Hysterectomy – NHS

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedureto removethe womb (uterus). You'll no longer be able to get pregnant after the operation.

If you have not already gone throughthe menopause, you'll no longer have periods, regardless of your age.

Many women have a hysterectomy. It's more common for women aged 40 to 50.

Hysterectomies are carried out to treat health problems that affect the female reproductive system.

These include:

A hysterectomy is a major operation with a long recovery time and is only considered after less invasive treatments have been tried.

Find out why a hysterectomy is needed

If you have a hysterectomy, as well as having your womb removed, you may have to decide whether to also have your cervix or ovaries removed.

Your decision will usually be based on your personal feelings, medical history and any recommendations your doctor may have.

Find out the things to consider before having a hysterectomy

There are various types of hysterectomy. The type you have depends onwhy you needthe operationand how much of yourwomb and surrounding reproductive system can safely be left in place.

The main types of hysterectomy are:

There are 3 ways to carry out a hysterectomy:

Find out how a hysterectomy is performed

There's a small risk of complications, including:

Find out more about the complications of a hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is a major operation. You can be in hospital for up to 5 days after surgery, and it takes about 6 to 8 weeks to fully recover.

Recovery times can also vary depending on the type of hysterectomy.

Rest as much as possible during this time and do not lift anything heavy, such as bags of shopping. You need time for your abdominal muscles and tissues to heal.

Find out more about recovering from a hysterectomy

If your ovaries are removed during a hysterectomy, you'llgo throughthe menopause immediatelyafter the operation, regardless of your age. This is known as a surgical menopause.

If 1 or both of your ovaries are left intact, there's a chance you'll experiencethe menopause within 5 years of having your operation.

If you experience a surgical menopause after having a hysterectomy,you should be offeredhormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Find out more about surgical menopause

The female reproductive system is made up of the:

Page last reviewed: 1 February 2019Next review due: 1 February 2022

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Hysterectomy - NHS

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