Each year, more than half a million women in the U.S. have a hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus and sometimes the cervix and supporting tissues. If you aren’t menopausal, a hysterectomy will cause you to stop having monthly periods, effectively making it impossible for you to get pregnant. And if your ovaries are removed before menopause, the loss of female hormones brings the sudden onset of menopause. But how do you know if a hysterectomy is necessary?
This procedure can be beneficial to you if you have one of these conditions:
- Uterine fibroids. These noncancerous growths in the wall of the uterus can sometimes cause heavy bleeding, pain, and pressure on the bladder or bowel. In other women, uterine fibroids have no symptoms. While female hormones are a factor with this condition, no one knows for sure what exactly causes uterine fibroids.
- Abnormal or heavy bleeding. When vaginal bleeding is heavier than usual or lasts for longer than is normal for you, this may indicate the need for a hysterectomy.
- Uterine prolapse. This occurs when your pelvic floor muscles and supportive tissues weaken and the the uterus slips down into the vagina. Uterine prolapse is common in women who have had several vaginal births, or in women who are obese or post-menopausal. This condition can cause pelvic discomfort and problems with bladder or bowel function.
- Endometriosis. In this condition, the internal tissue that lines the uterus grows outside on the ovaries. This can cause severe pain, bleeding and, in some cases, infertility.
- Adenomyosis. With adenomyosis, the endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, exists within and grows into the muscular wall of the uterus, causing the uterine walls to thicken. This can result in pain and severe bleeding. Adenomyosis is difficult to treat , which is why hysterectomy is often the best option.
- Cancer. If you have cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovary or lining of the uterus (endometrium), a hysterectomy may be the best course of action.
There may be alternative treatment options to a hysterectomy. Before you undergo this major surgery, ask your doctor about alternative ways to treat your condition. To learn more about the hysterectomy process, or to learn more about our range of services, contact Women’s Care of Beverly Hills Group: 310-657-1600.