Alternative To A Hysterectomy

Supracervical Hysterectomy – An Alternative to Traditional Hysterectomy

A Supracervical hysterectomy can be done either through an abdominal incision or with a laparoscope. In a supracervical hysterectomy, only the uterus is removed thru either an abdominal incision or thru a laparoscope with a uterine morcellator. The cervix and possibly even the ovaries are kept.

Considerations Before Undergoing This Procedure

To determine if you are a candidate for this procedure, you must provide your doctor with a complete medical history. You must also undergo a physical exam, vaginal ultrasound, and Pap smear. You may also need to undergo testing for human papillomavirus (HPV). If you have other conditions that may affect the procedure, separate tests will need to be conducted.

You may not be a candidate for supracervical hysterectomy if you have any of the following conditions: endometrial hyperplasia or cancer; current or previous cervical dysplasia or cancer; or any other gynecologic cancer. Thorough tests must be performed to exclude cancer precursors, or uterine and cervical cancer.

Does Supracervical Hysterectomy Get the Thumbs Up or the Thumbs Down?

Advocates of this procedure claim that this technique preserves the sexual function of a woman because the cervix is preserved along with the mucous-secreting glands which prevent vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness is a common complaint of women who have undergone hysterectomy.

The technique also results in better pelvic support, as the ligaments that support the vagina and cervix are not severed. In addition, this type of hysterectomy causes less pain than other types of hysterectomy. It requires a shorter recovery period because of the small incisions that are made through the laparoscopic approach. Moreover, hormone replacement therapy may no longer be needed since the ovaries are left intact. This hysterectomy appears to have the shortest operating time as well as the shortest hospital stay when utilized by an experienced Gynecologist. Women who undergo this hysterectomy can also resume their sexual activity sooner.

However, recent research conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists showed that there is no real advantage with the supracervical hysterectomy compared to the other types of hysterectomy. A woman who has undergone a supracervical hysterectomy may even be exposed to more risks from the cervix that is kept. This can lead to further treatment with regards to cervical pathology in the future.

Just as with total hysterectomy, supracervical hysterectomy patients still experience bladder emptying, urinary frequency, and urinary incontinence. In addition, the study showed that women who underwent a supracervical hysterectomy reported no difference in the quality and frequency of sexual activity when compared with other types of hysterectomy.

In deciding whether or not to undergo this procedure, it is best to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons with your doctor. This will enable you to better evaluate whether this type of hysterectomy is right for you.

About the author: To find out more about hysterectomies and alternatives to this procedure, check out


Frequently Asked Questions

    Fibroids and Alternatives to Hysterectomy?
    I am 35 and am being sent for an ultrasound to see if my extremely heavy periods are being caused by fibroids. I have been married for a year and my husband and I might want children, but I want to return to school next year to take a 2 year course first so I can get a better job before we have kids. Most of the info I’ve read about fibroids says hysterectomy is the normal course for this disease. 90% of the women in my family have had to have them. I simply refuse. My question is, other than annoying symptoms, or possibly pain, is there any other severe risk of just leaving them be? I was reading that they can sometimes shrink of their own accord at menopause. If it turns out that I have them, can I just live with them until I go through menopause? I have personal and religious reasons for not wanting to have my reproductive organs removed. Could this be fatal? Even if it was, it wouldn’t change my mind, I would just like to know.

    • ANSWER:
      I can relate myself with you! I had many big fibroids inside my uterus, first detected when I was 24 years old. I had mayomactomy then. I became pregnant with the fibroids when I was 27 and gave birth of a low birth premature baby this July 2007. I had to take leave from my study. I had surgery that time and had hysterectomy. There was no other option.

      I think if you keep the fibroids and they grow fast then it will be unbearable for you. It will cause so much heavy bleeding that you will have severe anemia. You will not be able to go anywhere during your period. Its better for you to have a treatment for your firbroids.

    fibroid tumors – alternative to a hysterectomy for a 50 year old?
    Who is a interventional radiologist and has anyone had a uterine fibroid embolization
    Hoe do I find an interventional radiologist in my area when none are listed in the hospital directory

    • ANSWER:

    help,ive just found out i need a hysterectomy!?
    im in shock and cant stop crying. I went to doctors becausem periods had stoppedand i have rapid weight gain all on my tumy and was upset of so many people asking me when my baby was due.(have been trying unsuccesfully for2 yrs) the docgave me an internal and said im either pregnant or i have a cyst. I was sent straight to hospital where i had a scan and an mri. They discovered i have a 20lbs ovarian cyst huge! and another smaller one and my womb has collasped. ii was toldi need a total hysterecomy asap. Im distraught. imlosing my chance nowto have more kids andimterrified it may be cancer. he said because it looks likeit has been there for some time and i have no pain and because eof the size its more likelyto be benign, but we wnt know for sure until its out and sent away for a biospsy. me and my husband havnt been able to stop cring since. we have known 5 days. i asked for alocal anasthestic, but was given a short no way! im so scared, i dnt want a general im that frightened. is there any alternative to hysterectomy? any way to keep my bits? im told no as i have cysts on both ovaries. i begged for a local anasthetic but he wont budge i more scared of that than the op.

    • ANSWER:
      Get a second opinion and may be a third, just to be sure it is your only option. If three doctors confirm the diagnosis you will have to do what is needed. Wish you the best , sorry for your troubles.

    Endometrial ablation or Hysterectomy?
    Been having irregular periods for several months now and my GYN suggested ablation as an alternative to a hysterectomy. Any women ever had an ablation?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, had it done 2 years ago. It was wonderful after I healed.
      No periods
      It’s done on a outpatient basis,
      home the same day,
      little bloody discharge,
      little cramping
      better than a hysterectomy if you ask me,cause you heal faster.
      Don’t be scared, you will be fine, google it or email me if you have more questions!
      Good Luck!

    Are there any weight gain side effects from endometrial ablation?
    My doctor has recommended this option to me as soon as I decide if I’m ready to give up hopes of having another baby. I’m just not really sure right now but the pain and heavy periods are beginning to make it easier for me to make this choice. I’m tired of being in pain 2.5 weeks per month. What was your experience? Does the Lepron Shot cause weight gain like all other hormone shots? Since this is an alternative to a hysterectomy does it have the same side effects?

    • ANSWER:

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    • John Lipman MD
    • 16/03/2015

    Hysterectomy is never the only choice for symptomatic uterine fibroids. Almost every single patient who is a candidate for hysterectomy is also a candidate for Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE is an outpatient, non-surgical procedure that is safer than surgery, less invasive, has a much shorter recovery, and allows women to keep their entire uterus. The article above talks about supracervical hysterectomy as an alternative to traditional hysterectomy. That procedure only allows the woman to keep their cervix. UFE allows women to keep their WHOLE uterus ! To find an Interventional Radiologist in your area go to or

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