A hysterectomy is a surgical procedureto removethe womb (uterus). You'll no longer be able to get pregnant after the operation.

If you haven't already gone throughthe Testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) , you'll no longer have periods, regardless of your age. The menopauseiswhen a woman's monthly periods stop, which usually occurs from the ages of to 45 to 55.

Around 30,500hysterectomieswere carried out in England in 2012 and 2013. It's more common for women aged 40-50 to have a hysterectomy.

Whydo I need ahysterectomy?

Hysterectomies are carried out to treat conditions that affect the female reproductive system, including:

  • heavy periods
  • long-term pelvic pain
  • non-cancerous tumours (fibroids)
  • ovarian cancer , uterine cancer , cervical cancer or cancer of thefallopian tubes

A hysterectomy is a major operation with a long recovery time and is only considered after alternative, less invasive, treatments have been tried.

The type you have depends onwhy you needthe operationand how much of yourwomb and surrounding reproductive system can safely be left in place.

The main types of hysterectomy are:

  • total hysterectomy the womb and cervix (neck of the womb) are removed;this is the most commonly performed operation
  • subtotal hysterectomy the main body of the womb is removed, leaving the cervix in place
  • total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy the womb, cervix, fallopian tubes (salpingectomy) and the ovaries (oophorectomy) are removed
  • radical hysterectomy the womb and surrounding tissues are removed, including the fallopian tubes, part of the vagina, ovaries, lymph glands and fatty tissue

There are three ways to carry out a hysterectomy:

  • vaginal hysterectomy where the womb is removed through a cut in the top of the vagina
  • abdominal hysterectomy where the womb is removed through a cut in the lower abdomen
  • laparoscopic hysterectomy (keyhole surgery) where the womb is removed through several small cuts in the abdomen

You can be in hospital for up to five days after surgery, and it takes about six to eight weeks to fully recover. Recovery times can also vary, depending on the type of hysterectomy.

Rest as much as possible during this time and don't lift anything heavy, such as bags of shopping. You need time for your abdominal muscles and tissues to heal.

This is known as a surgical menopause.

If one or both of your ovaries are left intact, there's a chance you'll experiencethe menopause within five years of having your operation.

If you experience a surgical menopause after having a hysterectomy,you should be offered hormone replacement therapy (HRT) .


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 24 Nov 2016