Hysterectomy experience among mid-aged Australian women

Med J Aust. 1994 Sep 5;161(5):311-3. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1994.tb127452.x.


Objectives: To determine the rate of oophorectomy in, use of hormone replacement therapy by, and health, social and lifestyle factors of, mid-aged Australian women who have undergone hysterectomy.

Design and participants: A community-based cross-sectional survey by telephone interview of a random sample of 2001 Australian-born Melbourne women aged between 45 and 55 years.

Main outcome measures: The health status, sociodemographic and lifestyle correlates of women who had undergone hysterectomy compared with women in the natural menopause transition.

Results: Twenty-two per cent of the women had undergone hysterectomy. Of these, 21% had had one ovary removed, and 20% both. Mean age at hysterectomy was 40.4 years. There was no trend in the bilateral oophorectomy rate over the last two decades. Current hormone replacement therapy use increased significantly with surgery, from 17% of non-hysterectomised women to 31% of hysterectomised women, and 49% for women who had undergone hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy. Hysterectomised women were significantly more likely to be of lower educational level, and to report a history of troublesome premenstrual complaints, more dilatation and curettage procedures and nongynaecological operations, and use of prescription medications.

Conclusions: Social and pre-existing health problems influence hysterectomy rates. Many women undergo oophorectomy at hysterectomy despite limited evidence of benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Dilatation and Curettage
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Menarche
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovariectomy
  • Smoking