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Self-Care

Hysterectomy After Childbirth-Is It My Fate?

A hysterectomy is one of the most commonly performed surgeries on women, second to a C-section. The National Women’s Health Network states, “By the age of 60, more than one-third of all women have had a hysterectomy.”

While there are completely legitimate reasons to have a hysterectomy, such as cancer, not all circumstances warrant one. Prolapse is a common justification used by doctors in performing this surgery, but jumping into surgery for this reason, without first rehabilitating the pelvic floor muscles, along with addressing postural and breathing patterns, is a mistake.

The majority of women will give birth at some point in their life (about 85% of women). The uterus increases in size 1,000 times and becomes 15 times heavier during pregnancy. The uterus will decrease in size quickly after delivery by contracting and will return to its pre-pregnancy size of 2.5 ounces four to six weeks after delivery.

The muscles of the pelvic floor assist in supporting the bladder, uterus, and other organs, as well as the weight of the growing baby during pregnancy. These muscles can become either too tight or too loose throughout the pregnancy and/or delivery and may contribute to pelvic organ prolapse.

While incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse may be common, women should not be left suffering with surgery as their only option, especially when there are other measures that can be utilized first, such as exercise, physical therapy, and manual manipulation of tissues.

The birth of a child is very demanding, physically, hormonally, and mentally. It is important that a woman have a support team throughout the process of pregnancy, delivery, and recovery to guide her. The return to your pre-pregnancy body is possible no matter what you’ve heard!