Hysterectomy Side Effects And How They May Affect You

Hysterectomy Side Effects Hysterectomy side effects can vary greatly from one woman to the next, and these side effects can include different types as well as levels of severity. Undergoing a hysterectomy can be a very frightening experience, and you may have many questions or concerns not only about the procedure but also about any possible side effects after the surgery is performed.

When you first learn that you must undergo a hysterectomy you may be scared, confused, and not sure where to turn or what to do. Even though you are told that this surgery is necessary you may have concerns and fears about the side effects of a hysterectomy, and whether this surgery is safe or even truly needed.

Before undergoing this procedure and risking hysterectomy side effects you should always get a second opinion, not only for your peace of mind but also to ensure that you really do need this operation and that there are no other alternatives. With advances in technology today some specialists can recommend alternative procedures and treatments that do not carry the same risks or side effects that a hysterectomy can include.

The link between this surgery and certain side effects have been proven. Hysterectomy and hair loss, weight gain, hormonal fluctuations, a loss of sexual drive, and many other side effects have been shown in some patients.

Types Of Hysterectomy Side Effects

There are different types when it comes to the side effects of a hysterectomy. Some of these symptoms may be physical in nature, while others are psychological or emotional and can not be detected by typical imaging tests.

Hysterectomy Side Effects If you have had this surgery you may have experienced many of these side effects, only suffered from a few, or had no problems at all after the procedure was finished and you recovered. Some hysterectomy side effects are only a minor bother and go away quickly, while others may be serious or even permanent and may cause numerous problems in your life.

Some side effects, such as a hysterectomy and hair loss, can be caused by a change in the balance of hormones, while others may be a complication of the actually surgery itself. Any side effects should be reported to your physician, even if you believe that they are minor or will soon go away, so that the cause can be determined.

Whether your side effects are physical in nature or they are psychological there are some things that can be done to minimize these issues. At times the treatments can carry risks as well though, so it is important that this surgery is only performed when all other options have been tried and have failed.

The Possible Hysterectomy Side Effects Depend On The Type Of Surgery Performed

The type of hysterectomy surgery that you have will help determine which side effects of a hysterectomy are possible in your case. There is a partial hysterectomy, a total hysterectomy, and a radical hysterectomy, and each procedure will have different side effects and risks involved.

The surgical method used will also be a factor in the hysterectomy side effects that you experience. The surgery can be done vaginally, abdominally, or in other ways, and this can cause or eliminate the possibility that certain side effects may occur.

Possible Hysterectomy Side Effects

  • Early menopause even if your ovaries are not removed
  • Hot flashes
  • Hair Loss
  • Dry skin
  • Night sweats
  • Weight gain
  • Severe pain
  • A loss of menstrual bleeding
  • A lack of fertility and inability to conceive or carry a child
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • A loss of sexual pleasure
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Missed time from work
  • Damage to other organs caused by the surgery
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Nausea
  • Infections
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Pelvic pain which is unknown in origin
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Bone density loss
  • Height loss
  • Cervical cancer if a partial hysterectomy was performed and the cervix was left in place
  • Decrease hormone levels
  • Vaginal vault shortening
  • Vaginal prolapse
  • A psychological sense of loss and the feeling of not being a complete woman anymore

Hysterectomy Side Effects Can Range From Mild To Severe

Some possible side effects of a hysterectomy can be mild, while others may be extremely severe and require medical attention. Some of these issues are caused by surgical complications, while others result in the loss of sexual reproduction organs and hormones in your system.

Most women will experience some hysterectomy side effects, but the experience is usually different for each woman. A few women may not be bothered much at all by any side effects, while others may view these symptoms as severe and may even report that the symptoms interfere with daily activities and their usual lifestyle.

It is impossible to predict which side effects you will experience or just how severe they will become until after you have had the surgery performed, and by then it is too late to change your mind or go back. A better option is to look at all your alternative options, such as uterine balloon therapy and other choices, before you make the decision which is irreversible and can not be undone.

Partial Hysterectomy Side Effects

A partial hysterectomy does not involve some of the typical side effects, but this procedure can have unique ones that are not present if your surgery was a total or radical hysterectomy. With a partial hysterectomy your cervix is left in place and only the top of the uterus is removed.

Hysterectomy Side Effects This surgical option can minimize any disruption in hormone production, so you may not have the menopause symptoms including hot flashes and severe mood swings. This type of surgery can cause the possibility of cervical cancer later on though, because the cervix is left in place, and this means continuing to have PAP smears regularly.

There are fewer possible partial hysterectomy side effects than there are with a total or radical hysterectomy. That is because there is less tissue removed, and this means fewer complications that can occur during and after your recovery period.

The side effects of a hysterectomy are dependent on the amount and types of tissue removed during the surgery. Taking the least amount of tissue possible in most cases will minimize the risks of any possible side effects, but this is still not a surgery that should be taken lightly or undergone without a second opinion.

Total And Radical Hysterectomy Side Effects

Undergoing a total or radical hysterectomy can greatly increase the occurrence of side effects associated with this type of surgery. With a total or radical operation your cervix, uterus, and ovaries are removed, and in a radical hysterectomy additional tissue along the sides and top of the uterus are also taken out.

The risk of hysterectomy side effects are greater with total and radical hysterectomies because more tissue and additional organs are removed. When the ovaries are removed your hormone production will decrease significantly, and this causes many of the uncomfortable side effects that women may experience.

One of the side effects that you may experience is a lack of bone density, because without adequate hormone production your bones may become thinner and weaker. This can lead to osteoporosis and other medical conditions which can be serious.

The link between hysterectomy and hair loss is also hormonal, and this factor can play a big part in skin dryness and vaginal dryness as well. Vaginal vault shortening and thickening can also occur when the cervix is removed, and this can lead to discomfort during sex.

Physical Hysterectomy Side Effects

If you experience any physical side effects of a hysterectomy these can range from being mildly annoying to being severe enough to disturb your sleep and usual daily activities. Hot flashes can come on suddenly, and regardless of what the actual temperature is you will feel like you are burning up and have sweat running off of you.

Hysterectomy Side Effects Hysterectomy side effects caused by surgical complications can include infections, draining from any surgical wounds, pelvic pain, excessive bleeding, and other problems caused by the actual surgery. The anesthesia used can also cause problems, including pneumonia or even death in some cases.

The lack of menstrual cycle and fertility are side effects which every woman experiences, because the uterus is gone so there is no need to menstruate or any place for conception to take place. When the ovaries are also removed there are no longer any eggs released, so even a surrogate pregnancy is not possible unless the eggs are collected before the ovaries are removed.

With hysterectomy and hair loss you may notice some thinning of your hair, such as that experienced as you age and become elderly, or you may start to develop bald spots where all the hair is falling out. For many women this can be one of the worst side effects because of how your appearance is changed by the hair loss.

Psychological And Emotional Hysterectomy Side Effects

A hysterectomy can also cause many emotional and psychological side effects. The hormone level changes can cause emotional swings similar to what is seen in pregnant women, and can cause many side effects that are very distressing.

You may experience mood swings and emotional shifts that come on suddenly, or find yourself crying for no reason at all. You may notice that you go from being happy to being sad or agitated and there is no obvious cause for these changes.

One of the most common psychological hysterectomy side effects is the loss of female identity that many women experience when they have this type of surgery done. With the removal of your female reproductive organs you may feel a sense of not being a full woman anymore, and this can require therapy in some cases.

Hysterectomy Side Effects And Sexual Pleasure

Hysterectomy Side Effects One of the most common side effects of a hysterectomy is a loss of sexual pleasure, or a lower sex drive that results in a lack of interest in sexual activities. There are a number of different reasons why these side effects can occur, and the cause will determine which treatments are right in your specific case.

Sometimes a loss of sex drive or pleasure may be temporary, and can be caused by the physical changes that your body has gone through recently. The pain during the recovery period may interfere with sexual pleasure, and changes in hormone levels can also decrease lubrication and interfere with your sexual satisfaction.

Hysterectomy side effects can include a vaginal vault that shortens or thins, and this may cause pain at times during sexual intercourse. Psychological concerns about losing your female reproductive organs may also cause you to have decreased enjoyment during sex.

Avoid Hysterectomy Side Effects With Uterine Balloon Therapy

Uterine balloon therapy is one alternative treatment in some cases, and this method does not include any of the side effects of a hysterectomy. More than thirty percent of all hysterectomies are caused by excessive menstrual bleeding, but this condition can be resolved without removing the uterus in most cases and this means no side effects associated with a hysterectomy.

With uterine balloon therapy the uterus is left in place, but the lining of the uterus is destroyed completely in most cases. This will eliminate any excessive bleeding, but this treatment will also remove your ability to become pregnant as well.

Another benefit of uterine balloon therapy is that your menstrual cycle will lighten or stop completely, but your hormone levels and production rates will not change. Not every woman who suffers from menorrhagia will benefit from this procedure, but most will and do not require a hysterectomy.

The hysterectomy side effects can be debilitating, and in cases of excessive menstrual bleeding this surgery is not your only option available. Uterine balloon therapy may be able to help, and many women are candidates for this procedure.

Dr. Kenneth DeSandies is a specialist in women's reproductive health issues, and he is experienced in the uterine balloon therapy treatment procedure. If you suffer from abnormal or excessive bleeding during your menstrual cycle a hysterectomy may not be your only choice, Dr. DeSandies can help you explore all of your options.

Business Locations:


6192 Oxon Hill Road
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Oxon Hill, MD 20745
(301) 567-0978


4600 Duke Street
Suite 332
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 823-5656

Office Hours:

9:00am - 4:00pm
Monday - Friday

Contact Us

Business Locations:


6192 Oxon Hill Road
Suite 303
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
(301) 567-0978


4600 Duke Street
Suite 332
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 823-5656

Office Hours:

9:00am - 4:00pm
Monday - Friday

Contact Us