Getting a hysterectomy is sometimes a critically needed step, but it is a major surgery and comes with all the associated risks and recovery.
Many people find that having a hysterectomy has a big impact on their bodies afterward.
There are a number of treatments, however, that can help you to better manage life afterwards, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy treatments in Toronto.
Let’s talk more about what happens during a hysterectomy, and what naturopathic support is available for you after your surgery.
What Is A Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is when you have your uterus – your womb – removed.
There are many reasons for someone to have a hysterectomy, which I’ll cover below, but the result is that after a hysterectomy, you will no longer have your period, and you can no longer become pregnant.
There are different types of hysterectomy, depending on the reason for the surgery.
Different Types Of Hysterectomies
A total hysterectomy is the most common, and removes the entirety of your uterus, including the cervix.
Your ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not be included, depending on needs.
In a partial hysterectomy, only the upper part of your uterus is removed, and the cervix is still left.
This is sometimes called a ‘subtotal’ or ‘supracervical’ hysterectomy.
Lastly, a radical hysterectomy removes pretty much everything: the uterus, cervix, tissue from both sides of the cervix, plus the top part of your vaginal canal.
Why Might I Need A Hysterectomy?
The main reason for a radical hysterectomy is due to cancer of the cervix, endometrium, ovary, or uterus.
Other reasons for a hysterectomy include:
- Uterine Fibroids
- Uterine prolapse
- Vaginal bleeding that is heavy or unusual
Does A Hysterectomy Trigger Menopause?
The short answer: not necessarily, but it depends on what kind of hysterectomy you get.
If you have a hysterectomy but don’t have your ovaries removed, they could continue to make enough hormones to hold off the major effects of menopause.
However, in these cases, patients do tend to see the onset of menopause slightly earlier than the average.
If your ovaries are removed, such as during a radical hysterectomy, then you will likely see the onset of menopausal symptoms immediately, skipping over perimenopause entirely.
In some cases, menopause after a radical hysterectomy can have stronger symptoms than a regular menopause.
Remember that everyone who has a hysterectomy will cease getting their period and will not be able to become pregnant any more.
What Sort Of Changes Might I Experience After A Hysterectomy?
Although the concept of early menopause might seem like a reason to avoid a hysterectomy at all costs, it’s a major surgery that wouldn’t be entered into without good reason.
Whatever the reason for the hysterectomy, you should see relief from those symptoms post-surgery.
However, in the interests of full disclosure, there can be other impacts; here are a few, below.
There can be a change in sex drive and you may need lubricants to safeguard against vaginal dryness.
Some experience a sense of loss for their fertility and childbearing years; this can happen to women who go through menopause naturally, also.
Will A Hysterectomy Interfere With Sex?
Once again, there are two sides to the coin.
You will likely experience vaginal dryness, due to the significant change in hormones, and it could even affect your interest in sex.
However, if you’ve been experiencing heavy bleeding or pain, and this is the reason for the hysterectomy, then you might find that your sex life actually improves.
The primary takeaway here is that negative symptoms can be mitigated – speak to your naturopathic doctor to find out more.
Naturopathic Solutions For Support After Hysterectomy
As a naturopathic clinic, one of our areas of clinical focus is treatment for hormone imbalances.
Of course, not everything about a hysterectomy is hormone-related, either; both of these factors go into every consultation with a hysterectomy patient.
1. Give Your Body What It Needs To Recover
Helping your body to heal after a surgery – any surgery, in fact – can be managed through some serious attention to nutrition.
This is no time to be relying on fast food and quick-fixes; you need a varied, nutritious diet – especially in your first few weeks post-surgery.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s from a surgery or an accident – healing wounds requires a good deal more cellular activity and growth than usual, and this is fueled by an increased demand for nutrients.
Here are some of the nutrients frequently incorporated in post-surgery recovery, for their various beneficial uses:
- Vitamin A
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
2. Manage Your Hormones
Luckily, there is a great deal of knowledge surrounding reproductive hormones, and options to help you, such as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
After a hysterectomy, you need to ensure your estrogen and progesterone are back in a healthy balance.
If not, we can replace some of those hormones with bioidentical hormones.
This treatment is sometimes referred to as BHRT.
The major benefits of BHRT is that it’s a more natural solution than HRT, thus avoiding some of the nastier conditions associated with it.
3. Manage Your Menopausal Symptoms
Menopause will be a part of life for anyone who menstruates; it is inevitable.
Menopausal symptoms reflect your body’s hormone levels adjusting, can sometimes be severe, and can often be frustrating.
However, there are ways to manage most of them, at least to some degree.
Using a combination of nutrition, lifestyle, supplements, and other therapies, we can work together to reduce the impact of symptoms on your life.
4. Get Enough Calcium & Magnesium
A good deal of research has been done into calcium and magnesium after a hysterectomy.
Everyone knows that calcium is a go-to to build and strengthen bones.
Once hormones cease production, though, it makes you more prone to osteoporosis, and calcium is recommended.
Magnesium is also affected; in fact, this medical study tracked and proved that after hysterectomies, women experience dysregulated levels of magnesium and calcium.
These are likely hormone-related, which is why we make sure to check them after your uterus and ovaries have been removed.
Book An Appointment With Annex Naturopathic
There’s a lot to consider when you’ve got a hysterectomy on the horizon.
Have you prepared?
Do you have a game plan for not just your recovery period, but for post-recovery?
A lot is about to change, but expert medical health is here to focus on your symptoms and get you through.
Call now and book your appointment at Annex Naturopathic, and let’s explore your options.
Yours in Health,
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND