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Should I Have a Hysterectomy?

Weigh the Pros and Cons

If your doctor finds that your uterus is the source of your pain or bleeding, ask yourself these questions before scheduling a hysterectomy:

Are my symptoms seriously affecting my quality of life? If not, any benefits you might see may not be worth the risks that come with surgery.

Are there other treatment options? Depending on your particular problem, you may find relief from pain medications, hormone therapies, or other less-invasive treatments. "I encourage women to explore all nonsurgical options before deciding to have a hysterectomy," Summers says.

Do I want to have a baby? Since a hysterectomy permanently removes the uterus, you won't be able to have children after this operation.

Will my health insurance cover it? Hysterectomies are sometimes considered "elective" rather than necessary surgeries, so it's important to check with your insurance company before scheduling one.

Who can help me while I recover? Depending on the way your doctor does the surgery, you may need anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to recover completely. During that time, you probably won’t be able to lift things, shop, care for your kids, or go to work, so you’ll need to have people who can help with your usual tasks until you’re back on your feet.

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Reviewed on July 01, 2014

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