Contributed by: Rachana Arya
For women, a hysterectomy—an operation in which the uterus is removed for medical reasons—is surrounded by myths and fears. Women fear that the hysterectomy will force them into menopause with crazy hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats. She may be afraid of gaining weight, aging, and have significantly reduced libido. She may erroneously believe that the vagina will be removed or sewn shut, making intercourse impossible. She may develop extreme anxiety about premature wrinkling, developing facial hair, and physical attractiveness. Thankfully, this, however, is not true, and we will explain why.
In this edition of Mythbusters Diaries, we aim to correct some of the misconceptions surrounding hysterectomy which need to be dispelled.
Myth #1: It’s a one-way ticket to the post-menopausal life
Not true. This is perhaps the most common mistaken belief that exists in the non-medical community regarding a hysterectomy. The fact of the matter is that a standard hysterectomy means removal of the cervix and the uterus—it DOES NOT mean nor refers to the tubes and ovaries. Because the ovaries alone are the source of estrogen (and progesterone) in the premenopausal woman, by leaving them intact, a woman’s reproductive system will not be impacted. Therefore, it does NOT inevitably send you roaring into menopause, unless your ovaries are removed, too.
Myth #2: A hysterectomy makes you less of a woman
A hysterectomy may sometimes interfere with the way you may see yourself — and the way your partner may see you — as a female. It may also alter your perspective on how you function sexually. Despite what you may have heard, a hysterectomy will not take away your womanhood. Although the uterus is an important part of a woman’s body, removing it will have no effect on your hormones or make you lose your desirability and femininity.
Myth #3: You won’t want to—or won’t be able to—have sex
Many women understandably, but mistakenly, think that a hysterectomy will kill your sex drive and lead to painful sex as a result of vaginal dryness. This is untrue. Unless your ovaries are removed, too (a procedure known as an oophorectomy), you’ll still be able to have sex and orgasms may feel even better since the procedure can resolve issues like bleeding or pain that may have interfered with pleasure before. In most situations, however, you should wait at least six weeks after the treatment before having intercourse to allow your body to heal.
Myth #4: You can still get pregnant if you have a partial hysterectomy
In women who have undergone a hysterectomy, a successful pregnancy is not possible, since the uterus is the part of a woman’s body where a baby grows during pregnancy. Even if the fallopian tubes and ovaries are not removed during a hysterectomy, you can’t get pregnant without a uterus.
Myth #5: The road to recovery from a hysterectomy is extremely long and painful
It is true that hysterectomy is a major, life-altering surgical procedure. But there is good news. Observational studies consistently show that the full recovery can take two to six weeks, but most women feel dramatically better after a couple of days to weeks.
A significant number of women undergo gynecological operations each year. All women can benefit from medically validated knowledge about the psychological, physical, and sexual aspects of hysterectomy and post-operative recovery.
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The post Mythbusters Diaries (Part 12): Hysterectomy – The 5 Eye-Opening Facts — Uncovered appeared first on HEALTHIANS BLOG.