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Hysterectomy: What You Need to Know

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What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman's uterus or womb. There are many reasons why a hysterectomy may be necessary. After a hysterectomy, you no longer have menstrual periods and cannot become pregnant. Sometimes the surgery also removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This will depend on why you are having your hysterectomy and your age.

A hysterectomy may be done to relieve symptoms caused by several conditions, including:

  • Uterine fibroids — Noncancerous tumors of smooth muscle tissues that can form within the uterus causing heavy periods, abdominal pain or pressure, frequent urination, constipation, and infertility.
  • Heavy or irregular vaginal bleeding — Changes in hormone levels, infection, cancer, or fibroids can cause heavy, bothersome bleeding.
  • Endometriosis — Endometriosis happens when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus on the ovaries where it does not belong. This can cause severe pain, adhesions, and ovarian cysts.
  • Pelvic Pain (Adenomyosis) — In this condition the tissue that lines the uterus grows inside the walls of the uterus where it does not belong. The uterine walls thicken and cause severe pain and heavy bleeding.


For hysterectomy patients

Find hysterectomy information for patients.

Additional information from our Health Library