ZocdocAnswersCan removing the uterus cause depression?

Question

Can removing the uterus cause depression?

Ever since I had a hysterectomy two years ago, I've been dealing with periodic bouts of depression. Is it possible these things are connected, and if so how can I treat them both effectively?

Answer

Removal of the uterus, also known as a hysterectomy, can be associated with depression. I encourage you to talk to your doctor or a psychiatrist to further help you with your condition. Depression is a common and serious condition and it is often very helpful to discuss this with your doctor. Hysterectomy can be associated with an increased risk of depression. One distinction to make is if you also had your ovaries removed (not always the case). If you did, then this can send a younger women into menopause. Depression is a symptom of menopause that can be treated with hormone replacement therapy. Hormone therapy has risks itself, so requires discussion with your doctor if this applies to you. Even if just the uterus is removed, there is an increased risk of depression. There is not thought to be a chemical or mechanical cause of this. Many people believe this is because the uterus is such an important part of a woman's "womanhood." This is VERY common. However, many people believe that this can be treated with discussion and even pharmacological treatment (medicines such as anti-depressants). Unfortunately, there is no specific hysterectomy induced depression treatment. Depression, regardless of cause, requires attention. There are other medical causes of depression (like low thyroid) that should be ruled out. Both counseling and medicines can help with treatment of depression. Talk to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.