MBBS, MS - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fellowship in Gynecologic Endoscopy
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What are the most common causes for uterus removal?
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Removing the uterus is the second most common operation performed in women. If a woman is past her reproductive phase, then the impact of removing the uterus is minimal. However, if a woman has to go through uterus removal (hysterectomy) prior to bearing children, it can have a major impact. Cancer and endometriosis are the common reasons for hysterectomy. If a woman has not had children, then hysterectomy should be considered only as the last resort, after other options are ruled out.
What are some alternate options for uterus removal?
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Though quite commonly done, the option of preserving the uterus should be considered in women of child-bearing age. In these women, hormone replacement can be used to treat endometriosis. Laser therapy can be used to remove fibroids. Hysteroscopy can be used to explore causes for abnormal vaginal bleeding and be treated accordingly. Removing it may be the only option in case of cancer. Discuss with your doctor about possible alternatives to hysterectomy before going in for the procedure.
What are some complications related to uterus removal?
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For a woman, removing the uterus means they cannot bear children anymore. Some could experience a loss of sex drive, others could have painful sex due to vaginal dryness. Emotional effects are quite high including depression and mood swings, which is due to reduced hormonal levels. A woman should be counselled on what to expect before going in for a hysterectomy, as it helps to prepare her for the side effects.
Hysterectomy is the end of a woman s feminine phase.
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Though deemed such, this need not be the case. The only thing that is lost with the removal of the uterus is a woman s child-bearing ability. Removing the uterus does impact the overall body functioning, but they can be managed easily with hormone replacement therapy. The dosage needs to be monitored periodically and with annual checks, most of the symptoms can be managed. Have a frank, emotional chat with a friend or family member who has gone through a hysterectomy. It will help prepare you on what to expect. Social groups are also useful in this regard.
Hormone replacement can help take care of most symptoms resulting from hysterectomy.
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The side effects in terms of emotional ill-health, osteroporosis, and increased risk of heart attacks can be managed with monitored hormone replacement therapy. Bone density and heart health also need to be monitored to identify deviations in their early stage. Improving your lifestyle including your diet, habits, and exercise is important to keep your health at optimal levels post menopause.