When choosing how to treat your fibroids, you need to know the effects of hysterectomy. As many as 70% of women will develop uterine fibroids in their lifetime. And they’ll likely experience symptoms such as heavy bleeding and pelvic pain or pressure. When fibroid symptoms are painful and disruptive, you want relief. Just be sure to choose a treatment that won’t cause you more problems down the road.
Why is Hysterectomy a Challenging Fibroid Treatment?
Many women with fibroids consider hysterectomy. In fact, about 600,000 American women get hysterectomies each year. But, many times, a less drastic procedure could have worked instead. Check out these reasons why you shouldn’t have a hysterectomy.
Other Effects of Hysterectomy: Who Shouldn’t Get One?
Even if your doctor says a hysterectomy if your best treatment choice, there are good reasons to explore other options. You should not choose hysterectomy if:
- You want a baby in the future. A hysterectomy is not an option for women if they would like to have a baby. If you are young and have fibroids, consider alternatives. Even if you don’t want kids now, really think about your options. After all, a hysterectomy is forever.
- You can’t afford to take time off. Traditional hysterectomies take approximately six weeks to recover, while minimally invasive procedures can take about two weeks. For women who are busy with school, work, or raising a family, this time off may severely impact their lives. Even after recovery, it may be even longer before the patient can return to a completely active lifestyle.
- You have not yet reached menopause. When you lose your ovaries as part of a hysterectomy, your hormonal balance gets disrupted. This makes your estrogen and progesterone production decline. These two hormones play an important part in heart, bone, breast, and brain health. Even when an ovary-sparing hysterectomy is performed, the patient is more likely to develop premature ovarian function failure.
- You wish to avoid the risks of surgery. Infections affect approximately 9 to 13 percent of those who undergo a hysterectomy. There is also a risk of damaging surrounding organs, nerve damage, hemorrhage, and anesthetic complications.
- You want to preserve your sex drive. Because of the sudden drop in estrogen, your sexual desire is likely to drop after a hysterectomy. Vaginal dryness can also be a problem after removing your uterus. Which means that, even if you’re in the mood, sex may be painful for you without lubrication. Plus, there are other, long-term effects of hysterectomy that can impact your mental and physical wellbeing.
Consider Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Uterine fibroid embolization is completed through local anesthesia and is significantly less invasive than a surgery and patients can return to their daily lives much faster than those who have undergone a hysterectomy. In addition, studies show that approximately 90 percent of women who underwent UFE had significant or complete relief from the symptoms of uterine fibroids.
Sources: National Women’s Health Network