Each year, nearly 500,000 U.S. women undergo hysterectomies. Women face the decision to get their uterus and other reproductive organs removed for several reasons. Despite how common these procedures are, the decision can take a heavy toll on your emotions.
This surgery saves lives, and with the right emotional and physical support, you can heal quickly and live a more enjoyable life once you’re free from the pain and discomfort you experienced. We’ll shed light on the different types of hysterectomies and uncover common misconceptions about life after the procedure, to help you maintain your intimate care and health.
What Are the Three Types of Hysterectomies?
A hysterectomy is the removal of all or part of the uterus. Your body will change after this procedure, depending on the type of surgery you have. The three types of hysterectomy are:
Partial or Supracervical Hysterectomy
This type of hysterectomy removes a minimal amount of the upper uterus while the cervix is left in place. This is a less-invasive form of hysterectomy to support recovery from sexual dysfunction. It is not recommended to treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, or abnormal uterine bleeding.
This is the most common type of hysterectomy, which removes the entire uterus and cervix. It effectively treats abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, and uterine fibroids. It’s most often recommended after other treatment options have not been successful. Women may choose to get a full hysterectomy to prevent the development of uterine cancer.
This hysterectomy removes all of the uterus, the cervix, the upper portion of the vagina, and surrounding tissue. It is the most extensive procedure and is typically performed to treat gynecologic cancers.
Under certain circumstances, the surgeon may also remove your ovaries or fallopian tubes.
Will I Still Enjoy Sex After a Hysterectomy?
Though your body needs time to heal after surgery, you can return to an everyday, healthy sex life when time permits. Depending on the type of surgery you have, a hysterectomy can change how you experience sex.
Your body uniquely receives pleasure. Women who experienced pleasure when pressure was applied against the cervix and contractions of the uterus may need to find new ways of enjoying sex. Sex and pleasure aren’t just about vaginal penetration. This is a great opportunity to explore different types of pleasure and find new erogenous zones.
Despite these changes, many women like sex more after a hysterectomy. Many women experienced pain, discomfort, and fear of sex due to medical conditions that led to the hysterectomy in the first place.
Once the pain and discomfort are gone, many women desire sex more frequently, experience more orgasms, and no longer have painful intercourse.
Will a Hysterectomy Cure My Reproductive Issues?
Though a hysterectomy can resolve and cure many reproductive issues, it is not a cure for endometriosis. Hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries is typically a last resort for endometriosis, and most surgeons opt to preserve as much of the uterus as possible. If you’re considering a hysterectomy to treat endometriosis, it’s essential to consider other options seriously.
Will I Experience Menopause After a Hysterectomy?
You won’t have a period or get pregnant after a hysterectomy. But removing your uterus doesn’t mean you stop producing reproductive hormones. If you have a hysterectomy and do not remove your ovaries, you will start menopause. You may naturally begin menopause shortly after a hysterectomy depending on your age, genetics, and other factors — but it is not directly related to the surgery itself.
If you have a hysterectomy that removes your ovaries, you may want to consider HRT to relieve menopausal symptoms. Talk with your healthcare provider about options, and carefully weigh the pros and cons of taking estrogen supplements.
As a menopausal health resource, Joylux offers solutions to menopause-related effects, with both our intimate care product lines as well as our women’s health resource, to help you feel more comfortable throughout your journey.
How Will a Hysterectomy Affect My Emotions?
Every woman goes through different waves of emotions after a hysterectomy. Many women are surprised by the emotional experience even if they were well-prepared for what to expect. Even if you aren’t planning on having children during this time, surgery can be emotionally traumatizing for some.
You may experience normal ups and downs, as with any surgery. But some women experience severe depression and grief. It’s important to seek counseling if you are struggling emotionally to recover after your procedure.