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Hysterectomy and pelvic floor

10, February | No comments
Hysterectomy  pelvic floor

Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus that requires hospitalization and rest. Fallopian tubes and ovaries might also remove. It is a common surgery which usually affect to the pelvic floor causing some side effects.

 

Different types of hysterectomies

 

Total hysterectomy; It removes the uterus and the cervix

Subtotal or partial hysterectomy: It removes the upper part of the uterus so the cervix left in place.

Radical hysterectomy: It removes the uterus, cervix, the tissues and the upper part of the vagina. This surgery is normally used with certain types of cancer.

 

After a hysterectomy: Side effects and pelvic floor

 

Most women are misinformed so after a hysterectomy surgery they can find themselves in an unexpected situation, causing some psychological problems. Therefore it is wise to talk with your doctor and your partner in order to get ready.

Pelvic organs are formed by the bladder, the rectum and the uterus; with a hysterectomy, the uterus is removed so the pelvic floor will be affected.  Consequences can be both physical and psychological consequently it is fundamental to get well informed. Although we must say every women is different so you do not have to suffer each and every consequence.

 

These are some physical consequences you may experience such as:

 

Menopause:  If your ovaries are removed, your period will stop and you will go through the menopause and may have menopausal symptoms. If your keep your ovaries, you should not go through menopause but probably enter the menopause prematurely.

 

Infertility: With a hysterectomy, you will stop getting your period together with the possibilities of getting pregnant.

 

Vaginal prolapse:  Internal pelvic organs may decline and fall after surgery. Check with your doctor to seek a treatment.

Urinary incontinence: After a hysterectomy, the pelvic floor will be weak causing urinary or/and fecal incontinence. In order to avoid or treat this problem, we recommend you to exercise your pelvic floor.

Constipation: It is one of the most common consequences after a hysterectomy.

It is also important to know how sexual relationships can be affected. Your doctor will let you know when your body is recovered and ready for sexual intercourse. In general, you should wait for around 6 to 8 weeks after surgery and take into account that it is normal to experience pain or dyspaurenia  at the beginning.

 

Vaginal dryness: Ovaries produce estrogens whom lubricate vaginal walls in such a way your ovaries are removed, there could be a hormone imbalance due to a decline in estrogen levels causing vaginal dryness and pain intercourses. Using ovules or water based lubricants will help you to combat that dryness.

 

Sex drive: After a hysterectomy, you may experience some hormonal changes and feel less womanly so you have less interest in sex. However, most women recover her sexual life in less than a year.

 

Psychological consequences: Some women feel sadness or anxiety when they find themselves in this situation.  Sometimes it is helpful to focus in the recovery, getting some exercise and talk about it openly with your partner of friends.

 

Rehabilitation

 

Before surgery you can do some exercises to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles, abdomen and back which will help you to make the rehabilitation easier.

 

When should I start?

Each case is different, so we recommend you to check with your doctor or physiotherapist in order to seek a personalize rehabilitation. In general, you have to wait to close the wound and it has passed a period of rest.

It would be great if you can exercise your pelvic floor before surgery to prepare your pelvic muscles.

 

How to exercise your pelvic floor?

There are different ways to exercise your pelvic floor.

Kegel exercise and stomach vacuum exercises   strengthen the pelvic floor and they treat incontinence, prolapsed and improve sexual pleasure. If these exercises are done correctly, they are quite effective, consequently if you are not sure how to exercise your pelvic floor, do them under supervision.

You can also strength your pelvic floor muscles in a easy and progressive way with training balls and cones http://www.sumsa.es/en/blog/Posts/show/pelvic-floor-balls-and-cones-for-pelvic-training-514 or with electrostimulators.

 

Before choosing one or another, it is important to check with a professional as he/she will recommend you the exercises that best suit you.

 

 

The purpose of this post is purely informative. It does not replace a medical consultation.

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