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How common are hysterectomies among women?

Hysterectomy is the 2nd most common surgical procedure performed in the United States (C-section # 1). This is rather surprising as 50% of the population (i.e. men) are not eligible for the procedure. The most common indication for hysterectomy currently is not uterine cancer which would be appropriate, but rather uterine fibroids which are benign, non-cancerous tumors. This is largely unnecessary and can have a significant negative impact on a woman: psychologically, sexually, and on her bone and cardiovascular health. There are non-surgical options (ex. Uterine Fibroid Embolization) which treat fibroid symptoms very effectively and allow a woman to keep her uterus. All treatment options should be discussed with women suffering with fibroids (i.e. not just surgical options).

A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the United States. The most common surgery in women is childbirth by cesarean section delivery.

The answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the United States .  The most common surgery in women is a cesarean section.  There are many reasons to have a hysterectomy.  The most common reason hysterectomies is due to uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors growing in the muscle wall of the uterus.  The next most common reason for a hysterectomy is heavy menstrual flow or abnormal uterine bleeding.  When a patient comes to my office with common gynecologic problems that might necessitate a hysterectomy, I believe it is very important to examine all of our options; and prior to making any type of decisions to perform a surgery, the patient should feel comfortable with her decision knowing that other options have been tried and her last resort is surgery.  The most common surgery in women is a cesarean section. There are many reasons to have a hysterectomy. The most common reason hysterectomies is due to uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors growing in the muscle wall of the uterus. The next most common reason for a hysterectomy is heavy menstrual flow or abnormal uterine bleeding. When a patient comes to my office with common gynecologic problems that might necessitate a hysterectomy, I believe it is very important to examine all of our options; and prior to making any type of decisions to perform a surgery, the patient should feel comfortable with her decision knowing that other options have been tried and her last resort is surgery. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.