Sexual Function after Hysterectomy

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sexual function post hysterectomy
Whether a hysterectomy will affect sexual function is a common concern amongst women considering the surgery, as well it should be. Sex is a vital part of life and the loss of sexual function can be devastating. Whether and how hysterectomy affects sexual function is not very clear, however, and depends upon a number of variables, not the least of which is sexual function pre-hysterectomy, and particularly, pre-gynecologic problems. In many cases, women have a hysterectomy to rectify conditions associated with heavy bleeding and/or excessive pain like fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis and cysts. Reducing pain and bleeding should positively affect sexual frequency; however, effects on function may vary. Hysterectomy can diminish sexual function either directly because of the disconnection of the nerves and blood vessels that supply sexual energy or indirectly via the loss of critical hormones when or if the ovaries are removed or cease to function. And for many women, those with endometriosis, the hysterectomy itself provides only temporary relief from the disease process.

When evaluating the possibility of having a hysterectomy relative to sexual function outcomes, there are a few things women must consider.

Understanding the “Anatomy” of Sexual Function

According to Masters and Johnson, there are four phases of sexual response – Excitement, Plateau, Orgasm, and Resolution.

Sensation to any body part requires proper nerve conduction and adequate blood flow. Many nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments are severed to remove the uterus. The uterus and its ligaments themselves are rich sources of blood supply. As a result, sensation to the vagina, clitoris, labia, and nipples can be diminished by hysterectomy. This loss of sensation can hamper sexual function.

The Excitement phase is triggered by sexual stimuli, either physical or psychological. The stimuli triggers increased blood flow (vasocongestion) to the genitalia. With a blood vessel and nerve network altered by hysterectomy, this process may be hampered.

Contractions of the uterus are listed as a part of the Orgasm phase. So without a uterus, orgasm is not complete. Hence, it would make sense that orgasm is negatively impacted by hysterectomy, ovary removal or not. I have read, however, that some women do not experience uterine orgasm. So for them, a hysterectomy may not affect their orgasms.

My Personal Experience Post Hysterectomy

I realized very quickly after my hysterectomy that my libido, arousal, and ability to orgasm were broken. A steamy sex scene in a novel or movie or a hot looking guy no longer elicited sexual feelings. And the thought of sex was repulsive. That was a very sad day for me and I still mourn the loss of my intact sexuality. Some may question whether these changes are really due to the loss of my uterus or more so from the loss of my ovaries. When my hormone replacement was inadequate, the thought of sex was repulsive. However, I did have occasional orgasms but they were difficult to achieve and very infrequent as well as disappointing compared to before hysterectomy. Before my surgery, I had a good libido and an intense uterine orgasm every time I had intercourse. I have been on a good hormone regimen for over 6 years now. Sex is no longer repulsive but I do not have a libido or feel sexual in any way. Arousal takes much longer and orgasms are still weaker than before hysterectomy, do not always happen, and rarely occur during intercourse. Testosterone did not improve libido or arousal nor improve orgasm frequency or quality. Nipple sensation has been absent since surgery. These losses to my sexuality have affected my marriage relationship as well as social and professional relationships as I lack what I would call “sexual energy” and confidence.  

Other Possible Sexual Sequelae Post Hysterectomy

Removing the Cervix. The changes to the vagina after hysterectomy can further hamper sexual function. The removal of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus) requires that the vagina be shortened and sutured shut. This is called the vaginal cuff. The shortened vagina can present problems with deep penetration. Also, the vaginal cuff sutures can tear (dehiscence) which is a serious medical problem, although this is rare. Retaining the cervix eliminates these concerns and may preserve some of the nerves and sensation. During sex, the tip of the penis is “grabbed” by the cervix enhancing the man’s pleasure. However, even if the cervix is retained, this “grabbing” sensation may not occur without the uterine contractions.

emale sexual function after hysterectomy

Reduced Lubrication. Many women report diminished vaginal lubrication post-hysterectomy even when ovaries are not removed. Lubrication is critical for sexual activity as well as sensation. When the ovaries are removed or fail from the loss of blood flow, lubrication is lost and the vagina atrophies making sex painful. Over time, the vagina may prolapse as it no longer has the uterine ligaments to anchor it. Changes to bladder, bowel, and vagina position and function post-hysterectomy can likewise affect sexual function and satisfaction. A falling vagina and urgency and incontinence are certainly not sexy!

Body Changes. The hysterectomy induced changes to a woman’s figure which include a thick, shortened midsection and protruding belly are another source of sexual dysfunction and anxiety. Appearance changes from hormonal effects such as hair thinning, graying, and texture changes, skin dryness and aging (including loss of plumpness and pinkness in the genitalia), and loss of muscle mass and tone can also negatively impact sexuality. I have written about the anatomical and skeletal effects of hysterectomy here and here.

Emotional Changes. Many hysterectomized women with whom I have communicated report a loss of feeling connected to others including their loved ones. At first I thought the loss of my romantic and maternal feelings was solely attributed to the loss of my ovaries (despite taking estrogen). But after hearing from other women who still had functioning ovaries and reported the same feelings, I realized that maybe our uterus is what makes us loving and social beings. A renowned gynecologist on a talk show a few years after my hysterectomy referred to the uterus as “a woman’s heart center.” And for women love and sex are very much intertwined.

Hysterectomy and Sexual Function

Why is it that so many dismiss sexual problems post-hysterectomy as psychological? If a man has his prostate and/or testicles removed or penis shortened (heaven forbid!), sexual problems are attributed to the loss or surgical alteration of his SEX organ(s). So why would it be any different for women?

Although there have been some studies on sexual function after hysterectomy, I have not been able to make much sense out of them. It seems that most use a benchmark of (impaired) sexual function shortly before hysterectomy when gynecologic problems impede sexual activity and function versus prior to the gynecologic problems that are the reason for the hysterectomy. This observational study compared sexual pleasure, activity, and problems by type of hysterectomy at 6 months post-operative. It concluded that “sexual pleasure significantly improved in all patients, independent of the type of hysterectomy.” However, it also concluded that “the prevalence of one or more bothersome sexual problems six months after vaginal hysterectomy, subtotal abdominal hysterectomy, and total abdominal hysterectomy was 43% (38/89), 41% (31/76), and 39% (57/145), respectively.” With these high rates of “bothersome sexual problems” I cannot imagine how this could have been an improvement. However, if the benchmark was based on the time frame when pre-operative heavy bleeding, discomfort, or pain impaired sexual activity and function, then it would certainly be possible for sexual function to improve post-operatively. That does not mean it was an improvement over NORMAL sexual function (pre-gynecologic problems).

This Boston University School of Medicine article discusses post-hysterectomy sexual dysfunction. It says,

“Desire, arousal, orgasm and pain disorders may all be seen post-hysterectomy…..Internal orgasms are often changed significantly after hysterectomy. This is observed in part due to the inability to have rhythmic contractions of uterine muscles without the uterus present. Also, internal orgasms are changed after hysterectomy due to injury to the nerves which pass near the cervix. Surgeons should try to spare these nerves, but efforts to spare them are limited at the present. The result is that after hysterectomy, many women lose the ability to have an internal orgasm.”

Changing the Mindset: Removing a Woman’s Sex Organs Impairs Sexual Function

First and foremost, we need to stop referring to women’s sex organs as reproductive organs since they have vital, lifelong functions far beyond reproduction. In addition to the sexual functions, these include endocrine/hormonal, bladder and pelvic floor and anatomical and skeletal as detailed in my articles and the HERS Foundation’s video.

Secondly, women need to be more open about the effects hysterectomy has had on their health and quality of life, sexual and otherwise. It seems that some do not connect their problems with the surgery and many others choose not to talk about it. Before surgery, we are likely to believe that hysterectomy is fairly harmless since it is such a common surgery (second to c-section). No surgery is harmless. One that removes a woman’s sexual organs cannot help but cause problems with sexual function.

Some other factors that may be in play are that women seem to value their sex lives less than men. We tend to shortchange ourselves in other areas as well, putting others’ needs ahead of our own. Women of older generations were taught to trust and obey authority figures. So we typically trust our doctors and follow their recommendations. We are particularly vulnerable with gynecologists as we tend to have a long history with them through annual well woman checkups and pregnancies and deliveries. We are easy prey for hysterectomy marketing.

Clearly, there are far too many women being harmed by unwarranted hysterectomies and castrations. According to this 2000 study, 76% of hysterectomies do not meet ACOG criteria. Yet the rates have not declined and the use of robotics seems to be fueling even more hysterectomies with promises of quicker recoveries. Hysterectomies are big business with revenues rolling in to the tune of over $16 billion annually. With so much money at stake, we cannot count on the medical establishment to restrain themselves. It is up to us to spread the word.

Does Hysterectomy Affect Sexual Function?

Yes, it does. How can it not, given the nature of the surgical procedure? Whether the effects are generally more negative or positive is not clear. It largely depends on the reason for the hysterectomy including the severity and prolonged nature of those gynecologic problems. There is very little research and even less consideration or conversation regarding women’s pre- and post- hysterectomy sexual functioning. That is something we can change together by sharing our stories and communicating our needs.

Additional Resources

I highly recommend the non-profit HERS Foundation’s video “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs.” It taught me most of what I know about the consequences of hysterectomy and/or ovary removal (castration). When I first discovered the video, some of it did not make sense. But as more time elapsed, the changes became clearer. My body and life have changed in ways I never could have imagined. I only wish I had found the video prior to my unwarranted hysterectomy.

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This article was published originally on April 10, 2014. 

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265 Comments

  1. Hi, WS. I’ve found this article to be very informative and helpful. I had a tubal ligation in 2008. Due to my heavy periods and terrible cramping along with negative reactions to synthetic hormones, my Dr advised a Novasure uterine ablation which I had done in 2012. I’ve rarely had a period since, but cyclic pelvic pain started soon after the ablation. I don’t recall how soon after, maybe about a year. Now it’s 2018, and I have had spotting and severe pelvic pain daily for over 2 months. A visit to my GYN and a transvaginal ultrasound reveal that I have Post Ablation Tubal Sterilization Syndrome. Both of my fallopian tubes are up to about 6cm full of blood. Dr said nothing about any hematometra at this visit. He said basically that I would recall that he informed me before the a ablation that I would eventually need a hysterectomy. I was not told specifically that PATSS was a possibility, I do recall that! My fear with having the hysterectomy is that, like yourself before the removal of your uterus, I have deep uterine orgasms every time that my husband and I have intercourse an I do NOT want that to change. I am also afraid that there is no treatment for my PATSS that does not require the removal of my uterus as my Dr said that he would have to remove my tubes and uterus but could leave my ovaries. I’ve found very limited information about this. You seem to be very well informed and you’re so wonderfully brave and open about what you’ve been through and what you’re still suffering with. Do you or anyone else reading this information know anything about treatment options for PATSS or have any advice? Thank you so much and God bless!

    1. CB – I’m sorry you’ve been harmed via two gyn procedures. Tubals commonly cause heavier and/or longer periods so then many of these women end up having ablations which are proven to increase risk of hysterectomy.

      I recall reading about a supplement “cocktail” that some women took to alleviate some of the PATSS pelvic pain. I don’t think I kept the info. 🙁 I know it included evening primrose oil and possibly vitamins B complex, D and E. Maybe a Web search would reveal this remedy or another.

      I wish you the best.

  2. I was scheduled for a partial hysterectomy today and cancelled. I have uterine fibroids with no pain and until recently heavy periods. Not extremely heavy, 2-3 days of soaking through a super plus tampon within an hours time and then a more normal flow that would last 2-3 weeks. But after scheduling the hysterectomy my periods have been more normal. Not sure why that is and I guess the heavy periods could come back, but I too was not made aware of the possible loss of sex drive and didn’t even know that was a possibility until I started searching yesterday. I was only looking how long I had to refrain from having intercourse after surgery and low and behold discovered all this horror of losing my sexual desire. I feel like that I was misinformed and not given all the facts. Is the hysterectomy medically necessary if I’m not experiencing any pain? And I would rather deal with heavy bleeding than lose my sex drive. I’m also reading that the fibroids can be medically monitored through ultrasound and if I can make it to menopause without any debilitating symptoms the fibroids will disappear from lose of hormones. I’m going to get a second opinion but I feel good about my decision to cancel the surgery

    1. Misinformed – I’m so glad you found out about the loss of sexual function after hysterectomy and cancelled your surgery! It is my hope that more and more women will discover the truth before it’s too late. Fibroids don’t need to be treated if they aren’t bothering you. If the bleeding is too much of a nuisance or causing anemia, that can be treated. And you shouldn’t even need a gynecologist for that. Gynecologists seem to want to do some sort of procedure and many of them (besides hysterectomy) can cause more harm than good (including ablation). You can see your primary care physician if you want medication for the bleeding. There are hormonal and non-hormonal options. Prescription strength NSAID’s are usually fairly effective. And Lysteda (tranexamic acid) is another non-hormonal medication for heavy bleeding. In fact, paramedics keep it in their arsenal. And you’re correct that fibroids shrink after menopause. The non-profit HERS Foundation has a lot of info on its website. Best of luck to you and thanks for sharing your experience.

    2. I would recommend doing what is best for your health and not letting these internet stories scare you. I had a total hysterectomy at age 40, 2 years ago. I still have my ovaries. Unfortunately I’ve been scared to have sex since the surgery due to fear of not pleasing my partner. The sad part is ever since I had my surgery my sexual desire is 10 times more intense than before I had surgery.. the thought of sex is constant and I feel throbbing in my vaginal area. I masturbate and it’s so overwhelming and intense, i immediately fall asleep. Also, since the surgery I now squirt. 2 days out of surgery I masturbated because I felt so horny and it was quite satisfyingly painful. My only setback is diminished nipple feeling, a gut which I never had, and anxiety to have sex. I say all of this to say that everyone is different

  3. Thank you to everyone who has posted and shared your very moving stories. I found this site because I too have been recommended by four gyn oncs and two gyns to have a hysterectomy. I am a “healthy” 48 and have not gone through menopause yet with the ladies in my family not reaching menopause until their 60s. I have been recently diagnosed with stage I endometrial cancer to the surprise of everyone. I neither had nor have any abnormal gyn symptoms. This was a random discovery during a yearly visit. I recently had a D&C to confirm the diagnosis and test for receptor positivity which came back both estrogen and progesterone. I feel like I’m losing the battle in the talk against having the hysterectomy as “it does me no good to have my uterus and die” over something that could have been gotten rid of. I had hoped that by keeping my ovaries, I would stave off some of the negatives of having a hysterectomy, but as I so sadly read here, that is not always the case. I wish I felt I had more of a choice, but thank you for answering so many of the questions and concerns I had.

    1. I’m sorry you’ve been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. You’ve obviously gotten several opinions from gyns / gyn oncologists but have you gotten other opinions from pathologists? I’ve read it can be good to seek out other opinions on biopsy results and to make sure the pathologists are experts / have lots of experience in gynecology pathology.

      1. Thank you for your concern. I actually had an office biopsy sent to four different pathologists, from “regular” pathologists to gyn pathologists. Two out of two called it an adenocarcinoma FIGO grade 1 with the other two calling it atypical endometrial hyperplasia with squamous metaplasia. I then underwent a D&C to provide a larger sample for a more definitive diagnosis, and that pathologist (now a fifth one) made the diagnosis on the D&C tissue sample of well-differentiated endometroid adenocarcinoma with focal squamous differentiation and a background of complex atypical hyperplasia, which is why everyone is saying remove it and be “done.”

          1. Beth – You have obviously done your due diligence to get a definitive diagnosis and treatment recommendation. I wish you the best with surgery and recovery.

  4. I had my hysterectomy 3 yrs ago at the age of 49 I don’t blame the doctors, I had sever endometrial hypaplaysi and couldn’t cope with the constant pain and heavey bleeding. I was told things may change but not to the degree they have.
    I no longer have ANY sex drive…. don’t even want to entertain any physical contact, maybe on the 3 or 4 occasion since surgery my husband and I have had Intercourses it’s been painful and left me feeling’ used’.
    I lost a lot of control over my bladder almost immediately post op and over the last 8/ 10 months I’ve had problems with my bowel control. I’m so depressed now, I’ve gained weight and I can’t be ‘ bothered’ with anything, …. my appearance, socially, even my family get on my nerves. I spend most of my alone time crying. But I can’t actually bring myself to tell anyone how I feel.
    I don’t think my marriage will last much longer, but I wouldn’t blame my husband. He’s had a lot to put up with and he’s near breaking point as am I .

    1. Nikki – I’m sorry you’re having to live with the after effects of hysterectomy. It’s interesting that you don’t blame the doctors. I suspect that you, like almost every other woman, was not given all the facts about the lifelong functions of the uterus and ovaries and the many debilitating effects of having one, some or all removed. I wish you the best dealing with all of this.

  5. I personally did not have any problems with my sex life and my hysterectomy (8 years ago) until yesterday. I had great sex yesterday but the guy was very large (9in and thick) and I had the pleasure/pain with deep penetration and I was worried because I had to have my cervix removed with my hysterectomy and wondered if maybe my vagina was shortened during the process. Before my surgery, I had no problem with large males and penetration and yesterday was the first time I had a male large enough to cause the pleasure/pain with deep penetration. I searched to make sure that it is not harmful and to see if my vagina was truly shorter than before. This site was a wealth of information, although it was a little of a Debbie Downer, and with no information on how to improve it in any way. I have had no other problems with any of the phases of sex and I had everything but one ovary removed, as this site goes I should not even want to have sex.

    1. Yolanda – You’re one of the lucky ones. So many women lose sexual desire and much of their ability to respond sexually. The uterus is a sexual organ so it makes sense. It doesn’t help that the ovaries oftentimes fail after hysterectomy due to the loss of blood flow and feedback mechanism with the uterus. This can further impair desire as well as cause a whole other set of problems including an increased risk for many chronic health conditions. And, yes, the vagina is shortened when the cervix is removed. The top is stitched shut giving a sort of “seam allowance” as you would have when sewing a garment. I’ve read that the cervix grabs the penis making it more pleasurable for the man. And all the nerve endings there along with uterine contractions are key to orgasm for many women.

      1. I need to chime in and say that the body has an amazing way of changing how you feel an orgasm after a total hysterectomy. I had mine at age 23 due to endometrial cancer after unresponsiveness to Megace therapy. Though my uterus is gone, I still have the same muscles contract in my pelvis. I had the LAVH with vaginal cuff so deep penetration is not condusive to my orgasm but rather clitoral and exterior third of my vagina stimulation brings about mine. Oh and I do not miss bleeding at all.

    2. Thank you for calling this article out. I was seriously disturbed after reading this article and it left me feeling terrified as to what my future was to look like being 2 weeks post surgery for total hysterectomy. I am 46 and have always had a healthy sex life. Your reply has given me hope that all is not lost because I had to have this surgery. I had multiple problems with excruciating debilitating pain – I put it off for 2 years but made the decision to have the surgery 2 weeks ago. I would really like to know more about your experience and coping with the changes. Thank you for posting.

  6. I had cervical cancer 8 years ago and had radiotherapy as part of my successful treatment! However the radiation damaged my vagina and bladder leaving both with lesions. I have a new man in my life but sex is becoming a big problem as I bleed and it’s very off putting for us both. So now it’s very infrequently that we have sex. My vagina has shortened creating another problem. I still have a very healthy sex drive and I’m wondering if we should persist more frequently? With more activity will the bleeding stop? The old saying….”Use it or lose it” does it apply here? Any advise will be most welcome.

    1. Mary – I’m sorry to hear you had cervical cancer. Did you just have radiotherapy or did you also have a hysterectomy? How much bleeding are you having? Could it be from vaginal atrophy? Estrogen cream and/or dildos will help keep tissues pliable.

      1. Thanks for your reply. No I didn’t have a hysterectomy only chemo and radiotherapy which has caused all my problems. I have lesions on my vagina which get irritated when we have intercourse. There isn’t very much blood just traces really, but it means having to clean up instead of being comfortable. And he complains about not being able to have full penetration! On one occasion we very frequently had sex and eventually there was no blood. Is “use it or lose it” the solution here?

        1. Mary – Have you seen a doctor about this? Do you by any chance have lichen sclerosus? Have you tried various lubricants to mitigate irritation? Some women find that inserting vitamin E softgels on a regular basis helps improve dry, thin vaginal tissues.

          1. Yes I’ve been to a gynecologist who didn’t offer me any hope, only tell him not to go so deeply……he offered me some remedies with NO guarantees. So it’s really up to myself what to do. Thanks for replying and offering your advise.

  7. I am always shocked when I see people say orgasm is better. How could this be remotely true? My guess is you must have been having a terrible sex life before.
    Hysterectomy has destroyed my body, including my health and sex life. I had no issues prior and was given an unwanted hysterectomy as the dr managed to cause my uterus to rupture during a d&c. I was told nothing, nothing at all of the long term consequences. I feel my life has been stolen, not because of some weird attachment to my uterus or some misguided belief about it being the centre of femininity, but because of chronic abdominal pain, back pain, lack of lubrication, chronic bowel problems, and rectocele all directly caused by the hysterectomy. As for sexual issues I have a 40 percent reduction in orgasm and 80 percent reduction in nipple sensation. On top of this I have pain on penetration because of the prolapse caused by hysterectomy, I am also told I will most likely have incontinance as I age because of this and I already have trouble emptying my bowels without vaginal splinting. I am young and had a baby only 5 months ago and this unwanted hysterectomy 3.5 months ago. The Drs have made me an old woman over night and I hate them for it. They are content to think they did a great job because they saved my life even though they are the ones who tried to kill me in the first place I wish they had of just killed me when I think of all the future surgeries I will have to have because the hysterectomy has destroyed my pelvic floor. Theses are not rare side effects. If you absolutely must have a hysterectomy to live then do so but…..know what you are getting into. I hate you women saying how much better sex is I really think you are full of shit. Why would you lie to other women? Do you think you are doing a public service to women with cancer so they aren’t scared to have it done? Seriously the amount of women being dishonest about this combined wth Drs who think being able to be penetrated is a good enough measure of sexual function, instead of actually doing studies where sexual function is measured by orgasm/sexual satisfaction quality and duration is why everyone treats the uterus like it is a spare part. It pisses me off! The other side where everything is bad pisses me off as well. Dying of cancer is much worse than a hysterectomy. Why is this issue itreated like all good and all bad. When I come to a website like this I feel like killing myself because it is presented as a terrible thing. I already feel like my life is over, your website only confirms it.

    1. Heather – I’m sorry you are experiencing all these common problems since your hysterectomy. I’ve had a lot of the same problems as you – loss of sexual function including almost no nipple sensation as well as ongoing bowel problems that started almost immediately after surgery. I too worry about bladder issues especially incontinence down the road. My healthy ovaries were removed too so I have a whole list of other problems too. 🙁

      I’m sorry you feel those who report all the bad after effects are being too negative. Hysterectomy is a destructive surgery. So is oophorectomy (ovary removal). The shocking truth is that only about 10% of the 700,000 to 800,000 hysterectomies are truly necessary. Even fewer oophorectomies are necessary since there are only about 22,000 cases of ovarian cancer yet there are around 600,000 oophorectomies, many of which involve removal of both ovaries (castration).

      I wish you the best going forward. I know how difficult it is to live with the regret and after effects. Time does help us deal with it.

      1. I saw a second specialist today regarding my prolapse and sexual problems She had the audacity to say my deficit in orgasm was due to psychological issues not because of the hysterectomy – wtf is wrong with these people? She diagnosed a different prolapse but couldn’t find the prolapse I went to her for that is the size of my thumb – she told me my dry vagina was because of perimenopause and that I am just getting older – I just had a baby eight months ago! I never had any of these issues prior to the hysterectomy – oh she also said that the hysterectomy didn’t cause the perimenopause – how do these people sleep at night?

        1. Heather – It’s typical for the medical profession, especially gynecologists, to blame women’s post-hysterectomy complaints on psychological issues. Admitting these after effects would be self-incrimination that they did not provide the necessary information for informed consent. Not only do gynecologists rarely provide women with all the necessary information, many lie or are deceptive about diagnosis and/or treatment options.

          1. So, where do I go from here – there is no hope this is ever going to be ok nothing can make this better – my life has literary been gutted

            1. Heather – It would probably be helpful to find a therapist and/or support group. I saw a number of therapists and joined a depression support group. There are two good resources to find help – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us and https://www.meetup.com/. There are four options from which to choose on the “therapists” search box on psychologytoday including “therapists” and “support groups”.

              I don’t know the specifics of your situation or if you’ve considered trying to get justice through the legal system. Harmed patients can rarely get justice but it may be something to consider.

              You can also file a complaint with your state’s medical board although they rarely discipline physicians.

              Time does help us deal with the aftermath but it feels like it will never get better.

              I wish you the best and feel free to post here.

    2. my wife had endometriosis and the hysterectomy was the only option presented to us. it was supposed to be the cure all to all of lifes problems for her with no ill after effects. my wife was only 38 and we trusted our drs. Now at age 48, she has no sex drive and is like a different person, she cannot achieve orgasm no matter how long or what combination of things we try to hit all stimulation areas at once. we used to have sex 1-2 times a day up to the surgery. she cannot focus or answer simple questions without a long pause and some serious effort. I mean questions like “what color is that stop sign”. The drs swore there would be no change and it would be a total improvement in everything for her. they lied, gave us no other options and i now find myself thinking about divorce more and more. SO yes these women who say sex got better are either full of shit or fresh out of surgery (still have hormones in their system), wait about 6 months to a year and see how things are. My heart goes out to you heather, I know what those butchers did to you and how you were lied to because they did it to my wife. All i want is my wife back ,this person I am with now is not her at all. They (drs) like hysterectomy’s because it is a fairly easy surgery with a high dollar generator.

      1. Bob – I’m so sorry that your wife was also lied to about hysterectomy and that you both are suffering the horrific after effects. Hormones certainly play a role in sexual function but the uterus itself does too as well as the connecting nerves, blood vessels and ligaments that are severed during hysterectomy. It’s no wonder we lose almost all sensation after this barbaric surgery regardless of whether or not ovaries are removed.

        1. and like many others on here, my wifes Dr’s were all women. How can a woman do this to another woman???!!!!! Absolute barbarism. We go through constant ups and downs now, we’re both moody, sad, really nasty to each other when we get in minor spats. some days suicide seems like a good way out, other days its divorce. This is a living hell for both of us. Anytime i hear anyone mention they may need a hysterectomy i tell them to exhaust every option and get multiple opinions and do it only as a absolute last life or death resort. I only wish I had the sense to have looked online for sites like this before I was put on the spot by my wife and her Dr. I said it’s your body, you do what you think is best. what a idiot i was.

          1. Bob – Thank you for sharing and having the courage to speak out against this egregiously harmful practice that destroys so many women and their families. There are some good Medical Error and Patient Harm Facebook communities if you want to share there too.

            Yes, unfortunately female gyns seem just as quick to remove the uterus and/or ovaries unnecessarily and without informing women of the many life shattering after effects. Barbaric indeed! These surgeries were coined “barbaric” and “sinister” as far back as the late 1800’s as mentioned in my latest article here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/uterus-and-ovaries-fountain-of-youth/.

            Extreme irritability, nastiness, depression, loss of interest in everything, feeling very overwhelmed by even the smallest things, memory and cognition issues including severe attention deficit and of course loss of sexual desire and function are very common effects of ovary removal and even hysterectomy without ovary removal. You mentioned on another post that your wife had tried HRT and anti-depressants. Did she try all the different delivery routes of estrogen – oral, patches, gels, vaginal ring, pellets? Some HRT’s just don’t work for some women and it can take a bit of trial and error to find the right delivery route and dose. The patch was a disaster for me but two other routes have worked. I’m not the same person I was before I was de-sexed but I’m WAY better than I was while on the patch. Before I got more estrogen into my system on a consistent basis, I thought about suicide 24×7 and had all of the above symptoms and more.

            1. she takes a pill and has some white creme she puts inside her, she has been on both for 7 months with no sign of any sort of change. Is that enough time to have seen results of some kind? around the same time she had her hysterectomy she was put on xanex for anxiety but after seeing how she was changing I assumed it was from the xanex and after a few years of my urging her to get off that stuff, she hasn’t used that for a couple years now. Now with things still the same, i see that probably wasn’t all or any of the problem. I literally have to make EVERY decision in the home, she just seems unable to make the simplest decision on her own. when we go grocery shopping, what takes me 15 minutes to gather up, takes her an hour and she’ll still miss stuff. what worries me the most is when she drives, she cannot make split second decisions and will simply freeze up.

              1. Bob – I totally understand your wife’s inability to make decisions! I could barely function in most areas of life after my unwarranted hysterectomy. Has she had blood work done to check her estradiol or estrogen level? She may be on too low of a dose of the pill or it may be an inadequate HRT for her. Some women find that they need a little testosterone instead of or in addition to estrogen. But there’s no FDA approved testosterone for women despite post-menopausal ovaries making fairly significant amounts of testosterone as well as other androgens… another omission of fact from gynecologists. 🙁

                1. her levels haven’t been checked since she was put on them, so no idea as of right now. However thanks to your help, i now have a list of things to go over with the dr when the two of us go together to see them. I want to thank you so much for that and i will report back as this goes a long. #HOPEFUL

                    1. well didn’t go well, the near 70 year old male Dr seem to think the hysterectomy or hormones have zero to do with my wifes dead libido, inability to focus or think clearly etc He did however tell us there was another person in that office who thought differently and used some new type of treatment with testosterone/estrogen/progesterone, i forget the name of the treatment but it was along the lines of “progetics” or something like that. Her Dr thinks it’s snake oil and any improvement is simply from the placebo effect but it wasn’t harmful in any way. He basically told us the hysterectomy affects very little and the estrogen is just for healthier bones down the road. He says low libido is basically from stress or other non health related problems. I wanted to tap dance on his jaw lol ugh so she is going to stop taking her estrogen pills and creme for a couple weeks so her blood can be tested for her LDH and some other level and then a week later we’ll see the woman that uses the new age methods. so still hopeful but very annoyed at the Dr we saw today. Hope he retires soon.

                    2. He’s absolutely incorrect. Find another doctor. To put things in perspective, do you think a man’s sex drive would be affected by the diminishment his hormones and the loss of his reproductive organs? If we were to castrate a man, one could imagine his libido diminishing.

                    3. Well of course he isn’t going to admit that hysterectomy caused all these problems. That would be self-incriminating showing that he failed to provide informed consent before surgery. That is why these surgeries are so common. If women were told the many after effects, as well as the necessary information about their diagnosis and all other treatment options, they would not consent to this surgery.

                      Although hormones can be helpful for many of the symptoms, they cannot replace what was lost. And they are not one size fits all so can take a bit of trial and error. I hope she can find something that will give her a better quality of life!

                    4. Just to be clear, this was a different Dr then the one that did her surgeries, but same mindset obviously.

    3. Heather , I can completely identify w you at this very second . I somehow let my gyno talk me into a hysterectomy wed when all I was doing was having 2 periods a month . Yes sux but I didn’t do much research I just trusted that the only way To stop bleeding constantly was to get my uterus removed , the orbiter option was progesterone which I can’t take due to liver issues . So I went in w he idea of having just my uterus out , keeping my cervix and ovaries , he was diligent in talking me into the “works” and I said “no, uterus will stop the bleeding I’ll take my chances on cancer statistics in the Future where I have zero cancers in my family , my grandmother passed at 100 w all her organs . The day of preop he quickly shows me a plastic graph of a woman’s anatomy and says so I’m taking here (uterus)and here(cervix) and top of vagina , and I , w zero backbone already having explaining to him once I wanted all but the uterus to remain , let t happen , I’m two days out of surgery and reading all of this nightmarish bs I xls have avoided if I did more research or brought an advocate . I’m only 48 and other than too often periods , otherwise healthy . I feel now that my sex life is doomed . Maybe I shld recover and wait and see but had I known a cervix removal changes so much from nerve endings blood flow to these otherwise sexual areas , top of vagina removed stitched up like a dark room . Ugh I feel as you right now. Let’s pray and hope for better days ahead . Your not alone

      1. Christine,

        Very sorry to hear this, I hope things get better for you – right now I have no optimism to share but everyone experience is different – I hope you are one of the lucky ones

        Take Care,

        Heather

  8. -My story…….5 months pregnant, Age 23 was told I had a tumor on 1 ovary and needed removal surgery asap or my unborn child or me could die. What would you do?
    So, yes of course under the knife I went. Woke up in my hospital room to be told I lost all my left ovary and partial right due to b9 tumor and cysts. I was given no education on what this could mean for my future. I recovered and had a healthy delivery. The following months I would learn that my life was changed forever. Month after month I dealt with heavy bleeding and irregularitie in my period including lots of pain. I recall going to the doctor complaining but was just given something for the monthly pain and sent on my way. Intercourse hurt and has never been the same. 7 years later I decided to go to a different doctor after sex became unbearable and no answers. I didn’t give any infornation regarding my obgyn history. The visit led to a pap smear where they sent me for an internal sonogram. During this sonogram the tech explained what she was seeing and labeled a right ovary then left ovary, HOLD UP! WHAT? HUH? Yes, there on the screen the tech and I was seeing ovaries that were supposed to be removed and portions cut off of there and intact. I was shocked but kept my cool. I asked how I could get a copy of the images. I obtained that along with my surgical notes. Ok, from the sonogram the dr. Says I had a lot of scar tissue that needed to be removed and refered me to surgeon. I went and confidently told my story she won my trust and said she would take care of me and wouldn’t lie or cover up for no other dr. She told me according to images it was a mess in there and said she would save what she could. I was told to watch a video and again went under the knife to wake up saying the 1st surgery was in fact done there was no explanation as to why the sonogram showed the ovary that wasn’t supposed to be there and that nothing could be saved, everything had to go. I was released and told to take estrogen pills goodbye. I was 30 years old, unmarried at this time and had no clue how things could get worse, I was hopeful that everything was fixed and I would have a better quality of life. WRONG! I lost my insurance in 2012, couldn’t afford estrogen so I just stopped taking it not even knowing how important it was. I was just a moody person for years. 2015 I got married and the bigger nightmare became reality. My wedding night was a disaster I could NOT bare sex, it was so unbearable. I knew I had no desire at all but for it to hurt like that was never something I thought would happen. We tried over the next few months but failed. I fell into a depression. This problem along with my self esteem, social life, etc. Had overtaken me. April 2016 I finally got in with another network to meet a obgyn whom placed me on a estrogen patch and said it would fix my problem. Well, it did help with moods. January 2018 I write this today dealing with a broken marriage low self esteem no answers. My hysterectomy stole my life. There isn’t enough education for women who are suggested to have this procedure. At 37 years I feel like I’m 100. I don’t know how to help my quality of life. I have no desire for sex don’t wanna even be touched, I’m moody, my bones are brittle, I have no energy, I’ve gained weight, my hair is so thin, my skin is so dry, my nails are brittle. This is not the way I should feel at 37. This is my Hysterctomy horror story.

    1. Jackie – I’m sorry you were so horribly treated by these two gynecologists. The ovaries can regenerate if there is some ovarian tissue left which may be why the ultrasound showed you had ovaries when one and part of one had supposedly been removed. I’m sorry the second gynecologist betrayed your trust by saying she would try to save whatever she could and then removed everything. Unfortunately, this is not unusual. It’s hard to believe they get away with this harm of so many women.

      Have you tried a higher dose patch or another form of estrogen such as the pill or a gel? With your list of symptoms, it sounds like you may not be getting enough estrogen. The patch did not work well for me. I think my estrogen dropped too much when it was due to be changed and then it took too long to ramp back up (too many fluctuations). That was with the 2x per week patch. I never tried the weekly patch (Climara). My depression was awful on the patch to the point of being suicidal along with a laundry list of other symptoms of low estrogen. Estradiol tablets (a $4 Rx) have worked out much better for me. I wish you the best going forward.

      We could use more women’s hysterectomy stories here on Hormones Matter. If you’d like to tell your story and have it published as a separate article, use the “contact us” feature to let the owner know.

      1. @WS, my wife had a hysterectomy due to severe endometriosis, they took “everything but the ovaries”, my wife had a shallow vagina and when having sex I would hit her cervix a lot. Now that they have taken things out and I have read it makes it even more shallow I am terrified of harming her. We had sex a lot before she began having pain which slowed us to one or two times a month if lucky now her pain is gone she is waiting for the all clear date of the 16th of Feb. Right now, while I am more than ready, really want the best for her, but the articles I have read are 99% on the women’s story. Is there anything we need to know as men to ensure a safe and pleasurable experience?

        1. my wife is very tiny and i’m not if you know what i mean, we ran into those problems you describe pre surgery. after surgery i could “go for it” with no “bottoming” out, however as time wore on she was less likely to achieve orgasm and when she would it was NOWHERE near what she used to have in her words. now 10 years after surgery all of the other side effects (read my post on heathers post) and changes have reared their ugly heads. she is like a different person, has zero sex drive or any drive to be honest. I have to all but drag her out to go do things we used to enjoy before. we have tried hormones and anti depressants with zero change and I feel things will ultimately end in divorce. I love my wife so much but this person i am married to now is not my wife at all, only in looks. I still think she is the most beautiful woman i have ever seen. we have been married almost 24 years now but the last 5-6 have been a constant struggle to find a reason not to cheat or just leave. I stay mainly because i don’t think she is capable of making it on her own anymore. I know find that the only affection I get in my own home is from the stray dogs we take in, how is that for pitiful?

        2. Justin – I’m sorry your wife had a hysterectomy. Some women cannot endure deep penetration after hysterectomy since the vagina is shortened. You will have to take it slowly and see if this is an issue or not. I hope it isn’t.

  9. I had a hysterectomy leaving one ovary due to endometriosis 5 years ago and I have a greater sex drive and better orgasms than before. It’s not all doom and gloom. Endo left me in pain, irritable… I missed parties because of heavy bleeding and special occasions, I peed 8 times a night and was anemic from bleeding. I have no uterus or cervix now but have very strong orgasms from inside that pulse just like uterine orgasms. Make sure you have a good doctor but don’t fear a hysterectomy. I couldn’t be happier!

    1. So true, everyone is different.
      I had uterine ablation dine for heavy periods. 7 years later had to have hysterectomy vaginally . Took one tube . Took my cervix. I have ovaries still.
      49 years old , high s3x drive still lots of take my breathe away orgasms.
      No pain anymore it’s so much better.
      Only down fall is my breast are shrinking after tvh

      1. Evelyn – You’re lucky that your sex life is still satisfying. For some women that’s the case at least in the short term. I’m curious what prompted you to go in search of sexual function after hysterectomy. And why did you end up having a hysterectomy 7 years after the ablation? Did the heavy bleeding return or did you end up with post ablation syndrome / pelvic pain from the ablation? Unfortunately, that is a risk of ablations especially in women under age 45. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Hi, recently I was told that I have Adenomyosis and will need a hysterectomy done.
    I am 49y with heavy period with pain for the first two days of my seven days period. Theres not much pain when I take baraglin and cataflan pain killer.
    I have constant lower back pain.
    Do I really need a hysterecomy?

    1. Lorna – You don’t need a hysterectomy for adenomyosis. VERY FEW hysterectomies are necessary (at most 10%). Unfortunately, with the gross overuse of hysterectomy (as well as ovary removal), it’s not surprising you were told you needed one. Although pain can make us desperate for a solution, the trade-offs of hysterectomy would put you in a worse situation especially in the long-term. You can read all 13 of my articles to learn more about this damaging surgery – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/. I’m glad you found this article and questioned the need for surgery!

    2. Lorna – I failed to mention that there are options to treat the heavy bleeding if it disrupts your life too much or is causing you to lose too much iron. And since you’re 49, you may not have too much longer to go until menopause when the adeno should no longer bother you (as well as the heavy bleeding of course).

      1. I was diagnosed with adenomyosis and I’ve been dealing with heavy bleeding for bout 7 years now. I had a myomectomy 5 yrs ago with hopes it would help with the bleeding but It didn’t really help at all and now I’m back where I began (bleeding thru an Ultra tampon every hr for bout 48 hrs of my period). Now I am anemic and been experiencing shortness of breath and hair loss in addition to the lifestyle annoyances. I very interested in ur options for heavy bleeding. BTW I’m 46

    3. I’m 48 and almost 6 wks post-op (lack 3 days). My diagnosis was the same and the constant back pain. The only difference is I was considered post-menopausal (15 months with period, estrogen level of 3). Since for some reason my body was periodically responding to flucations in my level, I ended up with d&c at 18month mark due to pain & spotting. The back pain remained & 2 months later spotting again that’s when they gave me my diagnosis and treatment options 1. Continue along as I currently was (back pain & sporadic spotting due to flucations in estrogen). 2. Pills (low dose BC or provera) which I hated as they killed my sex drive. Had a tubal at 22, but was on BC from 16 to 45/46 years old due to dysfunctional bleeding or 3. TLH surgery (they left my ovaries). I guess what I’m trying to say is no you don’t have to have a hysterectomy for this but than again you don’t have to for cancer either. You need to ask what other options are there and then decide if the benefits/side effects of each treatment outweighs the same with the other treatment options. No one can make the decision for you (I.e. my husband was against due to my mast cell disorder). I told him “I hear and understand your concerns, but this is the treatment plan I’m doing because for me the other two options suck.” BTW I got here trying to find info on vaginal canal being more sensitive during sex after surgery..

    4. I had to have a partial hysterectomy (vagina only – ovaries intact) to remove a 1 kg fibroid, no choice here, it kept growing bigger and bigger. My gyn/surgeon had to let go of laparascopic surgery and open me up due to extreme bleeding. After removing my ectopic fibroid (outside uterus) she said she removed the uterus including cervix because it was so crushed by the big fibroid. Since then (I was 48 yo now 52) I have lost complete libido and have no uterine orgasms which were strong prior to the surgery. I can still have a clitorial orgasm but that is nothing compared to uterine orgasms and they are very difficult to attain. So let’s say I am very sad and my husband is wondering what to do so I just let him do his thing as long as he gives me a nice massage before, I have to get some pleasure somehow, lol! But yes, I am experiencing this great loss and wish there had been another solution . Perhaps I should have said no to the uterus removal, at least the cervix could have been left, but no it was removed it without my consent. What bothers me the most is that the surgeon is one a best friend and she literally said it’s all in my head since she left the ovaries, I should not have experienced any changes sexually, I told her I wish she knew what it was like. She said I have been influenced by what I read on the internet. That’s not the case, trust me, don’t have a hysterectomy unless you absolutely need it!

      1. Jasmine – I’m sorry you’re also experiencing this big loss. According to Masters and Johnson, the famous sex experts, the uterus is key to orgasm. It’s shameful that women are not told the truth about the after effects of hysterectomy and about uterine sparing treatment options for fibroids. Some are actually radiology procedures and the gynecologists don’t want to lose the business and big $$$ they get from hysterectomy. Since the fibroid was in your Fallopian tube I don’t understand why your uterus was removed even if the fibroid had been pressing on it. It’s got to be even more disturbing that this surgeon is / was a good friend of yours.

    5. It’s amazing how every woman is different. I had a hysterectomy in 1994. I had no choice, I had a prolapsed uterus. Literally my insides were falling out. A couple years after that i had a vagina lift (like a face lift). I still have my ovaries but cervix on up is gone. I was sad hearing all the issues I was supposed to have experienced after my hysterectomy however I have none of them. I had wondered if they actually did the surgery till the dr for my 2nd surgery confirmed those items were missing. The dr also said that its your brain that sends the signal for menstrual back pains, bloating, etc and that it would stop sending signals after 6 months to a year. Not true!! Almost 24 years later and I still retain water and Have lower back aches every 3rd week of the month like clock work!!

      1. Janette, You are one of the lucky ones if you haven’t suffered sexual dysfunction (impaired libido, arousal and/or orgasm).

        I would say the cyclic PMS type symptoms are an indication that your ovaries are still working. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for them to fail or produce lower levels of hormones after hysterectomy. Some women experience more severe PMS symptoms due to the impaired ovarian function that can ensue.

        Just for the record – Hysterectomy is not necessary for prolapse. Pessaries can be used to suspend the organs. However, many women are not even offered this option since there’s a lot more money to be made doing hysterectomies.

    6. I had the exact same diagnosis. I am 10 days post surgery. The first three days were miserable and I was in a lot of pain. One week after the surgery I felt better than I did before the surgery. Talk to different doctors and see your options but after my hysterectomy I feel great. He took my uterus, cervix and tunes. Kept my ovaries. Good luck!

      1. Misti – You are still in the surgical recovery stage. It’s great that you’re doing better than you were in the first few days post-op. Unfortunately, many of the after effects of hysterectomy occur in the longer term – months or even years post-op.

    7. I had the same diagnosis as you did and my surgeon told me I needed a total hysterectomy. I refused three times. Thanks to WS, I was spared. I switched to cloth pads and that has made all the difference for me. After researching cloth pads, I learned that there is less menstrual pain with cloth pads. My periods are pain free now. Wishing you all the best.

  11. I have posted on your site regarding the detriment of the Endometrial Ablation. Sadly, everything in your article, was spot on. So many who have had the Endometrial Ablation, in five years require a hysterectomy. I am one of those women, and it has been exactly 5 years. I wish I had found your forum and website prior to the Ablation. April of 2017, I began bleeding in between periods. My periods come on every 11 days , and the bleeding will last anywhere from 12-14 days, followed by pain, then back to the period and intermittent bleeding again. My Gyne, ordered a Transvagina Ultrasound, followed by a Uterine Biopsy. Thankfully, the biopsy was negative, however the Ultrasound showed embedded fibroids (which I already knew I had prior to the Ablation) and my uterus is oversized. So, of course my only option is a Hysterectomy. My Gyne wants me to have the surgery done robotically, because they say it is less evasive. Given my situation of 3 C-sections, my Dr. claims that is my best option. Dr. wants to remove my Uterus (of course), my cervix, and my tubes. I have an appointment scheduled with the Robotic surgeon on 9/11 , since my Gyne doesn’t have the experience with performing the surgery robotically. When I asked my Gyne if my sex life would change, she said of course, no, since I will still have my ovaries. I am totally not sold and am not comfortable with having this surgery. Healthcare has become a business, with less concern of actual the care of one’s health. I have read too many stories of women having the worse sex life after a hysterectomy, even when the ovaries are left. Also, this same Gyne was aware that I had embedded fibroids prior to the EA, and failed to tell me that the surgery was a hit or miss in the first place, which is why I am really considering not having the hysterectomy. The day of my ultrasound, I was talking to the tech performing the test. Very friendly lady, said to me that my Uterus wasn’t that big, maybe a little but not nearly as big as most of the ones she’s seen in women with fibroids. Another reason I am convinced that the business of hysterectomies is a booming money maker. I know I am all over the place, but my mind is all over the place. I just turned 45, and am really thinking about waiting this out, praying that my period will just stop on its own, rather than have a completely life changing surgery. Hormone replacement is out of the question for me, due to a history of high blood pressure. I also have occasional heart palpitations , in which a heart condition has been ruled out. Another thing, after a Cardiologist told me that a hormonal imbalance can cause heart palpitations, when I told this to my Gyne, she said she’s never heard of that. Not sure what to do, confused

    1. KeishaG – I’m sorry for my delayed response. Please listen to your intuition. I wish I had listened to mine! Besides sexual dysfunction being common after hysterectomy, there are a host of other after effects as you can see from reading my other articles. What did the surgeon say yesterday?

      1. Thanks for responding. I have opted to have a second opinion, which I will schedule shortly. My pcp ordered blood work to check for anemia. I should hear something shortly. My pcp mentioned that many Gyne’s are doing a lot of unnecessary Hysterctomies. He said that years ago a Dr. recommended a Hysterectomy to his wife due to excessive bleeding. She sought a second opinion and just allowed nature to take it’s course. Now she is Post menopausal and no longer has any of the issues. Sad that Hysterectomy seems to be the remedy to most Gynecological issues

        1. I’m glad to hear your PCP clued you in to the gross overuse of hysterectomy. If the bleeding is keeping you from going about your normal activities and/or you’re anemic, tranexamic acid (Lysteda) may help (as well as iron if you’re deficient) since hormones aren’t an option. Low iron can make bleeding worse so it can be a catch-22. Other than that, waiting it out may be your best bet versus having the fibroids removed (myomectomy) or some other procedure. Best of luck to you!

    2. I’m 55, have 4 fibroids 2cm & 3cm. I’m asian, weight 126lbs, 5ft 4, my stomach is big as I’m in my 5-month pregnancy. I had my first fibroid after my 1st daughter. My GYN scraped my uterus’s lining to remove fibroid to reserve my uterus.
      The fibroids did come back after my second child but I still be able to get pregnant 2 more. I carry my fibroids for 15+ years, have no pain during intercourse, papmear is normal, but my period is heavy & last longer. My previous GYN told me don’t do anything unless I feel pain. Last week I went to another OBGYN to checkup & have schedule for hypersectomy. My pap is ok again. I feel normal . I stop my period since last year. After seeing my ultrasound image, she told me not to do it & will check my ultrasound 6 months later.
      She told me to eat dark green leaf, no soy product, no red meat, less sugar, no process food & take vitamin D because vitamin D helps shrink fibroids. I’m on vegan diet 4 days & eat fish/ chicken other days. I do Kegel excercise, walk, practice tennis & my belly fat is reduced significantly . My stomach is smaller
      My vagina is so dry. I did a lot of research. Finally, I choose “K-Y liquidbeads” to insert lubricant deep inside, & use “V magic vulva cream” for outside vagina. I can’t take hormones because It will made my fibroid worse . So before activity, sometimes I take ” Horny goat weed with maca ” which I bought at CVS pharmacy to boot my “sexual” drive. My husband is very pleased. That’s my story.

      1. Tracy – So glad to hear you found a gynecologist who gave you advice on how to shrink your fibroids with diet thereby avoiding an unwarranted and damaging hysterectomy!

      2. At Tracy; I am just curious how you are doing since your diet and lifestyle change? I have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids(rt side 8+cms & Lft side 3+cms). On the right side I have been told they can’t even see my ovary as the fibroid is covering it in images. It is the one that gives me the most trouble. I have been in the ER several times because of it ( excruciating pain that doubles me over and has me crying, nausea and vomiting, and swings and crying, cognitive impairment, and dizziness )and just a few weeks ago was told it is degenerative. That it’s running out of room to grow according to the ER doc and is bleeding according to the CT scan he ordered. All OB docs I’ve spoken to insist on hysterectomy as I no longer need my uterus anyway since I will no longer be having more kids. Who are they to judge? What gives them the right to decide my life for me? What if I decide to carry a grandchild if one of my daughters aren’t able to bear childbirth? I’m 45yrs old. 5’9 and 145lbs. I recently lost a bunch of weight in order to help my chronic pain condition and feel amazing. My self esteem is coming back, my sex life is thriving with my husband (we say we’re in the honeymoon phase. The honeymoon we never got) and I feel like I can finally live life and experience all the things I’ve been afraid of doing. We got pregnant when I was 19 while dating and have been together ever since. Our kids are in their 20’s now and beginning their lives. So the thought of going under the knife terrifies me. Not to mention losing my “womanhood” and sex drive does not appeal to me. My new OB says she is more than willing to work with me whether taking birth control pills or what have you but strongly insists on hysterectomy. I have a family history on my moms side of uterine fibroids and all the women on this side have had hysterectomies. My grandmother had a fibroid the size of a grapefruit and my mother when she had a vaginal hysterectomy had her uterus full of fibroids.What I want to know is what is causing the fibroids? How can we as women control the growth of them with diet and exercise or lifestyle changes? If there is something wrong with our hormones (to regulate them more) what can be done and why aren’t doctors more apt to doing it? I posed these questions to my new OB and she said because at this stage of my life the estrogen and progesterone fluxes in the body vary so much it’s hard to control and regulate. Unlike a thyroid where you test and adjust the doses periodically. I decided to start by trying birth control (though I’m scared of picking up the prescription) as I’ve tried different forms of birth control from my teens to my 30s and they’ve always intensified my headaches and causes ridiculous weight gain. I feel like Ive been a guinea pig Throughout the years with my painful periods, cysts, headaches, severe PMS. Trying birth control, pain medications, headache medications, lifestyle changes, Acupuncture, bio feedback etc. I’m exhausted and just want my life back. At this stage of my life I finally feel like I have it back now that I have controlled my chronic pain flare ups for the most part. But now dealing with my hormones and fibroids I feel like I’m at a loss again. I’m tired of being on an emotional roller coaster that not Only affects me, but my girls and my husband.

    3. Please, don’t do it unless you have 3, even 4 opinions from rep doctors . I was 26 years old and allowed my doc and husband to make that decision for me. Had no children, which has left a permanent hole in my heart. They took very thing. I don’t even remember ever having a sex drive. I am now 54 years old days I’ll cut my amnrm off to get out of having sex. No drive, no feelings down there, depression, fatigue, dry skin and hair. It ruined me. I only have sex to be fair to my new husband as of 10/23/17. I saw a nurse practitioner a couple years ago and she firmly told me that my hysterectomy was unessessary. The doc who did mine shut down completely . Stopped seeing patients and disappeared. That was back when they were herding women into the operating room like cattle. But after reading this, it must still be going on. I am happy for those who’ve had no after effects, but, my life was destroyed after my surgery.

      1. Jc – I’m so sorry this was done to you. I too will regret it for the rest of my life. I’m sure the loss would have been even more devastating if I had not had children. Unfortunately, these surgeries have continued at epidemic rates with ~90% of them being unnecessary. Medical training encourages hysterectomy. Graduate Medical Education requires that each resident do at least 70 of them. And they continue to remove healthy ovaries (castration) despite the rarity of ovarian cancer (1.3% lifetime risk) and the abundance of compelling medical evidence showing the egregious harm of this practice (rapid aging and earlier mortality). It’s shocking to me this has gone on for this long with no sign of anyone doing anything to stop it.

  12. Hello everyone. First let me say that I am so sorry for those who are having problems following a hysterectomy in any way and happy for those who are not. I came on here actually looking for the opposite type of answer. My husband and I always enjoyed a wonderful and healthy physical relationship until he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010. After rsdiation and hormone treatment which ongoing we have not had that pleasure for a few years now. This yeardue to bleeding and pain and other possible csncer indicators I underwent a complete hysterectomy – everything including the ovaries and the cervix. But I am still experiencing arousals and I don’t understand where it is coming from because I am not taking any hormones at all and we do not do anything at all and I do not think or make myself intentionally get that way. So I do not understand where it is coming from. With our circumstances we had hoped it would just all go away as it makes him feel so badly that we can no longer share that part like we used to. But we are still completely devoted to each other at 26 years and going strong so we are good. But if someone could explain to me why this is happening, I would appreciate it.

  13. This article is very depressing. I am recovering from estrogen/progesterone positive breast cancer. I also have had irregular bleeding and through testing and biopsies my gynecologist/oncologist feel because of precancerous conditions it is medically necessary to have a complete hysterectomy. I am very fearful of having further cancer and to be honest am anxious to have a hysterectomy to eliminate what feeds the cancer in my body. After reading this article I feel like I will basically be left an empty shell without any feelings towards my husband. Our sex life has always been important to us and I don’t want to lose that. I feel like I have no choice it’s either a happy sex life or cancer! If what you are saying is correct, that most hysterectomies are not necessary then what other choice do I have?? What medical procedure can replace a hysterectomy?

    1. Dear Stacy,

      Having had complete hysterectomy myself over 20 years ago, I can tell you that it is not the equivalent to castration in the sense of loss of libido at all. Having had a complete hysterectomy so long ago not only saved my life but also made my life significantly better. I hope you find this helpful.

      Angela

    2. Stacy, I’m sorry you had breast cancer. It is much more common than all gynecologic cancers – endometrial (uterine), ovarian and cervical. A woman’s lifetime risk of all gyn cancers is less than 3% while breast cancer risk for women is 12.4%. Just because you had breast cancer does not automatically mean that you’re at increased risk for gyn cancers.

      Did your gyn oncologist explain that most cases of precancer (hyperplasia) of the uterine lining (endometrium) are curable with medication? And some can be treated with a D&C? Did you get a copy of the endometrial biopsy report that tells you the type of hyperplasia, e.g, simple vs. complex and without atypia vs. with atypia? Knowing those details will tell you even more about treatment options and regression and progression rates / chances for reversal of the abnormal cells (back to normal).

      90% of hysterectomies are unnecessary as less than 10% are done for cancer. Even by ACOG’s standards, 76% are recommended inappropriately. So it’s essential that we do our own research and make sure we know our diagnosis and all treatment options. We cannot rely solely on the doctors / surgeons who make a large portion of their living by removing organs.

      1. Amen. This is so true. I wish our research was much more thorough. My sex life was doomed y
        the moment I awoke from surgery, a part of me was gone and i cannot explain my loss.

  14. This article is frustrating to read along with its responses. Not all women are the same? Well, I had a total hysterectomy and sex is still amazing. I was back to work at day 10 and my man loves the feeling as much as before. Quite trying to scare women. We are all farcely different. It’s how you look at it, as well as life. It’s your attitude before as much as it is after. Furthermore, learn to orgasm from your clitoral region.

    1. J.S., Consider yourself fortunate if sex is truly just as satisfying. You must not have had uterine orgasms because those are much more intense than clitoral. As you can see from all the comments, you are clearly in the minority. There are many women suffering from little or no desire, impaired sensation and ability to orgasm and sometimes this does not happen immediately. I’m curious what prompted you to go in search of information on this subject if your sex life has not been adversely affected. Physiology cannot be changed by attitude. However, we have no choice but to somehow accept and live with the changed (impaired) function. The intent of this article is not to scare but to educate.

    2. Totally depressing. I have a radical hysterectomy (leaving ovaries) thanks to cervical cancer, happening in a couple weeks. This is the most one-sided article / forum I’ve read. I have heard from many people that sex is almost better without a period or the risk of pregnancy in older age. I think attitude, diet, and exercise can change a lot of physical and emotional side-effects that this surgery can try to steal. Be strong, stay positive, get healthy and strong and make yourself sexy.

      1. paschaderk – I know of women who were told they had cancer when they didn’t. And others who were told their abnormal cells (cervical dysplasia or endometrial hyperplasia) would turn into cancer when it was very treatable without having a hysterectomy. Have you seen the pathology report or gotten another opinion (gyn and pathologist)? I know we want to think the best but there is only so much that can be overcome by attitude, diet and exercise. I wish you the best whatever happens!

    3. JS seriously you are one of the lucky ones – no amount of positive thinking can undo nerve damage caused by a careless surgeon – I am jealous and hate you for being lucky and sanctimonious

  15. I had a hysterectomy 3 yrs ago, and my sex life is non existent. I have no sexual desire, I have no orgasms. I feel like I have no feeling down there. What can I do to help with my sex life? Hormone replacement therapy, etc. HELP

    1. Robin, I’m sorry you’re suffering from this common after effect! I’ve lost all desire and orgasms are disappointing and difficult to achieve since my hysterectomy. I used to have such wonderful uterine orgasms which of course can never happen again. 🙁 Some women report that taking estrogen and/or testosterone is helpful but it hasn’t made a difference for me. There’s an over-the-counter product called Zestra that’s supposed to help but it did nothing for me either. I hope you can find something that helps! If you do, please share. Maybe it will help someone else here. It’s a shame that so many women are misled about the negative effects of this surgery.

    2. Omg I feel the same whilst having sex I egg my man on to come as I feel nothing I used to feel my muscle inside vagina tighten round him no more even if I try to play with my clit that seems to have died please help I feel suicidale c

    3. hi robin, i had my surgery 18 months ago and feel the same as you, no sexual desire, been married 36 yrs and just feel empty now …:(
      i try and act all sexy and flirt but i do t feel anything 🙁

  16. Hello, I am trying to go a hysterectomy sometime next month and I am so scared. I do not have ovarian cancer however I do have fibroids that are affecting my cycles and causing very heavy bleeding. I birth control and nothing is really working for it get better. I already signed the consent but I am a little concerned because I’m 36 years old and I do not want to lose my sex drive. Do you have answers for trying to go around getting the a hysterectomy especially in my condition with my fibroids being the size of a grapefruit setting rights in the middle of my cervix.

    1. Angel, I’m sorry you’re dealing with heavy bleeding. There are other negative effects of hysterectomy besides possible loss of sexual desire and pleasure. You can read all 12 of my articles here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.

      Are you aware that there are some non-hormonal medications to reduce heavy bleeding? One is tranexamic acid (brand name Rx Lysteda) that is supposed to reduce bleeding by up to 58% according to this guide of meds for heavy bleeding – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0015970/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly.

      Are you sure the fibroid is the cause of your bleeding? I personally was lied to about my condition to get me to consent to hysterectomy. And I’ve connected with many other women with similar stories. Have you had your thyroid checked to be sure it isn’t playing a part in all this? Bleeding / clotting disorders are also often overlooked as a cause for heavy menstrual bleeding.

      If the fibroid is indeed the cause and the bleeding is debilitating enough with no help from medications, then what about pursuing a myomectomy to have just the fibroid removed? Hysterectomy is easier and I believe more profitable than myomectomy so many more gynecologists will suggest it versus myomectomy. Hysterectomy is also done much more by residents than myomectomies so fewer gyns have myomectomy skills. So it may take a bit of searching to find a gyn to do one. And you have to be careful because some will say they’ll do a myomectomy but then women have come out of surgery without their uterus. Making sure your surgical consent form only allows myomectomy should prevent this from happening.

      I hope this helps! Good luck and please keep us posted.

  17. Hello I really thank you for this article. My story is a bit different in the sense that I am only 18 and I had all my female organs removed. When I was 16 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and began a 2 year fight with the monster. I am currently in a remission and so far things are going well. I have never really enjoyed sex due to my past with sexual abuse but my boyfriend likes to fantasize about the future when we are older and settle down. He and I do not have full out sex because of my fears and he is very respectful of this but I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be ready. I had no idea the removal of these parts could effect me so immensely. After surgery I could not orgasm at all not even with masturbation… I just have no motivation for sexual pleasure. I haven’t been completely honest about this with my boyfriend because I want him to feel good and not be a burden… but the more we have oral sex and such I feel myself distancing further.. I just feel so lost and unsure of what to do…

    1. Lily, I’m sorry to hear you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and at such a young age no less! I’m sorry you’re suffering the loss of sexuality as a result of your treatment / surgery. I hope you have beat the “monster” for good and wish you the best going forward!

  18. Hello,

    My wife had a hysterectomy about 18 months ago. We have been married for 24 years and have always had a passionate sex life. Two weeks ago, she informed me that she no longer has romantic feelings for me and has asked that I not make sexual overtures to her of any kind. This hit me like a ton of bricks.

    I have read this article and feel very strongly that the effects experienced by WS describe what has happened to my beautiful wife. Needless to say, I am devastated. As a 49 year old man, I’ve realized that sex is actually more than sex, it is an intimate connection that forms a bond. That bond is now missing and I’m reeling… I feel an absence of affection not only for myself, but for my children. My two daughters have reached out to me repeatedly saying that they feel a loss of connection with Mom. I’ve had a few weeks to process this, and as time has passed, and as I have thought more and more about what WS has written, I have begun to grieve not only for myself but for my wife. I feel very strongly that a part of her is now missing.

    Most upsetting is that she called her GYN, who told her that because she still has her ovaries, she is physically fine, and should call a psychologist. My wife is 49 years old. I’m absolutely confident that the experience of WS is what has happened, but my wife, and her mother, and her doctor (a registered nurse) all tell her that she needs counseling and that all of this has nothing to do with her hysterectomy. Because of this, she has started counseling, with a random counselor – that’s how the system works. You call your doctor, they give you a name of somebody to talk to, and you set up an appointment. If you are luck, they are good. If you are not lucky, then well…

    Finally after several arguments, I have urged her to insist on an appointment with her GYN. That said, I feel regretful for pushing, and I have no hope that her GYN will feel any empathy or recommend any sort of HRT (which I’m only somewhat hopeful would help). I am a gentle man and hate to push, but she has said that she is not even certain that she wants her feelings to return! I really do not believe this is a relationship problem, rather, it’s as WS said – her heart center has been affected.

    We have a 15 year old daughter at home and an 18 year old daughter in college. We are pretending that everything is fine, but it is excruciatingly difficult as I see my wife pursuing a path to figure out what has happened to her that is simply incorrect. I feel as though her heart has been cut out.

    Any advice as to how I can guide my wife towards understanding what has really happened. She is very defensive and I have worked very hard to restrain myself, but I’m living in turmoil. I have not been able to find any other information on the Web that corroborates what WS has said, but I know in my heart that it is true. If there is any information, or anyone that I can speak to, this would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    PS

    1. PS,
      I’m so sorry you and your wife are going through this! There are other women out there on the web who have reported similar experiences… some are direct while others you have to “read between the lines.” But many do not want to admit the negatives. That plus the fact that the prevalence of hysterectomy (and oophorectomy / ovary removal) leads women to believe it is harmless is the very reason so many women fall victim. Also, some forums censor negative posts and even block users who post their negative experiences and mention medically documented harms (for example the Hyster “sisters” site and also a UK based Patient.Info site).

      Your wife’s gyn’s response to see a psychologist is pretty standard. Since these surgeons fail to inform women of the after effects before surgery, they won’t admit to them afterwards. They have to maintain their stance that the uterus is merely a reproductive organ. Admitting otherwise would put a big dent in their very lucrative hysterectomy business and make it easier for women to sue.

      I often wonder what medical students are told (and purposely not told) about the female organs. But even if medical schools withhold the truth, the fall-out practicing gynecologists see in hysterectomized patients should make it clear that the uterus is an essential organ for multiple reasons. Those who are ethical would then stop doing these surgeries unless absolutely necessary or at least inform their patients of the after effects beforehand (informed consent). But that seems to be rare. I have written articles here about the scare tactics and con of hysterectomy. Here is list of my nine articles – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.

      Maybe your wife is unsure she wants her feelings to return because she fears that sex will be a disappointment, not only for herself but maybe for you too. Many women report impaired ability to orgasm or orgasms that are disappointing compared to the ones they had before. I had (and still have) no desire for sex and for years it was “traumatic” for me because it was so disappointing. I have since resigned myself to this huge loss but my husband and I are seldom intimate which is sad. Thankfully, he does not have a high sex drive and has stood by me through all the changes / losses. I was also 49 (and married for 26 years) when my organs were unnecessarily removed.

      If loss of systemic hormones / impaired ovarian function is suspected to be at least part of the problem, your wife can request a hormone panel. Even if her ovarian hormone levels are still in reproductive range, she may benefit from some vaginal estrogen (such as Vagifem tablets or an estrogen cream) since vaginal tissues are oftentimes affected by hysterectomy since the vagina becomes a “closed pocket.” If she doesn’t want to see a gyn (which I can certainly understand), she could see her primary care doctor.

      I knew that my problems were caused by the loss of my vital organs versus being psychological like so many gyns want us to believe. I went through quite a bit of counseling (with various therapists) to work through the horrific betrayal by my gynecologist of 20 years.

      I wish the best for you, your wife and two daughters despite this horrific assault on her body and well-being and your relationship!

      1. PS,
        I forgot to mention the HERS Foundation’s videos as good resources for understanding the functions of the female organs as well as other women’s experiences with hysterectomy. Those can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hersfoundation. Some of the results aren’t from HERS so not sure why they came up. Be sure to watch the “Unbecoming” play too. These links are also helpful (although depressing) – http://www.hersfoundation.com/facts.html and http://www.hersfoundation.com/effects.html.

        The more you understand the effects of hysterectomy, the better you can relate to your wife.

        1. I am a 39 year old woman who had an unnecessary hysterectomy 2 years ago. The Dr. Actually admitted later that my uterus was perfect, after. I read what you said and I have to tell you don’t give up. Try emotional connection plus stimuli, research options for mood stabilizers. Keep trying, but be kind.

    2. Dear Sir, I to have had a partial hysterectomy. At first i felt fine, b7t weeks into my recovery I became depressed. i began 5o drink when my husband and I resumed our s3x life. Afterwards s3veral months and much prayer, I began to feel exci53d about sex again. It takes time. we all heal differently. Thankfully my husband was gentle and loving. He did leave me later for a high school sweetie, but that is his lose, and now he realizes he left too soon. I recommend extensive foreplay, pray, and patience. It will All be well in God’s time. everything happens for a reason. I know tha5 you are frus t rated, b7t please if you love her, and want to remain with her, and b3 satisfied, pretend that you are looking for 8 ag as in and discover each others bodies all over. you have a new pussy to play with from your same sweet wife. It may tske her lo ger to climax but she will in time get there. I also recommend some toys for added stimulation for you both, andget in the habbit of enjoying man6 wonderful bj,s. Im prayingfor you both, God Bless, I’ve been there. watch her close keep her busy, she may frequently become depressed. if you se3 this occuring take her out somewhere to change the environment, and mind set. buy plenty of booze, get her drunk once or twice and see how she begins to chace you around the house. Most importantly, do not treat her any different. she is still you sweet s3xy girl you feel 8n love with. Help her thru tbis. masterbation is awesome to re stimate whatever aisles you both.

    3. Don’t give up. You can both have a good sex life unless you give up. Sex is better after a hysterectomy! Once you get passed the associated health problems and lack of stimuli. Try reaching her on an emotional level, its the starting line. And look up options for mood stabilizers and labido enducers. Good luck!

  19. I can ditto many of the comments made. I had a hysterectomy 3 years ago and it has literally ruined my life! I have no desire for sex when before the surgery I loved it and was very active with my husband now I have no desire and intercourse is extremely painful so we have virtually no sex life and it is ruining our relationship. It has also changed my appearance and not for the good, I struggle with gaining weight which I never did before, it has affected my joints and muscles making it difficult for me to exercise, and this just names a few of the adverse effects having the surgery has had on me. I was told I needed the surgery because my uterus was dropping and I had bladder surgery at the same time. I have tried many things to improve this situation and have found nothing to help. Is there anything that will help my situation? If so, please let me know. I’m desperate.

    1. Katrina,
      I’m sorry you are also suffering from this destructive surgery and were not given the necessary information beforehand! Have you tried to get answers as to why intercourse is painful? Unfortunately, gynecologists aren’t usually forthcoming about the after effects either before or after the surgery but maybe you can find a doctor who will try to get to the bottom of the pain. Of course, this wouldn’t totally explain the lack of desire but if you could at least resolve the pain issue that would be progress. If the pain is from vaginal atrophy vaginal estrogen (tablet or cream form) is the only thing that will heal the tissues.

      As far as desire / libido, some women find that testosterone helps. But it can be difficult to get an Rx for testosterone since there’s no FDA approved product for women in the U.S. You can only get it from a compounding pharmacy or use one of the men’s products (at a MUCH lower dose).

    2. I found I had cervical cancer after having a hysterectomy in June 2010. I then had Fallopian/ovaries/ lymph node sampling taken in July ’10. Then followed chemo/external radiation and then external radiation. If all left me in tremendous pain and ultimately spent 17 days in the hospital for over two weeks due to extreme pain. Only to spend the next 5 months in bed on serious pain meds which I eventually was weaned off of. Once finally healed and cancer free, months later, my boyfriend of 12 years as of Sept 2016 attempted to have intercourse two separate times in which it was painful for myself which was an obvious turn off to him and unsatisfying to him because it felt like he was hitting a hard, scarred, shortened vagina which was a complete turn off for him. I had used dilators as instructed, but which helped Moe what so ever. I can have a strong orgasm through masturbation, but miss terribly the amazing sex life we once had. We have not been intimate for 4 years now. Have no idea if he is faithful to me sexually. I am depressed and miserable knowing what our relationship once was. Now, just thoroughly depressed and feeling anxious and alone. I have been on hormone therapy the whole time. I have very little self esteem and I feel my whole body and look is different, not for the better. Not sure where to go from here. Thank you to all the women willing to share your own personal realities.

      1. Erin, I’m sorry you had cervical cancer and are now suffering the awful effects of that treatment! I can’t imagine having to deal with the additional scarring of radiation. I assume you’ve also tried using vaginal estrogen (in addition to the dildos)? Thank you for sharing your story.

    3. Katrina, like you , I have the same difficulties and I have not found any solution for me but I now am becoming much better at satisfying my husband with other sexual acts, oral, and anal. While I get very little out of it, he has accepted that we cannot do the things we used to. I do gain weight more easily than before and it is a constant struggle but I am holding my own in that respect. Good luck!!!

  20. I had a hysterectomy at the age of 19 they left one ovaries but it no longer works I’m 46 now and struggle with having the desire to have a healthy marriage with my husband I don’t take hormones because my Dr. Won’t prescribe them and I’m at a loss I don’t know what to do I love my husband very much but he deserves a healthy sex life that I feel I can’t provide for him he doesn’t complain at all it’s me that worries about it

    1. Rhonda, I’m sorry you had a hysterectomy especially at such a young age. I’m rather shocked that any doctor would do that but I’ve heard of other teenagers and young women having had hysterectomies. Did you have endometriosis? If so, I sure hope it resolved the pain!

      Did that one ovary continue working until recently? Why won’t your doctor prescribe HRT? Are you having any symptoms of hormone deficiency besides lack of sex drive?

      1. Hello I had fibroids tumors removed in 2013 ! 2014 I had a total hystercomy in my right removed ! Becuz of ovarian cyst ! Jan 2006 I had my left ovary removed . My sex life has change very dryness in my vaginal area ! What can I uses to help.

        1. Shenika, I’m sorry you’re suffering these after effects. Vaginal estrogen (in cream or tablet form) is helpful in healing estrogen deficient / atrophied vaginal tissue and maintaining its health. In all or most countries it requires a doctor’s prescription.

            1. There are three products of which I’m aware – Premarin cream, Estrace cream and Vagifem tablets in pessary form. It would seem that all three would be effective since they all contain estrogen.

        2. Aug 9, 2016 I had a total hysterectomy through my vagina everything was removed.My bladder was prolapsed and was repaired.My husband and I are planning to have intercourse this coming weekend but I’m so scared before my surgery I had so much pain so I’m terrified that it is going to hurt still . I’m a woman if 60 and he is 57 ,I love him so much and doing it for him . I can care less for sex at my age but I’m going to talk to him and explain it is not easy for me and he has always been pretty good in understanding my feeling but I will try for his sake. I think also I’m going to ask my dr to give me something to help me relax so I hope it helps.

          1. Virginia, I felt the same way after my hysterectomy. I was afraid to have sex but I didn’t have pain prior to my surgery. I lost my desire after surgery too so that didn’t help matters! I hope all goes well.

  21. I had a subtotal hysterectomy thirteen years ago when I was 33. It was 6 weeks after my daughters birth and it was basically to save my life. I was admitted into hospital with severe stomach pains which I had had pretty much continuously since the birth but as there was no bleeding I was just given antibiotics. I was scanned when I was admitted to hospital and it was found that ther was a major internal infection. I had to have a d and c and it was while I was having this that I began to have a major bleed resulting in a subtotal hysterectomy. Whilst coming round I thought I was dying and was so scared. Needless to say it was a major shock for all of us. I had already had to cope with leaving my premature daughter in special care when I was discharged. I have the most wonderful husband and he has stuck by me. I love him so much but it has changed our relationship. I realise that this experience has altered the person that I am. I get panic attacks if I feel out of control- fortunately not often but it is always there. I am also mega determined at times. Somehow I continued breastfeeding my daughter throughout all of this and I also completed a PHD to prove I could. At work I passionately fight for children with problems which is admired by some but I sense seen as a major pain for others. My pre baby need to go up the career ladder has gone and I would be happy I the same job to the end of my career now. In so many ways I have changed but whether this is down to my hysterectomy experiences I don’t know.

    I am not really interested in intercourse and get about 10% of the feeling I used to. It takes forever to orgasm and emotionally this is hard to accept. I am now 47 and over the last year my skin and weight have become a problem-could I be heading for the menopause? Without periods it’s difficult to know. Last year I had problems with my neck and an MRI showed that the discs are thinning. I am now wondering if this is linked to the hysterectomy?
    Many thanks for listening

    1. Wendy,
      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry this happened to you! Many women experience similar changes in their personalities after hysterectomy. Sexual dysfunction including loss of desire is likewise common. So you are not alone in this. Unfortunately, we feel very much alone because most women won’t / don’t talk about it for various reasons – denial, embarrassment, shame. And sometimes they fail to make the connection between these changes and their surgeries. This silence is a big reason why there are so many unnecessary hysterectomies and oophorectomies (ovary removals).

      As far as the weight gain and dry skin, these could be an indication that you’re entering menopause. Hysterectomy is associated with impaired ovarian function and an earlier menopause. The ovaries of women with all their parts produce hormones their whole lives. They merely switch from a reproductive role to an endocrine role at menopause with testosterone levels dropping around menopause but then gradually increasing. Hysterectomized women have been shown to produce lower levels of testosterone than naturally menopausal women (although not as low as women without ovaries). Testosterone is beneficial to bones, Body Mass Index (BMI), stamina and libido. This article is helpful – http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jcem.85.2.6405.

      Hysterectomy is also associated with changes to the skeletal structure even absent bone loss. That’s because the ligaments that hold the uterus in place are the pelvis’ support structures. When those are severed at hysterectomy, the spine, hips and rib cage are displaced causing a shortened and thickened midsection. As a result, back, hip and neck problems are common over time.

  22. I had a partial hysterectomy several years ago. I am 46 now. During my surgery the doctor put a 1/2 inch whole in my bladder. I had to wear a catheter for months and have another surgery to repair the whole. I now have experienced a loss in my sex drive and my orgasms are smaller and less often, Not to mention the bladder issues. If I had known all this before the hysterectomy I wouldn’t have had it.

    1. Elizabeth, How awful! I’m sorry you suffered these surgical complications on top of the loss of sexual function. Thank you for sharing your story. We need more media exposure of the harms of hysterectomy since these surgeries (as well as ovary removals) are rarely necessary and are marketed as benign. They provide large profits for the medical industry at the expense of our health. If you’re interested in writing your story for publication on Hormones Matter, you can complete this form – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/.

      I wish you the best in moving forward from this medical harm.

  23. I am 64 and had a full hysterectomy one year ago. After 10yrs of tests and 6 Drs all telling me I had a fibroid which was now causing vaginal prolapse. The surgery was supposed to remove the fibroid and fix the prolapse. All the Drs. said the hysterectomy was necessary and inconsequential because of my age. The surgeon who did the surgery agreed to remove the fibroid but when he went in there was no fibroid but tumors on my ovaries and uterus and he did the hysterectomy. My concern is twofold. The disparities in women’s health that they remove these vital organs prior to knowing if there is cancer, not the same protocol as with men where they test and test before removing anything. I have suffered through all the problems as everyone else listed here. My husband and I had and unbelievable sex life, I had loads of energy and strength and was able to joke about being “37”. I now feel like and old woman. I want to sleep more then move, I have little strength and our sex life is now that of senior citizens due to my loss of sensation. Before I was multi-orgasmic, now I can barely have one, my clitoris suffers from erectile dysfunction, and the lack of hormones has caused my taste and odor to change. When the Dr tells you, we did the hysterectomy but the good news is that the tests were negative, I could only say “I wish you knew that before you removed everything”. Unfortunately the men and insurance companies form these protocols. We as a country are up in arms about female circumcision and genital mutilation by third world countries but do not recognize that these unnecessary hysterectomies are only different because they are done in a hospital instead of a village. They dole out Viagra so men can sustain their erections but perform hysterectomies that destroy women’s sexuality so who are they using the Viagra with? In closing I have to mention that the whole reason for the surgery was that the “phantom” fibroid was pushing down and causing the prolapse but they never repaired the prolapse. For those women contemplating a hysterectomy but do not have a cancer issue, research alternative and natural treatment because your life will change, especially if removing your ovaries. Your body needs these hormones and long term use of HRT will eventually lead to heart disease and cancer

    1. Chris, My heart breaks for you and all women who’ve been subjected to this scam and egregious harm! I suspect the doctors knew full well (or were at least nearly positive) that you did not have cancer before you went into that operating room. Cancer fear tactics are all too common because they know it works to sell these surgeries. Also, frozen sections done while we are under anesthesia tell if tumors / abnormal tissue are benign or cancerous so there is no excuse for removing organs absent cancer. As is done with other tumors, they should remove the tumors and leave the organs intact. But of course I’m “preaching to the choir.” And to add insult to injury, it is next to impossible for women to get justice because gynecologists have made it a “standard of care” since it is such a huge money maker and many say also gives them a sense of power and control.

      You are proof that the ovaries produce hormones long past menopause, our whole lives as a matter of fact. I recall a woman who had a hysterectomy at age 72 and said she now feels dead. And they’re ripping uteri and ovaries out of 20 and 30-somethings! Disgusting beyond belief!! These websites are good resources for understanding the medically proven harm of ovary removal:
      http://www.gynreform.com/citations.html
      http://www.overy.org/

      I’m sorry that you’re also left with the prolapse that was supposed to be repaired. Did your consent form say that pelvic floor repairs would be done?

      Yes, men’s organs are treated as if they’re gold while women’s are treated as useless after childbearing. How archaic and barbaric is that?! And it’s perplexing that everyone is horrified by the female genital mutilation in other countries when it’s happening at epidemic proportions in our own backyards. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that hysterectomy is so entrenched in our society and the high rates lead people to believe it’s a benign surgery (far from the truth!). Besides, women who’ve had one don’t tend to share the negatives. Jealousy may partially explain that.

      Health care is all about the money. Insurance companies’ customers are the doctors and hospitals not those of us who pay the premiums. The states’ medical boards almost always side with doctors so complaints are usually a waste of time. Ditto for complaints to insurance companies. Mine, Cigna, refused to tell me what my doctor submitted for authorization for hysterectomy. All that was wrong with me was a large complex cyst on one ovary and that’s all that should have been removed (cystectomy). Cigna wouldn’t tell me the outcome of my complaint either citing that it was confidential. They NEVER should have authorized “hysterectomy” in the first place! And how is it that these surgeons get away with removing ovaries if they feel like it? It’s technically a separate procedure (oophorectomy) although it’s my understanding that it isn’t always coded separately (possibly to hide that it was done). Can you believe that the ovary removal rate was 72% of the hysterectomy rate in 2006 and 2007 and 65% in 2010? How is this ok?? They would NEVER remove a man’s testicles during prostatectomy! If you haven’t already read my hysterectomy story here it is – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/unnecessary-hysterectomy/. It would be great if you’d write your story for Hormones Matter. Here is some information along with the contact form – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/.

      There are two big organizations that have Patient Safety projects and want harmed patients to share their stories. It would be great if you’d share your story of unnecessary hysterectomy and oophorectomy and resulting harm. ProPublica is doing a hysterectomy survey via this link:
      http://propub.li/1t6uZNr

      This is another way to report your patient harm to ProPublica – https://www.propublica.org/getinvolved/item/have-you-been-harmed-in-a-medical-facility-share-your-story

      Consumers Union (part of Consumer Reports) also has a Patient Safety arm. You can report your harm here – http://safepatientproject.org/share-your-story. I reported my over-treatment and harm in two categories, Doctor Accountability and Medical Errors (even though my organs were intentionally removed).

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Please continue to speak out so we can stop these unwarranted surgeries. I wish you the best in moving forward!

      1. I WILL FOLLOW UP, READ YOUR STORY AND YES, DITTO TO IT ALL. I WILL DO ALL I CAN TO PREVENT OTHER WOMEN FROM GOING THROUGH THIS BUT READING THROUGH ALL THESE STORIES ADDS YET ANOTHER LAYER OF SADNESS THAT I FEEL SO STUPID FOR LETTING THEM DO THIS TO ME AND NOT ASKING ENOUGH QUESTIONS. I FOUGHT THEM FOR 10 YEARS KNOW THAT I DID NOT HAVE CANCER BUT THE PROLAPSE REALLY GROSSED ME OUT AND WHEN I LEFT MY HOME STATE AND WENT TO A MAJOR HOSPITAL IN NY I UNFORTUNATESLY TRUSTED THE SURGEON AFTER MANY DISCUSSION TO DO THE RIGHT THING. I THINK, IN RETROSPECT, I SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM THE SAME THING I TOLD EVERYONE ELSE AND THAT WAS , IF YOU CAN’T REMOVE THE FIBROID, DO NOTHING. I DIDN’T, I TRUSTED HIM AND NOW I LIVE WITH THIS MESS AND THE SHAME THAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE MORE. IF IT WAS A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND I THINK I WOULD HAVE DONE MORE BUT I DON’T THINK WE EVER DO ENOUGH FOR OUR OWN WELL BEING. YOU NEED TO FIND BETTER ADVERTISING FOR YOUR COLUMN, I FOUND IT BY ACCIDENT.

        1. When completing those patient harm forms, please emphasize how you were scammed. Many people seem to know that hysterectomy is oftentimes overused but few seem to be aware of the enormity of fraud / scam involved nor the life altering damage it causes. And many mistakenly think our ovaries shut down at menopause or shortly thereafter hence no harm in removing them in someone your age.

          Marshall Allen at ProPublica is working on investigating hysterectomy but even he doesn’t seem to realize that many women are scammed into it or, minimally, not provided with the necessary facts regarding long-term after effects (informed consent). He can be reached at Marshall.Allen@ProPublica.org. I’ve exchanged some emails with him.

          A woman with whom I connected after her unnecessary hysterectomy 2 years ago was also scammed by gynecologists at a major New York (City) hospital. She was referred to an oncologist to instill fear for fibroids. It ends up her fibroids were tiny and not the cause of her problems. And of course there was no cancer! The scam appears to have been perpetrated for not only $$ but also to increase use and skill on the da Vinci robot and to train gynecology residents. Did you know that each gyn resident must do AT LEAST 70 hysterectomies? http://www.acgme.org/Portals/0/PFAssets/ProgramResources/220_Ob_Gyn%20Minimum_Numbers_Announcment.pdf. The use of the robot seems to be fueling even more unnecessary hysterectomies but that makes sense in light of the exhorbitant capital outlay and ongoing maintenance costs.

          I’m not sure how to increase visibility for my articles. I probably could have used some better keywords and maybe headings. I’m not savvy on Search Engine Optimization. The owner of Hormones Matter is more up on this. Part of the problem is that so many women go to the “big” hysterectomy “support” site and the owner of that site censors posts so you won’t get the full story about hysterectomy. I was banned for being too negative but they do it in a sneaky way.

  24. I had a vaginal total hysterectomy – uterus and cervix removed through the vagina with no external incisions – in Feb 2016 at the age of 36. Within 3 weeks post op my sex drive shot up, I couldn’t wait to have sex with my husband. After my all clear at 4 wks post op to have intercourse I was ecstatic. I have never had such good sex with my husband since I first met him at 16 yrs old! Our sex life is fantastic and before the op we could go weeks without having sex – because I didn’t want it – now we have sex 2,3 sometimes 4 times a week!! I suffer no vaginal dryness at all, in fact, again I’ve never had so much lubrication since my teens. Sex itself feels absolutely no different and my orgasms are exactly the same as before, they do not feel a bit different whatsoever. The only thing I find has changed is that although I become aroused very quickly my orgasm takes a little longer to happen but that is all. I feel so sorry for everyone who has suffered following their operations, however I wanted to share my story because I was worried prior to my op that sex was actually going to be worse as everything I read on the internet seemed to paint any type of hysterectomy in a negative light. I have googled increased libido after hysterectomy and have found a wealth of positive stories so I think it’s very important to go in to this op with a balanced view.

    1. An increased libido seems to happen very seldom so consider yourself lucky. I don’t know if it’s an indication of the ovaries going into some sort of “hyperdrive” state and producing excess testosterone or what. Do you have any symptoms of excess testosterone? I know some women complain of developing acne after hysterectomy which can be an indication of too much testosterone. But it also seems that the uterus itself has some effect on libido. Whatever the cause, it may be a short-term effect so enjoy it while it lasts.

      Since orgasms feel the same (despite taking longer to achieve) you evidently did not have uterine orgasms. Women who had uterine orgasms report that their orgasms after hysterectomy are very disappointing. It’s like going from a tidal wave to a ripple.

      1. I haven’t had to deal with this particular issue, but I had something similar happen to me after a necessary reductive mammoplasty. I read and read about how there would be a lossof feeling in my nipples, etc., etc., and prepaired myself for this. But the opposite happened instead; the became several times MORE sensitive! It’s been four years, and Leftie is still a little sore in the shower.

        Has anyone successfully sued their doctor over these unexpected results?

        1. I wish I could have sued but it’s next to impossible to get lawyers to take informed consent cases much less win them. And it seems very few lawyers take over-treatment cases or hysterectomy cases.

  25. Thank you for this article, even if it is too late for me…I had a hysterectomy 4 years ago.. as part of prolapse surgery..,the gyno desided it was necessary..,and later told me he found a few nasties down there…I never received any pathology results to indicate this..I cried when I realised my cervix was gone. My waxing sex drive plummetted and no more big Os for me..now it is a ripple compared to a tsunami. .i am now on estrogen patches which do not seem to increase anything. I have to be happy with the memory of my old sex life…

    1. SG, I’m sorry that you too weren’t given the necessary information to decide for yourself if you wanted organ(s) removed. I wonder what your surgeon meant by “a few nasties down there.” I’ve connected with many women who were told they needed their uterus and/or ovaries removed when their pathology reports showed otherwise. There’s a gynecologist in my area who regularly advertises in a women’s health journal found in many doctors’ offices. The ad says that you don’t need a hysterectomy for prolapse but I know of women who went to him and were told their case of prolapse required that he remove their uterus – the “bait and switch” tactic.

      If you want to play a part in trying to reduce the gross overuse and harm of hysterectomy (as well as ovary removal) – 90% are unnecessary – then please complete the hysterectomy survey being done by ProPublica’s Patient Safety journalists. It can be found here – http://propub.li/1t6uZNr. It’s main focus is surgical complications. But it’s critical that we also make them aware of the negative consequences such as sexual dysfunction, destruction of pelvic skeletal integrity / figure changes, bladder and bowel issues, hormonal havoc increasing our risk for many health problems.

      There are other ways to report your patient harm through ProPublica as well as Consumers Union (an arm of Consumer Reports). See my June 22 comment below for details if you’re interested.

      I wish you the best in the future despite this harm.

    2. Hello my name is Jackie, I had the same disgusting lied to procedure done to me two years ago. Since then my life has been hell. A living hell. Why do doctors castrate woman. Why. It makes no sense at all. Why do they cut out our sex organs? Why? Why do they disable us? On purpose? Why? Are they just killing us off. The denial from some woman that everything is great is such rubbish. Every woman who has this done has been harmed and brutilized. It is legal terrorism on woman. If men were castrated 500K a year in this country, there would be an out cry. Even rapists are treated better. The fact that I didn’t educate myself I am disgusted at myself. I have no energy at 38. I have more problems now than I did before surgery. I can never forgive myself,ever. There is no profit in this world that they can make enough money. To me, this country and doctors are legal terrorists. They are no better than the brutality carried out by African gang members cutting off woman’s breasts in the name of crime. Accept its legal crime on woman. The reason we get all these cancers is because of the way we live and hormone imbalance. The person I blame the most is myself for being gullable and not listening or researching more. There are better ways to sterilize a woman. And yet it is ok to cut a woman’s organs out. At the end of the day I am not proud to be American but disgusted. This country sucks big time. And is filthy in all ways. I made the biggest mistake of my life coming to this country. America the free, more like America the capitalistic pig. Lets cut men’s nuts off. See how they like it. We are mothers, daughters, sisters. and treated still like second class citizen. Actresses like Angelina Jolie glamorize this procedure, great brainwashing. She must really love being a castrated woman in Hollywood. How does it feel Angie to be a gelding?

      1. Jackie, I’m sorry that you too were a victim of one of the many predatory gynecologists! They don’t deserve to be doctors and should be criminally prosecuted but we know that won’t happen.

        The after effects are horrific enough but then on top of that we have to deal with the self-recrimination. That tormented me just as much as the rapid aging and other after effects. I beat myself up 24×7 for being so gullible. Thankfully, I was finally able to let go of the self-recrimination and put the responsibility on my gynecologist and the hospital where it belongs.

        It is up to us to try to stop this predatory practice. Please complete the surveys at ProPublica and Consumers Union as detailed in my June 22 comment. Email info@overy.org (owner of http://www.overy.org/) with your story. Complete the HERS Foundation’s survey – http://www.hersfoundation.com/report_experience.htm.

        I wish you the best in moving forward despite this crappy situation!

      2. Jacqueline, I agree. If this was a male issue, it would NEVER happen. It is sterilization…..and female doctors are just as guilty as the male ones…..and are quickly to push artificial hormones on woman!!!

        1. Really, cause they been cutting half our penises off at birth for hundreds of years in this country, mostly to make a buck. I been missing a full sex life since I was born. And whom suggested I be cut? Me? No, My mom…Not diminishing what you all are going through, let’s just be fair. I am here because my wife is having this and trying to be a good husband, but seems like a lot of man badgers here….and my wife’s gynecologist is a woman. It’s been done, just got to wait another week. She is eager, so it seems her drive is still there..Don’t forget, it’s never smart to

    3. Hi, I just went through a total hysterectomy and I am angry as hell!!! This was never what I wanted. I went for medical attention, like five years ago because my lower back was in pain, to find out I had fibroid(s), then cysts on my ovaries. Not ONCE, did any of the three hospitals and several inhumane doctors give me an option of having them surgically removed or by means of medication. All I was told was surgery in removing everything, especially because I was over forty and had two adult children. I attempted to help myself naturally, but did not have the financial means and info to do it on my own. Time went by, my menstrual was gone, then came back after a year in half later. I still had pain(not like I do now), and went to the ER after I started spotting. After an MRI, the next day my family and I were told that I had to have an emergency hysterectomy and possibly my colon(which I am finding this happening to many women now). I felt violated, angry, hurt and it’s been almost three months, and I have severe pain I am dealing with, especially on my spinal cord. The surgeon claims it has NOTHING to do with the surgery, but I did NOT have it prior to the surgery. I lost my sexual desire, feel emotional and even angry at times. After the surgery, I went through HELL emotionally and physically. PLEASE help STOP this modernized form of sterilization of woman!!!!

      1. Marie,
        I’m sorry that you too were scammed into this horribly destructive surgery! It’s much more damaging than sterilization.

        It’s so important that we take action to stop the gross overuse of these surgeries. ProPublica is doing a hysterectomy survey. Please complete the survey via this link – http://propub.li/1t6uZNr. The survey focuses on surgical complications but there is a section to share other information. Please be sure to share all the ways it’s affected you and the various aspects of your life. Email the Patient Safety Project journalists – Marshall.Allen@propubica.org and Olga.Pierce@propublica.org – to tell them about the harms of hysterectomy and how you were scammed by your doctor or at least not provided with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
        T
        his is another way to report your patient harm to ProPublica – https://www.propublica.org/getinvolved/item/have-you-been-harmed-in-a-medical-facility-share-your-story

        Consumers Union (an arm of Consumer Reports) also has a Patient Safety arm. You can report your harm here – http://safepatientproject.org/share-your-story. I reported my unwarranted hysterectomy and oophorectomy in two categories, Doctor Accountability and Medical Errors (even though my organs were intentionally removed).

        Let’s at least make the media aware of the awful harm and gross overuse of these surgeries. Thank you!

      2. My doc was female. I would have thought she would have discussed the sex drive issues as well as all the multiple physical issues caused by this horrible surgery. I feel like she took me life and ran away with it.

        1. Jc – Informed consent of short and long-term effects should be a requirement for all surgeries and even other medical treatments. But, sadly, that doesn’t happen especially for hysterectomy and oophorectomy. There is too much money to be lost if women know the truth. So many gynecologists not only fail to disclose the after effects, they deceive and/or out and out lie to women to get them into the operating room.

      3. I am so sorry Marie. I had trouble for years with fibroids and heavy bleeding, then endometriosis, then Hyperplasia A Typical. I had 5 D&C’s from 1997 – 2013. After the last one, they found the uterine cancer. I had a total hysterectomy in October, 2013. I was 55 years old. Before that, my sex life was great. Now I don’t even want sex and force myself to do it for my fiance’s sake. He understands though and I am lucky to have him. In my cake the hysterectomy saved my life because my cancer was caught early. I agree though that they shouldn’t do it on everyone for every little thing.

  26. All,
    ProPublica is doing a hysterectomy survey. If you or a loved one had a hysterectomy, please complete the survey via this link – http://propub.li/1t6uZNr. The survey includes questions about emergency versus scheduled, type / method, and reason. There are two additional sections, one asking “Did you or your loved one suffer any infections or injuries or other complications because of the operation?” followed by a section to explain / provide details to a “yes” answer. There’s another section titled “Is there anything else we should know?”

    Please be sure to include ALL negative effects you’ve experienced even if they are not surgical complications. And if you were not told the facts about the long-term negative effects of hysterectomy and/or ovary removal, please state that.

    This is another way to report your patient harm to ProPublica – https://www.propublica.org/getinvolved/item/have-you-been-harmed-in-a-medical-facility-share-your-story

    Consumers Union (an arm of Consumer Reports) also has a Patient Safety arm. You can report your harm here – http://safepatientproject.org/share-your-story. I reported my unwarranted hysterectomy and oophorectomy in two categories, Doctor Accountability and Medical Errors (even though my organs were intentionally removed).

    Let’s at least make the media aware of the awful harm and gross overuse of these surgeries. Thank you!

  27. **Sorry for the absurd length of my post. I got carried away**

    Wow. After reading the article and all of these comments, I feel helpless. First off, let me clarify that I am the husband of a beautiful woman who is only putting the first foot in the doorway of an uncertain future. Secondly, I realize that I cannot in any clear way, have a shadow of a clue what she, or the other women who have posted here are going through, and if I say anything that gives the impression that I THINK I “understand,” rest assured, I am totally cognizant of the glaring reality that I have absolutely no clue what its like to walk a mile in her shoes. My knowledge and understand is purely superficial. Thirdly, I have noted in a few other comment boards, that a husbands perspective and subsequent concern for his wife is dismissed as “selfish and shallow.” Of COURSE I am concerned about the future of my sex life and I won’t apologize for that. However, my sexual future takes a backseat to my genuine concern for my wife. Her sexual satisfaction AS WELL as all other aspects of her health. . . . . Now, thats out of the way. . . . To start from the beginning (as well as I can tell. Its tough to nail down precisely when this began), approx 4 months ago, in March of 2016, she very suddenly was brought down by SEVERE abdominal pain and nausea. She was unable to get out of bed for a number of days, keeping me worried sick. Just so happened, she was already scheduled to see an OB/Gyn to check (by ultrasound) her ovaries for cysts. She had them occasionally in the past, and more recently had dealt with some fairly minor, and intermittent abdominal pain. The sudden onset of such severe pain may or may not be related to what she had experienced previously. When we went to the ob, she was CLEARLY in debilitating pain. So, they immediately did a sonogram that really raised more questions. The doc said there were no cysts on her ovaries, however the uterus did have some cysts present. After consulting, the ob said she thought this may be endometriosis based on her symptoms alone and have her some options on how to proceed. Option 1) Do an ablation of the uterus, and see if that solved the issue. Option 2) Do an exploratory to check for/confirm endometriosis. Option 3) Give her pain medication (narcotic opioids, in case that’s important) and go ahead and schedule a hysterectomy. – My wife IMMEDIATELY went into a near full blown paic, and for obvious reasons. She CLEARLY felt trapped. She was in more pain than anyone could live with, but also, just hearing that word “hysterectomy” hit her (and myself) hard! It felt like she was being asked to choose between her heart and lungs. Even in that moment, it only took me a second to realize the doctor left out the clear course of action! Step 1) Give her drugs to deal with the pain. Step 2) Have the exploratory surgery ASAP to get a definitive root cause. Step 3) THEN AFTER having the knowledge of the cause, weigh the options. Why on earth would anyone (why would a doctor even put this option on the table?) have a life altering, possibly life shattering surgery, based on such little information, and absolutely ZERO rock solid basis? AND AND, why am I the one to point out the CLEAR alternative to this catch-22? A few years in the Marine Corps, a high school diploma and a career truck driver make me about the LEAST qualified to make such a call. The doc said, sure! Absolutely we can go that route. Well duh huh doc! Fast forward a couple weeks, after the “surgical look-see,” and LOW AND BEHOLD! No endometriosis! Turns out, she had a condition (I’m usually excellent with terminology, but the name for her condition escapes me) that causes the organs in the abdomen, to become “stuck” together. (I imagine some of you know what I am refering to, but i don’t know the nature of HOW the organs are inseparable) Her uterus was essentially attached to her cervix. This, unbeknownst to me, was causing pain during intercourse. Whatever the specific details, they corrected this problem and that DID provide noticable relief to her pain. At this point, I think we are out of the woods and the problem is solved. However, at the follow up appointment, about one week post-op, the doctor informed her that her uterus was about 40% larger than normal, therefore needed to be removed and this would solve the long term issue of unusually heavy and increasingly painful periods. Unfortunately, I was unable to be present for this appointment, because I would have had many questions. The doc assured my wife, that as long as the ovaries were left intact, she would have NO hormonal issues or sexual dysfunction. This in turn, reassured me (now, after reading this page and others, I feel like we were grossly uninformed and then our ignorance was exploited). Just days prior to the procedure, I was told that in addition to her uterus, her cervix would also be removed. She and I both were totally ignorant to this. I don’t THINK it was ever explained to her WHY it was even being removed. We were either LED to believe this was just a part of the procedure, OR, the doctor just didn’t bother to elaborate. After all I have read, this infuriates me the most! She took a part of my wife, that is vital to HER sexual satisfaction without at LEAST explaining the ramifications! *Now*, slightly shifting gears. Understand, I love my wife far more than any simple words of English will describe. I completely adore her, she is my very best friend. I give so much of myself for her needs AND wants, no matter how small or insignificant, and many times, she doesn’t even know what I did to make X, Y or Z happen. NOW, keeping all of that in mind, our sex life has been very frustrating. Her libido ranges from pure ice, to room temperature and on RARE occasion, luke warm. Before our youngest son was born in August of 2013, it was a LITTLE better. Before he was born, we had sex maybe once every week and half or so. Now we have sex about once a month on average. Every few months, there may be a week where her desire suddenly spikes, we may roll around 3ish times during that week, but it vanishes just as quick. Its also apparent (though she will deny it, and I kinda understand why) that when we do have sex, she isn’t all that into it. She won’t show much physical passion. For example, she doesn’t kiss on me, other than my lips when I kiss her. She doesn’t do a lot of touching me, or talk in any sexual way. I could go on, but you get the idea. (For the record, during those infrequent spikes I mentioned, she DOES show a lot more interest and is more physically involved) This is easily the toughest part of our relationship. I used to get angry at her and it would frequently turn into an argument. Granted, I have gotten more patient, but it doesn’t hurt any less. I try to keep in mind, she really does not know the effect it has on my self esteem and confidence. It still does significant damage to me emotionally, I’ve just learned to understand, that is not her intent. Considering how much I love her, sex is not a casual, meaningless act. The physical pleasure is not NEARLY as important as the shared physical contact and connection, feeling wanted and MOST important, pleasing her! I immediately thought the worst when her doctor mentioned hysterectomy, but naively accepted the docs word that she would be unaffected sexually (which is highly unusual for me. I ALWAYS educate myself and learn everything I can possibly learn on subjects MUCH less detrimental to my life. So, as frustrated as I am with her OB, I’m also equally disappointed in myself) After years fighting an uphill battle that I have refused to give up on, I am terrified that hope may now be lost. For years, I kept telling myself that we COULD AND WOULD solve the problem with our sex life, we just had yet to find the solution. Its been TOUGH to hold on to that at times, and now I feel just defeated. Did any chance at a satisfying sex life just get disposed of along with her uterus and cervix? I am not a selfish partner, her pleasure is of the utmost importance during any given encounter. Now, if its significantly less pleasing, in addition to her problems with desire, pre and post-op, is there any hope?

    And lastly, for those who actually read this far, I am sure you are wandering; She just had the operation today. About 12 hours ago. I’m sitting beside her as we speak, kicked back in a chair by her bed while she is still in a narcotic, anesthesia induced stupor. After weeks of blindly accepting this was a beneficial and necessary procedure, the free time led me to look for some reassurance. Instead I found horror.

    1. Lawson, I understand your horror at finding this article. I’m sorry your wife has undergone this surgery that was likely unwarranted. Not only that, her gynecologist failed to inform her of the negative effects, sexual dysfunction being one of them. If she did not have uterine orgasms the sexual effects may be less devastating. Since she has her ovaries, libido may not be affected. But based on your post, she lacked libido even with her parts.

      I hope the two of you can work through any difficulties that arise. She will certainly need your love and support.

    2. Lawson, thank you for writing. Your wife is very lucky to have you. If more men were aware of these problems and took their partner’s health seriously, I doubt we’d have such a widespread abuse of women from the medical profession. More often than not, any pain in the pelvic region and/or issues with sexual response are written off as being hysterical. They are not. While there are no easy solutions, simply recognizing the problems as real is a huge first step. Keep digging. Find help. Just don’t give up.
      Best of luck to you and your wife.

  28. I just read this and I am in tears. I had a full hysterectomy almost exactly a year ago. It was necessary. I saw the photos. I have Endometreosis. My ovaries were both fused to my pelvic wall and my uterus was literally full of endo. It wasn’t until having this surgery that I realized I never could have kids. I never had a choice. I never could change my mind.

    Now I am suffering with some pretty bad sexual dysfunction. I had no idea of most of this. I was 27 when I had my surgery. They used the Divinche machine on me. They took everything. I had precancerous cells on my cervix. I have to still get paperwork smears even without a cervix to make sure none of those cells are still present.

    I am struggling a lot with the changes in my body. I never get wet enough or stay wet. The tissue on my vulva is very thin and almost always tears with sex. I can still have an orgasm but it takes much longer. My vaginal ones aren’t as strong and it is almost impossible to have a clitorial orgasm now. My clitoris is tiny. I mean really tiny. I don’t really even think about sex anymore. There is rarely desire or arousal at things that once made me go nuts. I feel broken. But finding this really helped. I am not alone and I am not just imagining things. I have no sensitivity in my nipples either.

    I am happy I found this. I am also very very sad.

    1. Ashley, My heart goes out to you! It sounds like you were not given the necessary information to make an informed decision. Removal of the female organs is not a cure for endometriosis since endo lesions implant themselves throughout the pelvis. Also, I don’t know what level of pre-cancerous cells / cervical dysplasia you had but those can usually be successfully treated without a hysterectomy.

      After getting a copy of my medical records, I realized that none of my parts needed to be removed. All my gyn should have removed was an ovarian cyst (cystectomy). I fall into the 90% of women who’ve had an unwarranted hysterectomy.

      I wish you the best moving forward.

      1. I was recently told that i have complex hyperplasia with atypia. 56 years old. Was told by two doctors that i have to have uterus, cervix, and ovaries removed. Really struggling with this. I also have deep orgasm. They both told me hysterectomy will not affect this. I have researched that i am overweight and that is causing me to have unopposed esteem. I don’t understand why they won’t give a try to Estrogen before resorting to hysterectomy.

        1. Marta – I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Have you had a pathologist’s second opinion? Not all pathologists are experienced enough to properly interpret endometrial specimens. Also, since hysterectomy is grossly overused, you are likely to get a recommendation for hysterectomy when it isn’t needed. Granted, if you really do have complex hyperplasia WITH atypia, medication (progestin therapy) has only about a 50/50 chance of curing it. I don’t understand why your ovaries would need to be removed. Our ovaries produce hormones our whole lives to keep us healthy. Although hysterectomy can cause impaired ovarian function, you still want to keep them if at all possible. The HERS Foundation (hersfoundation.com) may be able to guide you in finding the right doctors (pathologist and gynecologist) to make sure you’re properly diagnosed and provided with all your treatment options and their efficacy. Best of luck to you and let us know what more you find out.

    2. You are alone, i was 38 when i had TAHBSO i had the same condition as yours (endometriosis) thank Gid still got 3 kids before i had The surgery. After surgery i feel exactly what you described about sex. I am a nurse by profession but just as the doctor said i have not learned much about the effect of the procedure to sexual life. So i am happy to read this informative article, but i sad to know the negatives as well.

      1. GPLD, I’m sorry that you too were not informed of the negative effects of hysterectomy. They seem to be the medical profession’s best kept secrets. 🙁

  29. Am I allowed to leave a positive comment ?
    And not get negative in return?? I had TVH and it WAS the best decision I ever made. I feel SO much better. My heart goes out to all who suffer and I will pray for you all. But I just want to let you know there are some of us who have had very positive results including everyone I personally know that has had hysterectomy. I asked a lot of women before deciding to go thru with it. I still have my ovaries and I feel that is the real problem when women have problems. If the issue of hormones can be preserved then absolutely.
    My gyno told me ALL the posible effects good and bad and all the alternatives. I made a very informed decision and I am thankful every day that I did!

    1. Tina, I’m glad your experience has been positive. How long ago was your surgery? Many of the after effects take time to manifest such as the figure changes and even sexual function to some degree for some women. The bladder and bowel problems can also present later. All these problems are, for the most part, directly related to the loss of the uterus and severing of the pelvis’ support structures and nerves and blood vessels and not hormonally related (although hormones play a partial role in sexual function). Ovaries may work fine in the short term (and even sometimes in the long term) but many women’s ovaries stop functioning or function at a reduced level after hysterectomy which is associated with many health risks and reduced quality of life. Did your doctor cover all of the above with you before surgery?

      That being said, some women do consider the after effects of hysterectomy to be acceptable trade-offs. Typically, these are women who’ve had long-standing chronic pain and/or long-standing uncontrollable bleeding that did not respond to other treatments.

      As far as other women’s experiences, the ones I spoke with didn’t say much before my surgery but shared the negatives afterwards. Needless to say this was upsetting and I no longer consider them friends.

  30. I am sorry for all those that have had problems related to hysterectomy. I had a total hysterectomy 3 months ago and it was the best thing ever! Everything, including sex, is better. My energy, my concentration, my mood are all better! Not everyone’s life ends, and not everyone comes out damaged.

    1. Lulu, Each woman’s experience depends on the degree of debilitation (both in severity and longevity) caused by her gyn problems. For example, women with long-standing pelvic pain that is relieved by hysterectomy may be glad they had the surgery. However, that relief may fade as time goes on because many of the after effects of hysterectomy occur many months or even years later. And if their pain was from endometriosis, the pain relief may be only temporary since hysterectomy is not a cure for endo. Granted though some women do get long-term relief and therefore find the trade-offs worth it. Women who never had uterine orgasms may not notice a difference in their sexual response. But those who did have uterine orgasms can tell a big difference. Women can also lose sensation in their breasts which impairs sexual satisfaction.

      You did not mention the reason for your hysterectomy but I hope the trade-offs are worth it in the long run. I am curious what prompted you to go in search of this article?

  31. Hello I am a 26 yo with 4 children/ 5 live births. I have been going thru extensive testing for 2 years now. It started as severe displasia and after my last child there were cancer cells prestent. I have had more then one doctors opinion along with several biopsies and my doctor says CIN3 is present. She is leaving it up to me as to if I get a hysterectomy or the leep procedure done. But she thinks the leep will now help because my cells are fast progressing and I will just have future issues. Along with all that I have pain during sex with my husband most the time and very painful and heavy periods, and have to take meds to slow them down. What is some advice as to what I should do… I’m tired of hurting and constant medical issues regarding my female anatomy but also don’t want to loose my sex drive and will to live and live either.

    1. Mandee, I cannot give you medical advice. Have you gotten copies of your pathology reports and doctors’ notes related to these gynecologic problems and taken them to gynecologic oncologists with the identifying source (doctor, doctor group affiliation) hidden? Have you done your own research? Do you know if you have one of the high risk HPV types? Types 16 and 18 cause most cases of cervical cancer.

      If I understand correctly, cancer cells were present after your last child was born but have regressed to CIN3. I read a study that showed that abnormal cells oftentimes regressed by 9 months postpartum after vaginal births but not after c-sections. I wonder if this explains your situation…cancer cells regressed to CIN3? It’s not clear from your post if you’ve had a previous LEEP procedure(s) or other procedure(s) to remove the abnormal cells. If not, I don’t understand why.

      Best of luck to you in getting all the information you need to make this decision!

  32. Hello,

    Been married for 17+ years. We have seen a ton of doctors prior to going to Mayo who all said different things. We felt we were headed in the right direction. Surgery is coming up. The sexual aspect of our relationship has been severely diminished with all the pain, etc. And while I don’t want my wife to experience the pain (two weeks of serious cramping/bleeding/bed rest each time her period occurs) plus some occasional prolapse I want what is best for her. Doctor intends to remove the uterus and cervix but first they are doing a LEEP a week before surgery. We have tried quite a few things prior. One doctor wanted to do an ablation (glad we missed that party), another said it was just a pelvic floor issue (partially true but not fully conclusive). So while it seems like Mayo has methodically approached this issue and she and I after many continued bouts of severe pain (more ER visits than I can count) said enough is enough and at least felt a hysterectomy was the best solution. While I believe in a balanced unbiased approach when it comes to gathering facts (versus an extreme on either side) I want what is best for her first. Yes as her husband sex is very important and a critical aspect of our relationship together but I also don’t want to go down a road that we can’t come back from barring a miracle from God when there may be things we might have done differently had we known.

    Input appreciated.

    1. I’m sorry for all your wife’s suffering! Has she seen an endometriosis specialist and had exploratory surgery to check for endo? If she does have endo, hysterectomy (even with removal of ovaries) is not a cure since endo lesions implant themselves throughout the pelvis and can continue to cause pain after hysterectomy. Has she been checked for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

      Is the LEEP being done in the hopes that it will reveal the root cause of her pain and possibly prevent the need for a hysterectomy? If that is not the reason, I don’t understand why a LEEP would be done when they plan to remove her cervix.

      I wish you both the best in getting this treated and resolving her pain!

  33. I had a partial hysterectomy because of painful periods. My sex was better. But now with my second bout with breast cancer that came out in my lymphnode i have to eitber remove my ovaries or take this shot every 6 wks plus a pill. I have no choice if I want to live. My doc say cuz my ovaries are crazy with estrogen. My fiancé is 21 and we enjoy intercourse. Can any one please give me some positivity about these results besides the note of living, which I’m glad. But my life would be miserable. Ive already told my fiancé that he needs to make a decision, because out sex life will be ruined. Im so sad. My doc says there are alternatives like creams or a pill that desolves. But gross. Please I need someone who is going through this to give me some positivity. My age is 50, I amateur wrestle, and soon will be back to work.

    1. I am sorry you are faced with this. Please do your own research. Ovary removal (oophorectomy) is GROSSLY overused and is associated with many health problems besides sexual dysfunction. Some of these health risks include heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia, Parkinson’s, lung cancer, mood disorders even when done after menopause. Hormone “replacement” is a misnomer as no medication can mimic the hormones produced by the ovaries. Do a web search for “pubmed bilateral oophorectomy long term health” and you will find many studies showing the harm.

      Having had my ovaries removed at age 49 hence living with the life-shattering effects, I personally would opt for medication to block the estrogen versus having my ovaries removed. Besides, since you are 50 and likely close to menopause, your estrogen levels should fall dramatically before too much longer.

      The average woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is less than 2% (1.3% per U.S. government statistics). Absent a genetic predisposition for ovarian cancer, ovary removal does more harm than good.

      Best of luck to you!

  34. Hello

    I am scheduled to have a hysterectomy and before reading this article and comments I was perfectly fine with it. Now I’m absolutely terrified. I suffer from uterine fibroids. I have already had a myomectomy but they were not to remove all of them or prevent others from forming. There is consistent pain as well as a very heavy flow during my cycle. I am ok with not having anymore children but I’m not ok with having a drastically altered sex life. I was told that everything but my ovaries would be removed and from reading all of this I will never have a healthy sex life again if that is done. I don’t know what to do I am still young and have a lot of great years ahead of me. This is beyond frightening to me right now.

    1. If your ovaries remain intact, you should do much better. They will slowly go into menopause but it is not as drastic as when they are removed. There may be other issues though and some women still have problems associated with the hysterectomy itself.

      1. My fears are not being able to have an orgasm, vaginal dryness, and the walls of my vagina collapsing/no longer being able to contract as they do now.

        1. Even though you are keeping your ovaries – I would consult with your MD regarding Estrogen replacement therapy. The symptoms you described above are consistent with a reduction in estrogen. Even with ovaries intact – you may need a little boost!

          Don’t freak! Stay calm! We will get through this!

          Sondag

      2. Hi. I had a TAH in December. The surgery shortened my vaginal canal by 3 inches. After 27 years of marriage I am unable to have sex. I feel castrated. Can this be reversed? Why are doctors doing this to women? I do not have cancer. My mother died of ovarian cancer. I had fibroids and cysts. Not painful. I had the surgery because Of the fear of getting cancer. I never knew this could happen. I’ve been using dilators but it’s not helping. I’m feeling hopeless.

        1. Nora, I am so sorry. I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago, after a failed ablation that induced extreme pain, and aside from weight gain and left leg pain/weakness (I think they nicked a nerve) have had no problems. I recognize that my experience is unusual per all of the stories here.

          1. It is always funny to me how “doctors” tell you everything was/is fine post hysterectomy. I can absolutely tell you that it significantly and permanently damages/destroys the sexual component of a healthy relationship – PERIOD. Don’t bore me with the “well there must be something else wrong… blah blah”

            My wife and I had a very good sexual component to our relationship and post surgery it is simply not the same – not at all.

            Think long and hard and then think again before you allow any “doctor” to permanently mutilate your body.

            1. Jake, I am so sorry hysterectomy has destroyed the bond between you and your wife! I feel for all those (men, women, children) whose lives have been negatively impacted by the removal of female organs. It is time this surgical racket end!

              Thank you for sharing. I hope you and your wife can work through this!

        2. Nora, I’m sorry you are suffering these devastating effects!. I totally understand your grief and regret! I didn’t have cancer either (nor a genetic risk) but was treated as if I did. It is a travesty how many women’s and their loved ones’ lives have been and continue to be destroyed by the removal of female organs. It is time that this surgical racket end!

          Have you tried a vaginal estrogen product such as Vagifem tablets, Estrace cream or Premarin cream for the vaginal atrophy? Vitamin E capsules or coconut oil can help keep tissues moisturized but will not cure the atrophy.

          I hope you can get back some of your sexual function and other losses you’ve experienced!

    2. I recently had a hysterectomy post op three weeks. Everything I worry about, is confirmed and worse when I Google the Internet!

      Please remember, those of whom post these wild articles are one of the very few with complications. Have you read many blogs or posts from women whom are symptom free? Of course not! They are doing better things like having a
      Life and doing sex!

      What you read when people post is the worst of the worse! Likely less than 3 percent of all outcomes. Yet their voice is the loudest.

      Take it easy, relax and stop reading these alarmist articles on the Internet.

      Only then can you continue the healing process!

      Sondag

      1. No, I have not read any of the GOOD. I know that bad news travels fast and I keep reading looking to find the good ones. It seems like they are hidden. I have spoken with a good friend that is over a yr post and she said that yes she also have trouble with orgasms and dyrness. In her case everything was removed but ONE ovary due to endo. Even with the results she insist that she would do it again. I will be calling my doctor to discuss this more and the option of NOT removing my cervix as that will help with my fears.

    3. Hi I had total hysterectomy 7 years ago due to fibroids . I still regret having it. I have no libido and sex enjoyment and orgasm is like 30 percent compared to the 100 percent pre TAH. I feel duped because the doctors never mentioned the sex disadvantage.
      I wish someone had told me. Please do not do it except you have to

      1. Oh Pat, I’m soooooo sorry you have endured this AND not knowing it was even possible. After reading these stories I got completely freaked out. I spoke with several different people who have been through it as well as both of my doctors and my confidence is being rebuilt. I have been lucky enough to even speak with another patient of my surgeon and they have also help assure me that it will not change. I believe the added plus for me is that I am not loosing my ovaries.

        1. I really regret not listening to my inner voice! My uterus was a major part of a satisfying sex life. Not only have I lost those awesome uterine orgasms, I also have absolutely no libido and my vagina has collapsed (I am 10 years post-op). My sex life isn’t the only thing that was destroyed. I am just as grief stricken about my altered figure as well as some other effects.

          Be careful about asking medical professionals in Gynecology (doctors, nurses) about the after effects as they profit from doing these surgeries with 90% of them being elective. I was duped about my condition as well as the after effects of hysterectomy. Many women who have had the surgery are not forthcoming either, at least that is my experience. Some fessed up after I’d already had my surgery. Keep in mind too that many of the after effects happen down the road so women may be happy in the short-term now that their bleeding and pain or discomfort is over but then other problems crop up, ones without a fix or at least not an easy fix.

          There’s risk that the ovaries will shut down after hysterectomy due to loss of blood flow. Intact women’s ovaries produce hormones her whole life which are essential to good health.

  35. I don’t know what to do…. I’m due to have a hysterectomy. I have adenomyosis and have not been able to have children. It breaks my heart that I have to have this operation but I can no longer live with the pain. It’s bad enough having my parts removed and not being able to have children and my biggest fear is losing my sex drive! I feel I’m going to lose everything. My ovaries are going to be left behind but I’m so frightened about the whole thing really. Do you have any advice about what I should do and how to keep my sex drive after my hysterectomy? Thank you x

    1. It breaks my heart that you are faced with this! Are you sure you have adenomyosis and not endometriosis or some other gyn problem? It used to be said that adenomyosis cannot be definitively diagnosed until after hysterectomy but MRI may now be able to diagnose it. This link may be helpful – http://www.fibroidsecondopinion.com/adenomyosis/. There are some gynecologists who can remove areas of adeno but I suspect there are not many who can or will do this more involved surgery. I have seen at least one doctor’s website that talks about removing adeno and other uterine abnormalities and saving women’s uteri and not only for the purpose of fertility.

      Unfortunately, hysterectomy is grossly overused and the most taught procedure to gyn residents so it can be difficult to find a more skilled surgeon. Also, time is money to a surgeon and hysterectomy is usually more profitable than more time consuming uterine preserving surgeries.

      Best of luck to you.

      1. Thank you so much replying and also for the link you sent me. I’ve read it and it was most helpful. All I’ve had is ultra sound and blood tests and seen a gynaecologist consultant who has said hysterectomy within the next 3 months! I feel let down by the NHS. So I’m waiting for this operation of which scares the life out of me! Can I demand an MRI scan? I don’t want my womanly bits taken away if it’s not necessary! I think they want to do it just so it’s another patient not draining there resources! Thank you so much for your help and advice. Greatly appreciated. x

    2. Hello Tasha,
      I too had Adenomyosis. The pain only gets worse over time. I have read articles such as this one and opted out of surgery. I suffered for 5 years. Then i developed fibroids along with the adenomyosis. I bleed everyday for two months. After two blood transfusions and dealing with excruciating pain daily, I had to get a hysterectomy. My Dr. tried his best to give me other options, but my uterus had grown so large it there was really nothing else to do. Always seek PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE FROM A PHYSICIAN. You can always get 2nd, 3rd opinions. But I know personally it only gets worse. I have loss some of my sex drive, but i can still have an orgasm. I have also lost some sensation in my nipples, but not completely. I will say in your case, u can either do hormone treatments that will send you into early menopause,either way you risk losing all or some of your sex drive. For those wanting to know, I still have my ovaries and my cervix. Hope this info was helpful

      1. Thank you Yolanda. Your advice is very helpful indeed. I shall go ahead with the hysterectomy and shall ask if they can keep my cervix intact. I know my cervix is healthy as I was told on my last cervical smear test not long ago. The road ahead is so frightening! Not looking forward to it. The only good thing is no more pain. Thank you so much. x

      2. I also had adenomyosis confirmed by MRI. Had robotic total,hysterectomy in December. Immediate menopause. No fun. Shortened vagina. No fun. Physical changes to body. No fun. BUT…looking like I was 7 months pregnant 3 out of 4 weeks a month with incredibly painful periods, emotional mess, hormones all over the place, never knowing when your period would start or if it would ever end, DEFINITELY NO FUN. Just make sure you read everything you can and ask tons of questions.

        1. Helen, I’m sorry for all you went through. It’s a shame your ovaries were also removed. I know how awful that is. Best of luck to you in getting through all the changes!

          1. Thanks. Trying to do this whole change thing naturally. No hormone replacement. Was thinking of trying amberen. Anyone have success with this?

  36. My hysterectomy was necessary due to Essure permanent birth control. One migrated to my uterus and I was sick from that poison in my body that the FDA approved. I’m 11 months post op. Tummy still tender. Hurt the day after sex in the cuff area. And miss the good orgasms. I’m furious at all of this. I’m fatigued. Have migraines and have become very anti social. It’s not fair. The 10% that only really need this has been intensified as hundreds are getting it monthly to remove essure. Go to essure problems page on Facebook. It’s so sad. 28,000 women.

    1. BeBe, I am sorry that you have been the victim of two harmful gynecologic procedures – Essure and hysterectomy. It is no wonder you are furious! It is a travesty that so many women have been and continue to be harmed by gynecologists through various procedures – Essure, ablation, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, salpingectomy. Thank you for having the courage to speak out and please continue to do so. We have to stop these harmful practices!

  37. Three years ago I had a hysterectomy. They removed one of my ovaries tube and uterus. Since my surgery I have had nothing but negative effects on my life. I no longer want to have sex with my husband. Before I had a great sex life!! When I cough, sneeze, lough, or even walk across the room sometimes I will pee on my self. I have started to wear pads for my problem!!! I feel very disconnected to everyone. I want my sex life back! I want my life back! Can anyone help?!

    1. Sandra, I am sorry that you are also suffering the after effects of hysterectomy. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find something that helps with these issues. Some women benefit from estrogen and/or testosterone. It is criminal that doctors do not inform women of the many after effects and increased health risks of female organ removal. For now, it appears to be up to us to spread the word. I hope you can find something to improve what the hysterectomy stole from you.

  38. Thank you for being here. It is such a relief to know at last that this is not in my mind.

    I am two years post total hysterectomy for endometriosis, ovarian cysts & fibroids. I felt at the time it was my only option for remaining well in the longer term. I am heart broken and wish I could turn back the clock.

    When I awoke from 3 hours of surgery my consultant informed me that my endometriosis was horrendous and he had had to remove my cervix and the top third of my vagina as well. I was devastated and felt completely violated.

    I still find it difficult to believe that this has happened to me (to all of us), I miss my sexuality so much and I am battling with the sense of disconnect that some have described. I am able to achieve a faint orgasm with a vibrator but it comes and goes so quickly and if I try to lengthen the plateau period then I get a strange painful ache in my somewhat diminished clitoris. I have, I think, scar tissue inside the entrance to my vagina which makes penetration painful to the point that I am apprehensive at the mere prospect of sex.

    I am using vaginal oestrogen, oestrogen gel and testim. The Testim has helped my energy levels but I have lowered the dose as my body hair increased – adding to my already faltering confidence in my femininity.

    Blimey what a moan, so sorry but I have been trying to come to terms with this and am failing miserably. I feel so let down by my consultant and the women out there who are keeping quiet (including my mother and aunt who told me it was the best thing they ever did!)

    These days my pelvic sensations are still all to pot, I have occasional bowel incontinence (mortifying) and I find it difficult to know when my bladder is full. I think the worst thing is that despite all the problems I was experiencing pre-operatively, I knew and understood my body, now I am at an utter loss.

    It seems easiest to try and ignore it and just to get on with life but every now and again I am drawn to try and find some new solutions. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find the HERS Foundation article which I was able to share with my husband.

    If only I could dive again! Thanks for listening, NJ

    1. NJ, I am so sorry this happened to you! So much has been stolen from all of us primarily because of greed. I am 10 years post-op and it is still appalling to me that this continues! It really is the “Ultimate Rape.” Unfortunately, too many women do not find the HERS Foundation until after surgery. If they do find it before surgery, they tend to dismiss the information as unbelievable / “crazy” talk since hysterectomy is such a common surgery. I suspect they seriously regret that they dismissed the HERS information and proceeded with surgery although many will not admit it.

      I also have bladder and bowel problems since my organs have likely shifted. My poor vagina is also falling down…how disgusting and depressing! And yes, sex is disappointing!

      Thank you for sharing your story. Keep spreading the word so we can stop this horrific abuse of women!

      1. Ws, you always comfort and empathise with women who post on here, myself included.
        I am also so sorry this happened to you and you have suffered,and continue to do so. I am very grateful for this site as it gives women an outlet for their pain as and I am grateful for your words of comfort.
        I have been told that my lower back injury is also directly related to my hysterectomy as the entire support structure has been weakened. Ive been in constant varying degrees of pain for nearly six weeks and face months of rehab. Despite pelvic exercises causing pain, I have to persist otherwise I am told my bladder, bowel and vagina will be severely compromised. Again, none of the potential problems, nerve damage and prolapse are not mentioned in the usual hysterectomy surgical blurb.

        1. Julia, It seems that surgical positioning can cause back problems as can the loss of pelvic support / integrity that alters our skeletal structure. I hope the rehab helps! I need to start doing Kegels because I don’t have nearly the bladder control I had before surgery. Bowels aren’t so great either. 🙁 Frankly, I don’t know of a single woman who was told the after effects of hysterectomy or oophorectomy.

          1. Hi ws, yes I have been told by a health professional that my nerve pain is a direct result of removal of my uterus and therefore is pelvic. (This was said to me with a sad face) The surgical position I was put in hasn’t helped I’m sure, my coccyx and sacrum plus hip was sore just after surgery.
            I asked specifically about hormones etc and was assured my remaining ovary would be doing the work of both but in the off chance it didn’t hrt would do the job. Of course I know now that one form of hormone can never replace the delicate balance of multiple hormones, nor can my vagina ever be naturally balanced with moisture. 🙁
            The things that were covered with me pre op as far as risks/complications: bleeding, blood clots and potential injury to other organs.
            Phooey! I personally feel a hell of a lot doesn’t get covered.
            Eg. Scarring, nerve damage,increased chance of prolapse,changes to your sexuality and ability to orgasm as previously use too,hormonal imbalances, weight gain, depression, potential for dehiscence of vaginal cuff(uncommon but does occur)and so on it goes.
            So now I have been told that I simultaneously have to do kegels and also relax my pelvic floor.
            There isn’t a day goes by that I am not in varying degrees of discomfort and/or pain at the moment. I have a long road ahead.

            What I think women should know, is to imagine the uterus like a bicycle wheel. The hub in the centre of that wheel being our uterus. Remove the hub and the spokes, rim and tire have nothing to support them and they all have there role to play in the bigger picture of the bike function. The entire structure is compromised, much the same as what surrounds our uterus. And that is putting the role of our uterus and cervix in a one dimensional way, without including the ‘bigger picture’.

            1. It seems that most non-gyn medical professionals are either ignorant of the many risks and long-term effects of hysterectomy or do not want to admit them as medical professionals do not like speaking badly of their peers. So it is refreshing to know that you were told that the nerve damage is from the removal of your uterus although I am sure you knew that because you did not have these same symptoms before surgery. My hips hurt early post-op too, first the one and then the other. That finally subsided but recently my right hip started bothering me especially after sitting for long periods.

              I have had bowel problems since my surgery (9+ years ago)…never had bowel issues prior to surgery. Yet when I went to see a GI doctor, he said the problems were not from the surgery. What?? I of course knew better and figured he was just protecting the gyn who removed my organs unnecessarily!

              1. Well ws,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.

                Tell you what else I found, other gynos seem to not want to take on a new patient with issues from a hysterectomy.

                I knew I saw the wheel reference somewhere but I’d looked at so many sites I couldn’t remember! Lol
                That diagram should be mandatory to look at imo!

                1. Yes, physical therapists and chiropractors would tend to have lots of hysterectomized patients! I wonder if any of these types of health professionals have published any articles detailing these effects. Granted, an understanding of female anatomy tells us what we need to know so it doesn’t need to be studied per se. According to the HERS Foundation, engineers who see diagrams of the female anatomy immediately understand the effects.

                  That hysterectomy sisterhood “support” site I hate has women making fun of any posts about the midsection collapsing post-surgery. One woman compared it to the removal of a chandelier causing the ceiling to collapse. Little does she know what is in store for her! The site is diligent about removing posts about this effect of hysterectomy as well as some others purposely misleading women.

            2. Oh yes, the uterus is like the hub of a wheel. This is explained here – https://wholewoman.com/newpages/hysterectomy.html. I have referred to this valuable website in the past but forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. It also mentions the HERS Foundation which some women dismiss as extreme but those of us who are suffering the after effects of hysterectomy don’t consider so. If we could just get intact women to listen and seek out alternatives!

    2. Cant beleive what I have read – I match your situation entirely. I feel so let down by my consultant, these changes to my sexuality were never suggested to me. My story is worsened by the fact that I am trying to heal my marriage of 20 years after discovering my husbands long term affair.

      I feel numb,panic stricken and so very sad.
      There must be something I can do? Who do I talk to?

      1. S Mc – I am so very sorry you did not get informed consent as is the case for most women. You are right, it is awful enough as it is without the fact that you are trying to heal your marriage. The only suggestion I can give is to work with a therapist and/or find some sort of support group. One resource is https://www.psychologytoday.com/ (use the “Find a Therapist” feature.

  39. Im now 4 and a half months post hysterectomy and vaginal repairs. Only one ovary remains.
    Worst decision ever!
    A battle with vaginal dryness, burning and ph that constantly changes.
    Trying to find a lubricant that doesn’t irritate my now frsgile tissues is a nightmare.
    Oestrogen cream currently burns like hell so I can’t use that atm. Oral Oestrogen help but then cause outbreaks of thrush. Treat that and my ph goes out.

    My sex life has tanked, sore and lack of sex drive. Today i dpent 20 minutes icing my vulva, such is the irritation but at least the swelling has gone down.

    Trouble with seeing a gyno surgeon is their approach is surgically focused, not necessarily what is nest for a woman holistically.

    Im currently seeing acupuncturist, physio and sbout to see a Doctor who does a eork up of vitamin levels, hormone levels etc.
    I feel strongly that otc hrt is not a one size fits all.

    My heart simultaneously breaks and takes comfort from knowing I’m not the only one who feels the loss of my ‘ladybits’ acutely.

    I use to be an active, strong and sexually fulfilled woman and now I feel opposite. I feel fragile and frustrated and have very angry moments.

    Id rather have put up with the issues than would have largely resolved in menopause in 6 years than the daily or weekly issues I have now.

    Thank god for my beautiful husband who will not let me give up.

    1. Julia, I am so sorry this was done to you without being given the facts about the after effects! I feel for every woman who has had a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy. Since oral estrogen gives you thrush and the vaginal cream burns, have you tried using the tablet vaginally? That may address both the vaginal tissues and systemic needs. I know it works for some women. You typically would use a lower dose than you would take orally. I wish you the best in moving forward from the physiological changes as well as the trauma of having been harmed in such a horrific way.

      1. Thank you so much ws. I want to start by saying that for some women a hysterectomy is absolutely necessary. But I feel for a LOT it is not. And I believe most women aren’t made aware of the full ramifications of a hysterectomy, because seriously, if they were, a lot would think again.
        On top of not being given the full after effects of a hysterectomy, most women are left on their own to cope with the after effects. Like me. Vaginal ph issues, scarring, pain and now looking at going to a Dr who will do a vitamin panel test, thyroid (but not just the usual) and look at all the hormones not just oestrogen…

        Even now it shocks me when a Doctor says you don’t need your uterus or cervix for orgasm. That’s total bs, because I have ‘shallow’ orgasms in the few times I’ve managed sex since ‘that’operation. I desperately miss the old me.

        On top of that, during my vaginal repairs I was given a perineum rebuild without my consent because it was deemed necessary. This has contributed to the discomfort through some internal scarring. The look on the surgeon’s face when I said “what?! I didn’t KNOW that was going to be done”. I think the surgeon felt I was going to be thrilled this was done no added cost.

        I’ll also vent a bit and say on some women’s gyno sites, what I feel, is pro hysterectomy (just my opinion, there is almost a reluctance to look at the other side of this and I noted some women who posted what a hideous choice this turned out to be more or less were told ‘don’t bring your negative story here’.

        By all means they should publish the positive ones and support that, but to not acknowledge women for whom this has turned into a nightmare is plain wrong! Consequently, I never bothered speaking of my experience until now.

        I have had really low days and it has been hard at times. Im off to another Dr today to have a swab done and a referral to the another one who has an excellent reputation for a holistic look.

        ok. Rant over 🙂 WS, yes I tried a tablet pessary BUT I am so dry that after 8 hours it hadn’t even started to dissolve!! So finding a vaginal moisturiser that doesn’t clump and irritate my now sensitive vagina is proving a challenge atm. Even with oral oestrogen my vaginal tissues are dry and thin, which is why I’m looking at this as a systemic viewpoint. I have some back issues which isn’t helping, but a lot of my problems I feel is from dry, inflamed and out of balance vaginal/vulva. I mean there is no uterus or cervix to provide this once naturally occurring balance. Especially the uterus.

        Anyway, I can’t and won’t give up, so to all my fellow sufferers, don’t either .
        If I find anything that helps I am happy to share and hopefully others can do likewise.

        Thank you again WS! 🙂

        1. Yes, VERY FEW hysterectomies (about 10%) are truly necessary. And I do not know of any women who were told the after effects. My most recent article (soon to be posted here on Hormones Matter) is about the con of hysterectomy and oophorectomy.

          Absolutely – The uterus and cervix are not useless for sex or anything else! We surely don’t treat men’s organs as if they are disposable once they’ve had their children!

          You would think this additional work (perineum rebuild) without your consent would be medical malpractice but it is difficult for women to get justice for these surgeries. 🙁 I suspect your surgeon was compensated for that additional work. Do you know if residents assisted? Was he maybe training residents? Or was he learning a new procedure himself? We are not always told about that either!

          Oh yes those “happy hysterectomy” women and the whole “sister”hood mentality makes me puke! The big UK hysterectomy forum appears to be just as misleading. And yes Hystersisters does delete some of the negative posts and blocks women whose posts don’t meet their agenda. The forum promotes Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci (robot) through their ads and find a doctor feature and they do not allow women to give opinions on surgical method.

          I can certainly relate to the “very low” days. I was suicidal for over a year…never want to go through that again! The loss of our hormones drastically changes brain chemistry. There is an article here on Hormones Matter about that.

          As far as the vaginal estrogen, I was not referring to the standard vaginal formulation pessary one (Vagifem) but to Estrace oral estradiol tablet (or its $4 generic) that is used for systemic delivery. I use the generic vaginally and it addresses vaginal as well as systemic estrogen needs. But HRT is very individual so it’s a matter of trial and error. I hope you can find help with the fall-out. I went through a bit of doctor shopping and testing myself but getting enough estrogen in my body has made the most difference.

          1. Thanks, I really find your words so encouraging. At the moment I’m on an oral estrofem 2mg which is oestradiol. I think it has helped a little, but I’m told (and feel) that my vaginal tissues need direct help. I also am getting thrush from the oestrogen every now and then which creates this cycle.But boy am I dry! Burning dry!
            I temporarily went off it when i found a breast lump which turned out to be a cyst.
            I feel it will be a long haul til things are in balance enough to make me feel better, im sure my testosterone is nonexistent as well, hence my libido. It’s now trying to find the balance.
            All these tablets and creams, swabs etc. Never had issues before the op.
            Thanks again. I’m so glad I found this site. Just talking about it freely helps and hearing what you went through for a year gives me hope. (Cause you made it out the other side if that makes sense?)

          2. Ws Just a quick update,sae a new Dr today thinks I am oestrogen deficient despite the hrt I’m on. Has ordered hormone testing and referred me to a Menopause specialist as well as a pelvic pain specialist.

            1. I had a long list of estrogen and androgen deficiency symptoms pretty quickly post-op. It’s too bad there is no FDA approved androgen / testosterone replacement for women. We have to go the compounding pharmacy route or get a prescription for the man’s strength if we want to use this hormone. I hope the menopause specialist is helpful.

              1. Yes. I found this out via an acupuncturist about testosterone and will look at the compounding pharmacy route. Trouble is the traditional pathology testing of hormones through blood is not the ideal method. (According to the compounding pharmacist) so I will have to pay for that myself and ask the pharmacist to write the form.
                I think I have a few issues aside from hormones, including the vaginal repairs (which I also really regret) but I have to keep plodding forward.
                Honestly, finding this site has made me feel better because it’s like my voice has been heard.thank you!

          3. Just a quick post. Yes, the perineum rebuild without my consent left me furious (and it aches! ).
            The horrifying part is, as I learned, there are other gynos who don’t want to know about you post surgery of you sae someone else.
            I honestly don’t have it in me to go through a personal and intrusive (to me) litigation. Im just focusing on getting better at this stage. And again, I was do much better pre surgery!

  40. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever written. My heart has literally been breaking as I’ve read these posts and understand how many other women feel the way I do. I had a total hysterectomy five years ago after an enormous fibroid, that didn’t cause me any pain, had apparently doubled in size in four months. My gynaecologist told me he believed it must be a malignant tumour to grow that big so quickly. I got a second opinion from the doctor who did the MRI scan and he told me he saw nothing that suggested cancer and told me I shouldn’t have a hysterectomy. I spoke to my consultant about this second opinion and he got very defensive and told me he had far more experience and expertise than the doctor and suggested that if I did have cancer, it would spread quickly and I needed to get everything removed the following week. I told him the doctor had said he could do a biopsy and check if I had cancer but the consultant was again adamant and said unless a biopsy was taken from the very centre of the tumour there could be no certainty the results would be accurate! He did everything to scare me into having the operation and quickly. There turned out to be nothing wrong with any of my organs but he took everything, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, the works. I have recently married the man of my dreams and although we’ve been together for nearly fourteen years, he lives in the U.S. so I only used to see him a few times a year for a few days at a time. He’s ten years younger than me and I feel so cheated having waited years to start my life with him and now when things should be perfect I feel like my very soul has been removed. I was such a sexual creature before they took away all my sexual organs and now my very lifeblood has been taken away. As many have already mentioned on this site, the sexual energy, which was a huge part of my being, simply doesn’t exist anymore and when I do feel sexually excited, not only is it a different feeling to before but it’s almost impossible to have an orgasm and it’s not worth the effort to reach a climax as the orgasms are just so insignificant when they do happen. I used to experience the most intense orgasms and even at age fifty one, when I had my operation, I still had the most amazing pleasure from sex so I feel so desolate at the loss of those intense, fulfilling emotions and feelings. I still have great sex with my husband but only because I’m so attracted to him and I try and use my previous memories to heighten my experience. Sometimes I have to pretend my feelings are much stronger than they really are as I can’t have my husband feeling guilty about the pleasure he gets when my feelings are so inadequate. I have even undergone two O shot procedures in Harley Street which involve PRP being injected into the clitoris and vagina, in the hope that new growth cells would stimulate my body again but other than the odd orgasm which is occasionally but generally no better than before, I have wasted my money and gone through a very painful process for no real results. To top all this, my bowels don’t work properly since the operation and as many have noted on this website, I have nothing but hip, leg and joint pain now which I never experienced before. I run a corporation in the UK and the U.S. and I’m desperate to try and spread awareness in any way I can so that something positive can come out of my experience. I’m determined to find a way to stop other people going through such a senseless operation and making the biggest mistake of their lives through ignorance and fear. It’s time women understood that those who profess to be more learned than us don’t know everything and they certainly don’t know how it feels to lose one of the most essential parts of a woman’s body.

    1. Karen – My heart breaks for you and for every other woman suffering post-hysterectomy and/or ovary removal. My gynecologist (of 19 years) also used cancer scare tactics to get me into the operating room 9 years ago. (You may have already read my story and my other articles here on HormonesMatter.) The hysterectomy and oophorectomy statistics are staggering! Nearly 40% of US women aged 45-54 report having had a hysterectomy. And 55% of the time, healthy ovaries are removed at the time of hysterectomy (78% in women aged 45-64) despite the many medically documented increased health risks. I came across a website about the harm / many increased risks of having the ovaries removed – http://www.overy.org/ – and ways that women can take action.

      Thank you for sharing your story and please continue to speak out about the overuse and harm of female sex organ removal. I wish you the best in the years ahead.

    2. I cannot believe I found your post. I thought I was reading about myself. I had a complete hysterectomy in 1998. Since then, I too have lost something that was VERY important to me as a woman. You described what I’ve gone through..to a T. When I spoke to my doctor who performed my surgery, she had no idea what I was talking about. It is like a death, and I too struggle. I feel robbed, cheated and incomplete as a woman. If I had only known back then, I would have done further learning about the “after stuff “from having a hysterectomy. Thank you for your honesty. I’m sorry you as well have suffered. God bless Linda Barnes

    3. Just curious if anyone has found something to take to increase the blood flow in the clitoris? I have had breast cancer so cannot take certain things. Thanks for any help..

    4. My heart can’t express how I feel reading this article. If I only knew what I know now. They got me, I was only 27 when I got a full hysterectomy…..crying. It was tumor and myth doctor told me the same thing, “There’s no way to tell if it’s cancerous unless they did the surgery. I have no children

      1. The surgeon was very agressive when he performed the surgery. The next morning the surgeon came in with my Gyn MD reading my record. So your Ms., with 4 children….my doctor had to interrupt to let him know that I had no children, those were miscarriages.

        1. I am so sorry for all you have been through with the 4 miscarriages and then to be scammed into a hysterectomy on top of it. The surgeon’s comment must have really stung…I often wonder if these surgeons have any compassion whatsoever. They seem to see us as objects to pay for their pricey homes, cars, vacations, etc.

    5. I am sorry for the lost that you are going through and I completely understand. I had a series of 7 surgeries where fibroids and my ovaries were removed. It seemed like I was having a surgery every 6 months for a few years. Eventually, all of these surgeries resulted in a complete hysterectomy about 6 years ago. I have been married to my husband for a year now. Thankfully we were friends for years before we married but I stll feel sorry him. He has a healthy sex drive and is very loving toward me. I have absoluttely no sex drive and I am completely turned off by the thought of sex, I am attracted to my husband and he takes it so personally when I turn him down, I guess I need to get better at pretending. With my family history of cancer my doctor will not allow hormone therapy, unfotunately that does not leave me with a lot of options. I wish you all good luck and let me know if you find an answer.

      1. Lisa – I am sorry you went through all those surgeries and ended up having a hysterectomy. How devastating to be a newlywed and have no desire! Thankfully, I’d been married for many years when I had mine. I am curious if the family history of cancer you mentioned is breast cancer. If it is, studies have shown that estrogen does not increase risk of breast cancer. However, taking combined HRT (estrogen plus a progestin) has shown an increased risk. Best of luck to you in dealing with this loss!

      2. Hi Lisa, thank you and I am so sorry that you had to go through that and experience such a terrible thing as many of us have that has caused sadness in our lives. I totally understand that dreary feeling of not wanting sex but, for me, over the years I have kept a mental journal of things that can really stimulate my mind and body. One of the things I looked into were combinations of food that are considered “aphrodisiacs” ….spicy food or Chinese ( umami flavors ) with a glass of wine works every time. Also, reading a good love novel is good especially if you have a vivid imagination….you may want to look into a hidden taboo called, “Tantra.” This really works for me and mat help open doors that channel directly to your libido. How this helps you and anyone else reading.

    6. Karen, all I can say is that I am so very sorry and I know how you feel.
      I have cried more times post operatively then I have in my entire life.
      I’m sitting here with my burning vagina as a reminder that I had this damned operation to supposedly improve my quality of life. Instead at this point, it’s ruined it.

    7. Dear Karen, I am so sorry this happened to you. I read your post and it resonated with me. Enough to share my story.
      The xhir

    8. Karen I am sorry you were talked into this when it was even necessary. I had my TAH at the age of 44 and felt so cheated. I contemplated taking legal action against my gynae for not mentioning sex problems. I felt empty for years. My gynae also discouraged me when I raised the option of myectomy . He said ” what’s the point, the fibroids will grow back and you will come back again for another major op”. Now I tend to block it out . But then do not get excited or look forward to sex with my hubby anymore. We need to pull together and raise awareness so that other women do not suffer like us.
      I am currently exploring aphrodisiac that can work for someone without an uterus.

      1. Pat, I missed your post so I apologize for the delayed response. I am so very sorry you are also suffering the after effects of hysterectomy. Have you found anything to help with libido and/or response? It’s been 10 years since my surgery and I miss not only a normal sex life but the closeness I felt with my husband and children. It’s the feeling of emptiness that you mentioned that is so hard to accept.

        And I am reminded of how it aged me every day when I look in the mirror, wash my now very thin hair, color gray that appeared overnight, etc. etc. I shudder to think how much my body has aged on the inside especially with all the studies showing the increased health risks associated with ovary removal or ovarian failure that is fairly common after hysterectomy. Here is a list of all those studies – http://www.gynreform.com/citations.html. I am still angry that I was duped into this especially by someone I’d trusted for 20 years.

  41. Hi, everyone! I’m 29 with 4children/5 live births. I have been experiencing horrible menstrual cramps, and severe pelvic pain since having my tubes tied. I regret having my tubes tied now since now I’m widowed. But recently, my gynecologist has been testing me for cervical cancer since 2013. Today I was told my last result is having a hysterectomy and I’m so hurt. I’m so glad, I’ve stumbled across this site because not only do I deeply regret heading my tubes tied but I’m not lost as to what decision I should make. Please help someone. I’d much rather suffer from my horrible menstrual and pelvic pains vs no sex life. I don’t know what I would do if I can never remarry for lack of pleasing my spouse sexually.

    1. Momof4 – You have been through a lot. I am sorry for that. Unfortunately, gyn procedures that disrupt the natural functioning of our organs (which have lifelong functions) can have permanent negative effects as you have experienced since having your tubes tied.

      As far as the “testing me for cervical cancer since 2013” what tests have been done and have you had any procedures (such as LEEP) and biopsies? Cervical cancer is rare since most dysplasia is treatable before it turns into cancer.

      Hysterectomy, ovary removal, and c-section are the three top overused surgeries so it behooves us to question any doctor who recommends these surgeries. ACOG itself has said that 76% of hysterectomies do not meet their criteria. One could argue that 98% are unnecessary since only about 2% are done for cancer.

      I have written quite a bit about hysterectomy if you’d like to understand more about this surgery that causes more harm than good in the large majority of cases. You can read my articles here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.

      I will be watching for a reply about your cervical issues.

      1. Hi, I’ve had 3leep procedures. The 3rd one actually was done today along with a biopsy. All 3 were and are displaying severe dysplasia asking with some cancer cells. I don’t know what to do as afraid to ignore it and it really is severe and possibly life threatening. But on the other hand I don’t want to deal into that mass percentage of victimized women used as guinea pigs.
        I have been researching none stop. So, I’m very appreciative to research any thing that’ll help me with this decision process. Thank so much!

        1. Did you get a copy of your medical records including pathology reports from the LEEP procedures? You could take those to other doctors for opinions. Also, the level of experience can vary from one pathologist to another. So getting a re-read of tissue samples by a different pathologist is an option.

          1. I didn’t, only because this is my 4th opinion from a different Dr and they’re basically all saying the exact same thing with very similar diagnosis.

  42. Dear Rachel – I am the old broad who is still “hanging in there” 40 years post surgery. I’m so glad that my comments gave you hope. You bet your sweet bippy you can muddle through.

    In my opinion, half the battle is attitude, and yours seems to be good. In spite of the seething anger that always rumbles underneath, we castrated women can have happy, successful lives, if we are stubborn and determined to do so. Also, in spite of all the problems we have to face and endure, which nobody understands except another victimized woman.

    If it would help, you are welcome to share my motto of “Suck It Up And Live Brave!” You might also enjoy reading my article entitled “Confessions Of A Castrated Woman” (published on this website). It might give you a picture of how I have survived, fairly well, for so long.

    Hang in there, kid! In spite of this devastating blow to your life, you can survive. Much love from Someone Who Cares.

  43. Dear WS, As of next month, it has been 40 years since my fantastic sexuality was stolen from me, through hysterectomy/castration. I am still heartbroken about that loss. However, in case it might help someone else, I thought I would share things I have found to be helpful.

    l. Sarsaparilla is an herb that gave me back a little bit of sex drive and zest for life. Some claim it is a natural source of testosterone. 2. Astroglide is a vaginal lubricant I use on vaginal tissues (inside and out) every time I urinate. It helps relieve the constant feeling of dryness. Also, if you keep a filled dropper bottle beside your bed, it’s handy for lovemaking. Just squirt it in! 3. OstaDerm-V is a natural estrogen cream for vaginal use that helps keep vaginal tissues healthy. I use it for overnight. 4. This one may cause some women to blush, but trust me, it works. Purchase an appropriate size dildo and use it, for a minute or two, every day or as needed. This will keep vaginal atrophy from causing you to completely close up. You might have to start with a smaller size, and gradually work up to the right size. And don’t forget to lubricate, lubricate, as you keep the tissues stretched.

    One of the hardest things for so many women about surviving the hysterectomized and castrated life is the sheer isolation and loneliness, which I completely understand. In my 40 years of survival, I have rarely had anyone to talk to who truly understands what I live with every day.

    Your detailed, educational articles are so wonderful. Please keep up the good work.

    1. I am sorry you have been living as a “castrated woman” for 40 years but glad you have found some things to help. That is all we can do to make the best of a horrific injustice. Thanks for the compliment. I am wanting to write another article – just need to think of a specific topic. You should write another one too!

    2. Thank you swc. I read your post and bought Astroglide.After trying lubricants that burnt or clumped causing issues, I can give my thumbs up for astroglide sensitive. I use this every morning and it lasts the day.
      I use vagifem moisturiser ph neutral on the vulva/labia and use this after urination.

      I have been advised by my chiro and physiotherapist to do pelvic floor exercises religiously otherwise I face the real risk of bad prolapse.
      My male chiro is not pro hysterectomy as he feels that it plays a vital role in suspension of the whole pelvic floor, which in turn plays a vital role in supporting hips, back etc and has a flow on effect for the whole body.
      I am effectively and slowly going to have to rebuild myself from pelvic floor outwards.
      And actually come to think of it, my physiotherapist is not a fan of hysterectomies either.
      Very telling that two health professionals that work with the skeletal, muscles and connective tissues are not ‘fans’ of hysterectomies.

  44. Worst decision of my life. I feel responsible for causing my demise as I agreed to the hysterectomy trusting what I was being told. They said I woud be a brand new woman. I certainly am and not in a good way. Nerve damage, atrophy, bladder issues, chronic pelvic pain, hip pain, loss of libido, painful orgasms, grief over my loss of uterus and quality of life. I had no idea life could feel over at such a young age. I am scared to death if hormones and am playing around with vaginal creams currently. I thought I had educated myself. I was used a guinea pig for the doctor to practice his technique. I wish I had found the HERS group first or something similar. Most the women talked to said they were fine, but they were either lying to themselves or didn’t want to scare me. Should be outlawed other than for cancer. I will never be the same.

    1. Rachel – I am sorry you were also railroaded into this destructive surgery. Mine was over 9 years ago and I am still aghast at the tactics these doctors use to get us into the operating room. I also discovered that other women either lie or keep silent about the aftermath (at least until it is too late). And even worse is that the biggest hysterectomy forum treats hysterectomy as a sorority and is careful to keep negative posts to a minimum by censorship. With over 40% of women eventually having a hysterectomy despite gyn cancers being rare, it is time for the authorities to step in and stop this nonsense.

      Since you mentioned atrophy, have your ovaries failed or been “crippled” by the hysterectomy? It is important to understand the many health risks as well as impaired quality of life of induced or surgical menopause and even premature “natural” menopause. Taking estrogen is supposed to mitigate some of these risks even though it is not as good as having our ovaries or their normal hormone production which continues for life in women with all their parts. A good website for understanding the importance of the ovaries and a list of studies proving their lifelong endocrine functions is http://www.overy.org/.

      1. Thank you for your care and concern. I will check out the website. I do feel that my ovaries are not working properly and do have a doctor ructaby testing my fish and estradiol. Regardless, I do t feel well and it all, other than the chronic pelvic pain, started after the surgery. I didn’t even tell tou the best part. I was told I had adenomyosis and tcw only cure for it and my chronic pain would be the surgery. When the biopsy came back five days later , my uterus was just fine other than normal findings of a woman having had three pregnancies. They took out a perfectly happy uterus. Even more devastation. Now they want to tell me I might after painful bladder syndrome. Well why did they not rule that out first. My heart beaks for every woman having had a hysterectomy. Instead of enjoying life as a brand new woman, I live in fear of what might happen to me now. Thank you to the last person who posted she is still around 40 years post surgery. It gives me some hope I can muddle through. Bless you for sharing and hanging in there.

        1. Sadly, you are far from being in the minority of women who are told that a hysterectomy will fix their problem when in fact it will not. Some women are out and out lied to and some never get the proper workups and a definitive diagnosis before being rushed into the operating room. I wonder if you have Interstitial Cystitis (IC). I know quite a few women who had hysterectomies only to find out that the pain was coming from their bladder and they did not get the proper workups. Another thought that comes to mind is Endometriosis. Could that be a possibility?

          Even when the ovaries appear to have not been affected (continue working normally), many women report feeling different after hysterectomy…just goes to show that the uterus is a vital organ (as are the ovaries). So http://www.overy.org/ doesn’t give the whole picture.

          I had perfectly healthy organs removed too. All my surgeon should have removed was a benign ovarian cyst. 🙁 Here is a list of my articles – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/ – one of which is my hysterectomy story.

          1. I guess standing in the checkout line is not the best time to respond to a post. I just went back and read my last post and realized all the spelling and grammatical errors! Can I blame it on my hormones:). Of course my fish are just fine, but I am truly waiting on my fsh and estradiol. I love spell check. I have been reading through all the post you have recommended as well as my new cheerleader friend’s who is a champion in my eyes having 40 years under her belt. I cry because I just wish I had found this all sooner. I thought I had done my homework. There was one who talked about how they would call the doctors office with their symptoms and they would say”we have never heard of that before”. I got the same thing from multiple doctors. I have seen 25 additional doctors, counselors, urologist, urogyno, massage, acupuncturist, etc since my surgery 14 months ago. 25! Yes of course now they think it could be IC/painful bladder disease. Of course no there is nothing we can do. We have never heard of anyone having painful orgasms, frequency and urgency, hair loss, feeling a sense of no joy or who her family is or who she is before. You should be just fine. Here are some pills! How do I start writing for this site or help in ending all of this madness?

            1. Gotta love spell check / auto correct…makes for some interesting and funny reading.

              It would be great if you would write some articles for Hormones Matter. It is so important that we get the word out and do everything possible to end this horrific over-treatment and harm of so many women.

              I hope you can find someone to help with your pain and other symptoms!

  45. Sometimes the thought of living with the cervical cancer seems like it would have been a better option. What I dont get is the lack of current information for help with this issue. Or the lack of support groups because unless it is happening to you, people just do not get it. It is irreversible…the damage is done, physically and mentally.

    1. Cheri – I am sorry you had to deal with a cancer diagnosis and now the aftermath of hysterectomy. You did not say if your ovaries were removed or have failed. If so, are you able to take hormones? That helps some women.

  46. Iam 25 I had to have a hysterectomy at 24 after I had my son on June 16,2014.. My husband,is younger then me He is 20 and of course my sex drive no longer exists at all!! We have had sex 2 times this month it is about to cause US to divorce! I DONT want that!! Do any of you lady’s take any natural vitamins or at this point I’ll try anything b4 I loose my family! Please ladies I need help!

    1. Micah – I am so sorry this happened to you! I assume you still have your ovaries. It is possible they may not be functioning up to par which could be partly to blame. A prescription for testosterone helps improve sex drive in some women. There are also some over-the-counter products. Zestra is a topical product to be used prior to intercourse. Hot Plants for Her is an oral supplement. There may be other products. Best of luck to you!

  47. I’m unsure how to ask for help but my finance had a cervical historectomy back in January of this year and she seems to be having issues with mood swings sex drive depression and fatigue. I want to help her and be there for her but no matter what I do or say doesn’t seem right. How can I help her? This is cause a very big stran on our relationship. Plz help me help her

    1. Joshua – I am sorry your fiance is suffering. The symptoms she is experiencing are fairly common after hysterectomy especially if the ovaries were removed or are failing due to the loss of the uterus. Taking estrogen can alleviate these symptoms. A visit to her doctor to discuss hormone “replacement” (estrogen and maybe other hormones) would be a good idea. If she is already on estrogen, a different form or dose may be needed. I wish you the best in getting through this difficult time.

  48. I had a partial hysterectomy its been 1yr and 3mths i ve had nothing but pain since then. Ive noticed if i have an intense orgasm im in pain after for hours. Its awful ive tried to abstain from sex but im young i love having sex with my fiance but unfortunately its not worth the pain after. Has anyone else had this issue

    1. Eme – I am sorry you suffer from pain after intercourse since your hysterectomy. It is hard to say what is causing it. I hope you can find a doctor who can get to the bottom of it and get you the treatment to address it.

  49. Hi I am 35 and went a full hsyterectomy in Jan.2015. At first it did not seen to be a problem with mys ex life but now it has been 4 months since i have been able to climax. I am a sexual person and love havin sex with my husaband but don’t know how to explain to him that sex is just not working 4 me anymore. I am still young and I am really sadden and hurt because of it if anyone has any suggestions it would really help! I am to the point I have know idea what to do! But I miss havin good sex but I still do when my husband wants it to please him!!

    1. Denett – I am sorry the hysterectomy destroyed your sex life. Since you had a “full hysterectomy” I assume your ovaries were also removed. Estrogen and/or testosterone helps some women. If you have vaginal dryness or atrophy, a prescription for vaginal estrogen such as Estrace cream or Vagifem tablets can be helpful to make sex more comfortable and may improve desire. I hope you find something that works. I know how terribly distressing it is.

      1. How long can we take that hormone therapy? Im experiencing all the bad effects now, a physio said she could restore somewhat my spine posture and strenghen my ligaments and fix pelvic floor. Im still waiting for blood test results but I dont trust the gyn here about the treatment. He said there is only one brand of patches, only ONE in the market, (synthetic) estrogens, and it can be used only for 4 years. Then what?

        1. Kelisi – I am sorry you are suffering from the effects of hysterectomy. It looks like you are not in the U.S. so I cannot comment on there being only one brand of patch. In the U.S. there are multiple brands. We also have both synthetic and “bio-identical” estrogen tablets. I don’t understand your doctor’s comment that HRT can only be used for 4 years. Is that possibly the length of time that it will be covered by your health care system? Women without ovaries are at a disadvantage even after the age of natural menopause because the ovaries produce hormones our whole lives. So it would not be unreasonable to be on HRT for decades.

  50. Yes, I too had a hysterectomy that could have been avoided. It completed destroyed a very active and important sex life. I have tried all sorts of measures (including hormones) to improve function and though some helped to a small extent, nothing has ever been the same. 7 years later, I am saddened and feel destroyed. I try so hard to maintain some level of intimacy, but there just isn’t enough feeling to make it worth it. I miss my old life, and the closeness I once had. I just feel so hurt that one of the most important aspects of my life was robbed from me by a greedy doctor who just wanted to make money. I would do anything to have my function restored.

    1. Linda – I am so sorry for your losses. It is bad enough that women lose their sexuality but many also just don’t feel the closeness to their loved ones any more. That is just as devastating. It is a travesty and downright disgusting that these doctors get away with robbing women (and their loved ones) of so much. We need to continue speaking out to end this injustice that no one seems to want to address. There is a whole generation of girls at risk as the hysterectomy rates do not seem to be declining especially with the newest marketing tool, the da Vinci robot. I read the other day of a 16 year-old who had a hysterectomy…broke my heart!

      P.S. Please let me know if this comment or notification of this comment triggered an email to you.

  51. Tamara – I am sorry to hear about your surgery and how you are feeling. You are still in the early stages of recovery. Please take it easy and I hope this is all soon behind you.

  52. Hi my name is Tee. I had an hysterectomy
    04-22-2015, the reason was I was suffering from a prolapse uterus, it actually fell out my vagina so the doctor tells me I need a hysterectomy and now I’m so emotionally cause it was like taking my womanhood away I’m 46 years old have two children daughter 29 Son 23
    I’m still having a lot of pain, my back, legs and my side hurts so mush and I’m so tied of this pain, I know it’s going to take some time but the doctors never told me that it will I just been talking to other female that had one.

  53. Julia – Have you considered being fitted for a pessary to suspend your organs? Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) surgery can be a difficult recovery and the surgery has a fairly high failure rate in the U.S. (which may also be the case in the UK). Also, if mesh will be used, it is associated with some very serious, permanent problems. Here is one article about the failure rate of POP surgery – http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130517/Long-term-success-rates-of-surgery-to-treat-pelvic-organ-prolapse-are-lower-than-expected.aspx.

    And having the womb/uterus removed increases risk of prolapse. Since the uterus has lifelong functions, it would be better to keep your uterus and have it suspended along with your bladder if you do want to go the surgical route. Having signed a consent form allowing a hysterectomy, you are definitely at risk of losing it.

    As far as your figure, even if you do not gain weight, your figure will change. The four sets of uterine ligaments that must be severed to remove the uterus are the pelvis’ support structures. Once those are severed, pelvic integrity is lost. The spine will compress and the rib cage will fall onto the hip bones. That is why hysterectomized women have thick, shortened midsections and no curve in their lower backs. You can read my article about these changes here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/post-hysterectomy-skeletal-anatomical-changes/.

    Also, the ovaries of intact women are shown to produce hormones up to age 80. Removal of the uterus can cause ovarian failure…another negative of hysterectomy.

    Please seriously consider the effects of losing your uterus. Don’t shortchange yourself.

  54. I have a prolapse that makes me feel I want to urinate more often. I also need to go quickly when getting up in a morning. I also suffer from IBS. I have seen a consultant and I am going to have stitches for the prolapse. The surgeon says she may well have to remove the womb. A hysterectomy if necessary for certain reasons she explained. I was worried as I have always had a good sex life and orgasm beautifully. However I am not in a sexual relationship at the moment and have been divorced now for over ten years so my sex life is not constant. I believe my ovaries would still be kept in tact if this was the case. I have signed a consent form and the surgeon said she would not remove the womb if it was not necessary but it might be also causing pressure problems also for the future. I want to ask what my sex life would be after the womb removed. Also I have a nice figure and slim and attractive and I would hate to gain weight because of this operation. I am 65 years of age tomorrow and I have four grown up children now. Please could you answer any of these questions. Regards Julia

    1. Julia – I replied to you on the site but not sure if you got notification. Please go to HormonesMatter to see my reply.

  55. Susan M – Thank you for sharing your experience. Since orgasm is different, you probably had uterine orgasms before your hysterectomy. That was my experience too. Not only are orgasms different for me, they are much weaker and are much harder to achieve. And I have absolutely no desire which is even more distressing. Many women do not realize that their sex lives will be negatively impacted by hysterectomy regardless of whether or not they keep their ovaries.

  56. Offcourse it changes sexual function, it’s a major surgery. Mine has improved significantly. I no longer have pain during and after sex and am no longer afraid of getting pregnant so it’s more enjoyable and even more intense! I don’t think any woman would “choose” to lose an organ even one just to bear a child, it’s usually determined due to medical conditions and inevitable. The thing is you have to accept the fact and learn to explore the new you which I luckily found much more better than before. There’s always hope!

    1. paria – I am sorry you had pain with intercourse but glad you have had relief. Most conditions do not require a hysterectomy, pelvic pain or not. Hysterectomy is not even a cure for endometriosis even though many women are led to believe it is. Although the high rate of hysterectomies leads people to believe it is inevitable for most women, only about 2% of hysterectomies are truly necessary. Sadly, many women are told they need one or it is the best or only treatment option with no adverse effects when that is false.

      The uterus has functions far beyond “just to bear a child” (sexual, anatomical, skeletal). The ovaries also have life long functions producing hormones into a woman’s 80’s for optimal health and well-being. Hormone “replacement” cannot adequately compensate for what was lost. It is critical that women get these facts before they sign a consent form for hysterectomy and/or ovary removal. Very few women get informed consent.

  57. I am sorry that you had a hysterectomy and have lost some sexual abilities as a result. I know how hard that is. Over the years, I have learned to accept what I cannot change but I am still devastated by it.

  58. i had a hysterectomy several years ago and i have recently married and my husband wants me to squirt during sex and i have tried several things and not having any luck and it is starting to be very frustating and disappointing

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