As you know, I had a hysterectomy back in November. Well, during this time, I learned a few things that no one ever told me about. Some of the things I experienced made me call my doctor just to make sure they didn’t take anything they didn’t need. My hysterectomy was removing my cervix and uterus; my ovaries were left behind. Here are 5 things no one tells you about having a hysterectomy….until now.
Hot Flashes, Night Sweats
During the first few days after my surgery, I had horrible hot flashes and night sweats. I woke up every morning soaking wet. I’ve never washed bed sheets so much before in all my life. It was cold here when I had my surgery but I wouldn’t have known it with the hot flashes. I would turn the thermostat down and walk around in shorts and a tank top. It was awful! I actually called my doctor to make sure they left my ovaries.
It wasn’t until I was about 8 weeks post-op when going to the bathroom wasn’t uncomfortable. Be very, very careful having a bowel movement during the first week or two. It’s very uncomfortable; almost painful. But, it does get better as the weeks pass. I wasn’t aware of any of this and I’ve had 2 c-sections. I was kind of expecting the uncomfortable urination because the doctor informed me that they would have to work with my bladder while they were in there. But, I had no idea what to expect when that catheter came out and I peed for the first time in the hospital. Shew!
Although I still have my ovaries, which didn’t throw me into menopause, I still experienced some symptoms, such as dryness. My doctor told me no sex for 8 weeks and I followed her directions – it was difficult but I did it. When it was time to get busy, I noticed that things weren’t working like they did before. It was very frustrating and confusing, considering that I still had my ovaries.
Oh yes, I still have PMS every month. The bloating, the acne breakouts, the mood swings, everything. But, the symptoms aren’t as severe as they once were. Now that I’m back into living a healthy lifestyle, I’ve noticed the weight gain. I just recently made this connection because I gained weight and my face broke out in the same week. I was like wtf?! It makes sense that I would still have these symptoms because I have my ovaries, but no one gave me a heads up about it.
Sex is Different
Sex is completely different for us now; not good or bad – just different. Part of me still believes it’s because I’m still nervous about it. I’m scared it’s going to hurt or rupture something. But, even without that worry, it’s still different for us. It feels different. Now, the doctor did tell me that vaginal shortening could happen, which is when the vaginal wall shortens as a result of surgery. She said that it could be resolved during physical therapy (don’t even get me started on how THAT would work) and it would also stretch the “more it was used”. Just picture the look on my face during this conversation. I’m telling you – it was priceless!
If you’re thinking about having a hysterectomy, it’s important to know what to expect before, during, and after. I’m now almost 3 months post-op and there’s no discomfort using the bathroom, my nervousness about sex is decreasing, and I believe it was the best decision I made for myself. The healing process itself wasn’t bad at all. I felt back to normal, for the most part, after 2 weeks. The first week I didn’t do anything or go anywhere without my pillow for protection. If I had to do it all over again, I’d make the same decision.