Wondering about alcohol consumption before your surgery? Is it ok? How soon before your surgery should you stop drinking?


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Most medical professionals recommend avoiding alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to surgery. Due to recent research, some physicians suggest minimizing alcohol consumption in the weeks leading up to surgery. In fact, one study says that giving up alcohol starting 3–8 weeks before surgery will significantly reduce your chances of post-op complications.

It has long been known that chronic and heavy alcohol consumption causes bodily harm. However, even smaller amounts of alcohol can increase surgical complication risks. Research has indicated that drinking as little as two to three drinks per day can lead to higher rates of infection and complication following surgery. That amount of alcohol also slows recovery and reduces immune capacity in patients, causing them to fall victim to pneumonia, heart muscle disease, and bleeding episodes following surgery.

Read more about alcohol consumption before hysterectomy.

Wondering what your risks are for removing your ovaries? What helped you decide to remove them?


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Your ovaries produce estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, hormones that are important for many aspects of your health. So without your ovaries, you won’t have adequate amounts of these hormones. As a result, you can see many changes to your physical, mental, emotional, and sexual health.

Approximately 50% of women who have a hysterectomy in the United States also choose to have their ovaries removed, and the rate increases for women over 40.

Read more about Oophorectomy Risks.

Do you suffer from joint pain? What has helped your symptoms?


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If you sound like the Tin Man without his can of oil, you may be wondering if menopause is related to your aches and pains.

Along with hot flashes and night sweats, menopause brings a variety of aches and pains, especially in your joints. While scientific data on the connection between menopause and joints is a bit scarce, estrogen does seem to play an indirect role in what some refer to as menopausal arthritis.

Read more about joint pain and menopause.

Wondering about your hysterectomy recovery? What’s normal? How long until you feel better?


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No one knows better than a HysterSister the ups and downs, ins and outs of hysterectomy recovery. What’s normal? What’s allowed? When will I feel better? What questions should I ask?

All these questions and more are answered in the HysterSisters Hysterectomy Recovery Forum, but here is a collection of helpful, non-medical advice for 15 of the most common concerns during hysterectomy recovery.

Read more about what you need to know for hysterectomy recovery.

Are you dealing with pain while waiting for your hysterectomy? Are you anxious?


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Many women struggle with the waiting time leading up to their hysterectomy, especially if the wait involves physical pain. Fortunately, there are plenty of remedies that can help.

First and foremost, if you are in pain, be sure to consult your doctor. Some women find relief in over-the-counter medications (OTC) like Tylenol, but many find they need something stronger. Because of surgery risks, check with your doctor before taking any medications or supplements within two weeks of surgery. Many HysterSisters also suggest a heating pad to help relieve the pain.

Read more about dealing with pain while waiting for your hysterectomy.

Are you suffering from pelvic floor issues? Did vaginal estrogen help with your symptoms?


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Your vagina, pelvic floor, and pelvic organs rely on estrogen for strength and elasticity. So when menopause hits and your estrogen level decreases, your vaginal tissues, urinary tract, and pelvic floor can become weak, putting you at risk for prolapse, discomfort, and pain.

Vaginal estrogen is one of your options for treating menopause related pelvic floor concerns. It can be used directly in the affected area, offering direct relief in lower doses. Since only a small amount will reach your blood stream, you maybe be able to use vaginal estrogen even if a systemic form is not for you.

Read more about vaginal estrogen for the pelvic floor.

Are you looking for ways to strengthen your bones? What exercises have you found to help?


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You know it’s important to have healthy bones, but how do you go about strengthen them during menopause? One way is through exercise.

When bones are put under moderate stress during exercise, it stimulates bone formation, increasing or maintaining your bone density. These three types of exercises should make up your exercise routine: weight-bearing, resistance/muscle-strengthening, and flexibility exercises. Combining them can help you strengthen your bones and muscles, increase flexibility, and improve balance, coordination, and stamina.

Read more about exercises to help bone health during menopause.

Do you suffer from hormonal migraines following your surgery? How do you manage?


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There are many things that could cause a migraine after a hysterectomy. These particular suggestions are not intended to be inclusive of all possible causes, but it will hopefully point you to a line of exploration regarding hormone imbalance.

Women who experienced menstrual headaches before their hysterectomy may be more likely to struggle with post-hysterectomy, hormone-related migraines.

Read more about hormonal migraines after hysterectomy.

Were your family and friends non-supportive before your hysterectomy?


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It can sometimes be hard to convey to your friends and family just how major of a surgery you are actually having. Some people just won’t understand how hard it can be on your body. While they may seem to comprehend that you are having a major surgery, they won’t understand how hard and how long the road to recovery will actually be. Having a hysterectomy is a big deal.

Educating those closest to you may help them understand more. Often, it helps to talk with your husband or significant other about the recovery process and about your expectations and needs. You might also want to consider bringing him along to your appointment.

Read more about frustrated with non-supportive family and friends during a hysterectomy.

Did you keep your fallopian tubes during your hysterectomy? What helped you decide?


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If you are having a hysterectomy, you may be wondering if you should have your ovaries or fallopian tubes removed, too. Since removing the ovaries can throw you into menopause, that decision can be easier. But what about the tubes? Do they serve a purpose without a uterus? What are the pros and cons of keeping or removing the fallopian tubes?

The fallopian tubes are connected to the uterus and their job is to guide eggs from the ovaries into the uterus. Without a uterus, the tubes are no longer essential. They are not automatically removed, however.

Read more about having your fallopian tubes removed during hysterectomy.