Satisfaction after hysterectomy linked to quality of life improvements

Research Activities, September 2010, No. 361

Women with persistent pelvic problems, such as fibroids and heavy bleeding, who get no relief from medicine or other treatments, often choose to undergo hysterectomy. However, nonclinical factors, including health-related quality of life, sexual function, and attitudes toward the uterus, are also factors influencing women's decisions to have this surgery, according to a new study by Miriam Kuppermann, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues. They analyzed data obtained from 207 women who participated in the 8-year Study of Pelvic Problems, Hysterectomy, and Intervention Alternatives and underwent hysterectomy. Nearly 64 percent of the women were satisfied in the year after their surgery; 21 percent were somewhat satisfied. Not surprisingly, women whose symptoms ceased after their hysterectomy were more likely than other women to be satisfied, as were women whose pelvic problems had interfered with their sex lives and their overall quality of life prior to surgery. Finally, women who saw a benefit in no longer having a uterus were more likely than women who did not share this view to elect to have the surgery and to be satisfied with that course of action.

The authors suggest that these findings illustrate how important it is for providers to discuss not only the clinical reasons for a woman to have a hysterectomy but also to explore the extent to which pelvic problems are affecting her sexual function and quality of life. This study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS11657).

See "Predictors of hysterectomy use and satisfaction," by Dr. Kuppermann, Lee A. Learman, M.D. Ph.D., Michael Schembri, M.A., and others in the March 2010 Obstetrics & Gynecology 115(3), pp. 543-551.

Current as of September 2010
Internet Citation: Satisfaction after hysterectomy linked to quality of life improvements: Research Activities, September 2010, No. 361. September 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/sep10/0910RA28.html