'I'm happier and feel healthier than before' 

Jayne Watkins, an admin manager, had a vaginal hysterectomy in June 2006 at the age of 37.

"In 2002, I started to get a dragging, uncomfortable feeling in my vagina. At first I hoped it would go away by itself, so it wasn't until 2005 that I went to see my GP. She diagnosed me with a severe prolapse of the uterus. I knew it was fairly advanced, as I couldn't keep a tampon in and my cervix was quite low in my vagina. I was advised that a vaginal hysterectomy, where the uterus and cervix was removed and my ovaries retained, was the best option for me.

"I did read up on some alternatives to hysterectomy, but was advised by my GP and gynaecologist that wearing a pessary ring to keep my uterus in place wouldn't work for me, as the prolapse was too advanced. I was also told that surgery to repair the prolapse probably wouldn't last very long, as it was quite bad. As I had been sterilised five years earlier and we knew we didn't want any more children, I decided to go for the hysterectomy.

"I had a general anaesthetic for the operation and was on a morphine drip for the first few days to control the pain. One of the hard parts was having the 'packing' removed two days after the operation. This is sterile gauze that was inserted where my uterus had been, and it was a bit uncomfortable when a nurse removed it. I also had some trouble opening my bowels afterwards, but was fine once I had some laxatives.

"After five days in hospital, I returned home, where I had complete bed rest for two weeks. I was still in some pain, but painkillers helped. My in-laws and my husband Stephen did everything around the house, and three weeks after the operation I was able to do some light housework and make my own tea.

"Five weeks after the surgery, I felt much better. I was much more comfortable than I was before the operation and had loads more energy. I even went on holiday with the family, where I went snorkelling and swimming.

"I'm delighted with the overall results of my operation, as it has improved my quality of life enormously. It's also a bonus not to have periods any more. And because I didn't have my ovaries removed, I don't need hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Another positive thing is that my sex life has improved. Before the operation, sex was uncomfortable and I felt embarrassed about my prolapsed uterus. I can honestly say I'm happier and feel healthier than before."

Page last reviewed: 22/03/2016

Next review due: 22/11/2018