Can a Woman Still Get Pregnant After a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. In most cases, the ovaries are not removed so that the surgery does not trigger menopause.
Dr. Elizabeth Graul and the team at Phase II Center for Women's Health in Millcreek, UT are skilled in treating patients who need or choose to have a hysterectomy to deal with health issues as well as educating women about their options.
Keep reading to learn more about the procedure and if it's still possible to get pregnant after a hysterectomy.
What is the purpose of a hysterectomy?
Some health conditions make removing the uterus a good option to prevent disease, deal with pain, or enhance overall wellness.
The most common reasons women have hysterectomies include the following:
Heavy or irregular bleeding
Chronic pelvic pain
After a hysterectomy, patients will no longer have a menstrual period. In the rare event that it's also recommended that you have your ovaries removed, you will enter menopause. This will come with its own side effects.
How is a hysterectomy performed?
A hysterectomy can be performed vaginally, laparoscopically, or robotically. Dr. Graul will ask you about your health history and goals and make recommendations for your surgery based on the potential risks and benefits. She will also discuss the different approaches to the procedure.
For those who have laparoscopic or robotic hysterectomies, the recovery time tends to be shorter. It can be as quick as a few days or two weeks. Those who have vaginal hysterectomies may need 3 – 4 weeks to recover from their surgery.
Regardless of the approach, the goal of a hysterectomy is to improve your health, and women who experience severe pain can experience life-altering relief.
In rare cases, when the ovaries are removed, patients will experience symptoms of menopause. They may want to speak to Dr. Graul about hormone replacement therapy to manage hot flashes and mood swings.
Can I still get pregnant after a hysterectomy?
It is extremely rare to get pregnant after a hysterectomy, but it is possible. However, it's not possible to carry a pregnancy to term without a uterus (womb) since that's where a fetus develops. So, while you can no longer carry a child to term after a hysterectomy, you may experience the first stages of pregnancy.
In order to become pregnant, you need to ovulate, and the egg not only needs to be fertilized by the sperm, but it must also implant into the uterine wall. Without a uterus, a fertilized egg can only attach to a structure such as the fallopian tube. This is called an ectopic pregnancy, which cannot produce a surviving fetus. It can also endanger a patient's life by causing an internal hemorrhage or significant rupture if the embryo is not removed.
An ectopic pregnancy is not a typical outcome after a hysterectomy. However, you should contact Dr. Graul right away if you experience extreme abdominal pain after your hysterectomy.
Get a hysterectomy in Millcreek, UT
A hysterectomy is a safe and standard procedure. If you're suffering from a health condition that can be alleviated by a hysterectomy, it's essential to share your health history and wellness goals with Dr. Elizabeth Graul at Phase II Center for Women's Health.
The first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Graul at her office in Millcreek, UT.