Link Between Hysterectomies and Weight Gain Debunked

by VR Sreeraman on Nov 15 2008 2:28 PM

According to a new research, women who have hysterectomies do not put on weight, however, overweight ladies do tend to have more of such operations.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually performed by a gynecologist.

The study, which was conducted by David Fitzgerald, of the University of Queensland's School of Population Health in Brisbane and colleagues, has been reported in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.

"There's a belief out there that hysterectomies do lead to weight gain," ABC Online quoted Fitzgerald, as saying.

But, he says the evidence for this is conflicting. To settle the question, Fitzgerald and colleagues drew on the powerful Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health.

The study has been collecting data on women since 1996 and includes women who have had hysterectomies.

Using data from the study, Fitzgerald and team tracked the weight of nearly 1000 women, born between 1946 and 1951, before and after they had hysterectomies.

"We had measures of their weight both before, immediately afterwards and we had a control group in the same situation but not having hysterectomies," he says.

"So we could study quite accurately the characteristics of weight gain," he added.

From the analysis, the research team found that among women older than 45 to 50 years, hysterectomy did not lead to greater weight gain.

But they did find that overweight women, or those with a body mass index of between 25 and 30, were more likely to have hysterectomies.

"Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for future hysterectomies," says Fitzgerald.

"Weight gain is not an outcome of hysterectomies so women don't need to worry about that or fear that as a consequence," he added. (ANI)

Fitzgerald says there is a believe that pressure from extra bodyweight could lead to stress on the uterus.

"It is in line with other work showing that overweight and obesity leads to more chronic illnesses," he says.