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Side-effects of hysterectomy

Updated at: May 12, 2015
Written by: Arka Roy ChowdhuryPublished at: Jun 16, 2013
Side-effects of hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is the surgical process of removing the uterus and can remove the uterus completely or partially. Such a complicated surgery sure do has its side effects.

graphic image of uterus

Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus that is performed by a gynecologist; hysterectomy may remove the uterus completely or partially. The removal of the uterine from the body while leaving the cervix intact is also called supracervical. The side effects of hysterectomy depend on a number of things including the age, condition, whether the woman is still having periods and what type of hysterectomy she has. If you were still having periods before surgery, they will stop after the operation.

[Read: How is Hysterectomy Done]

Partial Hysterectomy

The uterus here is removed and the ovaries are left in place, also in most cases it is found that the circulation of blood to the ovaries has been diminished. The function of the ovarian will in fact cease all together and it is not really known why this happens.

Total Hysterectomy

In the total hysterectomy or surgical menopause, the uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries are removed as a result of which there is the interruption of the ovarian hormone production.

The side effects could include:

Premature Menopause

Women who have their uterus and ovaries both removed during the surgery can develop premature menopause. This premature menopause can in fact cause effects of vaginal dryness or irritation, decreased libido, night sweats and infertility. Also younger women may complain of grief, sadness and the likes as side effects of the surgery.

[Read: Symptoms of Premature Menopause]

Constipation or Urinary Retention

The surgery can cause damage to the organs which surrounds the woman’s uterus, and these may include bowels or bladder. Injury to these organs as you can realise will cause difficulties in urination or bowel movements. Women who have gone through hysterectomy could face constipation and pass hard and small stools. Bladder damage can also cause abnormal flow of urine of the body. However these side effects seem to go as the woman begins to heal from surgery. Later if these side effects are found to be too troublesome then doctor may prescribe a laxative or insert a bladder catheter so as to help flush the waste products from the body.


This is also referred to as pain during sex, and can effects certain women after the surgery. Vaginal infection or scar tissue following the surgery could be uncomfortable and it may tighten the skin within the vagina. Also women who experience vaginal discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse can become disinterested in sexual intercourse. The good news is that majority of the women regain their sexual libido once their body has healed completely.

Bleeding or Infection

There is a possibility of developing bleeding or infection complications for those women who have gone through hysterectomy. Thought heavy bleeding after surgery is a rare event, the affected women may in fact require a blood transfusion in order to resolve this side effect. Women may also experience infection within the vagina or along the surgical incision site can also develop as a side effect. Symptoms such as pain, swelling or fever should be immediately reported to your medical professional. It has been seen that women who are affected typically require an additional antibiotic medication in order to treat the infection.

[Read: Foods to Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infection]

Blood Clots

There is an elevated risk of developing blood clots for those who have gone through the surgery, the clots usually happen within the legs or the lungs. The increased risk in fact persists for up to six weeks following hysterectomy surgery. This can be life threatening as blood clots block the flow of blood to a woman’s lungs and thus requires proper medical attention. Before surgery, a doctor will recommend ways women can help reduce the risk of blood clot formation after hysterectomy surgery.

Read more articles on Women's Health


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