One of the common complaints that many women have after undergoing hysterectomy surgery is that of weight gain. Why does weight gain after hysterectomy occur, how normal is it and what can a woman do to deal with this? We look at these common issues relating to this frequently experienced side effect of menopause.
Why does weight gain after hysterectomy occur?
The weight gain that happens after a hysterectomy is a direct consequence of the major hormonal changes that occur in a woman’s body after the surgery. As it happens with natural menopause, there are significant symptoms of a hysterectomy which is also known as surgical menopause.
The fall in levels of estrogen that occur due to a woman’s ovaries being removed during a hysterectomy causes the weight gain.
This weight gain could be accompanied by other symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, changes in sexual desire, tiredness and so on as well.
However all woman may not experience all of these symptoms after hysterectomy.
There is another reason for weight gain after a hysterectomy. The recovery time after the surgery is quite long and a woman is unable to perform a lot of routine tasks. She is also restricted exercise for a significant time which can add to the problem of weight gain.
So on the one hand she has her metabolism slowing down due to the hormonal changes and on the other hand she is unable to exercise to keep her weight gain in check, which compounds the problem.
What sort of weight gain after hysterectomy do women experience?
The weight gain caused by natural or surgical menopause can be quite typical in that the fat accumulation tends to center around middle or the abdomen. The decrease in estrogen and the increase in the male hormone androgen is what causes this type of weight gain.
This characteristic weight gain may be accompanied by other symptoms such as coarsening of hair, increase in amount of body hair, changes in skin and so on as well. It is basically the imbalance that occurs in a woman’s hormone levels that causes these changes.
What should women keep weight gain after hysterectomy in check?
The weight gain due to a hysterectomy can be rapid and can be very significant for a lot of women, with the consequence that it could bring along with it depression and lack of self esteem that women can feel due to the weight gain. The weight gain can also negatively impact health and wellbeing in a lot of other ways as well raising risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease etc. and so is necessary to keep in check.
So women who experience weight gain after hysterectomy should be careful to eat healthy and perhaps reduce portions, should exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep weight gain to a minimum. If all of this doesn’t help, HRT and other medical interventions may be seriously considered and discussed with a health care professional to see if they are warranted given the situation.