Women Who Want to Get Hysterectomies in Their 20s - Unique Challenges

There are several medical reasons why a young woman may want to get a hysterectomy at a young age. Certain conditions can lead to major pain. Endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and other conditions can lead to painful menstruation and abdominal pain that can impact a person’s quality of life. However, when young women seek out hysterectomies, they may find themselves facing unique barriers.

According to the Guardian, young women who want to undergo elective medical procedures that result in sterilization often face serious challenges from gynecologists and doctors. From the doctor’s perspective, this is understandable. A hysterectomy is a permanent procedure that will make it impossible for you to carry children should you want do so in the future. Patients need to be properly informed by their doctors about the outcomes and risks of a hysterectomy. However, sometimes doctors outright refuse to perform the procedure, even when women are suffering from immense pain due to a medical condition. Gynecologists do have a responsibility to provide individualized counseling to patients seeking procedures that will result in sterilization. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, patients should receive individualized attention before they undergo any major procedure, including getting their tubes tied or a hysterectomy. The organization, however, doesn’t put age limits on who can get these procedures as long as the woman is at the age of consent and the procedure isn’t high risk for other reasons.

According to Slate, some women who sought procedures that would result in their sterilization reported encountering doctors who outright refused to perform the procedure. Some doctors told the women that they would regret the decision or that they would change their minds. This is troubling because when men seek sterilization procedures, they often have an easier time finding doctors willing to perform the procedure. Some claim that this is due to a paternalistic double standard in society. Doctors do express concern that a patient will regret their decision, even if a hysterectomy is performed to reduce pain stemming from endometriosis or another condition.

At the end of the day, hysterectomy or tubal ligation or any other elective procedure should be embarked upon with care and thought. Hysterectomies performed to treat endometriosis or uterine fibroids are often seen as acts of last resort, after other alternatives have been tried. Patients should consider their reasons for undergoing the procedure and ensure that they haven’t considered alternatives that don’t involve surgery.

Dr. Shakiba is a uro/gynecologist who performs robotic hysterectomies at Women’s Pelvic Surgery. For women who are considering undergoing a hysterectomy, a robotic hysterectomy can be less invasive and result in a better outcome. Every case is unique. If you are considering undergoing a hysterectomy, consider speaking to a doctor today. Dr. Shakiba at Women’s Pelvic Surgery will take the time to review your medical past, understand your goals for the future, review your medical condition, and help you navigate the options available to you.

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Do I Need a Hysterectomy?

According to Everyday Health, every year, approximately 600,000 women undergo hysterectomies. As many as 90% of these procedures are not considered “medically necessary.