A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus. It is a procedure commonly undergone by women due to a diverse array of gynaecological conditions.
To get a hysterectomy is a decision which should never be taken lightly. Here’s what you need to know about hysterectomies.
What is a hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. It may also involve removal of the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other surrounding structures. Usually, hysterectomies are performed by a gynaecologist and can be total or partial depending on why the surgery is being performed.
Why undergo a hysterectomy?
There is an extensive number of reasons why a woman may need a hysterectomy. However, most usually, they are only undertaken if gynaecological conditions cannot be successfully treated using other methods. Reasons for a hysterectomy may include:
- fibroids (growths that form within the muscular walls of the uterus, outside the womb or within the uterine cavity)
- heavy or irregular menstrual periods
- severe period pain
- cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes
- pelvic inflammatory disease
Important considerations surrounding hysterectomies
As mentioned earlier, hysterectomies are a major form of surgery which are only recommended if no other solution is available. There are a number of considerations surround hysterectomies which every woman should consider.
- Once a woman has had a hysterectomy of any kind, she cannot become pregnant.
- Hysterectomy can create early menopause. It will force a drop in production of the sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. As such, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, sweating and other symptoms of natural menopause will most likely occur.
- Sexual pleasure is affected. The uterus rhythmically contracts during orgasm, contributing to sensations of pleasure, which will no longer be experienced after hysterectomy.
- Self-image can be affected. The uterus is of great psychological importance to some women for many reasons, including fertility, femininity, sexuality and body image.
Facing any gynaecological condition is no small feat, and you never have to feel like you are going through it alone. If you have any questions about hysterectomies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Dr Bevan Brown is one of the most trusted gynaecologists and obstetricians in Sydney. Personalised care and strong relationships with our patients are of utmost importance!