A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. In some cases, doctors remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Hysterectomies are common, particularly with age. In fact, 1 in 3 women has a hysterectomy by age 60. Surgeons do hysterectomies either through the lower belly or vagina. The procedure is safe, with a high success rate. Doctors use the surgery when the uterus harms the quality of life. Women with these 3 reasons should think about surgical removal.
1. Fighting fibroids
Uterine fibroids are a common reproductive condition. Almost 80% of women will get fibroids at some point. Fibroids are benign tumors that pop up on the uterus. Cells in the uterine wall multiply uncontrollably. These cause growths that can be painful. The hormones estrogen and progesterone also stimulate fibroids. The more hormones available, the faster the fibroid growth. As a result, pre-menopausal and pregnant women are more likely to have the condition. Some can grow large enough to cause abdominal pain, excess bleeding, and even anemia. At this point, if non-surgical treatments fail, women can consider turning to a hysterectomy.
2. Putting out pelvic pain
While almost all periods come with pelvic pain, all pelvic pain is not caused by periods. Some women experience a sharp ache. This is different from monthly menstrual cramps. About 15% of women suffer from some degree of pelvic pain. The condition can even be chronic, with pain lasting for months on end. A doctor needs to assess the source to know the best course of action. An exam can reveal issues that need treatment. These issues include endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Cysts or scar tissue from a previous surgery also cause pain. In some cases, a hysterectomy can bring relief. Once doctors can determine the source of the pain, surgery can be a route to consider.
3. Treating uterine prolapse
All women have a pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a band of muscles responsible for holding the uterus, bladder, and other organs in place. The muscles are like a hammock but can weaken over time. As a result, the uterus can drop from the natural position. This uterine prolapse appears like a bulge in the lower groin area. In some cases, the uterus protrudes from the vagina. This condition more commonly happens in women aged 50 and above. Age, along with multiple pregnancies, obesity, or constipation issues can cause prolapse. A uterine prolapse brings pain, discomfort, and urinary tract issues. Both doctors and women may consider a hysterectomy if the uterine prolapse interferes with everyday life.
Finding the best treatment
Getting a hysterectomy can be a big, nervy decision. If having children is not in the future, then the time may be now. Especially if these 3 issues affect everyday life. If left untreated, these conditions can turn into life-threatening issues. Doctors will provide support, outlining the pros and cons of the operation. The doctor will also advocate for the safety of all women undergoing the procedure. Gather all the information, then consider the procedure and consult with an OB/GYN.