Objectives: To investigate attitudes toward hysterectomy in women seeking care for pelvic organ prolapse.
Methods: Two hundred twenty women referred for evaluation of prolapse without evidence of previous hysterectomy were surveyed with the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Distress Inventory; the Control Preferences Scale; and questions regarding patients’ perception of the impact of hysterectomy on health, social life, and emotional well-being. Additional items presented hypothetical scenarios. Surveys were distributed in small batches until 100 responses were obtained from patients who met inclusion criteria.
Results: One hundred women with an intact uterus responded. Sixty percent indicated they would decline hysterectomy if presented with an equally efficacious alternative to a hysterectomy-based prolapse repair. The doctor’s opinion, risk of surgical complications, and risk of malignancy were the most important factors in surgical decision making.
Conclusions: Many women with prolapse prefer to retain their uterus at the time of surgery in the absence of a substantial benefit to hysterectomy. These findings should provide further impetus to investigate the efficacy of uterine-sparing procedures to help women make informed decisions regarding prolapse surgery.