Hysterectomy Pros and Cons List

According to a federal data, there are about 500,000 women who undergo hysterectomy in the United States. Despite the presence of several indications that make females candidates for this major yet common surgical procedure, there have been skepticisms whether this procedure is necessary or not.

What is Hysterectomy?

Considered as one of the most common surgeries done on women, hysterectomy is a type of operation wherein a part or all of the uterus and in some cases, the cervix and ovaries, depending on the extent of intervention needed. Some of the factors or conditions that may warrant this surgical procedure are menorrhagia or heavy bleeding, uterine fibroids or myomas, endometriosis, cancer and ectopic pregnancy, among others.

Although there are advantages brought by hysterectomy, there are also disadvantages attributed to this type of operation. Let us discuss the benefits and setbacks of this procedure.

List of Pros of Hysterectomy

1. Uterine Cancer Prevention
One of the reasons women opt for hysterectomy is the possibility of having cancer types related to the reproductive system of women. There are those who have family members like siblings and aunts who have been diagnosed with cancer and decide to have their uterus, ovaries or cervix removed surgically to prevent having the same medical conditions. This is usually recommended for women who have no plans of having babies and have a history of cancer.

2. Stops Excessive Bleeding
There are women who have heavy menstrual periods to the extent of having to use numerous maternity pads in a day. Some even experience lower abdominal pain during menstruation which can occur twice a month. While there are different reasons for heavy menstruation and abnormal uterine bleeding such as hormonal imbalance and drastic weight changes, some women choose to have their uterus removed to stop the bleeding totally.

3. Remedies Uterine Prolapse
Another condition that makes hysterectomy a good alternative is when the uterus goes down into the vagina. Women who have multiple births are often the ones who experience uterine prolapse. Although this condition can be addressed in other ways such as weight loss and the insertion of a vaginal pessary to secure the uterus, side effects appear like irritation and ulcers. That being the case, some opt to undergo hysterectomy.

4. Life Saver
Women who give birth, especially through cesarian section face risks related to infection. There are those who undergo CS and after a few weeks acquire infection which can be left undetected and lead to an emergency case of hysterectomy. Without this intervention, infection can enter the bloodstream and cause sepsis and eventually death.

5. Uterine Fibroid Removal
Some doctors say that uterine fibroids or myomas are benign tumors that can grow in the uterus and can cause heavy bleeding and pain. Despite not being cancerous, these tumors can grow as large as a baby’s head and be uncomfortable. Moreover, women who have uterine fibroids and who do not have them removed can suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding for years which can also lead to anemia and weakness. With hysterectomy, the uterine fibroid problem will be solved.

List of Cons of Hysterectomy

1. Not the Only Solution
Critics argue that hysterectomy can have benefits but it is not necessary all the time. There have been instances where the operation is recommended by the doctor even if there are alternatives such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Reports have also revealed that this surgery is one of the types that have been over-recommended and performed.

2. Prone to Complications
Just like any other major surgeries such as cesarian and explore laparotomy, hysterectomy can also lead to complications. This is why opponents or people not in favor of hysterectomy say that this is a condition that requires serious thinking and is also a personal choice. It can also be a risky operation that needs to be done properly. Even post-operation, women should be careful about lifting heavy objects and ensuring the wound is cleaned regularly to prevent infection.

3. Loss of Fertility
With the uterus and sometimes, the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries removed, there is no way for a woman who had hysterectomy to bear children. With the number of women in child-bearing ages undergoing this type of surgery, some people are not in favor of this type of surgery.

4. Traumatic
Aside from the physical changes in the body of a woman who had undergone hysterectomy, there is also a feeling of loss and emotional trauma attributed to this major surgery. For some it will take months while to others, this may take years. There will even be some who will suffer from depression because of not being able to bear children and for the fear of being incomplete physically.

5. Used for Birth Control
Critics also contend that there are doctors who suggest hysterectomy to prevent women, especially those who were discriminated against, from giving birth. There were also instances, according to some people, where patients were not aware that hysterectomy was performed on them.

6. Decrease of Sexual Urges
In some cases, some women lose their desire for sex or take longer to reach orgasm during sexual intercourse. This can happen if the ovaries are removed since they are responsible for releasing hormones. Also, when the uterus contracts during sexual activity, it contributes to orgasm. When the uterus is removed after hysterectomy, a woman might not get satisfied during sexual intercourse. Women who have this type of operation can also be at risk for incontinence triggered by stress. This can happen during exercise, sneezing, coughing and sexual activity.

Hysterectomy is one of the common surgeries performed on women, which makes it the more controversial. In some cases it is a necessity especially if the patient is already uncomfortable from heavy menstruation and her life is at risk. One the other hand, it also has numerous disadvantages and can be felt after the operation. Having said this, women should ensure that enough information about hysterectomy as well as know its pros and cons before undergoing this operation.