A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus - the organ that holds and protects the fetus during pregnancy. Hysterectomy often also involves the removal of other parts of the reproductive system, including the ovaries - where eggs are produced - the fallopian tubes which carry the eggs to the uterus and the cervix - or neck of the uterus.
There are many different reasons why a doctor may recommend this kind of surgery.
In many cases, disease or the growth of abnormal tissue will lead a doctor to recommend the removal of the uterus. In some cases, unusually heavy menstrual flow and the accompanying discomfort may make hysterectomy an important treatment option for patient and physician to consider.
But no matter what the reason behind it, you should be aware that the removal of the uterus and other reproductive organs is a serious step and it can mean significant changes in your life.
After having a hysterectomy, you will not be able to have children and if your ovaries are removed as part of the procedure, you may even need to take medication to replace hormones that your body once produced on its own.