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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Partial Hysterectomy
March 2002

Q. I would like to know if a partial hysterectomy will reduce my sex drive? There would be a removal of the uterus due to fibroids, however, I am keeping both ovaries.

A. This is a good question and does not have a clear-cut answer. Fibroids are benign growths in the muscle tissue of the uterus that can cause abdominal pain and bleeding if the fibroids get large enough. If the fibroids are not causing such problems, it is usually not necessary to undertake any treatment, and they often shrink in size after menopause.

Alternatives to hysterectomy now exist including myomectomy (removal of the fibroids but preserving the uterus) and embolization (interrupting the blood flow to the fibroids), but these treatments are not appropriate for all women with fibroids. Physical and emotional well-being after a surgical procedure like a hysterectomy is indeed influenced by many factors and would be difficult to predict beforehand. Many women do well after hysterectomy with no physical or sexual impairment while others feel sexuality is impaired. All of these factors should be discussed with your doctor.

http://medlineplus.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hysterectomy.html

http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/agepages/sexual.htm

http://www.hersfoundation.com/

http://www.acog.org/from_home/spotlight/spotlight2001-10.cfm

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