Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to remove the uterus and supporting tissues. In some cases, the cervix can also be removed.
According to statistics, this procedure is one of the most frequent operations in the U.S. It is also the most controversial one.
The only thing other than menopause, which can stop the menstrual cycle, is a hysterectomy. In other words, after surgery, you will not get your period, and you will not be able to conceive.
Studies confirm that if this procedure is done before a woman can reach menopause, she will experience loss of hormones and will enter surgical menopause.
Menstrual Cycle After Partial Hysterectomy
A partial hysterectomy is a procedure that removes the uterus but leaves the cervix in place. During surgery, there is a tiny demarcation that marks the body of the uterus, also known as the cervix.
This cervix is a completely different cell type that is not involved in the menstrual cycle.
If the uterus is completely removed, a woman will not have a menstrual cycle, but, if the cervix remains, periods will still occur.
The reason for a partial hysterectomy is a surgical decision. When the bottom part of the uterus is removed, it must first be separated from the bladder. If this procedure can’t be done safely, it is better to leave that bottom part behind rather than to risk a serious injury.
However, having menstrual cycles after a partial hysterectomy doesn’t mean you can get pregnant. It is impossible to conceive after a hysterectomy.
Reasons for Getting a Hysterectomy
There are many reasons why women get a hysterectomy. The main reason being tumors. There are certain tumors that can develop inside the muscles of the uterus. If left untreated, these tumors can cause immense pain and heavy bleeding.
There are also various other conditions that must be treated with hysterectomy. These are conditions that occur inside the uterus and manage to grow on the outside. Eventually, they will get close to nearby organs.
As a result, a woman will experience unbearable periods and extreme vaginal bleeding. Other conditions that can also affect the uterus can develop due to stretched or weak pelvic tissues and ligaments.
Such conditions can cause urinary or bowel problems. Loss of estrogen, obesity, or giving birth can contribute to these increasing problems. Cancer can also be a reason for getting a hysterectomy.
If a woman is suffering from cervical, endometrial, uterine sarcoma, or cancer of the fallopian tubes and possibly the ovaries, she will need to get a hysterectomy.
It is possible to result in other types of treatment like hormone therapy or radiation, but, if the cancer type is life-threatening, it will limit those possibilities.
Aside from cancer, when a woman experiences excessive bleeding, or the lining of the uterus is too thick, she might be having excess estrogen.
In these cases, a hysterectomy is necessary. In other words, this surgical procedure is done only when there is no other option to treat the uterus.
To make it easier to understand, here is a full list of all the reasons why women get a hysterectomy.
- Heavy bleeding
- Constant pelvic pain
- Constant pelvic inflammatory problems
- Hyperplasia (due to excess estrogen)
- Endometriosis (due to the uterus affecting the nearby organs)
- Uterine prolapse (due to stretched or weak pelvic ligaments)
In very rare occasions, it is possible to get some unwanted side effects. Like any surgical procedure, hysterectomy prolapse comes with risks.
However, according to statistics, it is extremely rare to experience any of them. There is 0.1-1% chance of experiencing these complications.
Here are the possible complications you can expect from hysterectomy surgery.
- Premature menopause
- Issues caused by anesthesia
- Blood clots in the lungs or veins
- Bowel issues
- Constant bleeding after or during the procedure
- Injured organs (the ones near the uterus)
The recovery duration heavily depends on the procedure. If there were any complications, you might need to stay longer.
Or, depending on the type of procedure like laparoscopic, vaginal, or abdominal, you will be asked to stay a couple more days. It usually takes a patient 4-8 weeks to recover from this type of surgery.
After some time, it is possible for the woman to engage in normal activities a couple of weeks after the procedure. However, she will have to take good care of her body to avoid any serious complications.
What About Pap Tests?
Many women wonder if after getting a hysterectomy, and they still need to do Pap tests. This is a very common question. The answer is very simple.
For women who have undergone a surgical procedure that removes their entire uterus, Pap tests will not be necessary. However, if the woman received a hysterectomy due to any type of cancer, she will still need to get Pap tests.
It is crucial to pay close attention and monitor her health. The doctor or gynecologist will have to do regular Pap tests to make sure the woman is absolutely healthy.
If you were wondering whether you should get a Pap test or not, you should know that it depends on the reason for what you had the hysterectomy done.
But, that doesn’t mean you should skip the regular check-ups. Maintaining proper health is ideal even after a hysterectomy.
That is why it is best to always stay in contact with your gynecologist so they would monitor your condition.
Now you know everything you need about hysterectomy.
This procedure may sound cruel or risky, but it is definitely a life-saver for those who really need it. This is a serious medical procedure that many people find controversial.
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