I decided to write this blog because I have had several people who were confused as to how I could still have light bleeding after my my hysterectomy. The reason is because I had a supracervical hysterectomy. Let me explain.
There are many different types of hysterectomies. Below are some examples:
- Total abdominal hysterectomy – the uterus and cervix are removed. Fallopian tubes and ovaries may or may not be removed depending on the individual case.
- Radical hysterectomy – this type is more extensive than the total because it also removes the upper part of the vagina. It is usually done if cancer is present.
- Oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries. It is usually done if there is a history of cancer or if cancer is present.
- Salpingo-oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes. It is usually done if there is a history of cancer or if cancer is present.
- Supracervical hysterectomy – the uterus is removed, but the cervix, ovaries, and tubes remain.
So if someone has told you that she has had a hysterectomy, it is important to know what kind of hysterectomy it is if you plan on having an in-depth discussion about it. I don’t think I made that clear in my book, so I am sorry about that!
So let’s get into the details of a supracervical hysterectomy. This is the way it was explained to me:
There is no definitive “line” between the uterus and the cervix. The two tissues kind of intermingle with each other at the top of the cervix/bottom of the uterus where they meet – the cervical tissue and the uterine tissue are not clearly separate. So, when doing this kind of surgery, there is really no way to tell if all of the uterine tissue has been removed or if some of that tissue still remains at the top of the cervix which will remain. If uterine tissue is left at the top of the cervix, that tissue will continue to respond to hormonal stimulation from the ovaries since the ovaries still remain. This means that the uterine tissue left behind will continue to bleed.
Now, since the majority of the uterine tissue is gone, the bleeding is greatly reduced. In my case, I went from flooding for 3 days and regular bleeding for a total of 10 to 14 days before my supracervical hysterectomy to just spotting for about 3 days after the surgery. There is a HUGE reduction in the amount of blood lost after this kind of surgery.
Personally, if I had to do it over again, I would have told my surgeon to take my cervix because the spotting became annoying to me. The spotting wasn’t bad at all…it was just annoying. Little things like that annoy the crap out of me, so it got on my nerves quick…lol! But some women prefer to keep the cervix intact, and if that is what you want to do in your case, please know that the light bleeding/spotting after a supracervical hysterectomy is minimal. If you are used to flooding, this small amount of light bleeding should be a cake walk for you 🙂
Hope that helps to clear things up a bit!
Have a great day!