A hysterectomy may require only a few (about 5) days of hospital stay depending upon the type of surgical procedure being implemented. Nonetheless, complete recovery can be extensive and reports show that it can range anywhere between 3 to 12 months. Hysterectomy can bring various changes to living which is better referred to as the side effects. Some may be welcome but others may not be so!
While considerable limitation to usual activities cannot be undermined after hysterectomy, there are treatment methods (including exercising) which can enhance living and counter untoward side effects. Given under is a summary of the side effects which are likely to come with a hysterectomy:
Side Effects Of Hysterectomy
Altered Sexual Health
Many women may experience improvement in sexual life after hysterectomy. They can experience better mood and instinct considerably due to inhibition of pregnancy. But many others may feel worsening sexual health after hysterectomy. Some women can even experience pain during sexual intercourse besides pain in the pelvis.
There can be vaginal dryness and changes in sexual desire and pleasure which prove detrimental towards sexual performance and make it difficult to indulge in intercourse. Hormone replacement therapy can help many women counter the sudden bodily changes.
Deteriorating Bone Health
According to studies, hysterectomy can deteriorate bone health in women. Osteoporosis and risk of bone fractures have a connection with hysterectomy which is mainly attributed to the functioning of the estrogen on regulating calcium metabolism. Besides, the reduction in estrogen levels can lead to excessive loss of calcium taking a toll over bone health. Hysterectomy (both ovaries removed) can also cause reduction in testosterone levels which can be a precursor to height loss.
Due to removal of ovaries, estrogen levels decline sharply. This can undermine the protective effects (of estrogen) pertaining to the cardiovascular and skeletal systems (“surgical menopause”). Due to rapid change in hormonal levels, the body undergoes a sudden shock which creates menopausal symptoms including hot flashes.
A normal menopause is gradual, producing symptoms over time, and is different from this ‘induced’ menopausal state. Removal of uterus increases the risk of cardiovascular disease thrice. And this risk can shoot up when the ovaries also are removed. Hysterectomy is also associated with increased incidence of heart diseases in women.
Bladder And Bowel Discomfort
A common side effect of hysterectomy is urinary incontinence which can develop after a significant time (10 years or more) has passed after surgery. Although much is not yet known about this side effect of hysterectomy, it is estimated that urinary incontinence risk may get doubled within a span of 20 years after surgery.
Post surgery, there can be some obstruction to the bowel and bladder functioning. Constipation can also be an outcome but can be dealt with through dietary alterations.
There is likely to be some vaginal discharge/bleeding after a hysterectomy. The discharge/bleeding will be less compared to your regular period discharge.
However, it can be an extended one lasting up to six weeks. Heavy vaginal bleeding, foul smell or blood clots should be reported to the doctor.
Psychological And Emotional Effect
Women are also likely to have a sense of loss and depression after undergoing hysterectomy. The inability to bear a child no more can be emotionally upsetting for many women and can give them a feeling of incompleteness. On the other hand, most women find life without a uterus better because they are now relieved from the symptoms which earlier troubled them.