Ovarian Pain After Hysterectomy Explained

A hysterectomy involves a surgical procedure removing the womb (uterus) and it is actually the most common non-obstetrical procedures for women within the United States. Around 300 of each 100,000 women will have a hysterectomy and there are various reasons. Some of these reasons include uterine fibroids, abnormal vaginal or uterine bleeding, precancerous cervical conditions known as cervical dysplasia, endometriosis, or uterine prolapse such as pelvic relaxation. Most hysterectomies are without complications, but sometimes women will experience ovary pain after hysterectomy or those experience hot flashes after hysterectomy still have ovaries.

Ovarian Pain After Hysterectomy, Why?

Many women experience ovarian pain after hysterectomy and wonder why. Now let's find out the reason.

1. Scar from the Surgery

Around 2% to 3% women experience ovarian pain after hysterectomy or some other form of pain. Sometimes this pain is caused by scar tissue, which is a standard formation that occurs when healing from the surgery. If the scar involves at least one ovary, the pain may occur in cycles that are similar to menstrual pains before a hysterectomy. Pain during intercourse may also occur when the pain is due to the surgical scar.

2. Pain from the Nerve

Another possible cause of ovarian pain after hysterectomy is due to neuropathic pain, which comes from nerve endings that send pain signals even though they shouldn’t. Touching the tissue in this area using a gentle cotton-tipped applicator may cause pain, but most of the time this pain doesn’t include obvious tissue damage, lumps or anything abnormal.

This kind of pain can be treated by reducing the responsible abnormal nerve signals. Options include medications, injections, and local anesthetics. In some cases, surgical revision near the top of the vagina may be necessary.

3. Bladder Spasm

Bladder spasms may also occur following a hysterectomy and they will usually improve gradually during the first few weeks after the surgery. They don’t indicate a problem unless you experience burning or changes to urgency or frequency of urination. You can take over-the-counter medications if you find the discomfort bothersome or ask your doctor for a temporary prescription.

4. Tumor After Surgery—A Story of Others

"I had a tubal/ovariectomy (partial) and then a few years after, began experience pain in the left side as well as lower abdominal sensitivity. I visited many doctors over 8 years, but none noticed anything until I visited a female gynecologist. She didn’t notice anything, but had me do a sonogram and exploratory surgery. She discovered a large tumor and adhesions from the ovariectomy that the other doctors hadn’t noticed. These tumors have a very high risk of being cancerous."

5. Menstrual Cramping

If you have a hysterectomy but leave the ovaries in place, they will continue to produce the same hormones they do throughout the menstrual cycle. This means that you may experience pain that is nearly identical to that you had when you still menstruated. It may lead to cramping and there is a small chance that tiny cysts can form during the process of the menstrual cycle because you don’t get the cycle.

What Other Symptoms Would You Experience After a Hysterectomy?

There are different types of hysterectomies: a total abdominal hysterectomy (the uterus and cervix are removed), vaginal hysterectomy (the uterus is removed through the vagina) and each of these can be done with or without a laparoscope. There is also a supracervical hysterectomy (the uterus is removed but not the cervix). The symptoms can vary based on the type of surgery you have.

When to See a Doctor

There is a small chance of developing issues such as severe infection, bowel blockage, bleeding after surgery, blood clots, urinary tract injury, or issues related to anesthesia. Contact your doctor if you have:

Ovarian Pain After Hysterectomy: How to Speed Up Recovery

To minimize ovarian pain after hysterectomy, you want to give yourself around 6 weeks of recovery and pay attention to these points.

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