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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 May;18(5):699-708. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1019.

A prospective study of weight gain after premenopausal hysterectomy.

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  • 1Department of Community and Family Medicine, Box 2949, Duke University Medical Center, 2424 Ervin Road, Suite 602, Durham, NC 27705, USA.



Many women who have had hysterectomies have the perception that they gained weight after surgery that cannot be attributed to changes in diet or physical activity. The purpose of this analysis was to assess weight gain in premenopausal women in the first year after hysterectomy compared with a control group of women with intact uteri and ovaries.


As part of a prospective cohort study designed to assess the risk for ovarian failure after premenopausal hysterectomy, weight was measured at baseline and 1-year follow-up in 236 women undergoing hysterectomy and 392 control women. Changes in measured weight and reported weight were assessed. Unconditional logistic regression analyses were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for weight gains of >10 pounds.


Women with hysterectomies weighed more and had a higher mean body mass index (BMI) than control women at baseline. Mean weight gain was 1.36 kg ( approximately 3 pounds) for women with hysterectomies vs. 0.61 kg ( approximately 1.3 pounds) for control women (p = 0.07). Weight gain of >10 pounds occurred in 23% of women with hysterectomies compared with 15% of control women (multivariable OR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.04 = 2.48).


Women undergoing hysterectomies appear to be at higher risk for weight gain in the first year after surgery. Heavier women and women who have had weight fluctuations throughout adulthood may be at greater risk for postsurgical weight gain, suggesting that lifestyle interventions to maintain or lose weight may be particularly helpful for these women in the months following hysterectomy.

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