PCOS and Hysterectomy: What You Need to Know

PCOS and Hysterectomy: What You Need to Know

Is a hysterectomy a solution for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)? The symptoms of PCOS and hormonal imbalance can be awful and sometimes downright devastating so anything that alleviates some of these symptoms might seem welcome. With PCOS the ovaries can produce excess male hormones called androgens, and they can grow small fluid-filled cysts inside that may cause pressure, bloating, swelling and even pain. These excess male hormones create symptoms like acne, decreased breast size, increase in body hair in a male pattern, amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods), and oily skin. They can also cause a deepening voice and thinning hair and hair loss at the front of the scalp on both sides of the head.
And then there’s heavy bleeding caused from low progesterone levels, one of the classic signs of PCOS.

Who wouldn’t want a quick fix to these symptoms?

Patient beware. It may seem that if we remove the body parts that seem to be causing the discomfort that all will be well. Read on.


What is a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a very invasive surgical procedure where the uterus is removed and may include one or both ovaries. It also included the removal of the cervix as a routine procedure, but now is being left intact by many physicians. Surgery is never simple and never without potential serious side effects both short and long term. The idea behind the surgery is that once the uterus and ovaries are gone, the symptoms of PCOS will simply vanish. Not so. Not at all.
Good Reasons to Keep Your Uterus, Cervix and Ovaries (reference: The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Christiane Northrup)

  • The uterus, cervix and ovaries work together your entire life (and share much of the same blood supply) to provide your body with hormonal support.
  • Ovaries are the female equivalent of the male testes, producing much-needed male hormones essential for normal sex drive.
  • The uterus, cervix and ovaries are needed for the long transition into menopause when the adrenal glands begin to take over.
  • During orgasm the uterus undergoes rhythmic contractions, contributing to the depth of sexual pleasure that many women experience during lovemaking.
  • The uterus, cervix and ovaries are responsible for pheromone secretion which may increase a woman’s sexual attractiveness.
  • The cervix (the lower portion of the uterus that protrudes into the vagina) makes up part of the pelvic floor, helping to support the bladder.


What Can Happen When You Remove Your Uterus, Cervix and Ovaries
(reference: The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Christiane Northrup)

  • When the uterus is removed and the ovaries are left in, the function of your ovaries are affected. Up to 50% of women who have had hysterectomies lose the function of their ovaries earlier than they normally would – and they go through menopause earlier, increasing their risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.
  • Female castration occurs when the ovaries are removed (according to medical literature). The ovaries are equivalent to the male testes and some studies have shown that up to 25% of women have decreased sex drive after the removal of the ovaries.
  • Menopause occurs instantly (not over the six to thirteen years with everything in tact) which is a shock to the hormonal system.
  • Orgasm may not be as satisfying anymore.
  • Urinary incontinence is an increased risk because the bladder nerves can be damaged.

Why Not a PCOS Hysterectomy?

PCOS is more than just a structural problem with our bodies. At the very foundation of PCOS is hormonal imbalance caused from insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes inflammation and all the symptoms of PCOS that we’ve come to understand so much better.

We suffer from mood swings, periods of severe inflammation, and insulin resistance that cause drastic changes in our waistline. In addition, studies have proven that a hysterectomy will cause all of these conditions to likely worsen after we have undergone the dramatic, irreversible procedure.

A hysterectomy throws our bodies into a state of hormonal deficiency. The hormone deficiency is immediate and drastic, unlike the gradual way our bodies eventually slow down the production of estrogen and progesterone as we go through menopause. These hormones not only control our reproduction cycles, but also offer protection against serious diseases.

As women living with PCOS, we are all aware of how insulin resistance affects our bodies. When our systems are not using insulin effectively, there’s a buildup of glucose in our blood. Insulin resistance leads to weight gain and is a precursor to diabetes. Worse yet, insulin resistance has been linked to causing other serious medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, endometrial cancer, and breast cancer. The bottom line is that for our own well being, we need to get insulin resistance under control and studies have proven that women who have hysterectomies still suffer from insulin resistance post-procedure.

With PCOS, we suffer from chronic inflammation. Our white blood cells work overtime as a way to treat all the symptoms our bodies are experiencing on a daily basis. A domino effect takes place where our immune system is always on high alert and not healing us in the ways it needs to be. Hysterectomies do not stop this inflammation from occurring and we will still continuously experience haywire immune responses.

Along with immune system stress, we will feel emotional stress following a hysterectomy. The hormones that are needed to manage stress and to feel good about ourselves will stop normal production. Serotonin is known as the “feel good” chemical and once a hysterectomy takes place, serotonin levels are no longer regulated. We will go through mood swings and feel as if we are on an emotional roller coaster.

Some PCOS symptoms mimic the symptoms of menopause. A common misconception is that a hysterectomy allows us to skip the side effects of menopause all together. In actuality, a hysterectomy is linked to causing premature menopause. Signs of premature menopause include vaginal dryness, loss of bladder control, skin irritation, insomnia, and mood swings. All of these symptoms come from even more hormone imbalance – mostly the shock to our adrenal glands, not being able to keep up with the hormone demand.

So the real surgery needs to be on the daily choices we make. Because we have all the power to heal!

From the food we eat, to how we move our bodies, the nutrients we take to support better hormone balance, stress and blood sugar management, and a support community that understands us.

Healing With the 5-Element Process

At Insulite Health, we have developed an easy-to-follow 5-element system to help us avoid a hysterectomy. After “doing surgery” on these five areas of your life, you will see huge changes in the way your body looks and feels, for the better. It doesn’t take much time at all.

The five steps include:

  • Nutraceutical Solutions
  • Food as Medicine
  • Movement as Medicine
  • Cravings Awareness
  • Support Community

At its very basis, our comprehensive plan at Insulite Health involves changing the way we eat, sleep, and move to see transformative results. Following a healthy, nutrient-rich diet plan will feed us what we need to nourish and cure our fragile bodies. Within the plan, there’s also an increased awareness of how to address our cravings – something that is always overlooked in “diet plans”. Carbohydrate addiction is a real and very dangerous thing for PCOS women. With our reliance on carbohydrates for energy, we’re actually zapping our energy stores and worsening our insulin resistance.

Exercise is just as important as diet to our overall health and wellness. A simple exercise program, much different than you might expect, can have a positive and hormone-balancing effect on how your body responds to insulin. Exercise causes the abundance of glucose being stored in our blood to move to the muscles that need it. Walking, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, yoga, and pilates are examples of exercises that will help to lower stress hormones and increase insulin sensitivity.

Science is clear that we need a support network on our path to a putting our polycystic ovarian syndrome into remission. We aren’t invincible and can’t do it all on our own. We need to be able to talk freely about how we are feeling and our concerns about our health. Within our extensive network, we need to connect with others who can offer us personalized coaching on how to heal from symptoms of PCOS. We are each built differently and require different things. What works for one of us, may not work for everyone else.

We have been taught for a long time, that our doctor knows best. If he or she tells us we need a hysterectomy to cure our polycystic ovarian syndrome, our first instinct may be to follow their medical advice. But our health is in OUR hands, and you have all the power to heal. Let’s get started, together, right now. We’re here for you every step of the way.

 

Why a PCOS Hysterectomy is Not a Cure | PCOS Insulite Health

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9408743

https://www.womentowomen.com/hysterectomy/symptoms-and-ovarian-function-after-a-hysterectomy/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9408743

http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-women/hormones-and-depression

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001165.htm

Next Steps

Becoming victorious over the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is not an easy task, but you can overcome your symptoms to live the life you deserve.

It takes strength, courage, and perseverance. It can be challenging and that’s why Insulite Health created the PCOS 5-Element System. It’s a step-by-step process that will help you balance your hormones and reverse PCOS symptoms using our proprietary 5% Solution.

So take the next steps now! Use the links below to learn how to make the changes that will transform your health and your life forever.

  1. Read more about PCOS
  2. Take the PCOS Test and assess your risk!
  3. Learn more about the Insulite 5-Element PCOS Solution

About Insulite Health PCOS.com

Insulite Health, is committed to helping women reverse their symptoms of hormone imbalance. Scientific research has revealed that this imbalance can be a primary cause of many devastating health symptoms. Hormone Imbalance can also underlie the increased risk factors for PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) – a major source of serious diseases as well as cause of excess weight gain, adult acne, unwanted facial hair, depression, anxiety, and heartbreaking female infertility.

©Insulite Health, Inc., pcos.com empowers women with PCOS to transform their lives through a process of healing with the 5-Element PCOS System – the world’s only complete solution for helping women heal from the symptoms of PCOS and hormone imbalance.

Robin Nielsen

Chief Wellness Officer at Insulite Health, LLC
Robin is an Integrative Clinical Nutritionist, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition. She comes to Insulite Health with a passion for helping women live vibrant, passionate lives. Robin had her own struggles with health. As a teenager she suffered from digestive disorders, weight, acne and hypoglycemia. As an adult she continued to struggle with balancing blood sugar, adult acne, mood swings, weight gain, arthritic conditions in her hands and chronic inflammation. Robin understands first hand how symptoms of poor health can keep us from living the life we dreamed of.
Share

Robin is an Integrative Clinical Nutritionist, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition. She comes to Insulite Health with a passion for helping women live vibrant, passionate lives. Robin had her own struggles with health. As a teenager she suffered from digestive disorders, weight, acne and hypoglycemia. As an adult she continued to struggle with balancing blood sugar, adult acne, mood swings, weight gain, arthritic conditions in her hands and chronic inflammation. Robin understands first hand how symptoms of poor health can keep us from living the life we dreamed of.

24 Comments

  1. Jenny mills Reply

    Hi There I’m trying TTC for 3 years now I have pcos Drs say I’ve got unexplained infertility can you help give any advice as my time is ticking to be a mum

  2. Kelly Reply

    I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome what can I do to get rid of the facial hair. I don’t like looking like a man. What can I do for my really painful cramps during that time of the month. A no pain medicine works at all. I was on birth control all through high school and College and I don’t want to go back on it. So please help me with some answers thanks so much. I am going to ask my doctor to see if she will send me to a Gynecologist to get some help with my PCOS.

    1. Rebekah

      Hi Kelly,
      I can completely relate to you. I was diagnosed in high school and put on various different birth control pills. They did nothing to help with my symptoms, like severe PMS, excess hair, irregular periods and horrible acne. My mom helped me look for natural options to help heal the underlying cause of pcos (which is insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance) we found Insulite Health. This is what I use to this day to manage the symptoms- I have even been able to have 2 children naturally by using the 5 Element system. Have you considered this? Wishing you the very best.

  3. Dawn Benjamin Reply

    hello My name is Dawn of 45 years old
    I have had a full hysterectomy. I am doing training and eating healthy, however I wanted to know how I can lose weight in general.

    1. Rebekah

      HI Dawn,
      Have you considered the Insulite 5 Element System? This is what I use to manage my weight (and a bunch of other symptoms). It helps your body heal the underlying cause of pcos… insulin resistance and hormone imbalance.

  4. Crystal Reply

    I recently had a hysterectomy because of possible cancers. I was diagnosed with pcos at a young age. I’ve had 3 large cysts removed and had exploratory surgery where they removed my entire right side in 1998. They also took a pie slice of my left ovary and part of my tube. They told me I would never have kids. One year and one day later I got pregnant with my first son at age 31. I also had another son 5 years ago. I am now 48. I was also diagnosed by a dermatologist that I have lower levels of progesterone and higher levels testosterone. Small chest, excessive hair, very thin build, acne and hair loss above temples. Every urinalysis I have always says I’m dehydrated or have a uti. I know I’m not dehydrated because I drink at least 4 bottles of water a day, ice tea, some sports drinks and the only soda I drink is no caffeine and clear like ginger ale. Is there a correlation between this and pcos?

    1. Crystal

      Also with both my kids I had gestational diabetes. With my first it wasn’t so bad and controlled with diet. With my second my glucose was so high I was in the hospital for three days. Since then I was diagnosed with pre diabetes.

    2. Robin Nielsen Post author

      Yes, there is a correlation. Anything can go wrong when hormones are out of balance, and especially as we age because everything changes so much. I had acne, arthritis in my hands, sensitive teeth and receding gums, along with horrible mood swings, a late term miscarriage, hypoglycemia, IBS and more. The list is endless. That’s because our hormones are the cellular communicators in our bodies – even regulating electrolytes that affect hydration.

      Hormones tell each cell what to do. If we have any underlying stressors like anemias, toxic overload, poor sleep, stressful relationships/job/day-to-day routine, low nutrient status, etc. the symptoms just keep piling on while inflammation rises. So it’s very important that you learn the foods that are supportive for you, the nutrients you need, how to move and exercise to support your body and how to manage the stressors so that your body can heal.

      You can learn more here on our website Crystal – maybe start with the Roadmap for hormone balance here: https://pcos.com/pcos-and-hormonal-imbalance/ and you can learn more about our 5-Element System here: https://pcos.com/order-five-element-pcos-system/ where I can show you step-by-step how to heal and feel better. Let me know if you have any additional questions. We’re here for you every step of the way. Robin

  5. Kristen E. Stevens Reply

    i’m 19yrs old and have pcos , it is very hard for me emotionaly to try working out and be in good state of mind dealing with this everyday. i have no idea how do better myself emotional and physical, my family cannot provide the things i need to change myself for the better i really do need the help badly, i would really like some advice what i should do. defeat pcos for good.

    1. Robin Nielsen Post author

      It’s great to hear from you Kristen. You are doing the right thing by taking charge of your health. We have many free resources on our website here: pcos.com and our Diet Success Jumpstart Guide is a great place to start: https://pcos.com/webinarhormonetesting. You can also join our PCOS Support Community here where we can help you every day with expert advice – we’re on Facebook and we give you next steps, recipes, a monthly call and more to support you: https://www.pcos.com/store/product/vip-inner-circle-pcos-support-community/ Good luck Kristen. You’ve got this!

  6. Jorge Anaya Reply

    Hi Dr. My wife has diagnosed 2 months ago with polycystic ovaries, she is 50 years old, all the blood tests done were normal, but she needs surgery to extract the ovaries because one side is almost one orange sized. I need a very urgent advice, If she can develop diabetes type 2 after surgery, how can we manage the hormonal condition if remove the second ovary too. She did early menopause by 37-40 years old, this condition wasn’t treated. Please help me I have Healthnet insurance and I live in Whittier CA, what should I do?

    1. Robin Nielsen Post author

      Hi Jorge, I apologize for the late reply. Your wife can manage her hormones just fine but she must take charge of her health. There is no medical cure and if she wants to feel well she’ll have to do it herself – and you’ll have to help her! Have her begin here with our PCOS Diet Jumpstart Guide: https://pcos.com/pcos-jumpstart-guide-2/ This will help a lot. Then she’ll be on our mailing list as well and will receive a lot of great information. While doctors may say that your lab work is just fine, it’s not. I look at it from a healthy person perspective. Here is a great webinar with Dr. Carrie Jones that can help too: https://pcos.com/webinarhormonetesting

  7. Sandra j thompson Reply

    Well, this wasn’t helpful for me! I’ve already HAD the hysterectomy, 7 years ago!! For Ovarian cysts, uterin fibroids AND endometriosis, which attached my oravies to my intestines! @ that time, for like 10 years, I tried to do research on more natural alternatives – asked doctors, practitioners, nutritionists, but nothing was readily available. So, after the worst menstuel year of my life, had the hysterectomy, July 15, 2010. Now, here I am, struggling w/ hormone imbalances STILL & trying to find things that will help me! But, all I’m reading is about those who haven’t had hysterectomy, or against having one!! Been there, done that, thanks!! Feeling VERY frustrated, exhausted & just want some vitality back!

    1. Sandra j thompson

      OK, so after leaving my first comment, I am reading other comments – didn’t see till after my 1st comment posted… I will go to some of the links, & hope that will help! Thank you…

    2. Robin Nielsen Post author

      Hi Sandra, I completely understand your frustration. Thank you for sharing. We do the best we know at the time and sometimes surgery is necessary. It doesn’t “cure” the hormone imbalances though so you’ll still need support there. It sounds like you’ve been suffering through a lot. I’m not sure where to begin to help you, but if you take our PCOS Quiz here: https://pcos.com/test/ – I know you already know that you have PCOS but you’ll get on our mailing list this waay and then you’ll receive a lot of helpful information. You can also visit our website here: https://pcos.com/pcos-and-hormonal-imbalance/ And maybe the best place to get started is with our PCOS Diet Jumpstart Guide that you can grab here: https://pcos.com/pcos-jumpstart-guide-2/

  8. Jessica Boyce Reply

    So what are woman with PCOS supposed to do that have had to get a hysterectomy for other reasons? I just had a hysterectomy/oophorectomy, excision of endometriosis, bladder repair, and vaginal vault prolapse repair. I had adenomyosis and also have pelvic congestion syndrome. In my case a hysterectomy was very necessary for my health. I am now on bioidentical HRT but I’m wondering how to manage testosterone levels. My testosterone plummeted immediately so I was told to stop taking spironalactone (it has been a miracle for my horrifically oily acne covered skin) and to use a testosterone cream as part of my HRT. But now my oily skin is coming back! Do I just stop the testosterone or continue it and go back on spironalactone? Sorry, I know this is a lot of info that I’m venting out.

    1. Robin Nielsen Post author

      Hi Jessica, Your frustration is totally acceptable. As Dr. Christiane Northrup says it’s “righteous anger” and needs to be shared so that you can move on. My Adrenal PCOS Workshop would be of great help to you as I explain what’s going on with your hormones when you get acne. Here’s the link to register to listen to the replay: https://pcos.com/adrenalpcosworkshop There is also an Adrenal Questionnaire that will help you to identify some of your symptoms as they relate to your adrenal health because your adrenal glands have to pick up all the hormone “slack” when you are post-menopausal. As you’ll see from the workshop your adrenal glands make a lot of your androgens (male hormones) anyway so if you just support better adrenal health you might not need any BHRT. Many women post-menopausal as you are now, do not take any hormones, myself included, and I do very well. But I also give my body a lot of the raw materials it needs to function well.

      Also consider the DUTCH test for comprehensive hormone testing – you can listen to my webinar with Dr. Carrie Jones and order it on the same page if you’re excited about it. It’s really THE hormone test for PCOS. https://pcos.com/webinarhormonetestingnow/ Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. We’re here for you every step of the way.

  9. Nikosha Norton Reply

    I was diagnosed with pcos after my youngest daughter was born. I had my tubes tied the day after she was born. And I didn’t want to be on BC. But my body had other plans for me. The last two months I will get spotting one day, nothing the next then spotting again. BC is supposed to help regulate my periods because of pcos but for some reason the last two months its doing nothing. I’ve been getting headaches and have been dizzy also. My insulin levels were at a 52.4 which is extremely high. Im wondering what could possibly be the cause of all this? Its frustrating having this disease and I’m at my wits end. I do have an appointment with my obgyn but wanted to see if I could get some feed back from you.

    1. Robin Nielsen Post author

      Hi Nikosha, I am a little unclear but it sounds like you are currently on birth control pills to help regulate your cycle? If so, they may make it seem like you are having a normal cycle but nothing could be further from the truth. Here is an article I wrote that will explain this a little better: https://pcos.com/birth-control-pills/ It’s critical to get your insulin down and balance your hormones. High insulin levels cause high androgens, inflammation and all the accelerated symptoms of aging. The headaches and dizziness is your body’s way of telling you that how you are taking care of yourself is not working. You have all the power to heal yourself naturally…you just need guidance on how to do it. Have you taken our PCOS Assessment yet? You can do that here as Step 1: https://pcos.com/test For Step 2 consider joining our beautiful community by purchasing the PCOS 5-Element System. You’ll learn steps that you can take immediately to begin to heal. https://pcos.com/order-five-element-pcos-system/ We’re here for you every step of the way Nikosha. You’ve got this!

  10. Angel Reply

    None of this fits my issue, ive suffered for years. Since 12 or 13 yrs old…Heavy cycles. Fainting. Severe cramping. Pain with any form of orgasms self or other. Bladder problems as ibstupid cysts there he couldnt remove. Ghost cramping since im on some pill to stop my cycles. Break through bleeds. The salty sweet cravings. Weight problems. I have PCOS, Endo, Adnomyosis, and this August the urologist found interstitial cystitis ive been on elmiron 300mg for the last 5months. It still hurts me. I cant predict a full bladder i cant orgasm. Im still in terrible pains and the drs wont and claim they cant help me..,am i literally screwed at only 29 years old with this and my gastrointestinal issues…? And bad back cuz right now my life is seriously depressing the heck out of me.,

  11. Alisha B. Reply

    Im 35. Ive had pcos since since i had my period at the age of 10. Ive had several cysts removed from my ovaries in my 20s. I had a cancerous lesion removed from my cervix leaving a painful scar that causes painful orgasms. I have a prolapsed bladder and a stage two prolapsed uterus. I have nothing but hundreds of cystic fibroadema in both of my breasts- Ive had 7 large masses removed from each breast. I could not produce breast milk after the birth of my one and only child. I had spent the last 6 months of my pregnancy in bed rest because of a low lying placenta and a low lying pregnancy. I have paralyzed muscles in my vaginal walls because of the combination of the prolapses and severe spinal trauma received after a car accident 9 years ago. It caused cervical and thoracic scoliosis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc diseas with every disc being herniated, osteoporosis, arthritis, osteophytes, weakening of spinal chord tissue, and extremely painful annular fissures at L4/L5 and L5/S1 with extensive neuropathy. I now walk with a cane. During the last month of my pregnancy I had horrible back contractions and my cervix was dialated 3cm. I had to have a cesarian section because of the risk of paralyzation. Ive always had menorrhagia with excessive bleeding (bleeding through both tampons while wearing pads), large fleshy clots, severe cramps, mood swings, and depression. Ive been on several oral birth control medications, all of which gave me roid rage and psychotic episodes, and worsened my cystic acne. I was violently ill during the entire two months of taking metformin. My endocrinologist switched me to invokana, which helped slightly with the acne, however, my physician was extremely upset that the endocrinologist didnt take into account my prescribed chronic pain medications, and explained to me to irreversible damaging counteractions it could have caused because taking invokana with them. He had me stop taking it immediately, because I need to have medications for pain management since I have to rely on a cane to walk. My dermatologist prescribed me several prescription acne creams that only resulted in painful chemical burns on my face, and the acne antibiotics have caused irreversible damage to my teeth. Ive been suffering with this for 25 years now. I have extremely high levels of hormones and the specialists prescribing more hormones ontop of my already ridiculously high hormone levels only makes this premenopausal hell worse. I do not understand how having a full hysterectomy and then being on a consistent hormone therapy regime would not help me get out of this living hell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *