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Hysterectomy – An overview

By HERWriter
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When something goes wrong in a woman’s reproductive system, it may be necessary to surgically remove her main reproductive organs. The surgery is called a hysterectomy.

The Female Reproductive System
A woman’s reproductive organs are all located inside the pelvis or lower abdomen. This system consists of five major organs:

Vagina – The vagina is the hollow “tube” that reaches from outside a woman’s body into the uterus. It is sometimes called the birth canal because a baby leaves its mother’s body through the vagina.

Uterus – The uterus, also called the womb, is a pear-shaped, hollow organ with muscular walls. When a woman is not pregnant, the uterus is approximately 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. When a woman is pregnant, the uterus stretches to allow the baby to grow.
Cervix – The cervix is the bottom part of the uterus that connects the uterus to the vagina. The cervix is normally no wider than a straw, but expands during birth.
Ovaries – The ovaries are two oval-shaped organs that are located on either side of the uterus in the abdomen. The ovaries contain eggs that can be released each month in the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The ovaries also produce hormones for the body.
Fallopian Tubes – The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. Eggs that are released by the ovaries pass through the fallopian tubes to the uterus where they will grow as a baby if they are fertilized.

Types of Hysterectomy
Women may have a hysterectomy to remove cancer, or for relief of non-cancerous conditions such as fibroids. During a hysterectomy, the uterus and cervix are removed, but the fallopian tubes and ovaries are left intact. A separate surgery to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries may be done at the same time as a hysterectomy. There are three types of hysterectomy:

Partial hysterectomy – In cases where cancer is not present, it may be possible to remove the top part of the uterus while leaving the cervix intact.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.