A uterus is a woman’s life-giving source. A pear-shaped muscular organ belonging to the female reproductive system. Its primary function is to safeguard the fertilised egg until the fetus is ready to be delivered. The uterus is a crucial organ in the female reproductive system. However, numerous women may have to remove their uterus during their lifetime, which has certain side effects. Read on to know all about the topic.
Why Is The Uterus Removed? Top Uterus Removal Reasons
The presence of uterine fibroids means that there is a non-cancerous growth in the uterus. Dealing with fibroids can be quite painful as it leads to heavy bleeding, causing pain. Usually, mild fibroids are removed via medical procedures that leave the uterus intact. However, if they regrow and continue to cause problematic symptoms, the uterus may be removed as well.
Caner is the reason almost 10% of uterine removal procedures are performed. Cancer could be of many types, such as endometrial, cervical, uterine and ovarian. In any of these forms, the removal of the uterus can be undertaken by medical experts.
The Endometrial layer is responsible for being the innermost lining of the uterus, maintaining its patency. Endometriosis is a condition in which this layer begins to grow outside of the uterus. Generally, hormonal therapies and removal of endometrial tissue are attempted before complete uterus removal.
What is the Name of Uterus Removal Surgery?
The name of the uterus removal surgery is a Vaginal Hysterectomy.
Also read: Ayurvedic medicines for female sexual health
Why Does A Hysterectomy Become Necessary for Some Women?
A Vaginal Hysterectomy is quite a severe surgery for women when most other treatment options have been unsuccessful. Some of the most common reasons are having painful or heavy periods that lead to uterine fibroid formation. Another reason is pelvic pain that endometriosis could cause. Moreover, uterine or cervical cancer can also be a reason medical experts advise women to undergo this surgery.
Uterus Removal Side Effects
Hysterectomy, uterus removal surgery name, is done through two routes; vaginal and abdominal. There can be both physical and emotional side effects of uterus removal surgery during the recovery period. A patient’s medical history can also make them prone to complications, short-term as well as long-term. When you search for uterus removal surgery costs in India and uterus removal reasons, you must also know the side effects. This will help you prepare accordingly.
Short Term Side Effects of Uterus Removal Surgery
As per studies, the patient can face various short term side effects. These are usually minimal and mild and occur within the first 30 days of surgery. Here are some of them:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge
- Infections and injury in surrounding organs like the bladder, urethra, etc.
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
- Pain and significant mood swings
- Swelling and redness around the incision site
- Burning or itching sensations
- Some uterus operation side effects are related to anaesthesia. The use of anaesthesia depends on the patients’ condition. Some women experience grief and a sense of loss, causing nausea after a general anaesthetic.
- Absence of menses
- Drastic hormonal fluctuations
- Formation of an abnormal pathway between bladder and vagina called fistula (vesicovaginal fistula)
- Bowel obstruction, which may cause abdominal pain, constipation, fever, etc.
- Difficulty in urination
Long Term Side Effects of Uterus Removal Surgery
Here are some long-term after-effects of uterus removal. These are mainly caused due to hormonal imbalance.
Emotional side effects
- Anxiety and depression - Infertility can affect mental health and make the patient more worried and sad.
- Stress- It can cause extreme mood swings even after a month of surgery.
Physical side effects
- Hot flashes and vaginal dryness
- Heart-related risks increase with the decrease in estrogen levels. According to studies, estrogen plays a role in the protection of the heart.
- Sexual problems
- Persistent pelvic pain
- Studies report a decrease in bone density as estrogen is vital for bone metabolism.
- Risk of pelvic prolapse (rare)
Are There Any Health Risks?
Much like any other surgical procedure, a hysterectomy has its fair share of risks as well. Some of these are:
- Blood loss
- Damage to surrounding bladder tissues and blood vessels
- Infections post-surgery
- Pain post-surgery
- Blood clotting
- Side effects brought on by anaesthesia
- Blockage of bowel movements
Sex After Uterus Removal Surgery
As per studies, the patient is advised to avoid sex for about four to six weeks after having uterus removal surgery to help heal scars and wounds. It is different for different women, so don’t get stressed if you don’t feel ready after that time.
It is okay to take your time. Hysterectomy does not prevent you from having sex; it just hits pause for a while. According to studies, women confirm that their sex life remains normal or improves after hysterectomy as they get relief from pain and heavy bleeding.
It is rare to lose the ability to have an orgasm, as hysterectomy does not affect sensations in your vagina.
What Is the Cause of Pain After a Hysterectomy
As per studies, pain may continue even after four months of hysterectomy. The pain is due to the scars in the tissues from the incisions of uterus removal surgery. The pain usually occurs in cycles as the ovary might get affected after the surgery, thus causing menstrual discomfort.
Precautions after Removal of Uterus and Ovaries
It would help if you took care of the following precautions:
- Do not lift weights for about six weeks after the surgery
- Abstain from intercourse for at least four to six weeks
- Take adequate amount of rest
- Visit doctor regularly
- Don’t do any housework, such as vacuuming, until the doctor approves
- Do not put anything inside your vagina, including tampons, menstrual cups, etc.
- Take rest and listen to your body
- Wear loose, stretchy, and light clothing
- Eat a healthy and doctor-recommended diet
- Talk about your feelings, be honest and ask for help
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Hysterectomy?
It takes a minimum of six to eight weeks to get fully recovered after having uterus removal surgery. Vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomy takes a shorter recovery period than abdominal hysterectomy. This is because the abdominal muscles and surrounding tissues need time to heal.
However, it also depends on your medical health history and age. Do not panic if your healing rate is comparatively slow as everybody is different and needs their own time.
Also read: Shatavari for females
If a woman is facing major uterus issues or reproductive organs such as cancer, fibroids or a final stage infection- she may have no choice but to remove her uterus. Usually, medical experts exhaust all other hormonal treatments before they suggest uterus removal. The uterus removal process has significant side effects such as blood loss, clotting and damage to surrounding organs, but women have lived healthy lives after undergoing this procedure.
What is the cost of uterus removal surgery in India?
The cost of this surgery depends upon where you are located. However, it could range anywhere between Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 1,50,000.
Is Uterus Removal a Major Surgery?
Yes, uterus removal surgery is one where women have to undergo general anaesthesia. The surgeon detaches the uterus from the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the upper vagina, after which it is carefully removed.
Where does sperm go after a Hysterectomy?
Female ejaculation occurs in less than 50% of women. The source of female ejaculate is Skene’s glands, also known as the female prostate glands located just next to the urethra. These glands are not removed during a vaginal hysterectomy. Hence, females can still ejaculate post this surgery.
What is a good age to have a Hysterectomy?
The legal and consenting age of 18 is the bare minimum; a woman must undergo a vaginal hysterectomy. However, it is improbable that medical experts will perform this procedure on women aged 18-35 unless there is a strong justification. If performed at a young age, this procedure can cause serious side effects such as bone loss, heart complications, urinary issues, vaginal dryness and a loss of sex drive or libido.
Andrea Iorga, Christine M. Cunningham (2017) The protective role of estrogen and estrogen receptors in cardiovascular disease and the controversial use of estrogen therapy (NCBI) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5655818/
Hongying He, Zhijun Yang (2016) Comparison of the short-term and long-term outcomes of laparoscopic hysterectomies and of abdominal hysterectomies: a case study of 4,895 patients in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China (Chinese Journal of Cancer Research) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4865611/