Over half a million hysterectomies are performed every year in the United States. And while a hysterectomy may be a necessary surgery to combat uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer, the majority of these procedures are performed for non-cancerous conditions. But research is suggesting that this common surgery can actually have adverse affects on a woman’s health.

Choosing to have a hysterectomy isn’t an easy decision. Conditions like fibroids, endometriosis and uterine prolapse are usually what drives a woman to get a hysterectomy. While removing the uterus also removes these conditions, it can also open a floodgate to other chronic health problems.

Even though an empty uterus is the size of a pear, it has a huge impact on a woman’s physical body. When it is removed, the entire musculoskeletal system is compromised. Over time, the spine compresses, hips widen and the rib cage drops. This can leave a woman feeling broken and a shadow of her former self.

Apart from impacting a woman’s skeletal integrity and her physical appearance, this 2016 study shows that a hysterectomy can also increase a woman’s risk of cancers, including thyroid and brain cancer.

When hysterectomies also include the removal of one or both ovaries, a woman may age much more quickly than she would otherwise. This is due to the fact that these procedures increase a woman’s risk of developing chronic health conditions. These health problems include, but are not limited to, osteoporosis, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and even impaired cognition and memory.

The human body is made of separate parts, but they all work together to bring about wellness. The uterus plays an important role in overall health, and removing it may have adverse rather than beneficial results.

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