A total hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which a woman’s reproductive organs, including her uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, are removed. A partial hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which only the uterus is removed and the ovaries are left intact. Removal of the ovaries, also known as oophorectomy, is often done together with removal of the uterus to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer and minimize the risk of other complications. Hysterectomies are the second most common surgery in women, after cesarean sections. One in three women in the United States has a hysterectomy by the age of 60.
Menopause will occur after surgical removal of the ovaries, which occurs after a total hysterectomy. The ovaries are the main source of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone production in the female body. Removal of the ovaries results in a drastic decline in these hormones. This disruption of a woman’s hormone levels results in many unpleasant menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, decreased energy, fatigue, decreased sex drive, weight gain, bloating, decreased concentration, worsening memory, difficulty sleeping, depressed mood and joint aches.
Surgical menopause symptoms are the same as menopausal symptoms but are often more sudden and intense. There are also increased health risks such as increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates that 400,000 hysterectomies are unnecessarily performed each year. We agree. We have found that many women can avoid an unnecessary hysterectomy by starting bioidentical hormone replacement therapy combined with proper nutrition, nutritional supplements, regular exercise and stress reduction.
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