Approximately 600,000 American women will undergo a hysterectomy this year. What is startling to realize is that in more than one third of these cases, women will suffer diminished sexual feelings or desires (Dranov). Much of this loss of sexual desi re is related to the type of hysterectomy that is performed. There are three major types of hysterectomy: total, subtotal and radical. In radical hysterectomies, both the ovaries and tubes are removed. In total hysterectomy, the ovaries and tubes may o r may not be removed. The removal of a woman's ovaries can be detrimental to her sex drive due to the fact that ovaries function to secrete estrogen and androgen (a hormone linked to sex drive). The loss or decreased availability of these hormones facil itates the need for hormone replacement therapy to make a woman feel normal again. Other factor which can contribute to hysterectomy related loss of sexual drive are: partner relationships, frequency of sexual intercourse prior to surgery, and amount of counseling and support from doctors and friends. If these factors are not positive, women will suffer adverse affects such as decreased sexual drive and depression.
Discusses how hormones effect female sexuality. Compares women's sexual activity during menstrual cycle. The role of androgen and estrogen in relation to female sexual desire is discussed.
Study of 63 adult premenopausal women who underwent hysterectomies. A response to hysterectomy survey was mailed out to women about two years after hysterectomy. It was found that after two years, there were less positive general and sexual outcomes.
Presents the clinical vignette of a single female in her mid-forties presenting for psychotherapy with depression related to hysterectomy. Subject complained of absence of uterine contractions during orgasm and sensation missing since the removal of her uterus.
Provides prior research indicating that women who had hysterectomies had decreased sexual desire. Women's sexual satisfaction was compared to their ideas of the quality of life.
60 patients who had undergone hysterectomy for neoplastic (30 cases), and benign pathologies (30 cases) were interviewed with the intent of undergoing the relationship they had with the disease., loss of uterus, and sexuality. Of the cancer group, 19 cas es showed sexual dysfunction. Non-cancer patients revealed reactive sexual difficulties (out of 30, 176 cases described their sexual life as unsatisfying).
This study addresses the question of the importance of a partner relationship with regard to sexuality before and after hysterectomy. Women with no or ambivalent partner relationships are more at risk of deterioration of sexuality after hysterectomy.
States that in spite of the benefits of hysterectomy, there are a large number of women who have sexual problems after they have had their uterus removed. It is suggested that pre and post operative counseling should be mandatory to avoid this.