The symptoms you experience after a hysterectomy surgery depend on whether your ovaries were removed during the operation. Although some symptoms are common to all hysterectomy patients, women who have also had their ovaries removed often have to cope with another round of side effects. For all of the symptoms, both physical and emotional, there are treatment options available to mitigate the discomfort.
One of the most common complaints after a hysterectomy is pain. You may experience pelvic pain at the surgical site, as well as pain during sexual intercourse. The severity of the pain experienced is different from woman to woman. Over the counter painkillers may be enough to help you manage the discomfort, or if the pain is too severe, your doctor will prescribe painkillers for you.
Vaginal bleeding is also common post-surgery. The bleeding may be light spotting or it may be heavier, similar to a period flow. Sexual intercourse may make the bleeding worse right after surgery. If the bleeding is intrusive or if you bleeding heavily, your doctor may prescribe medication to ease this symptom.
After surgery, you have an increased risk for vaginal infections, from bacterial infections to yeast infections. If you experience unusual odor, discharge or itching, let your doctor know so that he or she can diagnose and treat any infections you may have developed.
Symptoms after Ovary Removal
When the ovaries are removed during a hysterectomy, which usually happens in the case of hysterectomy because of cancer or endometriosis, women experience menopause-like symptoms. The ovaries produce hormones, and without them, the drop in hormone levels can lead to hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and night sweats. Hormone replacement therapy is often prescribed after the ovaries are removed to lessen the impact of these symptoms.
Since ovary removal causes a sudden and dramatic drop in hormone levels, unlike natural menopause when they decrease over time, these symptoms can be severe at first. Your doctor may also recommend natural treatments, such as a healthy diet rich in soy, to further deal with these symptoms.
Many women experience a period of mourning after a hysterectomy. Some worry that they have lost their womanhood while others worry that their partners will not see them the same way. When the hysterectomy happens during childbearing years, the emotional toll can be even higher. Discuss your feelings with your doctor, who can advise you on everything from your options for becoming a parent post-surgery to support groups in your area for women who have had hysterectomies.