It’s normal to feel concerned about how a hysterectomy will affect you, both physically and emotionally. Many women feel conflicted about the possibility of hysterectomy surgery – resolving the physical symptoms seems like a huge relief but losing an organ so culturally and personally attached to womanhood can feel sad or isolating. In addition, many women have fears that losing their uterus means they will face years of a hormonal rollercoaster that will have them feeling like a totally different person. While hormones do change following the surgery depending on what type of hysterectomy you have, rest assured that after your hysterectomy, you will still be very much yourself.
Because so many women are concerned about personality changes following hysterectomy, a 2006 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine sought to investigate mental health outcomes in women who had received either a total hysterectomy (removes the whole uterus and cervix) or a partial hysterectomy (also called a subtotal hysterectomy; removes just the upper part of the uterus and the cervix is left in place). The researchers interviewed the women a few weeks after their procedures and then 6 to 7 months later to assess how they were feeling after the surgery.
The results were contrary to many of the stories you have probably heard about women’s feelings about hysterectomy surgery. All of the women the researchers interviewed, regardless of which type of hysterectomy they had, reported that their psychological functioning did not significantly change following their hysterectomy. So if this is the case, why do we live in fear of personality changes after hysterectomy?
Between 3% to 16% of women who have hysterectomy report changes in their levels of happiness and well-being. Interestingly, about the same percentage of women who have NOT had a hysterectomy also report changes in their happiness and well-being. Life is constant change and life as a woman can be complicated. Many women who undergo hysterectomy changes may also be experiences life changes like age-related changes, career changes or relationship changes that account for the changes in mental health.
Getting Real Answers About Personality Changes After Hysterectomy
If you are living with the pain caused by fibroids, endometriosis, excessive bleeding or pelvic pain, don’t let fear of personality changes after hysterectomy keep you from getting the medical help you need to help you live a better, more high-functioning life. One of our patient coordinators can answer all the questions you have about what most women experience after hysterectomy surgery. Call 844.593.6474 (MIRI) or fill out the form to the right and one of our personalized patient coordinators will contact you soon.
Flory, N., Bissonnette, F., Amsel, R. T., & Binik, Y. M. (2006). The psychosocial outcomes of total and subtotal hysterectomy: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 3(3), 483-491.