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Risks and benefits of Hysterectomy

Womens Health > Risks and benefits of Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy refers to surgical removal of woman’s uterus (womb). It is one of the most common surgeries among menopausal/ postmenopausal women. In case you are still in your childbearing years and are menstruating, hysterectomy will stop your periods and you will not be able to become pregnant.

Hysterectomy is of various types

  • Total (complete) hysterectomy: This removes the uterus as well as its opening called cervix.
  • Subtotal (partial) hysterectomy: This removes the upper part of uterus leaving the cervix intact.
  • Radical hysterectomy: It is done in cases of certain cancers and removes the uterus, the cervix, the vagina’s upper part, and supporting tissues.

You may need to undergo hysterectomy for the following reasons:

  • Uterine Fibroids: These are non-cancerous tumors in the uterus. You can treat fibroids by medicines but they re-grow once you discontinue the medicine. Sometimes fibroids cause heavy period and are necessary to remove.
  • Endometriosis: This is a condition when uterine tissues grow outside the uterus.
  • Uterine prolapse: This happens when the uterus moves from its original place down into the vagina.
  • Cancer of the Cervix
  • Precancer of the Uterus
  • Pain of pelvis (lower tummy), if the pain is because of uterus

To do hysterectomy, either the surgeon will cut open your abdomen or vagina. Accordingly, the surgery is called abdominal hysterectomy or vaginal hysterectomy. Abdominal hysterectomy is more common and requires a larger recovery period. On an average, you can resume normal activity in 4-8 weeks and can have sex in 6-8 weeks time from the surgery.

Since hysterectomy is a surgical procedure, it has the risks of any major surgery, e.g., infection and large amount of blood loss.

Besides the surgical risks, hysterectomy may have long-term psychological effects owing to depression and changes in sexual desire. Some women experience depression because inability to bear children and lose their sex drives. While others enjoy sex more, because there is no worry of getting pregnant.

Womens Health > Risks and benefits of Hysterectomy