We understand that going into hospital can be very daunting. Planning ahead for your hospital stay and recovery can help reduce stress.
It’s good to talk
Talk through a recovery timeline with friends and family to help manage expectations
Perhaps pop a list together of anything you may need additional support with, it’s okay to ask for help!
Highlight that the surgery isn’t an instant fix, stress that recovery will take time
Signpost them to useful information
Things to ask your consultant before your surgery
If you are having your hysterectomy under the NHS, you will usually be provided with a printout of what to expect after your surgery in the initial 6 to 8-week recovery period.
Whilst it is important to discuss how long you expect your physical recovery period to take, it is just as important to arm yourself with information regarding your long-term recovery and health following a hysterectomy.
Your consultant should be considering if and what type of HRT you will need following your hysterectomy. This should include the use of local oestrogen. Many young women who enter surgical menopause due to an oophorectomy (ovaries removed) benefit from both systemic and local oestrogen as well as testosterone hormone replacement. (More about HRT here)
You may be worrying about the impact of a hysterectomy on your sex life. You are usually advised not to have penetrative sex for around 6 weeks following your surgery but this can vary depending on your own circumstances and type of surgery. You can read more about what to expect during your recovery here
If you are having a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Oophorectomy we advise that you ask your consultant about being referred to a menopause clinic for the long-term management of surgical menopause.
Unfortunately, it is likely that you’ll be discharged back to your GP following surgery. Regrettably, many GPs are not trained in menopause let alone the more complex issues surrounding hormone insufficiency in younger women brought about through surgery. There are not enough NHS menopause clinics in the UK but it is possible to be referred out of area. We highly recommend that you ask for a referral to a menopause clinic following your hysterectomy, especially if you have had your ovaries removed.
You can search for your nearest clinic on the British Menopause Society website
Having a hysterectomy is a major operation and we would recommend that you consider counselling beforehand and post-surgery.