Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Hysterectomy FAQ | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmWomen with certain health reproductive health concerns, such as cancer, may be advised to have a hysterectomy – a surgery to remove the womb. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm offers answers to common questions about the procedure.

Q: What is a hysterectomy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure where a woman’s uterus, and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes, are removed. It is considered a major surgery and may require hospitalization.

Q: What are some conditions that might warrant a hysterectomy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hysterectomy surgery is not something to be considered unless extreme circumstances are present. Women with painful uterine fibroids, heavy or unusual vaginal bleeding, and uterine prolapse may be advised to have a hysterectomy to prevent other medical conditions. Endometriosis and adenomyosis, both conditions characterized by abnormal uterine tissue growth, may become severe enough that a hysterectomy is the only viable treatment. Women who cannot have radiation or chemotherapy or have persistent cancer of the cervix, ovaries, or uterus, may be advised to have a hysterectomy to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

Q: Are there alternatives to having a hysterectomy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: That depends on the condition. Sometimes, a hysterectomy may be necessitated by medical needs. However, women with uterine fibroids may take a wait-and-see approach as these tend to shrink at the completion of menopause. Endometriosis may be treated with certain medications. Uterine prolapse and other conditions may be eased via less invasive surgeries.

Q: Will a hysterectomy trigger menopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Every woman who undergoes hysterectomy surgery will cease having a period. Women who keep their ovaries should not have immediate menopause symptoms but will likely enter menopause a few years earlier than normal. It is sometimes necessary for both ovaries to be removed during hysterectomy. In this case, menopause will begin right away as hormone levels drop quickly. Hormone replacement therapy is the most viable way to manage hysterectomy-induced menopause.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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