A hysterectomy is performed for a variety of reasons. The woman may have cancer, fibroids, cysts, or problems with menstruation. Data shows that 1 in 3 women will have their uterus removed before they turn 60. After several studies the data also shows that many women do not need the hysterectomy that they have had. It is the second most common surgery in reproductive-aged women and yet there are so many that are performed that do not need to be.
Wayne State University and the University of Michigan conducted a study on over 3,400 women who had hysterectomies. They found that 1 in 5 of these women had surgery for conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids. These are benign conditions that usually do not require a hysterectomy for treatment. They also found that 2 out of 5 women who had hysterectomies before they turned 40 were unnecessary. Dr. Daniel Morgan, one of the authors of the study, said that this data calls into question whether surgeons are cutting when they do not need to be. The hysterectomy is a major surgery and brings about a lot of change in a woman’s life. She will be unable to conceive after the uterus is taken out. She will no longer menstruate which can mess with her hormones and cause her to have to use hormone therapy. It is a surgery that should not be performed unless it is absolutely necessary and in many cases it is done anyway.
The researchers on these studies found that there are other alternatives to the surgery with certain conditions. For example the abnormal bleeding that a woman may be experiencing can get an IUD which controls her hormones and often times helps with this. The data from the study showed that only 12% of the women in the study considered doing this before the surgery and only 1/3 of those women had gone ahead with it. Over 40% of the women in the study had no alternative treatments before undergoing the knife. Many of these women may have had the option for alternative treatments and refused them which would not show in their medical records, but the fact still remains that more women are having this surgery than they should.