Why Do Women Gain Weight After a Hysterectomy?

Hysterectomies are a common procedure for women experiencing certain health problems such as certain types of cancer and fibroid tumors. Depending on the purpose of the surgery, different types of hysterectomies may be recommended. Removal of the ovaries, uterus, the cervix or Fallopian tubes are possible in this procedure, the Mayo Clinic says. Often the type of hysterectomy affects whether the woman will be prone to weight gain following surgery.

Types

A total hysterectomy is a procedure in which the uterus and cervix are removed. A complete hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, ovaries and Fallopian tubes. A complete hysterectomy may be necessary for a woman with a serious illness such as cancer. This reduces the risk of the cancer spreading to other vital organs. After a complete hysterectomy, a woman immediately moves into menopause, sometimes referred to as surgical menopause, the University of Maryland Medical Center says.

Hormonal Imbalance

After undergoing a complete hysterectomy in which the ovaries are removed, you may gain notable weight because the body no longer produces estrogen and progesterone. The lack of these hormones in the female body increases the level of male hormones in the body. Men typically gain weight around the waist, which is why menopausal women are prone to excess weight around the abdomen.

Recovery

While recuperating from any type of major surgery, it's possible to gain weight due to a lack of physical activity. Recovery time varies between women and depends on age, type of procedure and physical condition. Once you're medically cleared for physical activity, consult your physician for the recommended types and amount of physical activity.

Prevention

In an effort to prevent excess weight gain after a hysterectomy, you should maintain a nutritious diet and begin a fitness regimen once recuperation is complete. A diet low in fat and high in fiber and nutrients is recommended to prevent weight gain. Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight as well. Consistent aerobic exercise and the implementation of strength training can help ensure the maintenance of a trim, healthy body.

Warning

Although you may experience different symptoms and effects following a complete hysterectomy, you can consult your physician regarding the possibility of hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy may lessen menopausal symptoms, but discuss possible side effects with your doctor. If any health complications arise from hormone therapy, consult your physician or health care provider immediately.

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