Q:

Why do you gain weight after a hysterectomy?

A:

Quick Answer

Weight gain among women who have undergone hysterectomy surgery is thought to be caused by changes in hormone production, says Women's Health. Changes to lifestyle may also play a role, according to Healthy Women.

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Full Answer

Weight gain following partial hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is associated with a drop in hormone production that has a large effect on the way the body burns fat and uses calories. Women's Health reports that this is most likely due to a decrease in blood flow to the pelvic region. This drop in hormone production may lead to slowing of the metabolism. Even if a woman is exercising and eating the same as before surgery, her body does not burn calories and fat as efficiently, and she gains weight, notes Healthy Women.

Weight gain following full hysterectomy (removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus) is most likely due to imbalance between estrogens and androgens brought on by removal of the ovaries, as indicated by Women's Health. Androgen levels increase as estrogen and progesterone levels drop following surgery, and this leads to an increase in fat deposits within the abdomen.

Lifestyle change associated with weight gain after hysterectomy is typically due to lack of exercise and poor eating habits, as argued by Healthy Women. Following surgery, many women become more sedentary and thus burn off fewer calories than they consume. By becoming more sedentary, many of these women lose muscle mass and instead gain fat.

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