Topics of Interest

How Do Women Feel about Hysterectomy and Myomectomy?

A Qualitative Comparison of Women’s Attitudes Towards Hysterectomy and Myomectomy
Julie Askew PhD. Healthcare for Women International 2009;30:728-42.

Study: Eighteen women, ages 31-49, who suffered from symptoms of fibroids and who had undergone a hysterectomy or myomectomy in the past 2 years were interviewed by the author. All of the women had further education or specialist professional training after high school.

Findings: Women choosing myomectomy believed the uterus had a purpose other than fertility. They were more likely to not trust their doctor’s recommendation to have a hysterectomy, and more likely to have sought out other gynecologists’ opinions. A similar number of male and female doctors suggested hysterectomy. Patients were more likely to have traveled to another area or state, and to pay some expenses out of pocket, in order to obtain myomectomy surgery.

Women who had a hysterectomy were more likely to have trusted what their regular gynecologist told them and had that doctor perform the surgery. Some of these women, in hindsight, felt that they should have sought out more information before having a hysterectomy. One reason women chose hysterectomy was because they believed their gynecologist’s comment that “the fibroids will just grow back” after a myomectomy.

Conclusions: The author concluded that women need to have access to more reliable information. “Information sources should include specialists other than one’s regular gynecologist, particularly if alternatives to hysterectomy are outside of the gynecologist’s preferences or areas of skill.” The internet played an important role for women accessing information.

Dr. Parker’s Comment: I think many women will identify with the points made in this study. I often see women for a second (or third, or fourth) opinion who have been told to have a hysterectomy based on uninformed or outdated information. Some doctors will not recommend a procedure they do not know how to do, or a procedure that may be more difficult for them to perform. Once fibroids are removed they do not “grow back” and the chance of new fibroids growing is very small.

If you are recommended to have a hysterectomy (or any surgical procedure) you should ask about alternatives available, and whether your doctor knows how to perform them or not. The internet, when used carefully, can be an excellent source of information.


Disclaimer: The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained on this web site are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision.

Fibroid Doctor William H. Parker

Dr. William H. Parker is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Parker is an internationally recognized expert in fibroid surgery and research. Based in San Diego, California, he is considered one of the best fibroid surgeons for abdominal and laparoscopic myomectomy in the United States and abroad. He has been chosen for Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors every year beginning in the late 90's.

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