It is a common misconception that a hysterectomy can help millions of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Ovaries are involved in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the source of excess androgens and the associated frustrating and undesirable symptoms.
Taking away the ovaries would seem to be the obvious solution to PCOS. But we know so much more about PCOS than just how it affects the ovaries and how it changes as a person ages. The hormonal effects of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can persist in women even after ovaries have been surgically removed, as will be discussed below for PCOS women considering a hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy and PCOS
Complete removal of the uterus and cervix necessitates major surgery known as a total hysterectomy. A hysterectomy may also involve the removal of the uterus, ovaries, and/or Fallopian tubes.
Partially removing the uterus while leaving the cervix in place is called a hysterectomy. There is typically a six-week recuperation period following either a laparoscopic or open abdominal procedure.
To eliminate the possibility of having children, a hysterectomy is a choice made by some women. A hysterectomy could be done at the time of the cesarean section (C-Section).
However, if you have fibroids, severe endometriosis, extremely heavy periods, severe pelvic discomfort, or uterine prolapse, or if you have cancer of the reproductive organs, a hysterectomy may be medically necessary (uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, or ovaries).
Is Hysterectomy a Cure?
Surgical menopause occurs after a hysterectomy. There is an immediate end to your menstrual cycle. When compared to the natural and gradual decline seen during menopause, hormone levels drop quickly. If a woman has her uterus removed but her ovaries remain intact, she will experience a fall in hormone levels and enter menopause sooner.
Hormones like estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries, thus when both are removed during a hysterectomy, the patient suffers larger losses. Some of the issues that arise as a result of a lack of these hormones are listed below.
- Vaginal dryness
- Low sex drive
- Mood Swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Hot flashes
- Urinary incontinence
- Risk for osteoporosis
Why Surgery is not a Cure
Even after having her ovaries removed via a hysterectomy, a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) would still feel the long-term symptoms of her condition because of the presence of high levels of the male hormone and (male sex hormones like PCOS testosterone).
Since PCOS testosterone is also produced by the adrenal glands, they may feel pressure to increase output to compensate for decreased ovarian output. In other words, a woman can still experience undesirable effects including excessive hair growth, hair loss, balding, or even acne.
PCOS is a hormonal illness that affects reproduction. Compared to women who do not have PCOS, most women who do have PCOS have higher insulin and inflammatory levels. Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular illnesses like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and fatty liver disease, are all linked to uncontrolled insulin and inflammation. These risks are amplified when estrogen levels suddenly drop.
Hysterectomy is not the answer, but a diet high in antioxidant-rich whole foods, coupled with regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and stress management, can alleviate these symptoms. Taking the appropriate supplements can also be helpful.
If your doctor has recommended a hysterectomy, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. There are non-surgical options to a hysterectomy for treating symptoms like PCOS ovulation pain, painful periods, fibroids, and heavy bleeding.
Help for Women with PCOS
You may need more active lifestyle management if you are a woman with PCOS and are having greater metabolic issues related to the disorder. Whether or not you’ve had a hysterectomy, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re an older woman with PCOS:
Good Diet: Increase your consumption of good anti-inflammatory foods.
Do Exercise: Regular exercise is beneficial for the body and the mind.
Supplement: Inositol Supplement for PCOS has been shown to lower insulin levels and aid in the management.
Berberine: Berberine supplement for pcos is an aggressive strategy for lowering cholesterol and fatty liver while also potentially lowering insulin and body fat.
NAC Drug: N-acetylcysteine supplement for pcos is an effective antioxidant that has been shown to improve immunological function, decrease blood cholesterol and insulin levels, and promote general health.
Minerals: The mineral zinc has been shown to slow the thinning of hair. Bone loss can be avoided with enough calcium. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining mental health, halting bone loss, and quelling inflammation. Magnesium’s calming effects extend beyond just helping with sleep; it can also ease anxiety and PCOS ovulation pain.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, removing your ovaries may alleviate some PCOS symptoms but is no assurance that the disorder will be totally eradicated. In extreme circumstances or when other treatments have failed, oophorectomy may be explored as a therapy option; nevertheless, this decision should not be taken lightly, as it can have lasting effects.