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Life After Hysterectomy

Life After Hysterectomy

Life need not spell a doom for you after you've undergone hysterectomy. The 'loss' isn't so much that you cease to enjoy the pleasures of life.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2017
Hysterectomy is a surgery that involves the removal of the uterus. It is only recommended in the cases of uterine fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, or pelvic relaxation. Only 10% of the hysterectomies are performed as a cure for uterine or ovarian cancer. This surgery is quite a major one in which the patient takes a few months to recuperate completely and begin a normal life. More than the physical challenges, it is the psychological challenges that can make life a bit uncomfortable post the surgery.

What Happens After Hysterectomy Operation

➺ After the operation, you will be under the supervision of the doctor and nurses, who will do their best to help you recover fast. The recovery time varies for each patient. Within 10 - 15 days, you will be allowed to go home.

➺ It takes up to 6 weeks for the effects of general anesthesia to wear off. The bleeding after a hysterectomy surgery subsides within a few weeks. During the first few days of the surgery, do not physically exert yourself.

➺ Make sure you have someone to help you with the housework. Take as much rest as possible. You can resume a normal diet within a few weeks of surgery. Get yourself checked in the hospital after 6 weeks to ensure that your body has healed. Report any post-surgery pain to the consulting gynecologist.

Daily Routine After Hysterectomy

➺ There is absolutely no reason why hysterectomy should deter you from executing your daily routine. You can think of resuming your work 8 to 10 weeks after the surgery.

➺ You should take into account the type of your work, the amount of physical exertion required, and your fitness level before deciding to resume work.

➺ You should also inquire about the availability of flexible hours option or a less strenuous profile. You can even start exercising within a few months post the surgery, after the stitches have been removed.

➺ However, do not subject yourself to strenuous exercises. Walking is the best form of exercise to stay fit. You can start with a 10 minutes walk daily and then increase the time gradually.

Physical Challenges

➺ The removal of the uterus obviously brings about drastic changes in the female body. The levels of female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone decrease substantially.

➺ In case of total hysterectomy, i.e., removal of the uterus along with ovaries, the body is immediately pushed into menopause. Even in women who retain their ovaries, menopausal symptoms become evident prematurely.

➺ This leads to several concerns about the physical appearance of a woman. Post hysterectomy, hair loss and weight gain are the two major issues of concern for women.

➺ Unfortunately, it is true that the hormonal imbalance after the surgery is responsible for certain side effects. In addition to that, hot flashes and night sweating may also occur. To minimize these side effects, many patients opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Hormone Replacement Therapy

➺ Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often recommended to replace the female hormones in the body with the help of tablets, skin patches, or implants. You need to be closely monitored to check which form of HRT suits you the best and in what dosages.

➺ HRT is useful in eliminating the dryness in the vagina, which often makes the intercourse painful. Topical HRT forms have a lesser potential of inducing harmful side effects than the oral ones. HRT is a tricky option, and its pros and cons should be considered before opting for one.

Psychological Challenges

➺ More than the physical pain, it is the psychological trauma that haunts the woman after hysterectomy. The feeling that she will no longer be capable of bearing a child makes her go into depression.

➺ Many women are also haunted by the feeling that they have become unappealing and sexually undesirable. However, this is not true. Research has shown that hysterectomy has no effect on the sexual desire of a woman. They can continue to enjoy their sexual life as before, with a little help from gels and creams for lubrication.

Many women are unable to cope with the life after hysterectomy and regret the decision of undergoing the operation. However, they should understand that it is only recommended in a serious condition to save your life. It prevents the worst from happening. Moreover, one can also consider looking at the brighter side of the surgery. It relieves you of the pain and discomfort associated with menstruation. Also, you no longer have to worry about accidental conception. Life post hysterectomy greatly depends upon your perspective and will power to overcome the challenges associated.

Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.