5 Reasons to Consider a Hysterectomy

As the second most common surgical procedure in the United States, about 20 million American women have had hysterectomies, including about one-third of women over 60. But medical science is re-evaluating the frequency with which hysterectomies are performed. Women, too, are more proactive about their health, seeking second opinions or alternative treatments rather than simply accepting a single diagnosis.

However, there remain times when surgery is still the best course of action, even though it’s never a decision you should make lightly. The women’s health professionals at OBGYN Care can help guide you through your treatment options, including varied approaches if you decide hysterectomy is the best course of action. Here are five reasons why a hysterectomy may be your best option.

Fibroids

The most common reason for a hysterectomy has traditionally been uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths that contribute to pain and heavy bleeding. Uterine fibroids can be treated through less-invasive procedures than a hysterectomy, but they may regrow and continue to create issues. Hysterectomy can end uterine fibroids for good.

Cancer

Second behind fibroids as a key reason for a hysterectomy is cancer, accounting for about one in 10 surgeries. Cancer can affect the uterus itself, the uterine lining (the endometrium), the cervix, or the ovaries. If sufficiently advanced in any of these locations, a hysterectomy may be a treatment option. Some women elect to have a pre-emptive hysterectomy when they test positive for mutation of the BRCA gene, a predictive indicator for risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Hyperplasia

Another cause of heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding is hyperplasia, a thickening of the uterine lining, thought to be due to excess estrogen. For some women, hyperplasia may be a precancerous condition, and when this is suspected, a hysterectomy may be recommended to avoid the advance to cancer. Otherwise, hyperplasia can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Endometriosis

The lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, is a unique tissue that supports and nurtures a fertilized egg during pregnancy. If you have endometriosis, this tissue can, however, displace and grow in areas outside of the uterus. It continues to behave like normal endometrial tissue, thickening and bleeding through the menstrual cycle, even though it may not have an outlet from the body like normal tissue. It can be very painful and can lead to infertility. While there are other treatments, a hysterectomy may be a last resort when these fail.

Prolapse

Women who have had one or more vaginal deliveries may suffer damage to the muscles and connective tissue in their pelvis. Affected tissue may no longer support the uterus adequately, allowing it to slip down and prolapse into the vagina, causing sexual issues or even urinary problems. While many prolapse issues can be treated with more conservative approaches, in severe cases removing the uterus may be an option.

You can meet with our doctors at either location of the OBGYN Center to discuss your options, no matter what women’s health issue impacts your life. Call an office directly or use the online tools to request a personal consultation.  

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