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Womens Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman's uterus or womb. The uterus is organ in which the fetus develops when a woman is pregnant. After a hysterectomy, you no longer have menstrual periods and can't become pregnant. Sometimes the surgery also removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes. If you have both ovaries taken out, you will enter menopause.

Your health care provider might recommend a hysterectomy if you have:

  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis 
  • Adenomyosis
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Cancer of the uterine, cervix, or ovaries
  • Vaginal bleeding that persists despite treatment
  • Chronic pelvic pain, as a last resort

What structures are removed when having a hysterectomy? 

  • Total hysterectomy—the entire uterus, including the cervix, is removed.
  • Supracervical (also called subtotal or partial) hysterectomy—the upper part of the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left in place. This type of hysterectomy can only be performed laparoscopically or abdominally.
  • Radical hysterectomy—this is a total hysterectomy that also includes removal of structures around the uterus. It may be recommended if cancer is diagnosed or suspected.

What other organs besides the cervix and uterus may be removed during a total hysterectomy?

One or both of your ovaries and fallopian tubes may be removed if they are abnormal (for example, they are affected by endometriosis). Your surgeon may not know whether the ovaries and fallopian tubes will be removed until the time of surgery. Women at risk of ovarian cancer or breast cancer can choose to have both ovaries removed even if these organs are healthy in order to reduce their risk of cancer.

What will happen if my ovaries are removed before I have gone through menopause?

You will experience immediate menopause signs and symptoms. You also may be at increased risk of osteoporosis. Hormone therapy can be given to relieve signs and symptoms of menopause and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Hormone therapy can be started immediately after surgery. Other medications can be given to prevent osteoporosis if you are at high risk.

What are the different ways hysterectomy can be performed?

A hysterectomy can be done in different ways: through the vagina, through the abdomen, or with laparoscopy. The choice will depend on why you are having the surgery and other factors. Sometimes, the decision is made after the surgery begins and the surgeon is able to see whether other problems are present.