleasure of orgasm for some women. On the other hand, relief that they do not have to worry about getting pregnant any more enhances sexual pleasure for others.

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BREDA.12 years ago
very good
THINK.12 years ago
think long and hard, my first marraige broke up and now mynew hubby wants a baby? now what?
worried.12 years ago
i need and must have one done this has helped alot! i'm 29 and very young, how will this affect me?
Have one....ONLY if it is life or death!
i am 27 and had one at the age of 25. i am cancer free, but this is the hardest think that i have ever been though. my body feels like i am trapped in a 80 year old woman's body. it is mentally driving me crazy!!!!!!!!
Manonna.12 years ago
i've had 3 d&c's and am due for the 4th due to the thickening of my endometrium. the gynae also inform me that i've still got an active placenta (i do not know if i've got this right)- i definitely want to avoid a hysterectomy but what is the alternative to taper down my endometrium since i cannot keep on having d&c's. pls advise.
m. storace (from malta)
Shelly.12 years ago
i just had pass thru this surgery 2 months ago, i am worried about hormonal changes after surgery and plz tell me for how long i should wait for intercourse. i am heavy by weight
Chitsu.12 years ago
i am suffering from "dropped uterus". is there any remedy by which i can avoid hysterectomy and lead a normal life. i am given to understand that yoga is helpful in restoring the normalcy. is it true? please advise.
piplee.12 years ago
done histrectony two months with removal of right side overy now left side overy which is kept has cycst 47-38 tell me what to do
Runki.12 years ago
what a freedom ,sense of relief i am enjoying after hysterectomy exactly six weeks back. no more painful ,fearful bleeding which used to happen once or twice in every year since oct 2007.but i want to know when i shall be fit enough to do the work for my only daughter who is spastic and totally dependant for her daily needs. when i shall start my regular morning walk, driving, my rythm of normal independant life. i feel depressed only for my present dependant condtion....
POSITIVE.12 years ago
i am little obese and going to have hysterectomy, how long i have to wait for intercourse
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