A woman doesn’t exactly know what to expect after a hysterectomy. And she especially doesn’t know how her hormones will respond. She may be told it will be a little discomfort, but some symptoms aren’t talked about as much. A hysterectomy is the removal of either the removal of the uterus, leaving the cervix intact, or the removal of the uterus and the cervix. Doctors recommend hysterectomy usually if a woman has fibroids, endometriosis, genealogical cancer, or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Many women feel different after a hysterectomy because it can impair the function of the ovaries which are part of the endocrine system. The effects of a hysterectomy are often immediate and severe – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
A hysterectomy impairs the function of the ovaries which are part of the endocrine system. After a hysterectomy, the level of estrogens and progesterone crash immediately, taking women by surprise. Levels of testosterone also often drop by half. When a woman goes through the natural menopause process, some hormones also diminish, but in many cases, the adrenals help the transition, unlike the sudden crash that often comes after a hysterectomy. Although supplementing with hormones can help, some women never quite the feel same as when their ovaries are producing their own hormones. Even when a woman goes through menopause, her hormone production from the ovaries does not go to zero. Making matters worse is many women are given a one-size-fits-all-time hormone replacement that is not custom formulated to what their body needs.
Many women report sexual dysfunction including low libido after a hysterectomy likely because the uterus is an organ integral to sex. Removing the uterus can cut off nerves that help a woman climax. Lubrication, an important aspect of sex may also be impaired due to loss of blood flow. Anatomy changes that can occur after a hysterectomy may also influence a woman’s sexual arousal and satisfaction.
Studies show that when a woman goes through natural menopause, she is three times as likely to be diagnosed with depression. When a woman gets a hysterectomy, the drop in hormones is so steep that emotional changes can occur. Hormones like progesterone have a very soothing effect on the body. Removing the ovaries can diminish progesterone production, which may affect emotional regulation.
According to the HERS Foundation, women gain an average of twenty-five pounds in the year after a hysterectomy. Hormonal changes can contribute to a slower metabolism, sluggish liver, and consequently, weight gain.
Increased risk of heart disease and cancer:
One study from Mayo Clinic showed women who underwent hysterectomy with ovarian conservation at or before age 35 had an increased risk of congestive heart failure (4.6-fold increase) and coronary artery disease (2.5-fold increase). Furthermore, studies also show that a woman’s risk of thyroid, bladder, and brain cancers can increase after a hysterectomy.
While menopause tends to be a slow process, the symptoms of a hysterectomy can be abrupt, but everybody is different and how a woman responds to a hysterectomy may vary. Accordingly, the changes in a woman’s body can happen slowly and symptoms may arrive even after a few years post-surgery. Other factors during the aging process can also evolve which further influences how a woman responds to a hysterectomy.
Managing hormone changes, sexual dysfunction, emotional changes, and depression may include hormone replacement therapy, talk therapy, proper diet, exercise, and meditation. Assessing and optimizing diet is key to solving discomfort after a hysterectomy. Eating for a high metabolism helps the body to have the energy for maintenance, repair, and functioning.
-Minimize consumption of non-ancestral foods.
-Eat enough protein.
-Avoid foods that irritate the GI tract.
And some other more general points:
-Consider supplementing with natural progesterone, which has no known side effects.
-Pay attention to how foods and other factors affect you.
-Get regular sunlight.
-Keep the body warm.
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