Avatar universal

I am looking for feedback about possibly long term effects of hysterectomy

I am 45 years old and have been having heavy periods and low iron levels (not anaemic) for quiet some time. I have tried an ablation recently and this did very little for my iron levels which are still way low (11). I have had an iron transfusion and have considered long term iron supplement use but my body isn't actually absorbing enough of it to make any difference. I have been told my best option now is a partial hysterectomy (removal of uterus and I think the cervix but not the ovaries) but after doing some reading I am now very concerned about the possible long term heath issues such as pelvic organ prolapse, reduced size of vagina, urinary incontinence, bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, weight gain etc. Can anyone who has had this procedure please provide feedback on your personal experiences and if this is something I should be concerned about or are the risk of these things minimal. Also, can I please seek feedback from any medical professionals with the same advise. Thankyou!
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Have you considered or tried contraceptives or the non-hormonal prescription medication Lysteda to reduce bleeding? Even Rx NSAID's can significantly reduce bleeding (by 49%) according to this chart - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56545/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly.

You are right to be concerned about the many long-term health issues of hysterectomy. Besides those you listed, there is an increased risk of heart disease, #1 killer of women (one study says it is 3x that of an intact woman if your uterus is removed). Hysterectomy also destroys the figure because they have to sever the uterine ligaments that are the support structures for the pelvis. And it's associated with increased risks of thyroid, renal cell (kidney) and rectal cancers.

And then you also have the risk of having an ovary or ovaries removed (regardless of what you and surgeon discussed) or a ~40% chance of the ovaries not working properly after hysterectomy. Ovary removal (and likely impaired ovarian function too) has been shown to accelerate aging and increase risk for many health problems including heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, hip fracture, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, cognitive and memory impairment, dementia, parkinsonism, vision and skin deterioration, sleep disorders, mood disorders (depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings), sexual dysfunction.  

About 90% of hysterectomies are considered unnecessary so chances are it will be recommended by almost every gynecologist. It's a far too common and very lucrative surgery which is a big reason why women do not realize it's so damaging. Did you know that residents have to do at least 85 hysterectomies (recently increased from 70)? Many hysterectomies are done for fibroids (a common cause of excessive bleeding) which can be removed via myomectomy which preserves the uterus and its lifelong functions. But residents don't have to do any myomectomies.

I had a hysterectomy and am suffering the many after effects. Knowing what I have since learned and experienced, I would not allow a hysterectomy unless I had cancer that was confirmed by a biopsy. And I would be sure the consent form clearly stated what type of surgery could be done.

I hope this info helps!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
3 words DONT DO IT!!!!!

The side effects are terrible and you will regret it if I had done more research on this I would have before I had mine last year now I have a spasmatic bladder terrible bac pain still having cramping symptoms like I still have the cysts and endometriosis... go all natural eat plenty of veggies and fruit along with water cut down on meat intake exercise regularly if you can
Helpful - 0
I find your advice to be very ignorant and it makes me angry to hear such a response. (One subjective experience should not replace objective, well-researched science). No procedures come without risks, potential side-effects or the return of the original issue. I did plenty of research before mine and was subjected to two unsuccessful ablations, ridicule and doctors that did not believe me even though there were obvious signs of endometriosis. I was still young at the time and Dr's kept telling me 'Are you sure? Don't you want kids?'. Hystos are no joke for sure but it can bring much relief to many as it did for me (complete pain relief for a few years as they removed substantial endo plus two cysts). It's a very personal choice and it really depends on one's current health and the issues they are experiencing. Instead of just saying 'eat well, exercise and use 'holistic medicine' as well as saying that they will regret it to someone you don't know, including their medical history, perhaps you should think twice before vilifying all doctors and the medical industry/the procedure. Healthy diets and exercise can go to long way but they can only go so far (would you give this advice to someone with cancer or severe depression for example? They'll regret the chemo or the anti-depressants because of the side-effects??). Knowledge is power but not knowing enough can he harmful too!
If you had a bad experience, there is no harm in saying so but please explain why and do not tell people not to get the procedure simply because of your bad experience with it. Thanks
I'm sorry you went through that. I too still have issues with my bladder, scar tissue, pelvic pain and I am pretty sure that the endo has returned/more cysts are developing 4 yrs post-op. I read your comment again (ihatemyscars) and saw that you explained why you felt so strongly against your procedure/hysterectomy. I hope that you won't take my previous comment too badly, I did not mean to come off as nasty. I simply believe that telling someone not to get a procedure done because of one's own bad experience may not be the way to go.  Getting a hysterectomy was the best decision for me and I wouldn't go back for a million dollars. It truly was life changing and in the best possible way. Has it been perfect, no. Has some of the pain returned, yes and I was warned that it could and that there could be side-effects, obviously.

Some of the things women experience after partial (uterus), total (uterus and cervix) or radical (uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes/ovaries) hysterectomies are numerous but they do not occur in all patients and the severity of the symptoms can vary greatly in patients. One has to have a good Dr/surgeon/OBGYN that they can trust in order to help them weigh the risks vs the benefits (something which is or should be done with all medical procedures and treatment modalities).  Recovery times can also vary but nowadays with laparascopic procedures, pain management, the risk of infection and recovery times have gotten much better. Most doctors will want you to try non-surgical methods before proceeding with a laparascopic procedure such as ablation or a hysterectomy, including trying to keep your ovaries so that you can avoid having to take hormone replacement therapy. Have you gotten more diagnostic work or another lap to confirm that your endo and/or cysts have returned? There is indeed a risk of recurrence and a slight possibility of malignant cysts, especially if one is taking hrt. Cyst ruptures are no joke and can lead to serious complications such as ovarian torsions and peritonitis. Endo/scar tissue near the bladder or the digestive system such as the intestines or colon can also be problematic. It is worth getting that checked out if you haven't already. Please don't let your bad experience keep you from seeking medical care.

I just wish people would choose their words more carefully as they can scare off others from treatments that could actually help them. Due to some misinformation or reading up about some bad experiences and quite possibly some bogus alternative therapies, people may opt to forgoe meds, procedures or preventative care (ie. vaccinations) and that could turn out very badly for them.
Take care of yourself, I hope that you are doing better.
Avatar universal
Maggie - How are you doing?
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Hysterectomy Community

Top Women's Health Answerers
4769306 tn?1568490209
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.
Normal vaginal discharge varies in color, smell, texture and amount.
Bumps in the genital area might be STDs, but are usually not serious.
Chlamydia, an STI, often has no symptoms, but must be treated.
From skin changes to weight loss to unusual bleeding, here are 15 cancer warning signs that women tend to ignore.