When You Should Consider a Hysterectomy
A hysterectomy removes your uterus and sometimes other parts of your reproductive system, such as your cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. After Cesarean sections, it’s the most common surgery among American women, and 20 million women have undergone the procedure. But, it isn’t always easy to know if a hysterectomy is right for you.
Our team at Tubal Ligation Reversal Center provides the highest quality women’s health care available in Loganville and Atlanta, Georgia. As experienced OB/GYNs, we understand the role your fertility plays in your life and how difficult it can be to decide to have a hysterectomy. To get you started, here are a few things to consider.
Understanding your uterus and ovaries
Your uterus is also called your womb. When you aren’t pregnant, your uterus produces your period, or menstrual flow, each month. During pregnancy, your uterus holds, nourishes, and helps deliver your baby.
In addition to your uterus, you also have two ovaries. These glands produce your eggs, make hormones that play a role in your sexual health, regulate your menstruation, and contribute to other aspects of your health, like your bone density.
There are three types of hysterectomies:
- Total: removes your uterus and cervix
- Partial: removes your uterus but preserves your cervix
- Radical: removes your uterus, cervix, upper vagina, and tissue surrounding your cervix
When you have a hysterectomy, your periods stop, and you can no longer have children. In some cases, you can keep your ovaries. This approach preserves hormone production in your body, but sometimes it can still decrease after your surgery.
When to consider a hysterectomy
A hysterectomy can help manage reproductive issues that cause pain, discomfort, and life-threatening conditions, such as:
A uterine fibroid occurs when you have noncancerous growths in the wall of your uterus. They can vary in size from a tiny seed to a large mass that distorts or enlarges your uterus. For some women, fibroids can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, such as heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding, frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, constipation, and pelvic pain.
Endometriosis or adenomyosis
These disorders develop when you have uterine tissue growing in areas where it doesn’t belong. If you have endometriosis or adenomyosis, it’s common to experience severe pain, heavy bleeding, or bleeding between your menstrual periods.
Uterine prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are weakened and are no longer able to support the uterus. When this happens, the uterus slips down into the vagina. Uterine prolapse is most common in women who’ve gone through multiple vaginal births, but it is also somewhat common in obese women and after menopause. This condition typically causes urinary and bowel issues as well as pelvic pressure.
Precancer or cancer
If you have signs of precancerous or cancerous cells in your ovaries, cervix, uterus, or endometrial tissue lining your uterus, your doctor might recommend a hysterectomy to manage your condition. Some of these cancers can be life-threatening and invasive, meaning they can spread quickly.
While a hysterectomy can relieve a wide range of issues and sometimes save your life, they also permanently change your overall and reproductive health. Depending on your symptoms and diagnosis, there may be other less invasive treatments you can try first.
If you’re considering a hysterectomy, book an appointment online or over the phone with Tubal Ligation Reversal Center today.