21st October 2015
Two days ago, I had my Uterus surgically removed. My Womb, the very thing that epitomizes what it means to be a woman. The special place where each of my 3 children were created but that I have never visited or seen. The Holy Grail possessed only by women; ironically removed by a man… albeit of the medical kind. Am I angry or sad? NO, after 30 years of suffering my debilitating, oppressive, painful and relentless menstrual cycle has come to an end. It’s not like this for all women… I know.
Some have the luck of being able to enjoy their femininity and all that makes us so, seemingly uninterrupted without the pain, bloating and heavy flows of biblical proportions. Having a Hysterectomy is not to be taken lightly, it is a life changing decision, for me it took 2 years of daily consideration before taking the final step. Reasons for Hysterectomy vary from intense bleeding, debilitating pain from fibroids, polyps and endometriosis to life threatening health issues such as uterine prolapse and cancer, which can affect women of all ages.
Why am I telling you all this??
Because of Hormones and especially now after my Hysterectomy, my Skin and millions of other women’s Skin will be affected after having this surgery. The Hormone balance in each of our bodies are unique to each one of us, these Hormones are interrupted and forever changed after removing the Ovaries. There are several side effects that can be both psychologically and physically challenging depending on what type of Hysterectomy is performed. There are 4 different types and the number and severity of side effects will differ with each and from person to person.
For the record, my Hysterectomy is known as a “Total Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingectomy” which means along with my Uterus, the Cervix and Fallopian Tubes were also removed. The Ovaries were left as is, which means I will not go into early Menopause and will not require any HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy. So, fingers crossed I should function as well as if not better than before my surgery. But the most life changing type of Hysterectomy for any woman would have to be what is know as a ‘Total Hysterectomy with Bilateral or Unilateral Salpingo – Oophorectomy’. This big long term means that not only is the Uterus, Cervix, and Fallopian Tubes removed but also the Hormone-producing hub called the ‘Ovaries’.
In Pre-Menopausal women, losing the Ovaries will send her into early Menopause causing dramatic change in important Hormone productions that help to regulate and control many of the bodies functions. The Ovaries produce Estrogen and without it, our Skin goes into rapid decline. Oily Skin can develop due to the disruption to Estrogen production made by the Ovaries. As Estrogen is no longer being produced, testosterone produced by the adrenal glands takes over and stimulates the sebaceous glands in the Skin to secrete more oil, which can then lead to develop adult acne in some women. Similarly, this take over by the testosterone Hormone can cause excessive hair growth, particularly in areas such as the chin. Estrogen is also responsible for stimulating fat deposits over the female so the lack of production will effect the supportive fat found below the Skin of the face, neck, hands and arms, resulting in Skin sagging and wrinkles to appear. The production of collagen and elastin in the Skin will also be effected meaning the Skin will not heal and repair as it normally would. This means that the Skin’s resiliency to damage, such as from UV rays from the sun, is compromised. The Skin becomes lighter and more prone to sun damage. Estrogen controls the maintenance of Melanocytes – the cells that make the colour of our Skin. When the Meloncytes are no longer tempered by Estrogen, they go haywire causing brown ‘age spots’ to appear in areas such as the face, neck, décolletage, arms and hands. Some of these Skin Issues may level out as time progresses after the Hysterectomy and the on-set of Menopause. But some like in the case of Adult Acne may remain severe enough to warrant considering HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy or visiting a Dermatologist. There are also many Skin treatments and creams that can be used to manage the Skin after Menopause and your Skin Care Specialist will be able to design an individual treatment program and home care routine for your specific needs.
Disclaimer – I Am Not A Medical Doctor, I Am Not Giving Medical Advice. This Is My Personal Story Only. I Am A Skincare Professional. Each Individual Should Seek Medical Advice From Their Own Physician.