In the United States, hysterectomies (surgeries to remove the uterus) are quite prevalent. After cesarean sections, hysterectomies are the most common surgical treatment for American women of childbearing age. You may have heard that the process is something to fear, possibly from older female relatives. Your aunt wasn’t exaggerating when she said hysterectomies were large, invasive surgery with extended recovery periods. However, with your reputable gynecologist, Dr. David Foulk, there is nothing to fear.
Additionally, medical science has made great strides in the last three decades. In modern times, the technique has shown some promise in treating various gynecological issues, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal bleeding, and uterine cancer. If you are considering a hysterectomy or are about to have one, putting to rest some of the most pervasive fallacies surrounding the procedure will make the experience more manageable.
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Hysterectomy removes the uterus, not the ovaries. The ovaries, not the uterus, produce estrogen. Since ovary removal is occasionally done at the same time as a hysterectomy, many people sensibly, but incorrectly, assume that it is always a component of the treatment. Unless there is an issue with one ovary or the ovaries are causing the problem, as in severe endometriosis, most women under 50 will preserve their ovaries. Hormone-wise, nothing will alter if you decide to maintain your ovaries (which is your decision, by the way).
An additional concern concerning hysterectomies is the potential impact on sexual activity. On the other hand, there is some encouraging news. Hysterectomy does not seem to impact libido or sexual desire significantly. Patients with a hysterectomy to alleviate symptoms like painful periods or pelvic organ prolapse often report that they enjoy sex more due to the operation. However, this is not an excuse to sleep immediately after surgery.
During the recuperation time following surgery, avoid intercourse or putting anything in your vagina so it can heal. The typical healing time is six weeks, but you should discuss your return to sexual activity with your doctor. You may be certain that your desire, orgasm, and sexual function will all return to normal after your body has had time to recuperate.
If your hysterectomy went well, you might need a few days to a week or more to recover. That often relies on the specific hysterectomy technique used. The normal time for recovery is six weeks. It takes less time for a woman to recuperate from a vaginal hysterectomy. No incisions are made since the uterus is removed vaginally. Recovery after this hysterectomy often takes two to four weeks, and the patient must be in the hospital for at least two days. A hysterectomy may be performed with minimal discomfort, scarring, and recovery time because of advancements in laparoscopic and robotic techniques.
Until a lady decides she no longer wants children, gynecologists will continue to explore other therapies. If alternative therapies fail, a hysterectomy may be an option for younger women dealing with fibroids, irregular bleeding, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or pelvic organ prolapse. A woman diagnosed with gynecological cancer will most likely need a hysterectomy to save her life.
It is up to the individual to decide whether or not they need a hysterectomy. It is a viable option for treating a variety of medical issues, and it is one that each individual should be free to choose for themselves, myths and all.