This article has been medically reviewed by Doctor Ramlah Tariq FCPS on/gyn, RMP, MBBS, BSc.
Time to chat with the founder of Our Remedy, Rachel, about her experience of a total hysterectomy and CBD oil. She shares answers to the questions you may have if you too are facing the surgery and are wondering if CBD might help.
These are questions she found herself asking before the op. If there are any other questions you’d like to ask, get in touch with us @OurRemedyCBD
Firstly, a total abdonimal hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and cervix, the surgeon may also remove ovaries and fallopian tubes during the surgery which is called total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to remove all the cancer tissue from the body. This is the type that Rachel had.
How did you feel when you found out you needed a hysterectomy?
Devastated. I have a son and did want to have more children so there is no other word to describe how I felt. When I got home I just sat on the sofa and cried.
I didn’t really speak to anyone, friends or family, for about a week after. I cried a lot and felt very depressed.
After about a week I pulled myself out of this and started to try and think of all the positives. I even wrote a list and would read them when I felt sad about having the hysterectomy.
- Sex any time of the month
- Wear white
- Swimming without worrying about the string
- No period pains
- Better for the environment
I joined groups on facebook and started speaking to other women in very similar situations as me. This was a massive help. I really recommend this group on Facebook – hysterectomy support and shared experiences.
Why did you have to have a hysterectomy?
My hysterectomy was due to stage 3 borderline ovarian cancer cells found across my womb, ovaries, cervix and omentum. So as much as I did feel devastated and upset, I was also happy it was found when it was.
For some women with painful conditions such as endo, it can be a huge relief to hear you are having this op.
What type of surgery did you have?
I had my surgery done via keyhole which I was very relieved about as it is a relatively less risky procedure as compared to open abdominal hysterectomy with less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, smaller incision, and many other advantages to a painful long surgery. I have had open stomach surgery before and the recovery is tough. Whereas with keyhole I have been back on my feet after just a few days.
My hysterectomy recovery diary
How long was the recovery?
I spent most of the first week on the sofa. So, do save up some good Netflix shows! But that does not mean that all you have to do is stay in bed. You must rest as much as you can but also start standing up or walking for a few minutes at a time in 1-2 days after surgery. You should be active to better your blood circulation but avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting. Recovery is generally 6-8 weeks after open abdominal hysterectomy, but in the case of laparoscopic on, patients may resume their activities in 2-3 weeks. I felt really quite well and back on my feet after around a week.
There are still lots of restrictions such as having a bath or any penetrative sex for around 6-8 weeks, but your doctor advises you on this based on your checkups.
I waited 8 weeks for a bath and 12 weeks for sex and I would never ever advise doing anything before you are given permitted by a doctor as recovery from tears of the ‘vaginal cuff’ (where after the removal of the cervix, the vagina is closed/sown as a blind-ended tube) can take longer to heal than the hysterectomy itself. It’s just not worth the risk!
I was back at my desk after a week but working from home. My son was almost 2 at the time and pretty heavy, so I didn’t pick him up for around 4 weeks, after the doctors permission, of course.
Has it affected your sex life?
Honestly, not at all. The amount of times I googled ‘does sex feel the same without a cervix’ or before the op was insane! But it does feel the same, at least for me anyway.
Lots of people report a drop in libido for many reasons after a hysterectomy but there are things you can do to help this. I take maca root tablets and CBD, both of which might help with sex drive.
The groups I joined on Facebook were amazing at answering very personal questions on this subject, the women are so honest, open and understanding and there are no boundaries! Also, it is a private group so it won’t share with all your friends and family on Facebook like it does when you put something on Marketplace…!
What was your biggest worry?
Aside from how I would have another child, my biggest worry was the surgical menopause. I kept thinking that I wouldn’t feel womanly and that I wouldn’t want to act like a normal 31 year old.
I was concerned that I was going to end up wanting to ditch the bottomless brunches for puzzles and knitting, but that hasn’t happened at all. If anything, when you face something like this in your life it makes you appreciate things a lot more, so I think in a way it actually improved my life.
How did you find CBD for hysterectomy helpful?
I take CBD to help with anxiety and my sleep, both of which are things I struggle with when I’m facing something I’m worried about, like the hysterectomy.
I found a dose of CBD in my evening chamomile tea or hot chocolate really helped me get into a chilled state of mind and deep sleep.
Symptoms of surgical menopause from a hysterectomy may also be helped with CBD, so I take it daily along with my other supplements.
The symptoms it may help with are:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Sleep issues
- Pain relief during sex
I find CBD really helpful and there is some medical research on it too. On days I don’t take it I really notice a difference. Before starting Our Remedy I struggled to find a CBD I liked the taste of. I knew it was helping me but I dreaded taking it, so that’s why you’ll find peppermint in Our Remedy.
Mint masks the taste of hemp, which can be a little unpleasant. I find the minty taste really refreshing and look forward to taking it.
I’ve had a really easy time of it when it comes the surgical menopause, I do think CBD has helped but also keeping fit and eating well plays a big role.
Besides CBD for hysterectomy, what other supplements do you take?
- Magnesium – Strong bones and sleep
- Maca root – For energy
- Vitamin D – Get calcium to the bones
- B12 – As I am veggie
- Flaxseed oil – Natural estrogen booster
- Collagen – You stop making this at age 25, so super important!
If you are facing a hysterectomy and have some questions that you want honest answers to, drop Rachel a message on Instagram or email hello@Ourremedy.co.uk | Insta @itsourremedy