hysterectomy broken bodies

Hysterectomy Experiences: Broken Bodies

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Gynecologic surgeries, namely hysterectomy (uterus removal), oophorectomy (ovary removal) and C-section, are the top overused procedures in the U.S. Only a small percentage of hysterectomies and oophorectomies are considered necessary since gynecologic cancers are rare. According to this JAMA Surgery article on 2007 inpatient procedures, “Two operations on the female genital system, hysterectomy and oophorectomy, accounted for a total of 930,000 procedures (89.3% and 84.6%, respectively, were elective).” These figures do not include the roughly 300,000 outpatient hysterectomies and oophorectomies. This graph (graph B) of indications for hysterectomy is a good visual of how few are done for cancer (~50,000). However, it is misleading in that it appears that hysterectomies have steadily declined since it only includes inpatient procedures. Outpatient hysterectomies have steadily increased since about 2002. The 89.3% “elective” rate would indicate that these surgeries are “restorative” or at least harmless, but medical literature and women’s experiences prove otherwise.

A few years ago, I began writing for Hormones Matter about the consequences of hysterectomy and oophorectomy. Year after year, these posts generate tens of thousands of views and hundreds of comments. The comments inevitably follow the same pattern of unwarranted removal of organ(s) without informed consent and ensuing declining health. We are publishing a series of articles highlighting women’s comments. This is the second one of the series. The first article is about the lack of informed consent and can be found here.

Musculoskeletal Changes Post Hysterectomy

The severing of the uterine ligaments, the pelvis’ support structures, compromises pelvic skeletal integrity affecting the entire musculoskeletal system as explained here. The changes – spine compression, widening of hips and descent of rib cage – cause discomfort and chronic pain over time. Our figures reflect these changes in the loss of our waists, the buffer between the rib cage and hips. That’s why women who have had hysterectomies have shortened, thickened midsections, protruding bellies and the loss of the curves in their lower backs. Endocrine dysfunction further compromises musculoskeletal integrity at least from a bone density standpoint but possibly other mechanisms too. This article addresses these changes. Since the changes are somewhat gradual, many women don’t realize that their hysterectomies are to blame.

Nicole writes:

“leg numbness and back pain”

Theresa says:

“My lower back, hips, and legs are constantly killing me after the surgery. My lower back has an inward indentation as if I have a lordosis back. I never had this before neither all these aches and pains.”


“I have been told that my lower back injury is also directly related to my hysterectomy as the entire support structure has been weakened.”


“I have ongoing PT and dry-needling for my lower back, pelvic floor, sciatica & my hips.”


“constant back, leg and hip pain. … My once tiny, strong tummy area is now flabby and my entire abdomen is completely numb.”


“severe pain in my hipbone and my knee and shoulder left side hurting more and left side sole give me pain when I walk.”

Angie Hayes:

“… at 26 I had a total hysterectomy. Worst thing I could ever do!!! … my hips are tilting in and back pain all the time.… I would love to have the week of pain every month I was having for the rest of my life. Instead I now have some kind of pain every day and just getting worse….”

Jill Reif:

I lost my waistline, I look in the mirror and cry. I work out but my joints, especially my hips, legs and back throb.”


My hips always ache. My pelvis shifted forward because of the round ligament removal, my gait and stance changed…. I can’t take long strides anymore, and letting my knees cross is painful.… That rib to hip thing is real.”


I had two university trained health professionals spell out exactly what removing the uterus, cervix, tubes does to a woman’s musculoskeletal system, connective tissues etc and it ain’t pretty! One was a PT and the other a chiropractor. Since they spend their lives rehabilitating injured and broken down bodies they would know.”

Annele Oosthuizen:

“I am so glad I found your post, I thought I was searching in vain for answers, after my hysterectomy I experienced numerous changes, weight gain, ageing more rapidly, facial features and skin texture changed, my figure changed….”


“It’s been a year since my surgery. Most recently I’m having… and joint pain in lower back and hip bones.”


“I had a complete hysterectomy in 2004 due to severe endometriosis. Since then my low back, hips and legs stay in chronic severe non stop pain. I am on heavy pain meds…. I have lost 1″ in height since my surgery as well.”


“I had a total hysterectomy in November of 2014. I have experienced so many terrible body changes such as the ones discussed. Hips have shifted sides of stomach are wide. No longer a woman’s figure. Legs got very dimply and joints and back ache. It’s as if I feel all these changes as they are happening and causing so much discomfort…. Doctors don’t seem to want to help and didn’t explain all this beforehand….”

Ram Rakh Bishnoi:

“My wife was undergone operation for removal of uterus (Hyp) in five month ago. But now a days back pain and knee pain problems are come to notice.”


“Not only do I suffer with pain every day, My bone structure is different and my lower abdomen is swollen all the time and hangs over my underwear line…. I used to be tall and thin, strong and energetic. The Robotic Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is a lie and a scam for Dr.’s to make money….”


“I am a victim of getting Spinal Stenosis 12 months post Hysterectomy. I had to leave my good job 6/2013. I cannot sit long, walk long, stand long. I cannot clean my home, handwriting changed. Heavy legs, arms. Pain all over body.”


“I have chronic low to moderate pain for the last two weeks in back and genitals, dismissed as being nothing to do with the hysterectomy and due to sacral/coccyx issues only…. I believe it is all interconnected.”


“Not to mention I feel like my body looks so different in my midsection.”


“I had MRI in 10/2013 found that have cervical spinal stenosis. I also have left hip and left lower back pain.”


“My figure has shifted also and I now have the poochy pot belly you describe. I am slender otherwise. … my lower back aches nearly every day from my altered and off kilter frame, which is now un-naturally front heavy.”


“Anatomical, skeletal changes, nobody ever mentions those when talking about hysterectomies. My mother and my sister both had them, and never once mentioned anything about the changes….”

Shalyne Lockett:

“I had a total hysterectomy may 2014 and my lower back hurts daily. I can walk a few steps and it’s worse.”


“My body was previously bikini worthy, now as others seem to have experienced, there is less support so my rib cage is lower and my abdomen has a bulge. My pelvic muscles also are almost frozen. I have a new large indent in my back now, almost like the plane across where the uterus was has an empty void and doesn’t support my spine.”


“I still have severe lower back pain. The pain is debilitating. I can hardly make it through a full shift at work and driving is something that I avoid because sitting in the same position for more than 5 min is almost impossible….”


“I am 38 and now feel worse than I ever have. Really bad lower back pain and pain in my pelvic area and pain when urination. Inter course is very uncomfortable also.”

Elaine Bailey:

“Surgeon basically told me I had to have a hysterectomy, I had gone through menopause.…  Now every morning is a chore, my knees, my ankles, my elbows, and recently now my lower back is sooooo stiff and sore. If I sit and try to stand I look like an 80 yr old woman. I ache constantly…. I am so sleep deprived and so sore. I cry and yearn for who I was a year ago.”

Jerri Burris:

“When I was 25 I went to my GYN because I was having painful periods. He did a hysterectomy in which he took everything but my cervix. They tried putting me on several different hormones over a 2 year period, but none were right for me. Now I’m 37 and have been experiencing some major issues with fractured ribs. I have had two fractures within a two month period. Both were caused when someone gave me a hug. And I can’t stand on my feet for long periods of time.”


“my knees don’t bend and I have very little use of my arms as my joints are ceased.”


“I now have terrible osteoporosis.”


“I had a hysterectomy 8 months ago and still kept my ovaries. Ever since surgery I had so much pain. … I have been having some pains in my ribs, major lower back pains and my incision still hurts.”


“a flat ass & tummy pooch now too!”

Nerve Damage Post Hysterectomy

According to this article “Iatrogenic nerve injury following gynaecological surgery occurs more commonly than is recognised and is a significant cause of postoperative neuropathy.” There are several mechanisms cited as major contributors, namely, “mal-positioning, improper incision sites and self-retaining retractors.” It cites a 7% rate of chronic nerve pain after surgery with a “bikini” (Pfannenstiel) incision. The femoral nerve is the most susceptible to injury at a rate of at least 11%.

Although not addressed in the cited article, it would seem that the gradual shifting of bones and other tissue could also cause nerve damage especially compression. Post hysterectomy endocrine dysfunction and impaired blood supply may be other mechanisms of nerve damage. This could have a domino effect on organ function since organs require nerves (as well as blood supply) for proper functioning. The above cited article implies this causal relationship in its statement that “injuries to the nervous supply of the bladder and bowel are beyond the scope of this article.” Women’s experiences with post hysterectomy bladder and bowel changes will be addressed in my next article.

Here are some of the comments from women suffering from nerve damage:

Angie Hayes says:

“… at 26 I had a total hysterectomy. Worst thing I could ever do!!! I have pain all the time cause nerves were left exsposed and my hips are tilting in and back pain all the time. All with other health problems I think maybe connected…. I would love to have the week of pain every month I was having for the rest of my life. Instead I now have some kind of pain every day and just getting worse.”


“I have ongoing PT and dry-needling for my lower back, pelvic floor, sciatica & my hips.”


“My surgery date was 10/15/15. Felt really great up until last week of January 2016…. Noticed drastic, sudden sharp pain from my lower back shooting around the sacrum, up into my spine, all the way to my neck and head. This sharp pain was coming and going sporadically. But now, the excruciating pain in is my lower back constantly. It feels like constant pain in the bone of the sacrum (lower back). The shooting pain up into my neck and head still occurs whenever it feels like it, i just never get any warning at all. I literally cannot sit comfortably…. Now for the past 3 weeks I am experiencing what feels like a “pulled” something or another in my upper, inner left thigh area. It feels like something is pulling hard- like a stretched out rubber band– and it hurts just as bad as my back. I am in so much pain all day everyday and nothing helps whatsoever. Naturally my GYN got his money out of me and conveniently he is all booked and per his nurse (who was nice enough to return my call), ‘your symptoms do not sound like they are from your surgery in October 2015– maybe you should see a neurologist.’”

Sandra Dalton:

“I had a hysterectomy six years ago since then can’t go without a day having nerve pain on my back hips thighs no legs it’s mostly on my right side I work full time and now I’m of work because I in pain all the time. It’s also on both legs I get burning and like someone putting a sharp knife into me went to doctor and he’s said its not connected to hysterectomy I did not believe him”


“…. I feel as though your article is describing me. …The pain seemed to have originated from the lower back traveling down my inner thigh via my nerve. I thought I was having sciatica again. But this nerve pain never went away, and to this day I’ve still got it. In addition, over the last few months I’ve gotten this excruciating pain after I am in a lying or sitting position. The pain again originates from my lower back and goes down both legs to the point that I cannot straighten up or the pain increases in intensity. It lasts the entire day now.”

F De wazieres:

“… severe low back pain, pelvic pain, left buttock, thigh, knee calf and foot…. during sex I am experiencing sharp pain that radiates into my hip leg etc and it is now constant. … morphine … is not helping this pain….”


“… I will be 2 years post hysterectomy (TAH). I was 52y/o…. After 3 months post surgery, I had to retire my full time profession…due to fatigue, lower back, sacroiliac joint, hip, leg and foot pain!… I no longer can remain for long lengths of time to stand, walk, dance, sit, or lay in bed without the debilitating feeling of flares of chronic pain.”


“Sciatic, disc tears”


“When I woke up from my surgery I also had excruciating sciatic pain which has never gone away.”

I caution any woman who is told she needs a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy or is considering one to heed these comments. With the gross overuse of these surgeries, chances are she’s being sold a false bill of goods. It’s not always a good idea to rely solely on your doctor’s advice as Someone Who Cares implies:

“After 40 years of enduring this “disabled” existence, it breaks my heart that no matter how many of us try to warn other women, in various ways, the number of these destructive surgeries continues to increase, not decrease.”

A complete list of my articles can be found here. The HERS Foundation is a good resource for understanding the lifelong functions of the female organs. It also has information about gynecologic conditions and treatment options. These two sites, Gyn Reform (especially the studies/citations link) and Ovaries for Life, are excellent resources about the gross overuse and harm of ovary removal or loss of ovarian function after hysterectomy.

WS has a passion for educating women (and men) about the overuse and harm caused by gynecologic procedures. She also wants to raise awareness that health care has evolved from being patient centered to being profit and quota driven. This paradigm shift is responsible for excessive unnecessary testing and over-treatment which is not only costly but can cause more harm than good.


  1. Interesting read. I was diagnosed with uterine cancer at 31, the gynocologist that did my partial hysterectomy had admitted to me that she had me in a “jack-knife position” for 51/2 hours. That caused me to end up with double fusion in lower back ,I am now going on 48 years of age. And still need Drs for back issues today. Only thing I say is I’m grateful she saved my life so I could raise my 2 children but she also informed me I was pregnant and did not know. She said I was almost 4 months along, she told me she had to dise t it to find out it was a fetus and had told me if I had not had surgery there was more likely a chance I would have miscarried or the child would have major health issues.. I still can’t get over that. No I never sued. Just telling my story. Not giving up though, seeking better care every day! Where there is a will there is a way! Huge lesson I learned found out it’s a “learning hospital and unless you write GHOST on paper an intern can do surgery, if you wrote that on paper the surgeon is responsible to do it. I had over 500 interns & did not know till after I woke up from surgery. I now live with over a few hundred staples in me from the cancer surgery and a titanium cage in my lower back. But she saved my life. What a catch 22 huh .. still got faith in God! Have to!

  2. I had a hysterectomy in Oct 2021, leaving 1 ovary. Surgery went fine, healing went fine. A week following my surgery, I ballooned up and couldn’t move. I hurt all over. My wife had to help me with everything. This was constant pain until mid Nov. Prednisone worked, but can’t be long term. Tried a new med, while reducing Prednisone. Started to flare back up. Now trying methotrexate, with strong dose Prednisone. No change..flaring up again. Dr calling it inflammatory arthritis. I am convinced it is from the hysterectomy and there is more going on.so much pain.

    • It’s been a long time since your comment, but your story is identical to mine. I’m curious if you ever figured out a cause or solution?


  3. I had a full hysterectomy about 4 mts ago!! I’ve never had problems with my hips hurting until now!! Sitting is awful. I already have back issues but since the surgery it seems it feel worse. My incision site is also still sore.. I seen my regular Dr. today and she said that’s not normal and is sending me back to figure out what’s going on. I had no choice I had a very large mass that was attached to my pelvic and a necro ovary and a 9cm cyst on the other. I have had ruptured cysts on and off for the past 3 yrs.. I hope to get some relief soon. Glad I found all these comments because I thought I was going crazy.

    • I also had a full hysterectomy in May this year! I’ve since had a prolapse and chronic back, hip, groin, leg, buttock pain. I have a MRI scan next week. I can relate to so many of these comments, people have told me it takes a long time to recover and others were back in work within 3 months.

  4. I was scheduled for a hysterectomy/ oopherectomy this past January, for heavy bleeding, fibroids, cysts an d unconfirmed endometriosis. ( I am 50 yo) My CA125 ran a bit high especially near my cycles and I think this was really the only basis for taking everything….that .000001% chance of cancer. I signed off on the consent forms, acknowledging the chance of organ damage, possible ostomy, etc. I felt ready to just get rid of it all. But even from the beginning I didn’t feel good about losing both ovaries and as I went through all the pre op tests I felt less and less good about it but wanted to get it over with before I lost my nerve. My best friend had it done a year prior, one ovary remaining and swore by it. Hers was more necessary tho where physically my parts are still in pretty good shape. Well long story short I tested positive for Covid and while it should have upset me I felt like I was saved by the bell! Divine intervention maybe? Those tests were honestly feeling increasingly torturous in themselves. I’m grateful I had time to step back and reconsider using the progestins I had tried before. While they didn’t stop my bleeding completely they did make it manageable and I’ve come to accept that these peri menopausal years are just going to be wacky. That’s just the way it is and I just want to make it to menopause in one piece at this point. I’m very grateful for forums such as this one. Good luck and good health to all of you ?

    • Ellen – I’m so glad you were saved from having your organs removed. I hope you have fully recovered from COVID. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  5. I feel like my whole body got hit by a car everyday.. My hips, back and legs kill me. I would rather have the worst cramp every month than have had that stupid hysterectomy. I REGRET IT. I don’t recommend it to anyone. Just suffer a few days with cramps and take your iron don’t do it.

    • TC, I’m so sorry that you are suffering these horrific effects. It’s perplexing that women who are considering a hysterectomy and those who are early post-op refuse to believe that hysterectomy causes these problems. And it’s difficult to even spread the word as a number of forums censor posts especially when it comes to these anatomical changes. So many women consider them “rumors”, “fear-mongering”, “scare tactics”. All I can think is that they’ll find out eventually and too bad they chose to dismiss the warnings. Sadly though they are unlikely to admit it and warn others.

  6. I had a total hysterectomy including removal of both ovaries Feb 2019. Had a few problems as my uterus was attached to my bowel due to endometriosis so surgery took longer than expected and had to change to an abdominal incision. I am now experiencing lower abdominal discomfort in the lower abdomen. I notice it more when I rise from a sitting position and walk as if my abdomen is heavy and stretching. Subsides once I get moving. Also have a sore spot in my left groin area and a spot on my pubic bone is sore to the touch. Have at time had colicky pain which is later relieved after going to toilet. Sometimes I have pain in lower abdomen when urinating and having a bowel movement. This was happening prior to my surgery because of the Endo. Has anyone else had these symptoms as it is scarring the whits out of me. All I can think about is cancer. I am going to get some Bowen therapy done because I think it’s more muscular because when i lean back or to the side I can feel a dull pulling sensation much like when I first get up from sitting. Help me please

    • Fiona, I’m sorry you are dealing with these after effects. I have abdominal pain when my bladder and bowel are full and they just don’t work the same as they did pre-hysterectomy. And I still (14 years post-op) get occasional twinges of pain aside from the bladder/bowel issues and pain. I also have some hip and back pain that comes and goes. Keep in mind though that hysterectomy (with or without ovary removal) is not a cure for endo so your pain could be from endo.

  7. I don’t have much to say since most women have bravely shared their experiences which described the same symptoms im having. Pain, soreness and stiffness daily. I am more saddened by those under 50 yrs old whos lives are effected by these post surgical events. Occasionally, Ive noticed swelling, water retention is a main cause of my pain. However, taking pain medication is not my choice. I try to take a holistic approach; yoga, natural diuretic such as green teas, asparagus, coffee/espresso seems to work for me. The only problem is the pain can come unexpectedly and intensely and I forget my holistic approach. I wish there is a way to correct the pain. Please share your approach.

    • Harriett, I am sorry you are suffering so. Our hormones are so important for every aspect of health including keeping us flexible. I wish I had some suggestions but I don’t.

  8. I had a vaginal hysterectomy 2 years ago due to severe prolapse and heavy painful periods. I still have my ovaries. I have pain in my pelvic area and lower right side of my abdomen with lower back pain off and on. I have had several transvaginal ultrasounds and abdominal ultrasounds. One showed I had a cyst on my left ovary but it ended up going away. The tests only showed that and the doctors did not have an answer to why I’m having pain and will not say it has to do with my hysterectomy. Intercourse is painful. The only thing they told me to do was physical therapy and I tried that and it did nothing to help my pain. I’m not sure if I should find another doctor, I did go to a different gyno then the one that did my hysterectomy. I feel like they think I’m crazy and maybe this is something I just have to live with. It is very frustrating I am 43 years old and I have pain everyday, walking, standing make it worse and like I said intercourse is painful. Not sure what I should do.

    • Gwen – I’m sorry that hysterectomy has caused these chronic pain issues. Since the vagina is shortened, I wonder if that is the cause of your pain with intercourse. Another possibility is vaginal atrophy but an exam should have diagnosed that. Adhesions / scar tissue at the vaginal cuff is another possibility.

      It’s hard to say what’s causing the pelvic pain. Since you had painful periods, do you possibly have endometriosis (for which hysterectomy is not a cure)? Other possibilities are bowel issues due to displacement and/or adhesions.

      Back problems are common due to the skeletal changes that occur since the pelvis’ ligaments / support structures are severed to remove the uterus. If you’ve had back pain since surgery, it could be from surgical positioning. Unfortunately, even if doctors know or suspect the cause as being from surgery, they tend not to admit it as they are faulting a peer. There is a white coat of silence.☹️ I hope you can get answers and relief.

  9. I’ve been desperately searching for answers. My total hysterectomy was 2 years ago. About a year ago, I started feeling not myself. My body aches all over it. I am fatigued beyond belief. I’ve feel like I have lost any muscle I once had. Insomnia, hair loss, emotional. I am so worried about the the all over body pain and muscle fatigue! OTC are not helping at all! What do I do?

    • Christina – I’m so sorry your gynecologist failed to inform you about the effects of hysterectomy (which is unfortunately the norm).

      I am not pro or anti hormone therapy but taking estrogen may help your symptoms. I personally was a mess in every way until I got enough estrogen in my body. It hasn’t restored me to my former self nor does it address the anatomical changes (bladder, bowel, figure, sex) but the other physical as well as emotional and mental symptoms are much improved.

  10. Hi, I had total hysterectomy 14/12/2013 age 37. I now am suffering extreme lower back & hip pain mainly at night & on my left side. This morning I cried it hurt so much. It has changed me in every way possible & noone ever told me it could be this bad. I’ve aged facially & bodily. I have arthritis in my neck, I get pains in places I e never had before but it’s the back pain that’s the worst. It makes it hard to work. I wish someone would have told me that I would above pain every day of my life ??‍♀️?

  11. Hi,

    Thanks for all the information you provided here. I need your help with my mum. My mum had a radical hysterectomy 4 weeks ago for his uterus cancer. Right now, she has started her chemotherapy and supposed to continue it for a few months and possibly with one or two radiotherapy sessions. From two weeks ago, my mum was complaining about a lot of sharp pain on her hip, back, the below part of the chest (maybe rib cage). Also, she sometimes tells us she feels some tingling feeling on her feet. I am worried about her and specifically her chronic pain on her hip and rib cage. I have read some of the comments above; however, I did not find anything for reducing/eliminating the pain. Is there any method/medicine or something that my mum may take to feel less pain? It is very hard for me to see her in this condition. She is not in the U.S. and I need to talk to her through the video call. Please let me know if there is/any sort of solution(s) to reduce the pain. Also, can anyone advise me what will be the possible issues in the future for the hysterectomy? I really appreciate your help and support.

    • Hi Mohmmad, what a good son you are, looking out for your mom. There are few things going on here, some related to the hysterectomy, some related to the chemo. The pain she is feeling in her hip, back, rib cage, could be from either or both, compounded. The structural changes from the hysterectomy cause everything to drop. It is entirely possible that she has ribs, vertebrae and hips that have come out of place, causing pain and compressing a nerve or nerves. It is very common and can generally be resolved somewhat with deep tissue massage, chiropractic care and/or physical therapy. Unfortunately, however, with the chemo, that adds whole other layer of issues, not the least of which is mitochondrial damage that also will cause pain and tingling in the nerves, neuropathies. The chemo is also known to cause severe nutrient deficiencies, which further damage the mitochondria. In many regards, surviving the chemo is more difficult than surviving the cancer itself. Supplementing with nutrients, vitamins and minerals is controversial with cancer as some believe that to do so lessens the effects of the chemo and increases the growth of the cancer. The chemistry suggests otherwise, but it is a complex issue. Dr. Lonsdale and I wrote about this recently. https://www.aimspress.com/article/10.3934/biophy.2020002
      With regard to future issues both from the hysterectomy and the chemo, it will be imperative that she replenish the nutrients that she has lost, to consume as absolutely as clean of a diet that is possible, to avoid unnecessary chemical exposures and to strengthen her body e.g. exercise. Immobility will make this infinitely worse. It will be critical to strengthen the abdominal, back and hip musculature. If she doesn’t the pain will only get worse. First though, she has to survive the chemo. You both have quite a battle ahead. I wish you the best.

      • Thanks a lot, Chandler for your time and all the information.

        I really appreciate your consideration.

  12. No one believes me,including my husband of the pain I feel in my whole body aches since my full hysterectomy, mainly sciatica, both legs ache,sometimes my arms. My knees ache all the time , I walk around like an old lady and I am 47 had my old last year . My doctor told me its because I have put on so much weight. I toss and turn all night with hot sweats and flushes, all day long on and off. My doctor won’t give me anything for the pain,just told me to lose weight. My whole lifes changed,I cannot even walk that far now without bring in so much pain.

    • Jeannine – I’m sorry you are experiencing these awful, painful effects. If I don’t have enough estrogen in my body, my knees hurt. I am not for or against hormones but, for me, estrogen made life worth living. I could not function mentally, emotionally or physically without an adequate amount. I haven’t tried to go without it.

  13. I am glad I have found this page. I was diagnosed with Fibroid and PCOS and had to have my Uterus and one side of my ovary removed when I was 28 years old, I had been suffering from anemia from losing a lot of blood over a 5 year period. Of course Menstral cycle was doing its own thing. However, I only knew I had these things when I slipped down the stairs. So I did the surgery, and overcame the depression that came with it. Now i suffer from back pains if i stand too long or sit too long, my coccyx is straight. I recently left a job I was working at in the interior.There the place is so cold I get cramps every morning, and still joints. I can literally tell when rain is falling without having to see the rain. my back would get stiff stiff I can barely walk. I am now 37 almost 38 and very worried about what my life will be like for the next 10 to 15 years, Especially if i have to work. Right now I’m in bed recovering from standing in a line for about nearly 2 hours. on Monday, My back still hurts and its Thursday. I need suggestions on what to do to help to relieve this pain.

  14. I had my hysterectomy in May 2018 because of a failed novasure ablation. About a month after surgery I developed bilateral sciatica and I have been to many doctors and still have no diagnoses. The doctors said it’s not my back or SI joints. I have been in constant pain for over a year. I don’t know where to turn too at this point. It’s has to be nerve damage but how do I get the diagnosis and treatment I need?

    • So sorry to hear this, Misty. Unfortunately, nerve damage is difficult to diagnose and treat. And doctors typically will not divulge that it was likely caused by a previous medical treatment (in your case hysterectomy). That seems to make it even harder to get answers. 🙁

    • Update:
      Still have sciatica in both legs. I don’t think my pain will ever end. My pain doctor put me on nucynta which does help with the burning sensation in my legs. The medication also makes me drowsy so I still can’t live a normal life. I honestly never thought this would happen to me. I am becoming more depressed and withdrawn. I went to another Gyn he said he couldn’t help me. He said I just did hysterectomies caused by the novasure ablation. Seems like the doctors are smirking at me. I feel like they are trying to cover their ass by making me seem crazy. Sadly the burning pain in my legs is real and only started after the hysterectomy. It’s been 2 years today since my normal life ended??

      • I am sorry to hear this, Misty. Have you tried physical therapy? Unfortunately, it is not unusual for doctors to gaslight / treat patients as if they are crazy after medical harm or when they can’t come up with a diagnosis. This is very typical of gynecologists since they have so many women fooled about the harm of so many of their procedures so all they can do is smirk. They most certainly won’t admit that a procedure they perform so often and usually unnecessarily could cause problems. Sorry for the rant but it sickens me that they have harmed and continue to harm so many women.

  15. I had a total hysterectomy last summer due to a very large fibroid causing my cervix to prolapse. I have healed well EXCEPT for one serious problem. I’ve lost the ability to straddle or spread my legs much at all. It’s actually very painful.
    I called the doctor’s office to ask if this could be as a result of the surgery…the nurse was very concerned and would ask doctor and get back with me. She called back and said doctor said it wouldn’t have anything to do with the hysterectomy, but if I wanted to come in, she could recommend a physical therapist for me. I’m sure it was from the surgery. I have always been flexible. 🙁

    • You may have sustained injuries from surgical positioning. Was your surgery done robotically? From what I have read, it seems that inappropriate positioning is more apt to occur with robotic hysterectomy.

    • Hi I’m 47 and I had full hysterectomy in 2011 and I’ve had nothing but problems with my back hips ribs legs and feet I’ve been in chronic pain for past few years I have couple slipped disc tears I’ve had many off pain relief from morphine and my pain management consultant can’t understand why I’m in so much pain it’s like he doesn’t believe me I’ve gained 7 stone I was very slim before but my husband says I’ve not been same since I haven’t had sexual inter course in 4 years I’m housebound now I struggle to walk as it causes me to much pain and my husband got this up and after reading it I tick all the boxes and now I don’t know what to do and who to see it’s disabled me I’m just looking for answers who can help me

      • Annemarie – I am so sorry that you too were a victim of this destructive surgery and are suffering so horrifically. I am not endorsing hormones and they cannot replace our bodies’ own but they can be helpful for a number of symptoms. I know my joints and shins tend to hurt when I am not getting enough estrogen. I doubt estrogen will resolve your pain but it may help. Are you taking any? If so, maybe it’s not the best delivery route and/or dosage. It is possible too that you sustained some injuries from surgical positioning. I hope you find something that helps.

        • I wish I could go back in time and never had the full hysterectomy. I had everything removed. My cervix, ovaries, and uterus. I now cannot even walk due to the severe weakness and heaviness in my legs. I have severe back pain and hip pain that I never had before that surgery. I don’t if you want to have a midsection my stomach is flabby now my body has totally changed for the worse. I have tried taking estrogen for all of the horrible menopause symptoms but to no avail. It has also aged me I am only 53, and I feel like I’m 90 years old already. I wish someone could tell me what to get 2 take away all of this pain and get my body back and my life back. I can’t imagine suffering like this the rest of my life. Women out there who are getting told they need a full hysterectomy don’t do it or you will ruin your life. Has anyone who has had a complete hysterectomy like myself know of any thing that can help with all of this terrible pain, weakness and heaviness in your legs? I am totally disabled from having that complete hysterectomy.

          • Pamela, I am so sorry that you were also subjected to hysterectomy and its many adverse effects. It’s way past time that gynecologists be held accountable for their lack of informed consent and the harm they have done to so many women. The HERS Foundation wants women to share their stories of how hysterectomy has affected them. Here is the link if you care to participate – https://www.hersfoundation.org/in-my-own-voice/. You can remain anonymous.

  16. I’m in pain in my abdomen every day with severe depression. I had a hysterectomy in 2013 and have never been the same. I only have a half of an ovary left everything else is gone … I’m 54 years old and totally miserable. I have no quality of life left. My ribs hurt on the bottom of my ribs and my middle back hurts 24-7 I have no idea what to do with myself. The pain from GI issues is almost crippling but they look at me like I’m crazy. I’m not crazy. My pain and suffering is real. I have no appetite at all and in constant fear that it’s something terrible in there but no one is helping me. I’m not on HRT yet but I’m hoping to be soon and I’m hoping it lifts some of this dark cloud hanging over me. These issues are real and I’m so happy for the people that didn’t end up like this but the ones of us that did I’m praying for all of you.

    • Marla, I’m so sorry that you are suffering from not only the common after effects of hysterectomy but also evidently some surgical damage. Something also went wrong with my (totally unwarranted) hysterectomy and oophorectomy as I have had bowel issues ever since but, thankfully, no pain. I too became severely depressed (and suicidal) almost immediately after surgery. And to add insult to injury, my gynecologist abandoned me as his patient and I was left in a lurch. It took a bit of time to find the right dose and delivery route of estrogen but once I did, the depression lifted.

      I urge you to tell your story via your own post here on Hormones Matter via this link – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/ and also for the HERS Foundation here – https://www.hersfoundation.org/in-my-own-voice/. We need to end this horrific harm of so many women.

  17. I had a laparoscopic total hysterectomy and ovary removal 2 years ago. I Looked at pics of me from before surgery and recently and my waist, hips and pelvis look exactly the same as they always have. I still have a waist that curves in like before. In fact i did lose 6 lbs after surgery and have kept it off. I was not overweight before and still am not. I have no back or hip pain. Before the surgery i had trouble emptying my bladder completely. That disappeared after the surgery. Probably because of the large cyst i had pressing on it. I know many women, including my mother who’ve had this done and never had these problems or a change in their body shape. I took estrogen before the hysterectomy (i was post menopausal) and still take it. I’ve never heard of this sort of ligament body change happening. Anyway, i just wanted to share my experience.

  18. Hello I’ve been reading all the posts and am going through the same thing with chronic backs and hip pain, hurts to sit in a chair and I need to for my job. I’m 15 months out of a TVH.
    I just want to know if there is anything I can do to help my spinal issue? Yoga poses for example? The doctor tells me to do Pilates but it’s not helping and I’m struggling big time. Driving and sitting at a desk is a nightmare.. I am just about to turn 40. I ache all over, every day.

    • C – I don’t know what would help, possibly yoga and/or other stretching type exercises. It’s possible you have nerve damage which is difficult or impossible to treat. Or you could have other damage from surgical positioning. And then, of course, there is the gradual collapse of the torso after hysterectomy that causes problems. Try doing some yoga poses or stretching exercises. Hope you find something that helps!

    • Pilates will strengthen pelvis and core, but it won’t stretch it and it’s hard on the low back. I’ve never enjoyed it but it works for some. I’d recommend tai chi mostly. Yoga will help with strengthening and stretching as well. And since you’re having so many issues with daily activities already, don’t underestimate the value of some good massage therapy to help get things started and a good heat pad.

  19. I have had a vaginal hysterectomy Nov 2016 and I am lucky as I have had no real problems. Sometimes I get sore after sex and if I am standing for long period of time get a slight pain in my lower tummy and with rest it goes away. I am 45 yrs old and for the first time in my life I feel normal. Kept my ovaries so no problems with early menopause.

    • Kelly – You are one of the “lucky” ones if the only negatives so far are soreness after sex and some pain in your lower abdomen and no symptoms of ovarian impairment or failure. Unfortunately, many of the after effects take longer to manifest and some are silent (such as heart disease and some of the cancers that can develop). Even the skeletal changes aren’t complete at the 2 year mark. I wish the best for you.

  20. I can’t believe I thought that a hysterectomy would give a woman a flatter belly since an organ would be taken out.

    • Cindy, That’s probably what most women think. And for women with very large fibroids, that may be the case even in the long-term but not for others. I regret that I dismissed hysterectomized women’s thick midsections as merely weight gain and lack of core strength. But then I didn’t know them before their surgeries so had no idea what their bodies looked like beforehand. If I could only go back in time… 🙁

  21. Wow,I am so happy to finally find some relatable experiences with post op issues.
    I had no choice in my hysterectomy as I was very ill from a severe infection that almost killed me.
    That being said,it’s been one nightmare after another since surgery.
    I am now 13 months post op,I still have incisional pain on at least a weekly(or more)basis.
    I have constant lower back pain,extremely sore right foot but not all the time.
    Tingling in legs,often,usually every day.
    I had to have the hormones changed that I was on as they were making me suicidal(never been suicidal or depressed before).
    I had to quit my job and have more or less not been back to work in almost a year.
    Bladder issues,very powerful urination and feeling like you need to go far more often.
    Bowels have been a mess and go between constipation (never had before)and extremely loose bowels.I can see that becoming an issue when I get older(46 now).
    Last is an abdominal hernia that I am waiting to get repaired that is making many of these other symptoms worse.
    What I find incredibly frustrating is the lack of follow up.Also,the amount of time that you are not supposed to be doing lots of stuff.I was not physically ready to head back to work and that’s when the hernia happened.
    Also,there is NO patient follow up after the post op at 12 weeks.
    My life has changed drastically as a result and I will probably have to change careers.

    • AH, I’m sorry you’re suffering with so many after effects! That’s awful that you had to quit your job on top of it!

      I’ve also had bowel problems since surgery which included rather severe diarrhea for around 9 months! I also became suicidally depressed despite being put on estrogen 5 weeks or so post-op. Once I found a more suitable form and dose of estrogen, the depression lifted and most of the other symptoms improved too.

      You’re absolutely right; the lack of follow-up is frustrating and appalling. I’d been a patient of my surgeon’s for 19 years and he dropped me “like a hot potato” when I called his office desperate for help. That’s considered patient abandonment which is negligence and a form of medical malpractice. Yet my state’s medical board said my doctor did nothing wrong by removing my organs unnecessarily and then abandoning me.

      I’m curious if your surgery was robotic or not.

      I hope your hernia surgery is successful and improves your other symptoms! Please write back with an update. Hang in there!

      • Thank you so much for your reply.
        I was actually put on hormones the minute I was awake in recovery.My issue was the hormones were far too strong for me and because there is so little follow up,it made it impossible for them to catch the issues I was having.The only thing the surgeon seemed interested in was how good my scar looked and if it was healing.
        I had a bilateral,salpingo oophrorectomy but still have my cervix as it had adhered to my bladder after my c-section and it would damage my bladder further.The cut was huge and is from my bellybutton to my pubic line.Surgery was not robotic.
        I had a rare bacteria that destroyed all my reproductive organs in a very short period of time and I had a huge mass they need to remove,there was no way around my hysterectomy from what I can gather.
        Glad to hear that the estrogen improved once you got the correct dose,and that symptoms improved.
        In Canada people don’t sue Dr’s and I am really sorry to hear of how abandoned you were.
        It’s awful,especially when you feel that no one is believing you.Both my sister and my Mum had hysto’s and neither of them ever complained and I am sure they think I am crazy for all of this but I know my body and non one can tell me otherwise as I live it every day.
        I wish you a safe New Year and thanks for writing about all of this.It’s very helpful to know we are not alone 🙂

  22. Hi! I have 2 uterus problems that I am dealing with. I am 36.

    1. I have severe uterine prolapse due to a long labor and foreceps. My uterus can be felt right inside my vagina. I have frequency of urination due to this condition and it’s quite miserable. My doctor says he can do a procedure where he somehow pulls up the uterus (without mesh…I don’t want mesh) and either cuts or ties the ligaments. He puts the uterus back in place and he says it will last me a long time. At the same time, he would do a urethral sling (using my own skin-no mesh) for my severe stress incontinence. Will pulling up the ligaments and cutting and tying them cause the skeletal problems that removing the uterus will do?

    2. Along with the prolapse, I have dysfunctional bleeding. I have polyps that just keep growing back. I have bleeding or spotting 15-17 days per month. I had a polypectomy 5 years ago. My doctor at the time said I had so many polyps in there that there was nothing he could do. He removed as many as he could but said I had to either live with the bleeding or have an ablation as the next step. I’ve been living with the bleeding. I used the MIrena IUD for about 18 months. After the nonstop spotting stopped, I had good results with the bleeding. However, every month on the days I wasn’t bleeding, I had yeast infections. Every single month. Plus, I started to have migraine headaches every month. I never had migraine headaches before. I had the remove the MIrena this past March because I figured the spotting was better than the yeast infections and migraines. My periods have been not too bad since then. Also, I have not had one yeast infection or headache. I was only bleeding and spotting 10-12 days a month. However, over the last few months, I have noticed the spotting and bleeding is picking back up to 15-17 days per month. I’m guessing the polyps are growing back. Obviously the hormones give me yeast infections and headaches so I can’t use those. I use NSAIDS and transexmic acid during my period. However, that does nothing for my almost constant spotting due to the polyps. It’s driving me crazy. Do I have any other options left for the constant bleeding that really deflates me?

    • Claire,
      I’m sorry you’re dealing with uterine prolapse, incontinence and polyps that cause dysfunctional bleeding. Have you considered a pessary for the prolapse? There are some that you don’t have to change very often. There are many types and they have to be custom fitted. The uterus can be suspended and I’m sure the surgeon’s skills have a bit to do with how well it holds. But it seems I read some studies or articles about a fairly high failure rate in the long term. And those statistics may be understated because women aren’t always forthcoming with their doctors on this problem. This article http://healthcare.utah.edu/publicaffairs/news/current/05-14-2013_pelvic_organ_prolapse.php says that the five year success rate is lower than expected. As far as the techniques of the surgery, I cannot be of help there. However, I personally would not want mesh either since it is associated with some very nasty and permanent problems. If possible, I would want my own tissues used but I’ve read that’s not always possible. Plus it depends on the surgeon’s skills.

      I don’t really have any input on the polyps except to have them removed (again) and see if that helps. Ablation has its own set of long-term side effects especially at your young age.

      You may want to consult with The HERS Foundation – http://www.hersfoundation.com. They may have some suggestions or be able to guide you in finding the right doctor for your situation.

      Best of luck and please keep us posted on all this.

      • Thank you for your response. Yes, I currently use a pessary. But I’m just not sure it’s something I want to use for the next 50 years. I found this surgeon who says he does the uterine suspensions frequently and gets good results. He says that due to my age (pre-menopausal) my tissues are still full of estrogen so he hopes I will get a good 15 years out the suspension (he’s quite the confident one). Once estrogen drops, he says it may fall again, but that he can pull it back up if I want. And he says if it does drop, it might not drop to be as severe as it is now and the symptoms may not bother me as much as they do now. I’m really considering doing the surgery. I really want to do the urethral sling for the stress incontinence since mine is so horrible. It’s not just a few drops and I have problems even just walking. The doctor says he’ll take a little piece of my skin from my tummy to use for the urethra. I’m unwilling to do mesh. He says it will take me longer to heal but then I won’t ever have to worry about the mesh. Plus, it’s like a tummy tuck, right? I have extra skin from babies and he’ll take some away from me! I have so many stretch marks that a little scar won’t bother me.
        I’d also like to try the suspension to see if it possibly helps with the bleeding. I sometimes wonder since my uterus moves around so much, if this bumps the polyps around and they bleed due to that? If my uterus is solidly in place, perhaps the polyps won’t bother me as much since they’re not getting movecd? I say this because I have no polyps that show up on ultrasound. It’s only when the doctors look inside that they see about 50 little tiny ones and they wonder why they are even bothering me. So to me, that’s worth a try too. I figure if I’m already going through the recovery for the urethra sling that I may as well try to have them tie my uterus back up too. If it does fall, I don’t see how it would be worse than it is now.

        Also, when he does the surgery for the incontinence and possibly pulling my uterus back up, he will try to remove what polyps he can. The problem is that I’ve got SO many that the doctors don’t know which to remove to help me. And they always grow back. I wish I could use some natural form of progesterone to stop their growth? I don’t know if that will work though. The hormone in the MIrena sure helped with the bleeding and I’m guessing shrunk the polyps, but the constant yeast infection and migraines were just not worth it. I’m assuming the mini-pill would be the same hormone as in the mirena so it would probably give met the same side effects unfortunately. And I’d rather be spotting than having yeast infections!

        • Claire,
          I totally get wanting to go forward with surgery. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t want to wear a pessary “forever” either. And your incontinence sounds awful too. They oftentimes do incontinence surgery at the same time anyway because incontinence is a common complication of POP surgery. And yes, being young your ligaments should be full of estrogen hence healthy for use in the suspension. Definitely stay away from mesh for the sling! I hadn’t heard of using tummy tissue but what a bonus (sort of a mini tummy tuck)! I hate my hysterectomy belly but not sure surgery would be very helpful since mine is from the spine compression and hip widening. 🙁 And I would not want to have surgery for just that reason anyway after my hysterectomy experience.

          I hadn’t thought of the prolapsed uterus possibly exacerbating the polyps. If the surgery suspends it more than the pessary, maybe you’ll see an improvement. If not, there are various formulations of progestins. Maybe a low dose of a particular formulation would help. Or as you mentioned, micronized progesterone (Prometrium or its generic) may help. It is of course meant to be used orally but some women insert it vaginally. There’s also a vaginal progesterone, Crinone.

    • Oh one more thing I failed to mention. The prolapse surgery follow-up study I cited did not differentiate between prolapse in intact women versus after hysterectomy which is a shame. Women who’ve had hysterectomies are at increased risk for prolapse yet they oftentimes remove the uterus to treat prolapse! Makes a lot of sense huh??

  23. To Hormones Matter ,
    I had a full and total hysterectomy aprox,4yrs ago .
    I have in the last two years been struggling with loss of energy ,muskeloleta talk changes and pain. Short term memory loss , inability to function properly at work , take care of my family the way I use to , anxiety , social problems , lack of interest , weight gain , food cravings (mostly sugar) incontsnence both urine and feces . The list goes on for days ! I had endometriosis and two different kinds of cysts that weighed far more than a fetus ! Insomnia and pain and lack of energy followed by disinterest in things I used to find motivating only to be feel inadequate not sexually primarily but as a productive capable woman who used to be very quick to respond and with poor memory obviously find work and life in general a lot more challenging . I feel like people and I must say primarily other women even those who have had hysterectomies themselves less than supportive . I want to thank you for putting this information here as it helps to know that it is not ME but a result of my hysterectomy . I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and possibly rheumatoid arthritis . Life has not been easy to say the least however Iam finding that as I research possibilities as to the cause of my discomfort that I can forgive myself for not getting the laundry in or forgetting what my boss told me literally 2 mins ago . Although there is nothing I can do now to change my choice to have this surgery understanding my situation is helping me to move forward and find ways to cope and live the life I deserve to have ! Thank you very much
    Sincerely Sheri-Lynn Chalmers

    • Sheri,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m so sorry you’re suffering all these after effects! You did not mention if you’re on HRT or not. Although it isn’t a cure-all, it can be helpful for many of the symptoms associated with ovary removal or post-hysterectomy ovarian failure. However, if you did indeed have endometriosis (some women are told they do when they don’t), estrogen can fuel growth of any remaining endo implants / lesions. But estrogen deficiency will typically cause any endo to die off which is why some women choose to take estrogen after being without for a period of time. Combined HRT is sometimes prescribed to reduce the risk of endo regrowth. Of course, there are some other risks associated with HRT which you would want to understand before taking it. I personally don’t think I could function without it. I know in the first 18 months or so when I was on an inadequate form and/or dose, I was a complete “basket case.” Once I got sufficient estrogen in my system, I could function much better and my severe suicidal depression lifted.

      You’re right about women not being supportive and those who have had hysterectomies are seldom honest about their experiences. Some I know did not share anything before my surgery but admitted to problems after I’d already had it done. As you can imagine, they are no longer my friends. And some hysterectomy support forums enable this abuse of women by censoring negative posts to the point of completely banning those they deem “too negative.” These include Hystersisters, UK based Patient.info/forums and a Surgical Menopause Survivors’ Guide. Shame on them!!

    • I had a total hysterectomy including removal of both ovaries Feb 2019. Had a few problems as my uterus was attached to my bowel due to endometriosis so surgery took longer than expected and had to change to an abdominal incision. I am now experiencing lower abdominal discomfort in the lower abdomen. I notice it more when I rise from a sitting position and walk as if my abdomen is heavy and stretching. Subsides once I get moving. Also have a sore spot in my left groin area and a spot on my pubic bone is sore to the touch. Have at time had colicky pain which is later relieved after going to toilet. Sometimes I have pain in lower abdomen when urinating and having a bowel movement. This was happening prior to my surgery because of the Endo. Has anyone else had these symptoms as it is scarring the whits out of me. All I can think about is cancer. I am going to get some Bowen therapy done because I think it’s more muscular because when i lean back or to the side I can feel a dull pulling sensation much like when I first get up from sitting. Help me please

      • This surgery is so extensive that it’s hard to surmise and even difficult to medically determine the cause of your pain. Adhesions / scar tissue can cause pain. And it could be endo since there’s no real cure and, typically, it is impossible to remove all the endo. Have you gotten any help from doctors?

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