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Being a woman isn’t an easy job. Not only because one has to juggle through the various responsibilities and roles in life, but also because it is physically challenging. However, when a woman’s body – particularly her reproductive system – starts rebelling, there are some methods such as hysterectomy that she needs to resort to. In case you too have to undertake it, don’t proceed without knowing these important facts.
‘Why is so it so hard being a woman?’- This question must definitely have crossed your mind at some point in your life. A woman goes through a lot of mental, emotional and physical stress in life. Speaking specifically about her body, it undergoes several changes starting puberty and doesn’t stop till after menopause.
Bleeding for a few days every month certainly isn’t a physically pleasurable experience that any woman wishes for. But well, that’s how a human body functions. It’s beautiful in many ways as it gives you an opportunity to give birth. However, one cannot ignore the various conditions that arise simply because of having a uterus and two ovaries, including, in some women, chronic pain and reproductive ailments.
In case you are suffering from chronic pain or ailments related to reproductive health, the doctor might suggest a procedure known as ‘hysterectomy’. This procedure eliminates major organs comprising a woman’s reproductive system. While it is certainly a severe and drastic procedure, it becomes essential in some cases. This is why we as women MUST educate ourselves about it to be prepared.
What is Hysterectomy and its Types
Hysterectomy is typically a surgical procedure performed to remove a woman’s uterus. The uterus functions as the womb and is where a foetus grows. It is this uterine lining that disintegrates every month resulting in the menstrual blood flow. Automatically, when one undertakes this procedure, the two primary functionalities of the uterus cease to exist. What does this mean?
- You won’t ever be able to conceive
- The monthly menstrual cycle stops
Depending on a woman’s condition and need the doctor prescribes what kind of hysterectomy they can opt for. There are primarily 3 types of hysterectomy:
- Partial Hysterectomy: Only a portion of the uterus is removed and the doctors may leave the cervix intact.
- Total Hysterectomy: During this procedure, the uterus (including the cervix) is removed completely.
- Hysterectomy & Sapling-Oophorectomy: While performing this procedure, the doctor removes the entire uterus along with either one or both the ovaries as well as the fallopian tubes. A woman undergoing this surgery may require hormone replacement therapy.
Why Does a Woman Need This Procedure?
Most commonly, a woman may need to go through the hysterectomy procedure owing to heavy bleeding or certain serious health conditions. If these conditions are not treated on time or become irresponsive to any remedy efforts, the last resort of hysterectomy is recommended.
- Fibroids: A non-cancerous growth of muscles and fibrous tissues. Usually causes heavy bleeding and excessive pain
- Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID)
- Severe Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Menorrhagia (or heavy bleeding)
- Complications During Childbirth: During some childbirth emergencies, when the bleeding cannot be controlled (post-partum haemorrhage), hysterectomy is the recommended option.
What to Expect After a Hysterectomy – 7 Things No One Tells You About
While several people may tell you how and why this particular procedure is performed and what the hysterectomy complications are, there are some bodily changes no one really tells you about.
1. The Frequent Hot Flashes
Better known as a ‘personal summer’, it is something women frequently experience post their surgery. Your chest will start to heat up and the heat will radiate to the rest of the body, no matter how cold the weather outside is. This heat intensifies rapidly, the sweat breaks out and in a split second you will start freezing too. And the cycle repeats itself in what is one of the most discomfiting effects of hysterectomy.
2. Facial Hair Growth
With the lack of oestrogen in the body, facial hair begins to grow. You may start noticing hair strands on your chin and maybe a slightly visible moustache, and in some cases, a beard too. It’s bizarre, but then it’s one of the uterus removal side effects.
3. Sudden Vaginal Dryness
It is true! The drying up of the vagina is an issue that many women face after their procedure and it is definitely not an issue that can be dealt with easily. Every remedy almost fails, even the oestrogen creams.
4. Fluctuations in Weight
Varied weight fluctuation is often observed after hysterectomy. This mostly happens due to hormonal changes. The doctors might prescribe you medicines that can help you manage your weight, but they are not always effective!
5. Peeing Will Be Difficult
Nothing irritates more than not being able to pee when you want to and that’s what exactly is going to happen. It may take up to 10-15 minutes to pee in addition to adjusting yourself in various positions to get it out!
6. The Unbearable Pain
This is perhaps the most painful of hysterectomy side effects; every inch of your body will hurt – at least for a couple of days. Eating may hurt and you may even develop stomach cramps. You may lose your appetite because of this too.
7. Low Sex Drive
Yes, a sad yet a brutal truth, hysterectomy can affect your sex drive owing to the hormonal changes and its effect on the woman’s body. Also, the vaginal dryness can add to the act not being a pleasurable one.
So, now that you are aware of the side effects of hysterectomy, you can be well informed in case you are opting for an elective procedure. We also recommend you share this information with someone who needs to know this. Being prepared in advance is the best way to attempt to deal with a difficult situation. Take care.