223. The Right and Wrong Reasons for a Hysterectomy

If you are told that you need a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus), get a second opinion. Your medical insurance plan may even require it. Your condition may have other treatment options.

Hysterectomies are still warranted for:

  1. Large fibroids.

  2. Severe hemorrhaging not controlled with medication.

  3. Irreversible damage from an untreated infection.

  4. Cancer of the cervix or uterus.

Alternative treatments exist for heavy, painful periods, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and a prolapsed uterus. If these conditions don’t respond to more conservative treatment, then a hysterectomy may be warranted. So if you’re told you need a hysterectomy:

  1. Ask about alternatives to surgery.

  2. Ask for specific details about the condition you’re being treated for and the expected outcome of surgery.

  3. Ask if your ovaries can be spared, to prevent shutting off the release of estrogen and, subsequently, premature menopause.

  4. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion if you question the need for a hysterectomy.

Chapter 9
  1. Women’s Health Problems