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Supracervical and total abdominal hysterectomy result in similar sexual functioning and quality of life 2 years later

Women who undergo supracervical hysterectomy (SCH, not including the cervix) or total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH, including the cervix) achieve similar sexual functioning and quality of life 2 years after the procedure, according to a study supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS09478). Lead author, Miriam Kuppermann, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues randomly assigned 135 premenopausal women scheduled to undergo abdominal hysterectomy in four U.S. clinical centers to either SCH or TAH. Women underwent the procedures for uterine fibroids that caused bleeding, pressure, or pain or for abnormal uterine bleeding that did not respond to hormonal treatment.

Researchers examined the women's sexual functioning 2 years later and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at 6 months and at 2 years. Sexual problems improved dramatically in both groups during the first 6 months and reached a plateau by 1 year. At 2 years, both groups reported few problems with sexual functioning. On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 meaning no problems, the SCH group scored an 82 and the TAH group scored an 80. Both groups also demonstrated substantial improvement in most HRQOL measures (psychological well-being, overall health, symptoms, and sleep problems).

More details are in "Sexual functioning after total compared with supracervical hysterectomy: A randomized trial," by Dr. Kuppermann, Robert L. Summitt Jr., M.D., R. Edward Varner, M.D., and others, in the June 2005 Obstetrics & Gynecology 105(6), pp. 1309-1318.

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