Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm | Hysterectomy Q&A

Marla AhlgrimmA hysterectomy is the most extreme treatment for a number of reproductive diseases. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm explains what it is and when it’s used.

Q: What, exactly, is a hysterectomy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: This is a surgical procedure that removes the uterus. Typically, when a woman has a hysterectomy, her entire uterus is removed. Additionally, depending on the cause, the fallopian tubes and ovaries may also be removed. A woman who has had a hysterectomy is no longer able to become pregnant.

Q: What are some reason’s a doctor might suggest this radical action?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Usually, this is reserved only for extreme cases where a woman would suffer more with her uterus left intact. For example, recurrent uterine fibroids, which can trigger severe pain and heavy bleeding. A hysterectomy may also be performed to correct uterine prolapse, adenomyosis, or endometriosis. The latter of the two conditions result in uterine tissue growing where it doesn’t belong. Uterine, ovarian, or cervical cancer may also warrant a full hysterectomy.

Q: Are there alternative treatments to uterine prolapse?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women with uterine prolapse, which is often caused by multiple childbirths, may wish to consider a vaginal pessary to help with this condition. This is a less invasive procedure that involves inserting a ring-shaped support into the vagina to keep the uterus in place.

Q: How often is hysterectomy surgery performed?

Marla Ahlgrimm: More than half a million women elect hysterectomy each year. It is considered one of the top three surgeries performed throughout the country. There are three types of hysterectomy. These include total, where the cervix is removed along with the uterus; partial, which removes only the upper portion; and radical, which removes not only the uterus, but the tissue to either side as well as the upper section of the vagina and cervix.


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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