Will a Hysterectomy Cure Your PCOS?
Guest Post by Dr. Felice Gersh
As an integrative gynecologist, I talk to and care for women seeking a second opinion on a variety of medical issues. One of the most common questions I’m asked is “Will a Hysterectomy Cure My PCOS?”
Even the organization which “governs” my specialty, the American College of OB/GYN, has acknowledged that about 70% of hysterectomies are not indicated, and it is documented that approximately 45% of hysterectomies performed on premenopausal women do not have pathology findings which match the preoperative diagnosis. As bad as that all sounds, I’d like to share additional concerns.
Some gynecologists are recommending to women with PCOS that they have a hysterectomy to treat their condition. In some cases, the recommendation includes removing both ovaries as well. And these recommendations are to remove organs which do not contain cancerous or precancerous cells.
First and foremost, many gynecologists have little to no foundational knowledge of PCOS. If your physician is one of them, I highly and emphatically urge women to become armed with the facts to protect themselves from medically induced harm.
PCOS is fundamentally a problem of intra-body hormonal communication, not of structural or anatomic issues. The development of multiple tiny cysts on the ovaries, giving the condition its name, is a consequence of the hormonal dysfunction, not the cause. The remedies can involve major lifestyle changes, detoxification, various nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and possibly hormones. Unless the unfortunate development of cancer occurs or advanced endometriosis or problematic fibroids develop, surgery is not indicated.
Removing the uterus has potential consequences in premenopausal women. Such surgery has a small association with increased incontinence and some women feel it changes their sexual responses, but the biggest issue is that it can accelerate the onset of menopause by reducing the blood supply to the ovaries. And of course, pregnancy is no longer a possibility.
Removing the ovaries is horrific for women with PCOS, from a metabolic perspective. Estrogen is essential to the proper metabolic functioning of the female body and women with PCOS have dysfunctional estrogen receptors and need the estrogen produced by their ovaries. With lower levels of estrogen, disorders such as hypertension and diabetes escalate in frequency, and obesity can worsen! For some women, there is a benefit of reduced levels of testosterone and improved acne, but for others it does nothing for their skin as their acne stems primarily from the high levels of DHEA and the pervasive systemic (body-wide) inflammation.
Many women with PCOS have menstrual dysfunctions-heavy periods, cramps, and irregularity. In virtually all women, these symptoms can be greatly reduced through the utilization of the treatment modalities mentioned above. Therefore, it would be the rare woman who should resort to surgery as a treatment for PCOS.
If surgery is suggested to you as the treatment of choice, please get another opinion. And of course, as a practicing integrative gynecologist, this is an essential part of my job. I’m here for women; to listen to them, care for them, particularly when it comes to a misunderstood, often times misdiagnosed and poorly treated PCOS.
Dr. Gersh is one of only a small number of fellowship trained integrative gynecologists in the nation. She blends the best of the world of natural and holistic medicine with state of the art functional and allopathic medical treatment. Because of her extensive knowledge of the complex inter-relationships of the body’s organs, she recognizes the need to investigate all aspects of health, always working to re-establish a healthy gastrointestinal tract, adequate sleep, good mood, great nutrition, high energy, and balanced hormones.
Expert in all areas of women’s health, and particularly of gynecological and reproductive matters, Dr. Gersh deals in an integrative manner with such uniquely female issues as polycystic ovary disease (PCOS).
She is currently writing a book on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and writing a chapter on the same topic for a medical textbook.
You may contact Dr. Gersh at:
Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, 4968 Booth Circle, Suite 101, Irvine, California 92604
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 949-753-7475
I have PCOS, endometriosis, abdominal adhesions, and am constantly in pain. I have had a full open myomectomy, a bi-lateral wedge resection, and a D&C. I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on having a hysterectomy as I have been recommended to have one.
Hi there my name is Bec I’m 33 after having twins naturally at24 I have a prolapsed uterus and have been diagnosed with pcos I’ve recently noticed my v wall has prolapsed I’m a single working mother who is constantly stressed I have ballooned up in weight and sometimes my depression is so bad I worry myself. Can any one tell me if I have a hysterectomy will this all stop? I’m ruining my kids lives with my moods and I can’t go on like this.
Many thanks for any advice.
I had a hysterectomy 7 yes ago I have one ovary left.I recently have been experiencing pain on my ovary usually once a month and my breast are large lumpy and painful..wondering if I need estrogen ..?
Are there any new studies on hysterectomies. My hubby is pushing for me to get one because he heard it would take care of the concern of ovarian cancer.
I’ve had somewhat under control PCOS for 8 years. However, I’ve developed a mass twice the size of my ovary and it’s making my hormones go crazy. I will probably need surgery to remove it. What do you recommend I do to lessen the chances of making my PCOS worse?