Emotional reactions to hysterectomy

Emotional reactions to hysterectomy may include:

  • Anxiety. Some anxiety about having a hysterectomy is to be expected. Most women with symptoms of anxiety or depression before hysterectomy report improvement following the surgery.
  • Grief. Many women grieve over the removal of the uterus, which means that they will not be able to become pregnant.
  • Fear. Although some women fear they may lose their ability to have satisfying sexual relationships following a hysterectomy, most women report that sexual pleasure improves after hysterectomy, sexual problems improve, and new sexual problems after hysterectomy are unusual.1
  • Physical changes. Many women are concerned about premature aging following a hysterectomy (if their ovaries are also removed) and symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and the increased risk of osteoporosis that go along with menopause after ovary removal. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy following your hysterectomy.

Talk with your doctor about your feelings about having a hysterectomy.

Citations

  1. Roovers JP, et al. (2003). Hysterectomy and sexual wellbeing: Prospective observational study of vaginal hysterectomy, subtotal abdominal hysterectomy, and total abdominal hysterectomy. BMJ, 327: 774–778.

Last Updated: August 12, 2008

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