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After hysterectomy for vaginal cancer

Women discussing vaginal cancer

This page has information to help you cope if you have to have your womb removed (hysterectomy) due to vaginal cancer.

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

After hysterectomy

If you need to have your womb removed (hysterectomy) for cancer of the vagina, it can be difficult to deal with. Many women feel a great sense of loss or feel less feminine after hysterectomy. If you are young and had wanted to have or complete a family this can be a great loss.

It might help to talk things over with your specialist nurse, a counsellor, or other women who have been through similar experiences. You may find other women who feel as you do through your local cancer support group. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel you'd like counselling. You can also find forums to share experiences online.

There is more information about sex and fertility in the coping with cancer section.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the living with vaginal cancer section.

 

 

Your feelings

Most women with vaginal cancer are older and have had their menopause. Even so, having to have your womb removed can be a shock. Many women feel a great sense of loss if they have to have a hysterectomy. Some women find the operation makes them feel less feminine. It may take you some time to get over these feelings and you might find it helpful to talk things through with your close family and friends.

 

Losing your fertility

If you are young and wanted to have a child or to complete your family, a hysterectomy can be very difficult to cope with. Even if you were not planning to have any children in the future, the loss of your fertility can be quite a shock. It is the end of a particular phase of your life. You will have all the feelings that come with a natural change of life, as well as having to cope with a diagnosis of cancer. There is information about sex and fertility in the section about coping with cancer.

 

Finding support

Help and support is available if you need it. It may help you to share your worries or sense of loss with other women who have been through similar experiences. You may be able to find other women who feel as you do through your local cancer support group. It might help to talk things over with your specialist gynaecological oncology nurse or a counsellor. You can look at our counselling organisations or vaginal cancer organisations pages for organisations that can put you in touch with someone to talk to.

If you want to find people to share experiences with online, you could use CancerChat, our online forum. Or go through My Wavelength. This is a free service that aims to put people with similar medical conditions in touch with each other.

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Updated: 14 October 2013