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You are right:

A hysterectomy is major surgery.
It is a big deal.

A hysterectomy is a way to treat problems of the uterus, (and there are several options for the treatment of uterine conditions).

Is your friend having any symptoms, or have any uterine conditions? Does she have problem periods? I'm confused: she said she wants a hysterectomy to end her periods early, or to have the surgery, once she's done with her periods?

Honestly, it sounds like your friend is misinformed with what a hysterectomy really is, what it really entails. None of us could walk into a doctor's office and say, "I feel like having an appendectomy; I just don't feel like having my appendix anymore", when we have no symptoms, complications or family history of disease!

As such, a doctor will not just perform a hysterectomy because "she feels like it". There are medical risks, medical expenses, and reasons for this major surgery to be performed (including, but not limited to):
* Uterine fibroids
* Endometriosis
* Pelvic support problems (such as uterine prolapse)
* Abnormal uterine bleeding
* Cancer
* Chronic pelvic pain

Some women, who are symptomatic or have these uterine conditions, do choose to have a hysterectomy (there are different types of hysterectomies, and doctors will likely try other treatments first that are less invasive). Many women (including some in my family) are happy they had the hysterectomy (even with some complications; one woman in my family had her bladder nicked during surgery, and that entailed more complications and surgery!). Other women have a different perspective, and are very unhappy they had a hysterectomy, even when they had severe symptoms prior to the surgery.

You can read more about the medical reasons, benefits, risks and side effects of hysterectomies also at the following resources:
- Hysterectomy, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Hysterectomy, EmpowHer Encyclopedia
- Hysterectomy and Surgical Adhesions

This topic has been discussed at length on EmpowHer, and you can read some of them below for a wide-range of perspectives:
-Hysterectomy side effects
-Hysterectomy was helpful
-Hysterectomy: what stays and why?
-Partial Hysterectomy

June 7, 2009 - 6:36am


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