Examining the changes in women's lives after the hysterectomy operation: Experiences of women from Turkey

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TURAN A., Karabayır H. B., Kaya İ.

Archives of Women's Mental Health, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00737-024-01419-3
  • Journal Name: Archives of Women's Mental Health
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, Gender Studies Database, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Body image, Femininity, Hysterectomy, Psychology of women after the operation, Self-perception
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: The aim of the study is to examine what kind of changes the operation has brought about in the social and psychological life of women. Methods: The study was a hermeneutic-phenomenological research conducted using qualitative research methods. It took place between May and July 2023 at a university hospital located in Istanbul, Turkey. Following ethical approval, the study included a total of 24 women who had undergone a 'total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.' These participants were selected using a combination of maximum diversity sampling and random sampling methods. Data collection was carried out using a semi-structured interview form. The interviews were conducted using face-to-face interview techniques and in-depth interview methods. Qualitative data analysis involved using the coding paradigm of Grounded Theory and Straus and Corbin's coding framework. For the analysis of quantitative data, SPSS version 28.0 was employed, while qualitative data were analyzed using MaxQDA Analytics Pro 2022. Results: The study found that the participants had a mean age of 47 ± 7.53, and the majority, 66.7%, had not reached menopause before the operation. The qualitative analysis of the semi-structured interviews revealed five main themes, which were identified as follows: 'hysterectomy experiences', 'the impact of hysterectomy on sexual life', 'the significance attributed to the uterus', 'the significance attributed to femininity', and 'self-efficacy after hysterectomy'. Conclusions: The study revealed that women experienced changes in self-perception, body image, a sense of organ loss, and developed negative attitudes towards menopause following a hysterectomy. Additionally, there was a noticeable connection between the meanings attributed to the uterus and femininity, which was often influenced by cultural and social factors. In light of these findings, it is recommended that women receive counseling from healthcare professionals before undergoing a hysterectomy. This guidance can help women better understand and cope with the physical, emotional, and cultural aspects of the procedure.