The process a woman goes through in order to have her uterus removed is called hysterectomy. This process is performed after other options of dealing with conditions like bleeding, uterine fibroids and endometriosis have failed. In some circumstances, hysterectomy is not a matter of choice. Take for instance conditions like severe loss of blood and aggressive forms of cancer(s) in the female genitals. The removal of the uterus can also be helpful in addressing uterine prolapse and chronic pain in the pelvic. It is important to observe that hysterectomy is categorized into three major types: total hysterectomy, partial, and radical.
In the case of total hysterectomy, the uterus and the cervix are removed, while in partial hysterectomy only the uterus is removed. On the other hand, the uterus and supportive features like the ovaries and the cervix get removed in the case of radical hysterectomy- especially in the event where cancer is consuming these organs.
Functions of the Uterus & Ovaries
The uterus and the ovaries have very distinct but interrelated functions in the lives of women, and we will take a look at each of them:
- The Uterus: The major function of the uterus is to play host to the fertilized egg. It is here that the fetus is taken care of, right from conception and through maturity, all the way to delivery. The structure in the uterus is also responsible for supporting the bowels and bladder, as well as directing the flow of blood to the pelvis. It is this blood flow that also finds its way to the vagina and clitoris, playing the major role of boosting orgasm in the uterus.
- The Ovaries: Ovaries are extremely significant as far as the production of eggs during the menstruation period each month, and reproductive hormones like oestrogen are concerned. The ovaries play host to millions of eggs at the birth of a baby girl, a number that gradually reduces* over time. The release of oestrogen and progesterone plays a role in preparing the uterus lining for conception process, should ovulation yield to pregnancy.
Whether or not to Have a Hysterectomy
The idea to have or not to have hysterectomy may be a matter of personal choice or a matter of medical concern to save life. A woman, who is still sexually active but do not wish to continue having children or rely upon other family planning methods, may opt for the total removal of the uterus, to continue deriving sexual pleasures without any fears.
On the other hand, women suffering from some medical conditions may be advised by their doctors to undergo any of the three types of hysterectomy, as the case may be. Remember, that this procedure may be necessitated by the presence of fibroids in the uterus, or severe and continuous cases of vaginal bleeding. A woman planning to go through this procedure must make an informed decision, in view of the long term implications and the possible side effects and/or risks thereof. It is very important to remember, that if your life is not in danger, there are alternatives to hysterectomy.
Reasons For a Hysterectomy or Alternatives
- For most people, hysterectomy or its alternatives are used to stop the possibility of becoming pregnant, by stopping the monthly flow of periods. In an effort to avoid the menopausal symptoms that come with this procedure, they may opt for natural methods or alternatives.
- This procedure is also undertaken by women who risk losing their lives because of excessive bleeding and fibroids, serious birth complications and severe infections.
- Spread of cancer in the entire reproductive system (vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and so on).
Benefits and Risks
- One is able to stop further pregnancies and the monthly cycles, hence plan for your life and your family with better focus.
- One can lead a fear free life from the possible dangers of other family planning methods failing
- One may not be able to run normal duties for the following weeks after surgery- at home or in the office
- With the removal of ovaries, one becomes exposed to menopausal symptoms, albeit prematurely
Take time to understand your physical condition, available options, and the possible risks, especially if it is not a matter of life and death.