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Hysterectomy

Complications, Sex After Hysterectomy, Recovery

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Updated September 14, 2009

Complications and sex after hysterectomy

Certain risks after any surgery are unavoidable; your risk of infection decreases with your physician's routine ordering of a round of antibiotics immediately following any type of surgery. Many women will experience urinary tract infections and the cutting of sensory nerves which can cause urinary incontinence. About 10% of women will require a blood transfusion due to pre- existing anemia.

Many women fear depression or other ]emotional changes following hysterectomy, but research shows no increase in depression occurs after hysterectomy. Some women are afraid they will lose their desire for sex, this too is untrue and your sex life should remain as pleasurable, if not more pleasurable once you are free of the cause of your hysterectomy. Removal of your ovaries may cause a decrease in sexual desire which can improve with the use of estrogen. If your ovaries remain intact you won't experience surgical menopause, although your doctor may prescribe hormonal treatment.

If vaginal dryness is a problem, your gynecologist may prescribe an estrogen cream or you should purchase one of the OTC products available such as K- Y jelly. The use of petroleum jelly is not recommended, as it can increase your risk of vaginal infection and may cause damage to condoms and diaphragms.

Pap smears after hysterectomy

It's still necessary to have regular pelvic examinations after hysterectomy; if you still have your cervix, you'll still need to have a pap smear. Your risk of vaginal cancer increases following hysterectomy and your gynecologist will need to look for any changes in your pelvic region. Regular yearly check ups should be sufficient to catch any cancer before it develops to a life- threatening stage.

Alternatives to hysterectomy

You and your health care provider should discuss possible alternative therapies which you might wish to try before choosing hysterectomy. Depending on your medical condition, drug treatments, D & C, or pelvic exercises are sometimes helpful. In the case of pre cancerous cells, Cone biopsy, cryosurgery, or laser therapy are some of the options available.

For many women, hysterectomy provides an enhanced sense of well- being and a chance to start a new life, free of the pain and symptoms which caused them to choose hysterectomy. Whatever method or option you choose, it's in your best interest to explore all the treatment options available for your particular condition before choosing hysterectomy.