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A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman's womb (uterus). After having the operation, pregnancy will no longer be possible.
Why a hysterectomy is necessary
A hysterectomy is sometimes recommended to treat heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic inflammatory disease, prolapse of the uterus, endometriosis or fibroids.
Things to consider before having a hysterectomy
If you have a hysterectomy, as well as having your womb removed you may have to decide whether to have your cervix or ovaries removed.
How a hysterectomy is performed
There are different types of hysterectomy. The type performed will depend on the reason for surgery.
Recovering from a hysterectomy
After having a hysterectomy, you may wake up feeling tired and in some pain. This is normal after this type of surgery and you will be given painkillers.
Complications of a hysterectomy
As with all types of surgery, a hysterectomy can lead to complications.
"I'm happier and feel healthier than before"
Jayne Watkins, an admin manager, had a vaginal hysterectomy in June 2006.
"There are pros and cons to everything"
Susan Carlton, 38, from Lincoln, Lincolnshire, had an abdominal hysterectomy in 2002. She lives with her husband Richard and three children.