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"Does removing the uterus remove the cervix as well?"
How does a hysterectomy affect the cervix? My doctor just recommended that I get a hysterectomy because I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Does that mean I'd have to get my cervix out, too? If so, will I still be able to have a normal sex life?
This is an excellent questions and a very valid concern. The hysterectomy is a very broad term which describes the removal of the uterus but can also mean that ones uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. In the old days, surgeons would remove both the uterus and cervix for all indications. However, today often when a women undergoes a hysterectomy the cervix is left. So whether or not you will still have a cervix depends on the procedure your doctor is planning. I will say that in the case of uterine cancer, it is likely that your OBGYN surgeon is planning on removing the cervix, fallopian tubes, with or without your ovaries (depending on the stage of your cancer). This is because we don't want to run the risk of leaving behind a cancer cell that can grow into something bad. One thing I must mention is that if your cervix is left behind, then you will continue to need routine pap smears. The good news is that you absolutely can have a normal sex life if you have your cervix out too. The vagina will entirely be intact, and sex should not feel any different for you or your partner. Just give yourself time to heal before engaging in sexual activity. Only your doctor and can give you instructions that pertain your specific situation and medical history. Anytime you have any pertinent question, do not hesitate to ask him or her. Good luck.
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