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Removal of the uterus is a common non-pregnancy-related procedure performed in the world today. Sometimes certain medical conditions prompt a woman to take up the surgery, at other times it might be the notion that after childbearing, the uterus might be a useless, symptom producing and potentially cancer-bearing organ. Whether a woman loses her uterus during the reproductive or after, it does rob her of the feminine image the organ was associated with. Getting a uterus out of the body can sometimes protect a woman from life-threatening conditions like cancer but it doesn't mean that the surgery comes with no down points. Hysterectomy does come with a series of physical and psychological changes.
For instance, the removal of a diseased uterus can provide relief to pelvic discomfort but scarring in the region can also cause postoperative pain. Also, studies show that hysterectomy hastens ovarian failure, leading to early menopause and fast ageing. Hence, the removal of the uterus does come with mixed psychological responses.
As per some studies, hysterectomy can lead to depression because of the perceived loss of feminine self-image, strength, and self-esteem, as well as feelings of deformation, mutilation, and mourning of the loss of child-bearing capacity. The organ has been strongly associated with feminity, child-bearing, youth and attractiveness. Also, the loss of the uterus can fasten ovarian function. When the hormones take a downturn, a woman might experience low sexual desire and a depressive mood. The procedure might also change the genital anatomy in some women. Some studies have shown that some psychological disorders might also prompt women to get their uterus and ovary removed out of fear. They might initially take it as a relief from uncomfortable situations such as pain and heavy bleeding. However, on a subconscious level, many of them could mourn the loss of fertility. The feeling of never being able to bear another life might devastate them at a psychological level.
Another downside of hysterectomy could be women feeling that they are not young anymore. If the uterus is removed at reproductive age, the psychological distress could be intense. Studies are also showing that uterus removal might fasten ageing in these women. Sometimes in certain conditions, the uterus has to be removed along with the ovaries and this might result in immediate hormonal changes irrespective of whether a woman is in premenopausal or menopausal age. They might start experiencing age-related issues like bone loss, memory loss and others. Those whose ovaries are intact might also experience ovarian failure. Women who have their uterus removed unlike others of their age might experience mood swings, night sweats, irritability, urine incontinence and vaginal dryness.