When Should I Consider a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy surgically removes your uterus and sometimes other reproductive organs, like your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix. Approximately 600,000 American women undergo a hysterectomy each year, and 20 million have already had the procedure. But, even though hysterectomies are the second most common medical procedure performed on women, they are a significant and permanent decision that can’t be reversed. 

At his practice in Nashville, Dr. John Macey brings a personalized approach to women’s health care. If you’re having gynecological issues issues and live in Kentucky, Alabama, or mid-central Tennessee, Dr. Macey can help you to determine if a hysterectomy is the right choice for you.

The role your uterus and ovaries play in your body

During your reproductive years, your uterus creates your menstrual flow, or period. Also known as your womb, this part of your body also nourishes, holds, and helps you deliver a baby during pregnancy.

Your ovaries, located on each side of your uterus, produce the hormones involved in your sexual health, menstruation, and other aspects of your overall health, including your bone density. During your childbearing years, your ovaries also release an egg each month that allow pregnancy to occur.

There are different kinds of hysterectomies, including:

Having a hysterectomy stops menstruation and eliminates your ability to have children. Depending on your reproductive issue, you may be able to keep your ovaries. While this surgical approach preserves your body’s ability to continue producing hormones, you can still experience less hormone production after having a hysterectomy. 

If you lose your ovaries during a hysterectomy, you’ll need hormone replacement therapy.

How a hysterectomy can help

Dr. Macey might recommend a hysterectomy if you have moderate to severe gynecological issues causing severe discomfort, pain, or that threaten your life. Common reproductive conditions that might require a hysterectomy include:

Endometriosis and adenomyosis

These gynecological disorders occur when you have uterine tissue growing in pelvic areas where they don’t belong. Common symptoms of endometriosis and adenomyosis include heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, and severe pain.

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous — or benign — growths in your uterine wall. These masses can range in size from a tiny speck to a large growth that enlarges or distorts your uterus. Some uterine fibroids can trigger a wide range of symptoms, including bladder or bowel issues, pelvic pain, and heavy or prolonged menstrual periods.

Uterine prolapse

If you have uterine prolapse, your uterus slips out of place and falls into your vagina. This condition develops when your pelvic floor muscles and ligaments can no longer support your uterus. Uterine prolapse is often seen in women with a history of several vaginal childbirths, but can also occur after menopause or in those with obesity. When you have uterine prolapse, it often causes pelvic pressure along with bowel and urinary dysfunction.

Precancer or cancer

Some types of gynecological cancers can be invasive and life-threatening because they spread quickly. If you have signs of abnormal cells in your uterus, the lining of your uterus or endometrial tissue, cervix, or ovaries, Dr. Macey might suggest a hysterectomy to help manage your condition. 

Even though a hysterectomy can treat numerous gynecological issues, they also permanently change your reproductive system and impact your overall health. To help you reach the right decision, Dr. Macey works closely with you to determine if less invasive treatments are an option, or if a hysterectomy is the best solution for your individual condition.

To learn more about hysterectomies, call Dr. John Macey or schedule an appointment online today. 

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