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Having A Hysterectomy And The Onset Of Early Menopause — an article on the Smart Living Network
October 22, 2007 at 9:46 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Having A Hysterectomy And The Onset Of Early Menopause

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Hysterectomy

Sometimes it is necessary for a woman to have a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is the removal of all or part of the female reproductive organs. Depending on your individual conditions, the scope of the surgery will vary. Hysterectomies can include:
  • Removal of the uterus
  • Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • Removal of the cervix
  • Removal of part of the vagina
  • Removal of other surrounding tissues that may be affected
Some conditions that necessitate a hysterectomy can be:
  • Uterine/cervical/ovarian cancer
  • Severe endometriosis
  • Large and pervasive fibroids
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Heavy, abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Chronic pelvic pain
There are two methods of performing a hysterectomy:

Vaginal incision

The doctor makes an incision around your cervix and removes your uterus through this incision. Sometimes laparoscopy is employed so that the doctor can see the inside of your abdominal cavity.
  • Advantages: no external scarring, less discomfort, and a shorter recovery time
  • Disadvantages: more difficult to perform if there are large tumors or if the uterus is enlarged. The doctor has less operating space

Abdominal incision

The doctor will make an incision in your abdomen to perform your hysterectomy.
  • Advantages: the doctor can see your pelvic organs and has more room to operate
  • Disadvantages: this surgery requires a longer hospital stay and causes more discomfort than a vaginal incision. Abdominal incisions also leave large, visible scars.

Hysterectomy and Menopause

Menopause is a natural condition that normally appears in a woman's mid-forties to mid-fifties, when her ovaries stop ovulating and her body produces less estrogen. Hysterectomies often cause early-onset menopause. Depending on the type of hysterectomy, the severity will vary. Removal of just the uterus will cause menopause to appear 2-3 years earlier than normal, while the removal of both ovaries will abruptly trigger the onset of menopause. Fortunately there are many treatments available for natural menopause that also work for hysterectomy-induced early-onset menopause.

Treatments for Menopause

The two most common conventional treatments for menopause are Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and antidepressants. Hormone Replacement Therapy works by replacing the hormone estrogen that has been lost with another source of estrogen. These sources can include:
  • Plant sources
  • Synthetic sources
  • Animal sources
Unfortunately, HRT has negative side effects, including but not limited to:
  • Breast cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
Antidepressants are also commonly prescribed for women with menopause. These can help, but have adverse side effects. Many of these side effects are similar to the negative symptoms of menopause:
  • Headache
  • Sexual problems
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disruption
Many women do not want to experience the unpleasant and common side effects from HRT and antidepressant use. Many have turned to natural herbal remedies to alleviate their menopausal symptoms without negative side effects. An added benefit of herbal remedies is that their cost compared with prescription drugs is considerably more affordable. Sources http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hysterectomy/AN01430 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hysterectomy/HQ00905

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