“Having a hysterectomy is major surgery. The decision to have a hysterectomy should only be made after you have been given adequate information about…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Hysterectomy Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Abdominal Hysterectomy
  • Hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (Keyhole Surgery)
  • Partial Hysterectomy
  • Radial Hysterectomy
  • Subtotal Hysterectomy
  • Supracervical Hysterectomy
  • Total Hysterectomy
  • Total Hysterectomy With Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy
  • Total Hysterectomy With Oophorectomy
  • Vaginal Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy

What is a hysterectomy?

DotS the definition of a hysterectomy may vary. In Hysterectomy: What Is A Hysterectomy? the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Healths (JH) definition is:

“A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus (womb)”.2

In Hysterectomy: Overview the (United Kingdom) NHS’s (National Health Service) definition is:

“A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the womb (uterus). You’ll no longer be able to get pregnant after the operation”.3

The Australasian Menopause Society’s definition is:

“A hysterectomy occurs when a woman’s uterus or womb is removed. She will no longer be able to bear children and will not have any further periods. However the ovaries will continue to function producing hormones normally and will continue to produce hormones if the woman is premenopausal”.4

Vaginal Hysterectomy

What is a vaginal hysterectomy?

DotS the definition of a vaginal hysterectomy may vary. In Vaginal Hysterectomy: Overview the (United States) Mayo Clinic’s definition is:

“Vaginal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus through the vagina. During a vaginal hysterectomy, the surgeon detaches the uterus from the ovaries, fallopian tubes and upper vagina, as well as from the blood vessels and connective tissue that support it, before removing the uterus”.5

Total Hysterectomy

What is a total hysterectomy?

DotS the definition of a total hysterectomy may vary. The NHS’s definition is:

  • “Total hysterectomy – the womb and cervix (neck of the womb) are removed; this is the most commonly performed operation”.6

The JH’s definition is:

“A total hysterectomy means both the uterus and the cervix are removed. A total hysterectomy does not mean the ovaries are removed. If the ovaries are removed this is a hysterectomy with oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries)”.7

Total Hysterectomy With Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

What is a total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy?

DotS the definition of a total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may vary. The NHS’s definition is:

  • “Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy – the womb, cervix, fallopian tubes (salpingectomy) and ovaries (oophorectomy) are removed”.8

Subtotal Hysterectomy

What is a subtotal hysterectomy?

DotS the definition of a subtotal hysterectomy may vary. The NHS’s definition is:

  • “Subtotal hysterectomy – the main body of the womb is removed, leaving the cervix in place”.9

The JH note:

“Occasionally a ‘subtotal’ hysterectomy is performed where the cervix is retained”.10

Common or Not

How common are hysterectomies?

In Hysterectomy: How Common Are Hysterectomies? according to the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov, in 2010:

“Each year in the United States, nearly 500,000 women get hysterectomies. A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the United States. The most common surgery in women is childbirth by cesarean delivery (C-section)”.11

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) also note:

“In the US, somewhat over a fourth of women have undergone hysterectomy by age 54, and about half of these women have undergone bilateral oophorectomy as well (surgical menopause)”.12

In Hysterectomy updated June 2012, according to the (British) Women’s Health Concern:

“Up to a fifth of women have had their womb removed by the age of 55”.13

Pap Tests

Do women still need regular Pap tests after a hysterectomy?

Womenshealth.gov note:

“Maybe. You will still need regular Pap tests (or Pap smear) to screen for cervical cancer if you:

  • Did not have your cervix removed
  • Had a hysterectomy because of cancer or precancer
Ask your doctor what is best for you and how often you should have Pap tests”.14

Menopause

Does having a hysterectomy put you into menopause?

In Causes of Menopause: Induced Menopause – Menopause Due To Surgery: Hysterectomy the JH explain:

Hysterectomy

“Sometimes there is confusion about whether having a hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus) will put you into menopause. If your uterus is removed but you still have your ovaries, you will not necessarily go straight into menopause. Ten to 12% of women who have a hysterectomy and keep their ovaries have menopause about 1-4 years earlier than their expected menopause. For most women, menopause occurs at the same time and with the same symptoms as if they had not had a hysterectomy”.15

Menopause Symptoms

Are the menopause symptoms related to induced menopause similar to those from natural menopause?

In Menopause FAQs: Premature, Early, and Induced Menopause: Q. I’m facing a hysterectomy with removal of my ovaries, so I’m going to have an induced menopause. Is it different from natural menopause? the NAMS note:

“A. Menopause symptoms related to induced menopause can be similar to those from natural menopause, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness. But premenopausal women who experience induced menopause can have more intense symptoms, and therefore, a greater need for treatment to control them than women who undergo natural menopause. And because you may be going through menopause at a young age, you need ongoing monitoring and sometimes treatment to lower your risk of menopause-associated diseases, such as osteoporosis, later in life”.16

Hysterectomy or Not

When making the decision to have a hysterectomy, what is it important to think about?

The JH explain:

“Having a hysterectomy is major surgery. The decision to have a hysterectomy should only be made after you have been given adequate information about why you need one, how the surgery will be performed, what will happen to your body and what the consequences may be. It is also important to think about how you may feel about losing your uterus and whether you need help and support coping with those feelings”.17

In Hysterectomy the Womenshealth.gov answer questions about hysterectomy.

In Hysterectomy: Considerations the NHS explain some of the decisions you may be required to make.

In Hysterectomy: Should You Have A Hysterectomy? the JH include questions you may like to consider when thinking about whether or not to have a hysterectomy.

What if I am unsure about having a hysterectomy?

The JH also caution:

“If you are unsure about having a hysterectomy, you should seek a second opinion. Sometimes it is appropriate to take time making the decision except when there is cancer or uncontrollable life threatening bleeding”.18

Health Care Provider

What if I do not bounced back after a hysterectomy?

If you do not bounce back after a hysterectomy it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. Together you can discuss your options and if required, agree on who may be the most appropriate health care provider to help you.

Health Topics A-Z

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Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Hysterectomy: What Is A Hysterectomy? Last Updated 26 September 2018 — Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/hysterectomy/ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  2. Hysterectomy: What Is A Hysterectomy? Last Updated 26 September 2018 — Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/hysterectomy/ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  3. Hysterectomy: Overview. Page Last Reviewed: 01 February 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hysterectomy/ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  4. Glossary of Terms: Hysterectomy. Content Updated: January 2016. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/381-glossary-of-terms Accessed: 14 February 2020
  5. Vaginal Hysterectomy: Overview. 08 February 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vaginal-hysterectomy/about/pac-20384541 Accessed: 14 February 2020
  6. Hysterectomy: Overview – Types of Hysterectomy. Page Last Reviewed: 01 February 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hysterectomy/#types-of-hysterectomy Accessed: 14 February 2020
  7. Hysterectomy: What Is A Hysterectomy? Last Updated 26 September 2018 — Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/hysterectomy/ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  8. Hysterectomy: Overview – Types of Hysterectomy. Page Last Reviewed: 01 February 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hysterectomy/#types-of-hysterectomy Accessed: 14 February 2020
  9. Hysterectomy: Overview – Types of Hysterectomy. Page Last Reviewed: 01 February 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hysterectomy/#types-of-hysterectomy Accessed: 14 February 2020
  10. Hysterectomy: What Is A Hysterectomy? Last Updated 26 September 2018 — Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/hysterectomy/ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  11. Hysterectomy: How Common Are Hysterectomies? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/hysterectomy.html?from=AtoZ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  12. Menopause Perspectives Around the World: North America: The North American Menopause Society (NAMS): Women Served. North American Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/menopause_perspectives_around_the_world.php Accessed: 14 February 2020
  13. Hysterectomy. Updated: June 2012. Women’s Health Concern https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help/factsheets/fs_hysterectomy.html Accessed: 29 October 2019
  14. Hysterectomy: I’ve Had A Hysterectomy. Do I Still Need To Have Pap Tests? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/hysterectomy?from=AtoZ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  15. Causes of Menopause: Induced Menopause – Menopause Due To Surgery: Hysterectomy. Last Updated 13 December 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/causes-of-menopause Accessed: 14 February 2020
  16. Menopause FAQs: Premature, Early, and Induced Menopause: Q. I’m facing a hysterectomy with removal of my ovaries, so I’m going to have an induced menopause. Is it different from natural menopause? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-premature-early-and-induced-menopause Accessed: 14 February 2020
  17. Hysterectomy: What Is A Hysterectomy? Last Updated  26 September 2018 — Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/hysterectomy/ Accessed: 14 February 2020
  18. Hysterectomy: Should You Have A Hysterectomy? Last Updated 26 September 2018 — Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/hysterectomy/ Accessed: 14 February 2020
Topic Last Updated:  14 February 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 14 February 2020
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