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How to Prepare for Surgical Menopause

Surgical menopause is a term used to describe a complete hysterectomy that removes the ovaries and uterus. It is a serious surgery, so it is important to prepare yourself well for it and understood the results that surgical menopause has.

How to Prepare for Surgical Menopause

Menopause signifies that a woman can no longer reproduce, will no longer have a monthly menstrual cycle, and has lower levels of sex hormones in her body. Women have surgical menopause for a variety of reasons, and hysterectomies are one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures.

How Can I Prepare for Surgical Menopause?

It can be difficult to prepare for surgery, but there are some steps you can take to make the time leading up to the surgery less stressful and make your recovery smoother.

1

Be informed

How to Prepare for Surgical Menopause

Many doctors and women's health advocates have spoken out and said that too many hysterectomies are performed, and for some women, the problems they cause do not outweigh the benefits. However, it is important to take your personal medical history and needs into account when choosing surgical menopause.

Surgical menopause differs from natural menopause because it happens abruptly. Usually, women begin to feel the impact of less estrogen in the body shortly after the surgery. This also causes menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.

2

Talk to your doctor about what to expect after surgery

How to Prepare for Surgical Menopause

It's essential to have a doctor with whom you can have honest conversations and who responds accurately and with empathy to your questions and concerns. It is a good idea to write up a list of any questions or concerns you have about the surgery before you talk to your doctor in order to make sure you get the information you need and all your questions are answered.

3

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Regularly exercising and eating healthy will help you be mentally and physically stronger. Many women are also prescribed hormone replacement therapy after the surgery, which can help combat menopause symptoms.

4

Get the help you need during recovery

You will need help lifting heavy objects, and you may need someone to give you a ride because you may not be able to drive home. It is important to have a support system in place to help you physically and to support you emotionally after your surgery.

5

Talk to the women in your life

Talking to other women who have undergone surgical menopause can help answer your questions and provide you with a support network. Talking to your mother, sisters, aunts, and other female relatives can also help you learn how the women in your family experienced menopause.

Making a Choice That's Right for You

It is important that you make the decisions that are best for you and that you have a support system in place to help you prepare for and recover from the surgery. Support groups also exist for women who have experienced or are going to experience surgical menopause. Click on the following link to learn how to treat menopause symptoms.

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Sources:
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012). Abdominal Hysterectomy. Retrieved October 29, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/abdominal-hysterectomy/basics/how-you-prepare/prc-20020767
  • National Health Service UK. (2014). Things to consider before having a hysterectomy. Retrieved October 29, 2015, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hysterectomy/Pages/Considerations.aspx