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Making the decision to remove the uterus and ovaries is not easy for a doctor, and even more so for a woman. Many women feel that they are no longer fully female after such surgery. What is life after the removal of the uterus and ovaries, what should you prepare for and what to expect?
Removal of the uterus and ovariesis a major operation. An indication for the removal of the appendages (this is what is said about the uterus and ovaries) may include fibroids, cysts, endometriosis or cancer. How such a procedure will affect the woman's well-being and the convalescence process depends on the cause, scope of the operation and… the patient's age. If it is a few years before the menopause, the consequences are big because it will start to menopause earlier. However, it sometimes happens that a 20-30-year-old woman has to undergo such a procedure. Then the situation becomes even more complicated.Hear what life is like after the removal of the uterus and ovaries. This is material from the LISTENING GOOD cycle. Podcasts with tips.
Removal of ovaries: accelerated menopause
The sex hormones produced by the ovaries are responsible not only for a woman's readiness for fertilization. They affect the functioning of the entire organism. After removal of the ovaries, almost one hundred percent of patients - already on the first or second day after the procedure - experience acute symptoms (known as accidental symptoms) related to menopause: hot flushes, palpitations, intense sweating. The changes are so rapid that they require prompt medical attention. Therefore, a woman should receive a large dose of estrogen shortly after surgery. Without them, further correct treatment is difficult. It is impossible to state unequivocally whether the present symptoms are a postoperative complication or they indicate an artificially induced accelerated menopause. Loss of appendages can be considered a type of surgical castration. Regardless of whether one or two ovaries have been removed, the uterus itself or together with the ovaries have been removed.
Removal of ovaries: hormonal support necessary
After removing both ovaries, a woman has almost no estrogen in her body. This is because hormones cannot be stored. Either they are produced on an ongoing basis and the body uses them, or they must be supplied from outside, e.g. in the form of tablets. If a uterus was left behind during surgery, treatment mustrely on the administration of estrogen, a progestogen, and sometimes a small dose of androgen, a male hormone that affects vital activity, increases libido, and therefore increases the desire for sex. The younger the patient, the longer the administration of hormones is. In order to avoid the failure of other organs, e.g. the heart, liver or pancreas, a woman - on individually selected therapy - should survive until the so-called the mean age of menopause, i.e. up to about 51 years of age. If the operation was performed, for example, at the age of 38, it is worth taking hormonal drugs for 13 years. Without such support, old age arrives earlier than its peers. But the trouble doesn't stop there. In ovarian-depleted women, osteoporosis begins much earlier and the risk of a heart attack increases. The biological clock is ticking faster - aging is 10 years faster. Ladies who want to stay young as long as possible should rely on the doctor's choice. A mistake that they quite often make is a complete switch to preparations with the so-called phytohormones (active compounds of plant origin). They can only support the body while it is still producing sex hormones, for example when we are approaching the menopause. In the absence of appendages, i.e. the main producer of these hormones, the power of such preparations is insufficient.Important
- Until a few years ago, it was believed that if the uterus is removed, the ovaries should also be removed to avoid the risk of ovarian cancer in the future. Today, many doctors believe that this is inappropriate. Recent scientific reports, published two months ago in the US, regarding ovariectomy clearly show that this is a process that accelerates the aging and development of atherosclerosis. It also found that the mortality rate of ovariectomized women was slightly higher than that of the group who had both ovaries.
- Removal of appendages due to neoplastic disease requires a completely different treatment procedure. After surgery, radiation or chemotherapy is required. The type of treatment usually depends on the stage of the cancer before it is diagnosed. The later this happens, the more complicated the post-treatment treatment methods are.
After removing one ovary
If only one ovary and uterus are preserved, the situation is different, although in this case it is possible to enter the menopause earlier. Usually, however, the body copes well in such a situation. Therefore, when there are no medical reasons, hormone therapy is not used. You can have children with a uterus and one ovary, or even just a fragment of it. So if notyou are planning offspring, think about contraception that is right for you. Just remember that women who smoke and are over 35 should not take estrogen (neither in tablets, nor in vaginal patches or rings). If they want to use this form of security, they have to quit the addiction.
Removal of one ovary, part of the uterus, uterus
Even if one ovary and part of the uterus are removed, the aging process may be accelerated. The same is true when the uterine body has been removed. The cause of such a reaction in the body is less blood supply to this part of the body than before the operation. Why? During the operation, apart from the disturbing lesion, some of the blood vessels carrying blood to the organs left behind are also removed. The surviving ovary is poorly nourished (e.g. as a result of postoperative edema) because less blood is involved in it. It becomes weaker and less efficient over time. Working for two, she ages faster, which is why a woman enters the menopause earlier - not at the age of 51-55, but even around the age of 44. The woman's body is so structured that even a small interference in the functioning of the sexual or endocrine system can accelerate menopause. Sometimes the symptoms of menopause appear slowly and are confused with, for example, fatigue, overwork or seasonal weakness.
When the uterus is missing
After removing the uterus, only take estrogen. Sometimes small doses of androgens are needed to increase the will to live and increase interest in sex. After such an operation, a woman does not have menstruation, but she may experience changes that are somewhat similar to those of regular menstruation. This is because the ovaries are still working. At some point, however, symptoms related to menopause appear, such as hot flashes, palpitations, insomnia, and lack of concentration. It also happens that the only symptom of menopause is chronic, unjustified fatigue, lethargy, rapid weight gain and aversion to sex. Such a situation always requires the intervention and control of a doctor.
Rehabilitation after removal of the uterus and ovaries
The recovery time is different for every woman who undergoes surgery to remove the appendages. It usually depends on your general physical condition, other medical conditions and mental attitude. While still in the hospital, you should start gentle gymnastics to prevent the formation of adhesions. The sooner we get out of bed, the better. But most of all, you should be patient. Sometimes it takes months for the body to get used to the new situation. Time spent on sick leavea woman should spend on improving her body. Usually, you can return to work after a few weeks, with sexual intercourse you have to wait about 6 weeks. During convalescence, you should especially take care of a proper diet that facilitates regular bowel movements. If the procedure was performed with a traditional incision (and not laparoscopic), it is worth wearing higher panties for the next year to make the abdomen return to normal.