Sydney Fibroid Clinic

Hysterectomy Side-effects

Why should you consider alternatives to hysterectomy?


Hysterectomy is a major surgery that carries a risk of death of 5-38 per 100,000. Mortality rate reported from North America in the 1970s were as high as 0.2%, that is 2/1,000 or 200/100,000. Non-surgical means to treat fibroid symptoms are much safer. For example, UFE mortality is 1/100,000, which is 5-40 times safer than hysterectomy.


Besides risks of surgery, there are many other potential adverse effects of hysterectomy on your health.

Unless you have cancer of the uterus, hysterectomy is rarely needed to deal with your fibroid related symptoms.

There are many less invasive treatment options to deal with your fibroid related symptoms without resorting to hysterectomy.



What are the alternatives to hysterectomy?


Depending on your specific situation, uterine fibroid embolisation, endometrial ablation, hysteroscopic resection, Mirena IUCD, MR guided Focused Ultrasound or myomectomy may be suitable for you.


Please see separate section on Fibroid Treatment Options.



What are the effects of hysterectomy on my hormone balance?


It has been known for a long time that hysterectomy patients took longer to recover compare with patients who had other major surgeries. Symptoms include urinary problems, tiredness and depression. Doctors were puzzled and labeled this Post Hysterectomy Syndrome. It was thought to be due to hormone imbalance after hysterectomy.


Hysterectomy is shown to be associated with earlier onset of menopause. Women had hysterectomy enters menopause almost 4 years earlier compare with similar women who did not have hysterectomy. Blood supply to the ovary maybe in interrupted during surgery by ligation, spasms or thrombosis.


Early menopause is known to be associated with increased cardiovascular risk such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as osteoporosis.


Premature menopause can also increase risk of dementia.


Unfortunately hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not a simple answer to premature menopause caused by hysterectomy. Instead of protective against cardiovascular disease, recent studies have shown that HRT may actually increase the risk of heart attacks. In addition, HRT may increase the risk of breast cancer.



What are the potential long-term side effects of hysterectomy on my bladder?


Urologists are familiar with women who complain bitterly of urinary symptoms related to a previous hysterectomy. “Everything was alright until I had my hysterectomy”.


Hysterectomy weakens the pelvic floor and can cause stress urinary incontinence. Gynaecologists specialized in advanced pelvic floor surgery may advise against hysterectomy. They have referred patients for UFE to shrink the fibroid before pelvic floor surgery.

Patients who developed severe constipation after hysterectomy may have had their nerves damaged during surgery.



Effect of hysterectomy on my sexual life.


Studies regarding effect on sex life after hysterectomy can be confusing. Essentially it depends on whether the fibroids were affecting sex life in the first place.


For those women whose sex life was ruined by fibroid related symptoms, hysterectomy may improve sex life.


For those women whose sex life were not affected by fibroids, they need to be aware that studies have demonstrated decreased libido and orgasm after hysterectomy, especially total hysterectomy.


Nerve damage during surgery may be a cause. Surgery may change the anatomy of the top of the vagina, resulting in altered sensation for women and her partner. For some women, uterine contraction is essential for orgasm. This could be lost after hysterectomy.




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