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Hysterectomy

MagazineApril 2009 (Vol. 20 Issue 1)Hysterectomy

If you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding-and that's something that affects one in four women at some time in their lives-your doctor will probably recommend a hysterectomy

If you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding-and that's something that affects one in four women at some time in their lives-your doctor will probably recommend a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy-an operation in which a woman's womb is removed-is one of the more traumatic opera-tions and, yet, it is one of the most commonly performed procedures.

One-third of women in the US and one-fifth of those in the UK will have had their womb removed by age 60, and most have the procedure to stop heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB).

But, says the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), too many doctors still believe that a hysterectomy is the only way to stop HMB despite so many other therapies that are far less radical, but which could be just as effective.

So, NICE asks women to find out for themselves what their options are. In most cases, hysterectomy is unneces-sary as HMB can often be treated with supplements, drugs or minor surgery (The Times, 24 January 2007).


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