Removal of the uterus increases a woman's risk of urinary incontinence, according to a Swedish study. The study conducted by the Karolinska Institutet shows that women who have had a hysterectomy are more than twice as likely to undergo surgery for urinary incontinence as women who have not had removal of the uterus.
The highest likelihood of incontinence surgery is within the first five years following the removal of the uterus, but the higher risk for incontinence remains throughout a woman's life. The risk is increased for women who have had a hysterectomy before menopause and for women who have had multiple vaginal deliveries.
Hysterectomy is sometimes the best treatment option - in the case of cancer, for instance - but doctors should educate women on these findings if the surgery is considered for more benign conditions.