Menstrual Symptoms After a Hysterectomy

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Menstrual Symptoms After a Hysterectomy
Menstrual Symptoms After a Hysterectomy (Image: Sanja Gjenero: sxc.hu)

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman's uterus. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, hysterectomy is the second most common major surgery performed on women of child-bearing age. A hysterectomy will stop your periods. If your ovaries are left in place, however, you may still experience the symptoms that previously accompanied your menstrual cycle.

Normal Menstrual Cycle

According to Planned Parenthood, at the beginning of your menstrual cycle your ovaries release hormones that cause the lining of the uterus to thicken. About halfway through your cycle, one of your ovaries releases an egg that then travels through the fallopian tube toward your uterus. If pregnancy occurs, the fertilized egg will be nourished by the thick uterine lining. If fertilization does not occur, the lining is shed at the end of your cycle.

End of Periods

As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states, you will no longer get your period after you have a hysterectomy. Since your period is the shedding of the uterine lining, your period cannot occur after your uterus has been removed. Having your uterus removed also means you will be unable to get pregnant.

Other Symptoms of Menstruation

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if your ovaries are not removed during your hysterectomy, your body will continue to ovulate every month and will keep producing the hormones that normally accompany menstruation even though bleeding can no longer occur. As a result, some women may still experience symptoms of menstruation such as bloating or mood swings, as the Cleveland Clinic reports. According to the Yale-New Haven Hospital, theoretically all women should continue to experience menstrual symptoms such as PMS if the ovaries are left in place, since such symptoms mainly originate from the ovaries and not the uterus. Some women, however, stop experiencing PMS after a hysterectomy.

Removal of Ovaries

According to the Cleveland Clinic, if your ovaries are removed during your hysterectomy, a procedure known as a bilateral salpingooophorectomy, you will no longer experience any menstruation-related symptoms. In premenopausal women, removal of the ovaries will bring on menopause since your body no longer has the ability to produce reproductive hormones.

Vaginal Bleeding After Surgery

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is normal to experience vaginal bleeding in the first four to six weeks after a hysterectomy. Bleeding should be light. If bleeding resembles a menstrual period or lasts more than six weeks, contact your doctor.

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