If you have been told by your OBGYN that you should have a hysterectomy, you probably have mixed thoughts. On one hand, you want to follow your doctor's advice, and you hope the procedure gives you relief from the symptoms you've been experiencing. On the other hand, you may have heard some negative things about hysterectomies that make you a bit scared to go through with the procedure. Here's the good news. Many of those negative statements simply are not true. Take a look.

Myth 1: Having a hysterectomy will put you into menopause.

If you're not quite at the age when you'd go through menopause naturally, you may be avoiding a hysterectomy because you don't want to go into it. However, this only happens if both of your ovaries are removed along with your uterus during the procedure.

Usually, unless there is a reason to remove both ovaries, your doctor will leave at least one in place so that your hormone levels remain normal after surgery. You won't have a uterus, so you won't have a period, but you also won't develop the symptoms of menopause until your body naturally reaches this stage.

Myth 2: You won't be able to have intercourse after a hysterectomy. 

The procedure removes your uterus, but it should not affect your vaginal canal. Once you have healed, you will be able to have intercourse normally. Your sex hormone levels should not change as long as your ovaries are retained, so your sex drive should not change radically, either.

Myth 3: It takes many months to recover from a hysterectomy.

This may have been true many years ago when hysterectomies were performed through large incisions in the abdomen. However, these days, doctors often perform the procedure through the vagina, which results in smaller incisions that heal a lot faster.

You might stay in the hospital for a day or two, and you'll probably need about one to two weeks off from work. Full recovery takes about a month. During most of this time, you can slowly resume your normal activities as long as you avoid heavy lifting.

Myth 4: A hysterectomy will lead to vaginal prolapse.

This myth probably originated because women who suffered from vaginal prolapse prior to a hysterectomy continued to suffer from the same problem afterward. Thankfully, surgical techniques have improved greatly, and surgeons are now careful to correct this issue if they discover it during surgery. A hysterectomy won't cause prolapse if you do not already have trouble with prolapse. 

If you have any further concerns or questions about the procedure, contact a surgical gynecology service.