Is There Any Way to Have a Baby After a Hysterectomy?

Reviewed on 11/3/2020

Is there any way to have a baby after a hysterectomy?

Women can still have a baby via surrogacy and other methods after a hysterectomy.
Women can still have a baby via surrogacy and other methods after a hysterectomy.

Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman's uterus (also known as the womb). Hence, a woman who has had a hysterectomy cannot have babies in the normal way. However, with the development of research in medical science, a couple may have a baby after a hysterectomy via

  • Surrogacy: When a woman loses her uterus, it does not necessarily mean that she loses her ovaries. Therefore, her eggs can be used to carry out an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. However, embryo transfer cannot be performed on this woman because she has no uterus. For this reason, it will be necessary to transfer the embryos into a surrogate. Thus, surrogacy with IVF is the only alternative for a woman without a uterus to have her own genetically related children. It should be noted that depending on the legislation of each country, surrogacy may or may not be permitted.
  • Uterus transplantation: After a hysterectomy, once a woman recovers, they may opt for uterus transplantation. Uterine transplantation is a highly complex surgical technique in which a healthy donor’s uterus is introduced into the recipient woman. Through uterine transplantation, the female recipient of the organ can achieve pregnancy and become a genetic mother. However, this surgical procedure is still in the experimental phase and involves risks for both the donor and recipient. To be more precise, there have currently only been 70 uterine transplants done worldwide.

Adoption or fostering may be an option to consider in these cases.

Why can’t I have a baby in a normal way after a hysterectomy?

A couple may not have a baby in normal way after a hysterectomy for the following reasons

  • Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman's womb. In most cases, other reproductive organs such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed with the womb. 
  • However, in a few scenarios, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are left intact. This leaves behind the organs that produce the eggs with the possible chances of fertilization and embryo formation. However, chances of having a baby is zero without the womb. The uterus or womb is a very critical reproductive organ. During the conception of a baby, the egg and sperm fuse to form an embryo. The womb serves as the vessel in which the embryo attaches and grows. The unformed fetus attaches to the wall of the womb and anchors itself for further growth and development. In women who have undergone a hysterectomy, the womb is unavailable for the embryo to anchor. Therefore, a woman cannot have a baby even if the fallopian tubes and ovaries are not removed during a hysterectomy.

Can I get pregnant after a hysterectomy?

Yes, women may get pregnant after a hysterectomy if the fallopian tubes and ovaries are intact, but it is rare. After a hysterectomy, if a woman is in her fertile period of life, there are chances for the formation of an embryo. However, due to lack of the womb, the embryo sometimes attaches and grows in a fallopian tube. This type of pregnancy is termed an ectopic pregnancy and it is a condition that requires immediate medical attention. The fallopian tube is a very narrow passage and therefore does not have enough space for the developing fetus. This can lead to the rupture of the tube and heavy blood loss. An ectopic pregnancy is not a normal pregnancy and it does not result in the formation of a healthy baby. As soon as it is detected, it is terminated. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a tubal or ectopic pregnancy

How does a hysterectomy affect my sexual life?

Many studies show an improvement in sexual function after a hysterectomy. This is likely because

  • The surgery eliminates the pain, bleeding or other symptoms that may have caused problems with sex.
  • The surgery eliminates the possibility of pregnancy, thus making sex more gratifying for some women.

If a woman has a hysterectomy yet has intact ovaries, sexual desire may not change much. However, the immediate effect of the loss of the womb may affect the mental health of the woman. The impact on a woman’s sexual life after a hysterectomy usually depends on the type of hysterectomy. If the doctor removes the ovaries along with the uterus, sexual desire may change due to the drop in estrogen that is important for sexual desire and intercourse. Half of these hormones are usually produced by the ovaries.

  • Estrogen: This hormone keeps the vaginal tissue healthy. Estrogen also keeps the vagina thick, moist and flexible. Without estrogen, the vaginal tissue becomes drier and thinner and is more likely to tear and lead to painful intercourse.

SLIDESHOW

Choosing Your Birth Control Method See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

References
Medscape Medical Reference

WomensHealth.gov


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors