There are many reasons why women may have to take the decision to opt for a hysterectomy, such as cancer, gynecological problems such as severe pain or bleeding, fibroids, or a failure of certain problems to respond to medications.
Though there is some controversy surrounding the fact of when a hysterectomy is actually required, what is important is that this is a decision that should be an informed one, after considering all the facts relating to the surgery, the kind of surgery that you may need as well as the side effects that the surgery will inevitably have.
Whether it is partial hysterectomy (which is the removal of the uterus) or complete hysterectomy (which is the removal of the uterus as well as the fallopian tubes and the ovaries) that one undergoes, some symptoms and at least some side effects of hysterectomy surgery are almost inevitable:
Complete Hysterectomy is also known as surgical menopause and the possible side effects that women could suffer are not unlike those which are experienced as the symptoms of menopause:
- Hysterectomy side effects include hot flashes (or flushes) and night sweats as well as disordered sleep and insomnia which are commonly experienced by women undergoing menopause.
- Similarly, mood swings, irritability, feelings of tiredness and fatigue, anxiety and depression are also common hysterectomy side effects because of the hormonal changes that occur in a woman’s body as a result
- Constipation is another possible hysterectomy side effect
- Unexplained pelvic pain can also result from the surgery
- Vaginal dryness and a lowered libido or interest in sexual intimacy; even painful sex can result as the side effect s of hysterectomy
- Chances in skin and hair, such as dryness of skin, dryness or coarseness of hair, hair loss are all not uncommon hysterectomy side effects.
- Dizziness, nervousness, feelings of disorientation and lapses of memory also do occur as can headaches and heart palpitations
- Urinary problems such as incontinence etc can also result from a hysterectomy
- Weight gain is a possible hysterectomy side effect
- As early menopause increases women’s risk of heart disease, so does hysterectomy increase such risk. It also increases the risk of developing arthritis and osteoporosis.
As in the case of any major surgery there are also the attendant risk factors associated with hysterectomy such as anesthesia complications, risk of infection, excessive bleeding, and possible damage to nearby organs.