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6 Reasons You May Need a Hysterectomy

6 Reasons You May Need a Hysterectomy

Undergoing a hysterectomy is a life-changing experience. It removes your uterus and possibly your cervix and ovaries. The loss of these organs triggers immediate menopause.

However, a hysterectomy is rarely the first course of treatment, but there are times when it’s the best decision for your health. Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, explains why you may need a hysterectomy.

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes your uterus using one of two techniques: laparoscopy (which only requires a couple of small incisions) or a laparotomy (which is a full abdominal incision.)

A partial hysterectomy removes only the uterus.

A total hysterectomy removes your uterus and your cervix.

A radical hysterectomy removes your uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and even the top part of your vagina. This option is typically in response to cancer.

The reasons you may need a hysterectomy

Every year, about half a million women undergo hysterectomies for various reasons. Here are the top six. 

1. Abnormal or heavy menstrual bleeding

If you have chronic heavy or abnormal menstrual bleeding, you may need a hysterectomy. If your family is complete, you may find it a relief that you won’t need to worry about menstrual periods anymore.

2. Severely painful periods

Some women have manageable periods that only require an occasional over-the-counter pain reliever. But many women experience intense pain associated with their periods, and even prescription pain relievers don’t help. A hysterectomy can eliminate this problem.

3. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus, usually on the fallopian tubes and ovaries. It causes severe pain, abnormal menstrual bleeding, cramping, and infertility. While there’s no cure for endometriosis, a hysterectomy with an oophorectomy (ovary removal) can resolve the symptoms.

4. Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths on the uterus. Although they are almost always benign, they can impact overall health. Fibroids can lead to heavier and more painful periods.

Uterine fibroids are a common problem; between 40-80% of women have them, most between ages 30-50.

5. Uterine prolapse

A uterine prolapse means that your uterus no longer stays in place in your reproductive system, often as the result of childbearing. This positional shifting can cause complications such as difficulty with bowel movements. Although an implanted mesh sling can help correct the problem, this procedure often has complications, making a hysterectomy a better solution.

6. Conditions with the lining of your uterus

Certain conditions with the lining of your uterus can also make you a good candidate for a hysterectomy. These conditions include hyperplasia (an overgrowth of the uterine lining) and adenomyosis (closely related to endometriosis.) 

In addition, cancer involving your reproductive organs could necessitate a hysterectomy.

If you have any of the symptoms or conditions we’ve mentioned, Call Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, in Boise, Idaho, or request an appointment online.

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