How to Maintain Normalcy After a Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy refers to the surgical removal of the uterus. It is a commonly performed procedure and is often recommended to women suffering from heavy uterine bleeding and cancers of the cervix, uterus, and endometrium. If the woman gets her ovaries removed at the same time as a hysterectomy, intrusive post-operative symptoms may occur.

Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy

When women undergo hysterectomies and ovary removal, they enter surgical menopause. This can lead to sudden and severe hot flashes and night sweats. The ovaries produce the hormone estrogen, which helps regulate body temperature. When estrogen production is abruptly cut off, the body has a hard time regulating its temperature.

Hormone replacement therapy or HRT, replenishes estrogen stores so that hot flashes are kept at bay. While HRT is often very effective in treating hot flashes and night sweats, women who have personal or family histories of gynecological cancers may not be candidates for this type therapy after a hysterectomy. Breast, uterine, and endometrial cancers are often fueled by estrogen, and because of this, estrogen replacement may pose a heightened risk for cancer in these women.

Increase Exercise

Hysterectomy can sometimes lead to low energy levels and fatigue. Increasing exercise can help improve stamina and prevent excessive tiredness. It can also help prevent menopausal weight gain, while reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels, which can sometimes rise after natural or surgical menopause.

Stay Hydrated

Skin texture is commonly affected after hysterectomy. This can result in increased wrinkling, dryness, and itching. Drinking plenty of water helps skin retain moisture so that is feels less tight and looks smoother. Staying hydrated also helps prevent dry mouth and dry eye syndrome which can also occur during the menopausal years and after hysterectomy. In addition to drinking plenty of non-caffeinated fluids, keeping the skin hydrated with a high-quality lotion can also help lock in moisture.

Consider A Personal Lubricant

Vaginal atrophy often develops after hysterectomy and ovary removal as a result of decreased circulating estrogen levels. This causes vaginal tissues to become dry and irritated which can lead to soreness and bleeding. A personal lubricant can help restore moisture to the lining of the vaginal walls and can often help repair damaged tissues. Sometimes, however, over-the-counter personal lubricants fail to improve symptoms of vaginal atrophy. In these cases, the physician can recommend a hormone-based vaginal preparation to help eliminate discomfort and bleeding.

How to Maintain Normalcy After a Hysterectomy: ""
Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "How to Maintain Normalcy After a Hysterectomy," in PsychologyDictionary.org, February 21, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-maintain-normalcy-after-a-hysterectomy/ (accessed October 22, 2017).
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