10 Questions to Help You Decide about the Cervix
Whether or not you should keep your cervix (the bottom portion of your uterus), is one of the choices you have to make when making decisions about a hysterectomy. The topic of keeping or not keeping the cervix can be very personal and controversial, with women and medical professionals on both sides of the issue. In addition, studies are mixed regarding whether or not there is any benefit to keeping the cervix.
As with any decision involving your hysterectomy, there are several factors that will come into play. These will include your diagnosis, your surgeon’s skills and opinions, your surgery type, and your wishes regarding the cervix. You and your surgeon should work together to determine what is best for you.
Here are 10 questions to answer to help you decide whether or not to keep your cervix.
1. Is your cervix healthy?
Because the cervix is the bottom of part of your uterus, whatever is affecting the upper portion could also be affecting the bottom portion. For instance, abnormal uterine bleeding, adenomyosis, fibroids, and gynecologic cancer can all reside in the cervical portion, too. If your cervix is not healthy, it should be removed. If your cervix is healthy, you can consider keeping it.
2. Have you had abnormal Pap smears?
If you have had abnormal Pap smears or have HPV, it might not be wise to keep your cervix. If your Pap smears have all been normal and you do not have HPV, you can consider keeping your cervix.
3. Is your hysterectomy for a cancer concern?
If your hysterectomy is for a gynecologic cancer concern, it is almost always recommended that the cervix be removed. If you do have cancer, be sure to talk to a gynecologic oncologist about your options.
3. Do you have uterine prolapse issues?
If your uterus is prolapsing as part of your pelvic organ prolapse issues, then your cervix is already trying to make an exit. As a result, it might not be in your best interest to keep your cervix if you are having a hysterectomy as treatment.
4. Is your cervix painful?
If your cervix causes you pain prior to a hysterectomy, it could continue to be painful afterward. If it is painful to be touched or bumped during intercourse, you might want to remove it.
5. Is it pleasurable to have your cervix bumped during intercourse?
If you like having your cervix bumped during intercourse, you may want to consider keeping it.
6. Are you okay with mini periods?
If you keep your cervix and at least one ovary, there is a chance you could experience mini periods after your hysterectomy. If this is not a problem, you can consider keeping your cervix. If you want to do all you can to stop all bleeding, you may want to remove your cervix.
7. Is a quicker surgery and recovery a priority?
Keeping the cervix can allow you to have a quicker surgery and recovery. However, you will need to continue with annual Pap smears to check for precancerous changes.
8. Have you gotten a second opinion?
Doctors can have differing opinions about the cervix, so it is very important to get a second opinion. One doctor may strongly promote having the cervix removed, while another may strongly recommend keeping it. Hearing both sides can help you make a better decision.
9. Are you using reputable resources for your information?
Just because you read a statement in a book, magazine or online doesn’t mean it is true. Look for reputable and balanced information when researching your options regarding the cervix.
10. Are you making an informed decision you are comfortable with?
Finally, make sure you are making an informed decision that you can live with. You need to weigh your pros and cons against the facts and make a decision that feels right for you.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 10 Questions to Help You Decide about the Cervix