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.