Vaginal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus through the vagina.
During a vaginal hysterectomy, the surgeon detaches the uterus from the ovaries, fallopian tubes and upper vagina, as well as from the blood vessels and connective tissue that support it, before removing the uterus.
Hysterectomy involves a shorter time in the hospital, lower cost and faster recovery than an abdominal hysterectomy, which requires an incision in your lower abdomen. However, depending on the size and shape of your uterus or the reason for the surgery, vaginal hysterectomy might not be possible. Your doctor will talk to you about other surgical options, such as an abdominal hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy often includes removal of the cervix as well as the uterus. When the surgeon also removes one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes, it’s called a total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy. All of these organs are part of your reproductive system and are situated in your pelvis
Although vaginal hysterectomy is generally safe, any surgery has risks. Risks of vaginal hysterectomy include:
After a hysterectomy, you’ll no longer have periods or be able to get pregnant.
If you had your ovaries removed but hadn’t reached menopause, you’ll begin menopause immediately after surgery. You might have symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes and night sweats. Your doctor can recommend medications for these symptoms. Your doctor might recommend hormone therapy even if you don’t have symptoms.
If your ovaries weren’t removed during surgery — and you still had periods before your surgery — your ovaries continue producing hormones and eggs until you reach natural menopause.