What Are the Side Effects of Having a Hysterectomy?

Author: Staff Writers
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Possible hysterectomy side effects are often cited as a reason why women don't want to undergo the procedure. While all women who undergo hysterectomies will experience side effects, the severity and duration of some side effects depend greatly on what kind of hysterectomy you undergo. Some women may even appreciate some of the side effects of their hysterectomy.

Post-Surgical Side Effects

Your doctor will usually recommend that you remain in the hospital for at least one to two days after your surgery. You may be required to stay longer, depending on the underlying condition that made the procedure necessary. Immediately following your procedure, you can expect to experience pain and vaginal bleeding for several days. Your physician will supply you with something for the pain, and you will need to wear sanitary pads, not tampons, to control the bleeding. Women who undergo vaginal hysterectomies, where surgeons enter the body through the vaginal opening rather than through an incision in the abdomen, generally recover faster than women who undergo abdominal hysterectomies. Normal recovery time for vaginal hysterectomies is approximately three to four weeks, while abdominal hysterectomies require four to six weeks. Heavy lifting and intercourse are not recommended until six weeks after the surgery.

Menstruation and Pregnancy

Because the uterus is removed in all hysterectomies, after your surgery, you will no longer have periods or be able to become pregnant. If your ovaries and fallopian tubes were not removed, you will continue to produce hormones and ovulate.


If your ovaries and fallopian tubes were removed along with your uterus, and you were still having periods at the time of your surgery, you will enter menopause after surgery. Your physician may prescribe hormone therapy to treat any symptoms of menopause.

Emotional Side Effects

Because fertility is often associated with femininity, women, especially those who undergo a hysterectomy before the onset of menopause, often experience psychological side effects after hysterectomies. These emotional symptoms can be complicated by hormone shifts that take place after a hysterectomy if the ovaries are removed from a premenopausal woman. Inform your doctor of any psychological side effects you experience.

Other Side Effects

Other possible side effects of hysterectomies include damage to the surrounding abdominal and pelvic organs during surgery, cardiac or pulmonary problems associated with the anesthesia used, allergic reactions to medications, infection, heavy bleeding, and blood clots in the legs or lungs.


Works Cited

"Abdominal hysterectomy: What you can expect"

"Vaginal hysterectomy"


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"What Are the Side Effects of Having a Hysterectomy?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/what-are-the-side-effects-of-having-a-hysterectomy.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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