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Symptoms After Postmenopausal Hysterectomy

author image Sydney Hornby, M.D.
Sydney Hornby specializes in metabolic disease and reproductive endocrinology. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he earned his M.D., and has worked for several years in academic medical research. Writing for publication since 1995, Hornby has had articles featured in "Medical Care," "Preventive Medicine" and "Medical Decision Making."
Symptoms After Postmenopausal Hysterectomy
A postmenopausal woman should increase her activity to avoid weight gain.

After having a postmenopausal hysterectomy, most women experience some symptoms. A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. A physician may perform a hysterectomy due to disease, chronic pain or uterine prolapse, which is the protrusion of the uterus through the vagina. In the United States, about 33 percent of women undergo a hysterectomy by age 60, according to 2010 information from the National Institutes of Health. Menopause is a natural occurrence in a woman’s life, during which the ovaries stop producing sexual hormones and menstruation ends.

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Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become brittle and more prone to breakage. Nearly 25 million postmenopausal women have osteoporosis, according to "The Woman's Guide to Hysterectomy" published in 2002. The significant drop in estrogen that accompanies a postmenopausal hysterectomy can cause osteoporosis; a broken wrist is often the first sign of the disease. During their postmenopausal years, about 40 percent of women will experience at least one broken bone related to osteoporosis, notes "The Woman's Guide to Hysterectomy."

Emotional Symptoms

Some women experience a strong emotional response to a postmenopausal hysterectomy. This is not uncommon. It may be due to a hormonal imbalance or, depending on a patient’s age, feelings of loss related to the end of childbearing years. Although some women feel better weeks after the surgery, other women become depressed and may require psychological counseling or hormone replacement therapy. Other women may experience feelings of relief thanks to the cessation of pain or other symptoms.

Low Sex Drive

After a postmenopausal hysterectomy, a woman may experience a decrease in her sex drive. In the March 2010 issue of “Sexuality and Disability,” Dr. Güliz Onat Bayram reports that this may be due to dyspareunia, or painful sexual intercourse, vaginal dryness and low libido. Every woman reacts differently. In fact, some women may enjoy having sex more following the surgery, thanks to the alleviation of pain or bleeding. Hormone replacement therapy and the use of vaginal lubricants can help increase sexual enjoyment.

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  • Medline Plus: Hysterectomy
  • "The Woman's Guide to Hysterectomy"; Adelaide Haas, Ph.D.; January 2002
  • "Sexuality and Disability"; Psychosexual Adaptation and Quality of Life After Hysterectomy; Güliz Onat Bayram, Ph.D.; March 2010
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