Hysterectomy pp 133-138 | Cite as

Evidence Based Review of Hysterectomy and Sexuality

  • Farah LoneEmail author


Hysterectomy is a commonly performed surgical procedure for benign conditions such as period related problems, uterine fibroids and pelvic pain and also for actual and possible malignancies. The types of hysterectomy include total and subtotal with or without removal of ovaries. The surgical routes include abdominal, vaginal and endoscopic. Women undergoing hysterectomy are worried about possible side effect of the surgery on their sexuality. Factors such as hormonal, anatomical, vascular, neurogenic and psychological can have a detrimental effect on various aspects of sexual functioning.

There is a lack of clarity in the literature as to whether hysterectomy improves or attenuates sexuality. The research on the effect of hysterectomy on sexuality is not conclusive. Current evidence suggests that dyspareunia reduces after hysterectomy. Symptom relief may have led to increased sexual enjoyment and increased orgasm frequency. Hysterectomy may reduce the discomfort of pain and bleeding, resulting in positive psychological factors such as elimination of anxiety over cancer risk and unwanted pregnancy.

Sexual function does not usually deteriorate after hysterectomy although a few women may develop sexual problems. Sexual function in women who have subtotal abdominal hysterectomy is similar with total abdominal hysterectomy. While women report an improvement of sexual functioning after hysterectomy, this may be the result of the relief of symptoms from the removal of uterus, some women develop sexual dysfunction as a result of hysterectomy.


Abdominal hysterectomy Total hysterectomy Subtotal hysterectomy Vaginal hysterectomy Laparoscopic hysterectomy Robotic hysterectomy Radical hysterectomy Sexuality Sexual problems Dyspareunia Libido Psychological 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Obstetrics and GynaecologyRoyal Cornwall HospitalCornwallUK

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