If you or a loved one has been advised by a doctor that a hysterectomy may be necessary to treat a medical problem, you may be wondering, “When are hysterectomies recommended?” Although hysterectomies aren’t usually the first treatment option presented to patients, they are used to treat a variety of ailments.
Sometimes hysterectomies are necessary to treat gynecological cancers that don’t respond to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. A hysterectomy is an option for the treatment of uterine, cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.
Fibroid tumors are benign uterine tumors that may cause heavy bleeding, persistent pain, and pain during intercourse, anemia, and pressure on the bladder. Although there are other medical and surgical options to treat fibroids, if a woman doesn’t want children or has already gone through menopause, a hysterectomy is a guaranteed way to permanently treat fibroid tumors.
Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or in other abdominal or pelvic regions. Symptoms of endometriosis include severe menstrual pain, chronic pelvic and back pain, and bleeding between periods. If other medical and surgical options don’t provide relief, a hysterectomy may be indicated.
If the tissues and ligaments that hold the uterus in place weaken or stretch, it’s possible for the uterus to slip from its natural position down into the vagina. This condition is called a uterine prolapse. It can cause incontinence, difficultly with bowel movement, and pressure on the pelvis. A hysterectomy is recommended if other treatment methods don’t work.
Adenomyosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus begins to grown into the wall of the uterus, causing extreme pain. Although it can sometimes be treated with either anti-inflammatory drugs or hormone therapy, if a woman is past her childbearing years or doesn’t want to have any more children, a hysterectomy is often the best treatment option.
Chronic Pelvic Pain or Bleeding
A number of conditions can cause chronic pelvic pain or bleeding. While a hysterectomy will generally cause the symptoms to go away, doctors will consider a number of factors, including the cause of the symptoms, the woman’s age and desire for children, and the other treatment options available before advising a patient that a hysterectomy is the best treatment option for her condition.
“Abdominal hysterectomy – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hysterectomy/MY00163.
“Adenomyosis: Treatments and drugs – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/Adenomyosis/DS00636/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs.