Hysterectomy: Risk of Incontinence vs. Better Sex?

Columbus gynecologist

According to Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana, over 500,000 women a year have hysterectomies in the United States.  They are the second most common major surgical procedure performed on women.   A hysterectomy is often performed to treat conditions such as fibroid tumors, which can be very painful.  The decision to have a hysterectomy usually comes after a woman’s long and difficult consideration of the consequences she will have to endure as a result of the procedure.

In addition to the normal consequences of having the surgery, now there is something else for today’s women to consider.  A new study reports that women who elect to undergo hysterectomies typically have a substantially higher risk of experiencing urinary incontinence in their later years.

Researchers and your Columbus gynecologist also report that it appears that women who undergo the surgery have a 60 percent higher risk of suffering from incontinence by the time they reach the age of 60. Since most of the women who elect to have hysterectomies do so in their 40’s or 50’s, the onset of urinary incontinence can actually occur quite a while after the surgery has been performed.

After the Hysterectomy:  Better Sex?

For many women who decide to undergo hysterectomies, the anxiety they feel is not just over the surgery, but also over a widespread belief that their sex lives will never be the same and that their desire for sex will be diminished.  Now, a study may put that fear to rest. It reports that most women said their sex lives were better, not worse, after the operation.

Only about 5 percent of women studied over a two-year period reported problems with sex after their hysterectomy, including pain and loss of sexual desire. (Some of these problems can be addressed through medication.) On the flip side, many of the rest of the women surveyed reported that they experienced considerable improvements in their sex lives, including increased desire and stronger, more frequent orgasms.

Researchers say the improvement may result from the fact that once their medical conditions having been treated, the women simply feel better and that translates into a healthier sex life.

If you are considering a hysterectomy and have any questions about the good and bad side effects of the procedure, please call your Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana today to schedule a consultation.

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