This article is sponsored by The Center for Innovative GYN Care
May is Hysterectomy Awareness Month
Despite fears of what life will be like after a hysterectomy, for many women intimacy actually improves. In a recent survey, 59 percent of women polled feared sex would be less enjoyable after a hysterectomy. Sixty-one percent of women were worried that they would feel differently to a partner after a hysterectomy.
But across the board, the actual experience has been demonstrated to be the exact opposite. The National Institute of Health conducted studies of women after having a hysterectomy and the results show no negative affect on sex drive, self-image, or sexual satisfaction with partner. In fact, in many cases, the opposite was true. The causes for this vary, but for many women, the conditions that exist that warranted hysterectomy may have affected arousal or interest in sex. Treating the condition can help women become more active and get back to living their lives, including enjoying intimacy.
“Complex conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis or fibroids can cause pain for women during sex,” said Natalya Danilyants, MD. “For many women with these conditions who are past childbearing or who do not want children, a laparoscopic hysterectomy can relieve the symptoms of the condition and in turn, restore a woman’s confidence. The pain or bleeding that comes with these conditions can lower a woman’s interest in intimacy. Once the source of the pain or bleeding is resolved, confidence often is restored, which has a huge impact on a woman’s self-esteem and libido.”
UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF HORMONES
The average age for a hysterectomy in the United States is 42, which is about 10 years younger than the average age of the onset of menopause. In many cases of hysterectomy, if the ovaries can safely be left intact, a woman will progress through menopause naturally. Menopause (occurs naturally or surgically by having the ovaries removed) will affect the hormones that influence a woman’s sex drive. How it affects each woman is different, and some women find that hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of menopause, while others can manage with life-style changes.
Every woman is different, and choosing hormone replacement therapy should be managed by an expert. Women who have had their uterus removed can benefit from estrogen therapy, which is the safer of the two options. Women who retain their uterus must have combination therapy, which has a higher risk associated with developing endometrial cancer.
FIND A LAPAROSCOPIC HYSTERECTOMY SPECIALIST WHO WILL WORK WITH YOU
The emotional and physical changes after a hysterectomy can be easier to adjust to if women know what to expect, and are able to ask informed questions. Second opinions are expected with this type of surgery and different surgeons can provide additional insight to the condition or the procedure.
“Many of our patients have come to us after second or third opinions because what they hear doesn’t sound right, or they aren’t getting the answers they need,” said Paul MacKoul, MD. “Taking the time to fully explain the patient’s specific condition with a personalized drawing helps them to visualize and understand exactly why the surgery was recommended, and from our perspective, how the CIGC techniques can make the surgical experience less traumatic. Many of the women who come to us are facing open surgeries, and that’s not necessary if a patient finds a true specialist.”
Knowing what to ask, and what you want will also help you find the right person to perform your surgery and manage any additional therapy that may be needed.
“More than 600,000 women will face having a hysterectomy according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control, and too many of those will be performed as painful open procedures,” said Rupen Baxi, MD. “During Hysterectomy Awareness Month, it’s a perfect time to help women understand that their options have vastly improved and that open procedures are almost always offered as a result of the surgeon’s skill, not the patient’s condition, which is why it’s so important to ask questions and get multiple opinions.”
The DualPortGYN technique for hysterectomy was developed by the minimally invasive GYN surgeons at The Center for Innovative GYN Care and is used exclusively by CIGC-trained specialists. DualPortGYN uses two 5mm incisions, one at the bikini line and one at the belly button. Most hysterectomy procedures are completed in under an hour, and patient recovery is about a week.
CIGC is dedicated to providing information and materials for women to help navigate the complicated healthcare system. CIGC minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD developed their advanced GYN surgical techniques using only two small incisions with patients’ well-being in mind. Dr. Rupen Baxi, MD is a CIGC-trained minimally invasive GYN specialist with extensive fellowship training and a respected speaker and researcher. Book a consultation at The Center for Innovative GYN Care or call 888-787-4379.