Hysterectomy refers to the surgical removal of the uterus. There are various kinds of health reasons why women choose hysterectomy which can be undertaken using different methods. The reasons of hysterectomies and the methods in which these are undertaken are diverse and may lead to different hysterectomy side effects, the most notable of which is the loss of childbearing capacity.
There may be various reasons why women choose to go for a hysterectomy, the most common of which is the growth of fibroids in the uterus. These are non cancerous tumors lining the walls of the uterus.
Among the other reasons why women opt for a hysterectomy are vaginal bleeding, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, chronic pelvic pain and gynecologic cancer. Often, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed in a hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy and the Female Body
Hysterectomy involves the elimination of the uterus which is normally associated with reproduction, the unique attribute of the female body.
The uterus nourishes the fetus from conception to birth and facilitates delivery. When reproduction is not involved, the lining of the uterus allows menstruation. This is why hysterectomy side effects involve the lack of menstruation and capacity of childbirth. The ovaries may carry on their functions, although at a reduced level.
Common Hysterectomy Side Effects
Other than marring the ability of women to bear kids henceforth, hysterectomies may lead to additional side effects which are specific or common to different surgical methods. Some of the side effects of all surgical methods include heavy loss of blood, injury to the bladder and bowels, and a reduction of sexual desire and gratification. However, it has also been observed that hysterectomies may lead to positive effects on sexual performance.
Comparison of Side Effects
Some of the surgical methods which are used for the elimination of the uterus include vaginal hysterectomy and abdominal hysterectomy. The recovery period of abdominal laparoscopic hysterectomy may be 4 to 6 weeks, whereas that of a vaginal hysterectomy is 3 or 4 weeks. It has been also found that the consequences of both these methods are similar and even when abdominal laparoscopic hysterectomy takes a long time to perform, they can lead to a reduced loss of blood, length of stay in the hospital and resumption of daily activities.
Hysterectomy side effects result out of a variety of factors, depending on the reaction of the woman’s body to the technique. The determining factors include age, type of hysterectomy conducted and if the operation was conducted following menopause.
If the uterus is eliminated with the presence of the ovaries intact, the body behaves in a way that it would during your menstruation, although you will not bleed. There are also hormonal changes going on and you will be faced with pre menstrual symptoms.
Physical Side Effects
Women undergoing hysterectomy are more exhausted than before and tend to suffer from headaches, weight gain, hair loss as well as hot flushes. The side effects also include osteoporosis, joint pain and cardiac ailments. You may also have a tough time recalling a few things as memory lapse is a common condition. The person may suffer from a state of anxiety, depression or hypertension and complain of palpitations. Urinary problems are also recurrent.
Since the uterus regulates the sexual behavior of an individual, the woman may experience a reduced sex drive, vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. While this is true in some cases, other instances have shown opposite consequences. Hormonal changes often accompany the surgery and this affects the sexual urges of an individual. However, you can surmount this obstacle as it is only a mental state.
Positive Hysterectomy Side Effects
Studies have shown that undergoing a hysterectomy may actually benefit your sexual urge and performance. This is because the conditions that necessitate a uterine removal may impede sexual pleasure. Hence, after the hysterectomy and recovery period, the patient often experiences improved sexual functions. Women have often reported better sexual satisfaction after surgery once the symptoms are alleviated.
One of the non physical but important hysterectomy side effects includes emotional wellness. Some women may report positive side effects following a hysterectomy since they are relieved from the unpleasant symptoms which existed before the procedure was conducted. This improves the quality of their life. However, it has also been observed that a few women suffer from grief and loss owing to losing the capacity of bearing children and loss of associating the uterus as a sign of womanhood.