Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal and metabolic disorder that affects women of reproductive age. Though many people think PCOS just affects the ovaries and infertility, PCOS has a lot of day-to-day symptoms that can make life difficult. If you’re a Cyster, you know this! Symptoms of PCOS include excess hair growth, acne, difficulties with weight loss, irregular menstrual cycles, sleep problems, head hair loss, mood swings, and more.
It’s definitely a lot of symptoms to manage, which can have women with PCOS looking for a cure or life-changing treatment. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS, but there are lots of ways to get freedom from your symptoms and thrive despite having PCOS.
Does a Hysterectomy Cure PCOS
One common “treatment” option that comes up when searching for PCOS solutions is a hysterectomy. That’s what I’m exploring in this post today! I’ll give you all the info you need and provide my opinion on whether or not hysterectomy is a good solution for PCOS.
Here’s what you need to know:
What Is A Hysterectomy?
What Happens During A Hysterectomy?
Depending on the nature of the problem, surgeons commonly use various types of hysterectomies:
- Total hysterectomies remove the uterus and cervix, but leave the ovaries intact.
- Hysterectomy with oophorectomy removes the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and potentially the fallopian tubes.
- Radical hysterectomy is when the uterus, cervix, and top portion of the vagina is removed. Sometimes the tissue surrounding the cervix and the pelvic lymph nodes are taken too.
- Supracervical hysterectomy is when only the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left (as well as other parts of the reproductive system).
These surgeries are done either through a large or laparoscopic incision in the abdomen or through the vaginal opening.
Will A Hysterectomy Cure PCOS?
No. A hysterectomy will not cure your PCOS. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is primarily a hormonal disorder and not attached to the physical organs, so physically removing the uterus will not cure your PCOS!
It might take care of a few symptoms, like difficult menstrual periods and it would reduce the risk of some cancers. However, overall it won’t have much of an effect, because your body will still produce the same imbalance levels of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, with or without the uterus.
Even if you go through a hysterectomy with an oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries), you’ll still have hormonal struggles. You can read more about oophorectomy and PCOS here. At the end of the day, you have to get to the root of the problem if you want to reverse your symptoms and heal your PCOS!
Pros And Cons of Hysterectomy For PCOS
- Relief from painful and irregular periods
- Reduced risk of ovarian cancer
- Doesn’t solve hormonal imbalances (and could make it worse)
- Surgery is always risky (blood clots, infection, scarring, heart attack, etc.)
- PCOS comorbidities like obesity, heart disease, or diabetes can worsen risk
- Potential for early or immediate menopause
- Could lead to menopause symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness
- No longer able to conceive
- Reduced sexual function (the vagina will no longer be able to elongate during sex)
- Increase risk for pelvic issues without the support of the uterus
How Is PCOS Treated?
Eating Balanced Meals
The right foods make all the difference with PCOS. So much of this disorder is centered on the relationship between hormone balance and insulin resistance, so eating well can help you get balanced and feel lots of symptom relief, including heavy periods. Now, balanced doesn’t just mean healthy green vegetables, it means having protein, fiber, carbs, and fat on your plate!
I recommend trying an anti-inflammatory gluten- and dairy-free diet. And, I recommend cutting caffeine and alcohol where you can. This can help reduce chronic inflammation, boost insulin sensitivity, balance hormones, and relieve plenty of symptoms. However, if you’re intimidated by taking on such a big lifestyle change, download The Cysterhood App! It’s full of delicious PCOS-friendly meals that don’t feel restrictive or boring. Plus, the app has a ton of extra info and a community of women just like you reversing their PCOS!
When reversing PCOS, exercise is super important—but not any workouts will do. One of the hormones Cysters struggle to balance is cortisol (stress hormones) and intense workouts like kickboxing, running, and spinning get your heart rate up and elevate those cortisol levels. This is not helpful for your weight loss or symptom reversal.
Instead, opt for low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, slow-weighted workouts, pilates, swimming, and cycling. This will allow you to keep cortisol levels low while you’re working out, which will help you reverse your PCOS symptoms and finally conquer your weight loss goals. You can also find specially curated workout plans for PCOS on The Cysterhood App!
Many Cysters struggle with fatigue due to inflammation and hormonal imbalances. However, getting a good 7+ hours of quality sleep can make a lot of difference! Not only are you getting more sleep, but that extra sleep can help with cortisol and melatonin balance, insulin sensitivity, irregular menstrual cycles, anxiety, and depression. All this can help with fatigue and other PCOS symptoms! Here’s more on how to get better sleep with PCOS.
Nutrient deficiencies can be the source of a lot of symptoms—whether you have PCOS or not. Even with a balanced diet, getting all the right vitamins and nutrients is really difficult. So, targeting what deficiencies you have, talking with your doctors, and finding the right supplements to fill those nutritional needs can definitely help reverse our symptoms and heal your PCOS.
Research shows that inositol is the best supplement for PCOS. However, there are others that can be really helpful! Here’s a list of the 8 best natural supplements for PCOS. To make it simple, I’ve crafted my own line of NSF-certified supplements specifically curated just for PCOS. You can grab Ovasitol and the Metabolism Plus bundle here! Remember to discuss all new supplements with your doctor before starting.
Hysterectomies are not a cure for PCOS in any way.
There is no quick fix (or invasive surgery) that will fix your PCOS. I really wish there was! However, there are plenty of natural ways to reduce your symptoms and heal your PCOS. Believe it or not, there are even more holistic treatment options than what I’ve listed! It just goes to show the power you can have when you get to the root cause of your PCOS and give your body the care it needs.
For more on living and thriving with PCOS, check out my blog! And, listen to A Cyster and Her Mister podcast, where we discuss various PCOS topics and share stories of success from Cysters just like you! Relief is possible!