What are the most common hysterectomy side effects?

There are several common hysterectomy side effects that patients can expect to experience depending on age, general health, and the type of surgery. Those women who were still menstruating before the hysterectomy will no longer menstruate and will not be able to get pregnant. The loss of the ability to have children can also lead to depression. Menopause can begin immediately after surgery or at a younger than typical age. Several weeks of light vaginal bleeding is another known side effect of hysterectomy.

Women who have a hysterectomy will experience light vaginal bleeding or drainage for a few days after the procedure. Sanitary pads can be used to absorb any discharge. The doctor should be informed if the bleeding is unusually heavy.

Menstrual periods end after a hysterectomy. The bleeding will stop, but the hormonal changes a patient experiences as part of her menstrual cycle will persist if only the uterus is removed. If the ovaries are not removed, the hormonal changes experienced before surgery will continue unabated.

Infertility is one of several side effects of hysterectomy. As the hysterectomy removes the uterus and possibly the cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, the patient will no longer be able to have children. In some cases, this can lead to depression. Women who want to get pregnant can consider alternatives to a hysterectomy if possible.

An additional side effect of hysterectomy surgery is the onset of menopause. Menopause begins almost immediately for those patients who have their uteruses and ovaries removed. An earlier than typical onset of menopause is still possible in patients who kept their ovaries. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.

A minority of women may experience additional hysterectomy side effects. Weight gain, as well as fatigue and constipation, have been reported. Some patients have also experienced pelvic discomfort or phantom pain after surgery. Urinary incontinence is a potential side effect of hysterectomy that typically manifests decades after the initial procedure.

Depending on the situation, a doctor may choose one of several types of hysterectomy surgery. A partial surgery only removes the uterus, while a total hysterectomy removes the cervix and uterus. A total hysterectomy may also involve removal of the uterus and cervix, as well as the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

In addition to the common side effects of hysterectomy, the surgery has risks similar to other medical procedures. Infections, organ damage, and blood clots are risks associated with hysterectomy surgery. Several weeks of rest will be necessary for the patient, who should not lift anything heavy and refrain from sexual activity while recovering.

Go up