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What Are the Pros and Cons of Removing the Uterus?

By Jami Yontz
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Removing the uterus is a difficult decision for any woman to make, and there are many pros and cons to consider when making the choice. The uterus is an essential part of a woman’s reproductive system, and fertilized eggs are implanted in the uterine lining. Without a uterus, a woman is sterile, and she may also be more likely to experience depression and have limited sensations during sexual intercourse. Removing the uterus may be necessary to treat or prevent disease or growths, but there are risks and complications associated with the procedure.

Because of medical reasons, a physician may suggest removing the uterus from a patient. An adexnal mass, a cancerous tumor that forms in the uterus, is one reason to have a partial or total hysterectomy, where only the uterus, and sometimes the cervix as well, is removed. This may prevent the spread of the disease or re-occurrence of cancerous tissues forming in the future. Fibroids, which are small benign tumors, can form in the uterus and cause pain, bleeding, and intense pressure on the surrounding organs. Endometrial polyps, endometriosis, or a prolapsed uterus are other reasons for a hysterectomy.

As with most surgical procedures, there are risks associated with removing the uterus. Infection and inflammation can occur as a result of the surgical procedure. There is risk of developing a blood clot during the procedure, and sometimes damage to other organs near the uterus can occur. Some women experience trouble urinating after surgery because of damage to the ureter could during surgery. After the uterus is removed, a woman will no longer be able to feel contractions of the uterus during orgasm, and there have been studies that show that women are more likely to develop depression after a hysterectomy.

The three types of surgeries to remove the uterus are open abdominal, laparoscopic, and vaginal. Open abdominal removal of the uterus carries the most risk of complications from surgery, the recovery time for this procedure is usually four to six weeks, and the patient will be left with a small scar. Laparoscopic surgery usually only requires a one night stay at the hospital for observation, and the recovery time is usually five to seven days. The cervix can also be removed during a total hysterectomy, but regular pap smears will be still be required if the cervix is left intact because the woman will still need to be monitored for the risk of developing cervical cancer.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1004973 — On May 23, 2021

Is a hysterectomy removing, donating, or selling the womb? And is there an age cap for getting this procedure?

By anon326784 — On Mar 24, 2013

I'm so scared of having my uterus removed. I just feel so sad. It's like I will be half woman and half man. But the pain that I'm having are really killing me and my doctor told me that I need to have a hysterectomy, but this is killing me big time. What should I do? Please advise.

By anon318471 — On Feb 07, 2013

Is there any pain in the foot or knees after the removal of the uterus?

By golf07 — On Oct 18, 2011

When I think about it, I have several friends that have had hysterectomy surgery. They have all been for different reasons, but none of them were because of cancer.

This is something I am always concerned about because my grandmother died from ovarian cancer. Whenever I start having some abnormal symptoms, this is the first thing I think of.

All of my friends seem to be doing quite well after their surgery and none of them miss having their monthly period.

It is easy to understand how women can struggle with depression after their uterus is removed. If they never had any kids or wanted to have more children, this could be very devastating.

Also, our bodies usually go through menopause slowly, and once your uterus is removed, this is an abrupt change than can cause all kinds of hormone issues which can really affect mood and depression.

By sunshined — On Oct 18, 2011

I began having some abnormal bleeding and I had several tests, which included an ultrasound that showed that I had polyps in my uterus.

The biopsy results were normal, but I had a procedure done that removed the polyps from the uterus just to make sure they didn't turn in to cancer. I really hope the polyp removal from my uterus takes care of my problem, because I don't want to have a hysterectomy.

I think this is the next step if I continue to bleed. I don't know if they would do a removal of my uterus and ovaries or just my uterus. I just hope it doesn't get to that point.

By jennythelib — On Oct 17, 2011

@dfoster85 - How terrible for your friend! In my job as a librarian, I've helped several patrons research vaginal vs. abdominal hysterectomy, what the after-effects are, and so forth. They were mostly older women, as you mentioned, and it was really a tough decision for them; they felt like they would be losing an important part of themselves. It's something that I'm not sure men really understand.

I hope that your friend will consider realizing her dream of a large family through foster parenting and/or foster adoption. An experienced mom is ideal because welcoming a child from a difficult background into your home can indeed be a challenge, but the rewards are immense. One of my cousins went down that road after she found out that her first child would have to be her last, for health reasons. She now has two children adopted from the foster care system.

By dfoster85 — On Oct 17, 2011

A dear friend of mine had a particular traumatic experience. She went to the hospital to have a baby, her second. She began hemorrhaging and doctors were unable to stop the bleeding until they performed a surgical removal of the uterus. I'm not sure why that works, but apparently it does.

Many women planning hysterectomies are older, of course, in their fifties or sixties, and there's that word *plan.* My friend was twenty-nine years old.

She is grateful for her two beautiful children, of course, and she knows that not everyone is so lucky. But she always imagined herself as the mother of a big family, four or five children.

There she was with this beautiful newborn, but at the same time grieving the loss of the siblings she would never be able to give it. She fell into pretty deep post-partum depression.

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