Approximately 600,000 women have hysterectomies each year in the United States, which effectively puts an end to their reproduction capabilities. This procedure, however, can also put an end to several painful and quality-of-life gynecologic issues, making the decision an easy one.
At Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Fernando Otero and our team of women’s health experts understand the reproductive health issues that may be improved by a hysterectomy. Still, this procedure involves surgery and the removal of organs, so it should be carefully considered.
Here’s what you should think about when considering a hysterectomy.
The common reasons for hysterectomy
To give you an idea of why so many women turn to a hysterectomy, here are the most common drivers:
- Problematic uterine fibroids
- Uterine prolapse
- Abnormal bleeding
The last item on this list represents both a standalone problem and a symptom of many of the conditions that drive women to a hysterectomy. When we say abnormal bleeding, this is a catchall term for heavy bleeding, painful periods, and prolonged bleeding.
In many cases, we can pinpoint the cause of abnormal bleeding, such as endometriosis, while in others there may be no identifiable source for the problem.
Why a hysterectomy?
One of the first things we always tell our patients is that a hysterectomy is a viable and effective option, but only after we’ve exhausted other treatment avenues.
For example, if you have problematic uterine fibroids, we first try to halt their formation and shrink existing fibroids through noninvasive methods like hormone treatments. As well, if you’re close to menopause, this transition usually resolves fibroids.
If you’re years off from menopause and noninvasive treatments prove ineffective, however, then you may want to consider a hysterectomy.
The same holds true for endometriosis, which is one of the more common reasons why women seek a hysterectomy. If we’ve tried everything to control your abnormal bleeding and other symptoms, to no avail, then we may recommend a uterine ablation or a hysterectomy.
As you can see by these examples, whether or not you should consider a hysterectomy depends on a number of factors, including the condition you’re trying to target, your age, and whether your issue has proven treatment resistant.
Other factors to consider
Another important point to consider is your health. If you’re in great health, surgery of this sort can be an effective weapon against what ails you. Conversely, if you’re struggling with another health problem, like a cardiovascular issue, we may not want to put your body through this type of procedure.
Even though we use minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible, it’s still surgery, which comes with some risk.
The bottom line is that every woman’s situation is unique. To answer the question posed in the title of this blog about whether you should consider a hysterectomy, our answer is that we should sit down with you and figure out your options, plugging in all of the factors we described above.
To get started, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to set up a consultation. You can call us, or use the “request appointment” button to choose a day and time.