may cause a woman to have an early menopause even if she does not have
her overviews removed . If you're candidate for surgery and you're still
in your childbearing years, consider the fact that you will no
longer be able to have children. Hot flashes and vaginal dryness, two
other side effects of menopause, may also occur.
who undergo hysterectomy can also experience urinary tract symptoms such
as frequent urination and urinary incontinence, as well as deepening of
the voice and weight gain. These physical changes are the result of
declining estrogen levels .
studies indicate that women feel depressed after a hysterectomy, but
whether the operation itself causes depression is unclear." Our
society still has this negative perception that hysterectomy is going to
make you something less. If women internalize that . Then they may feel
depressed," says Dr. Bernhard.
studies show that depression after a hysterectomy may be no more typical
than depression about bodily changes that can occur after other types of
surgery. And some studies reveal that women are less depressed
after hysterectomy than they were before , when they suffered with
problems such as heavy bleeding and pain.
women say they've experienced positive physical changes, reporting restored
vigor because they're no longer bleeding heavily and suffering pain. The
operation can often end anemia as well . I've heard women say they just
feel so much better. The physical improvement in their health is often
the greatest, reward, " says Dr. Bernhard.
studies indicate that women have these positive responded in the short
term, more study is needed on the long-term effects, says Dr.
may experience sexual changes after hysterectomy because they feel different
about their bodies and have anxiety about resuming sex. For some women,
the orgasm experience changes. " It's not that they don't
have orgasms, they just are different, says Dr, Bernhard.
may also have a lower sex drive, particularly if they've had their
ovaries removed , says Dr, Williamson.
Best Advice : Take an active Role
you are a candidate for hysterectomy, weigh your decision carefully.
Here's some help.
the right doctor
Look for a doctor you can talk to, who
understands what you're going through, answers your questions and will
do what you want, says Nancy Petersen, R.N, Director of the
Endometriosis Treatment Center at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend
Oregon. If your doctor tells you that you need a hysterectomy but
it doesn't seem right to you, see another doctor. Hysterectomy is often overkill
of endometrioses, she says.
There are usually other options to
experts say. Ask your doctor what they are, says Dr Williamson.
a second and- third-opinion
" Don't let any one physician tell
you this is what you should do, says Dr. Bernhard.
lots of questions
Ask your doctor which particular procedure will
be done and why, says Dr. Brooks. Find out how much experience your
doctor has with the procedure she is suggesting.
Set your priorities, says Dr. Bernstein. Ask
yourself " How debilitating is the pain ? How much is it
interfering with my lifestyle ? Do I want to have children?
Would I feel comfortable about adopting ?"
your decision through
Take time to make your decision, says Dr,
Bernhard. " There's probably no rush, " she says.