All we women know is that menopause is inevitable, but most of us don’t look forward to it. But at least we have the luxury of being able to adapt to all the changes that are happening in our body and mind. However, imagine that menopause and all the symptoms associated with it occur within a day. How much more difficult would it be to deal with it?
This is exactly what happens during a menopausal hysterectomy. The woman in question has not only to cope with the physical changes, but also the psychological effects.
Hysterectomy has been recommended for several reasons. It may have been recommended to treat medical problems such as endometriosis, intolerable periods, prolapse, fibroids, or cancer.
Once the decision is made to perform a hysterectomy, your doctor will advise you on the best type of hysterectomy based on your medical concerns and your medical and family history. However, the ultimate choice is yours. It is therefore imperative that you fully understand the options available and the possible after-effects that you may have.
A brief explanation of the different types of hysterectomy is as follows:
- Total hysterectomy means that the entire uterus and cervix are removed. Unlike a subtotal hysterectomy, in which only the upper part of the uterus is removed and the cervix remains in place.
- A partial hysterectomy removes most of the uterus, but the cervix is preserved. If the cervix is preserved, it is advisable to continue with regular cervical smears.
- When a radical hysterectomy is suggested, it usually means cancerous tissue is present. The surgeon removes the entire uterus, the tissue on the sides of the uterus, the upper part of the vagina, and the cervix.
The surgeon also decides to remove or leave the ovaries. If the ovaries are removed, the woman immediately begins menopause. If the ovaries stay in place, they may stop producing hormones sooner than expected, and in this case, menopause is more likely to start earlier in their life. If estrogen production is lost before the age of 45, there may be an increased risk of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and treatments should be taken as soon as possible.
There is also a 50% decrease in testosterone production when the ovaries are removed and the recommended treatment varies from woman to woman.
Hysterectomy is a very personal decision and should be the right decision for you and your situation. However, it is also a routine operation, and although it is advisable to do things calmly for several weeks, recovery is generally stable with few problems.
It is very often difficult for a woman to accept a menopausal hysterectomy because the fertility stops immediately and this can cause strong emotions and an overwhelming feeling of fear and depression.
A hysterectomy is not to be feared, but with every medical procedure, it is important to know as much as possible and also to learn about the necessary aftercare.
A strong support system keeps you positive, and that’s of course an added benefit of not having to take pregnancy precautions or take monthly protection.