Common Myths about Hysterectomies
Sometimes, women experience certain women’s health problems like gynecologic cancers, painful periods, or uterine fibroids. Often, the best solution for these issues is a hysterectomy surgery. Most women fear this recommendation because they don’t like the idea of needing to get their uterus removed. They’ve heard myths about the procedure, and they’re hesitant because of the recovery time and the effect it will have on their life. With any major surgery, certain risks are involved, but a lot of these thoughts are misconceptions. Talk to your gynecologist to decide your best options, but in the meantime, check out these hysterectomy myths debunked.
Debunking Common Hysterectomy Myths
I’ll get early menopause.
One of the first myths about hysterectomies is that it will jumpstart early menopause. Many women have heard stories from older generations in their families that after their surgery, they had really bad hysterectomy symptoms. They believe menopause will start instantly when you remove both the uterus and the ovaries. However, modern medicine offers more options now for the type of hysterectomy surgery you can get. There are many health benefits of preserving the ovaries and leaving them in after hysterectomy surgery, as opposed to removing everything. Discuss your options with your doctor to see which type of hysterectomy is best for you, and which one could help you avoid early menopause.
I can no longer be intimate with my partner.
Another myth about hysterectomies is that they can negatively affect your ability to be intimate with your partner. This is false, however; quite the opposite actually occurs in some women. After experiencing pain and discomfort, or frequent bleeding for years, women who get a hysterectomy see their body change for the better. Many even experience improved sexual function after their hysterectomy.
However, if your hysterectomy is the result of a cancer diagnosis, there are many things you can do to reduce the stress in your relationship and rebuild a different type of intimacy. Communicate with your partner about how you’re feeling when you both feel relaxed and comfortable. Try active listening, allowing your partner to fully express their feelings before you respond. Also, try becoming intimate with things less sexual and more emotional. This could include finding a new hobby together, or simply cuddling and holding hands.
I can’t start my family.
If the doctor approves it, some women have the option to preserve their fertility before undergoing a hysterectomy surgery. This type of fertility preservation allows you to save any healthy reproductive cells and use them later with a gestational carrier or surrogate.
During the process of egg freezing, your fertility specialist will collect any healthy eggs, freeze them, and store them until you’re ready to use them to start your family. Embryo freezing takes one extra step. The specialist will collect healthy eggs, but before freezing them, the eggs can be fertilized with sperm from your male partner or a sperm donor.
After your hysterectomy, you will no longer have to ability to carry a baby yourself, but many women choose to use a surrogate to carry the baby for them through the process of in vitro fertilization. Your frozen eggs or embryos can be implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother.
The recovery process is long and hard.
The last hysterectomy myth is about the recovery process. Many women are concerned about the length of downtime and the large scars that come with it. However, the scar size and recovery time relates to the type of hysterectomy you get. Advanced medicine allows your doctor to use modern technology, including a robotic hysterectomy, to create a smaller incision and give you less recovery time. Sometimes women only need to stay in the hospital for one night, and only have a couple of weeks of down time.
The best thing you can do to continue debunking hysterectomy myths is to ask your doctors all your questions before you schedule a surgery. Each patient’s case varies, so you should discuss your particular situation with a specialist who knows you best.
Content provided by Dr. Lynn Kowalski of Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, NVSCC treats gynecologic cancers including Ovarian, Cervical, Endometrial, Vulvar and Vaginal. NVSCC specializes in Da Vinci robot-assisted surgery, treating fibroids, endometriosis and other complex gynecologic conditions with a minimally invasive approach.