Select Page

Hysterectomy May Not Be The Only Option For Many Women With Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain

February 4, 2015 – Experts Down The Hall – Barbara McGuirk

Source: Huffington Post – January 9, 2015

Women who have had hysterectomies for conditions such as uterine fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, or pelvic pain might not have needed the procedure.

According to recent research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers found as many as one in five reproductive-age women may not have needed a hysterectomy. They looked at women from 52 hospitals who had endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, and uterine fibroids and found that, while women 40 years old or younger were more likely to be offered alterative treatment options, 40% of the women in the study were not offered other treatments before their hysterectomy.

While the cause of endometriosis is unknown, one theory notes the lining of the uterus is shed through retrograde menstruation.

The researchers also analyzed tissue samples from women who had the procedure. Overall, they found performing a hysterectomy was unnecessary in as many as one in five women, and was highest among women with endometriosis and pelvic pain. Although the number of hysterectomies has declined by 36.4% since 2002, the procedure is still the most common performed gynecological surgery in the United States.

From Our Expert, Dr. Barbara McGuirk

“There are other alternative treatment options for these women.”

I estimate that between 30% and 40% of our patients with these gynecological issues have been offered a hysterectomy before coming to RADfertility. These patients are women who would like to be pregnant at some point, but can’t imagine having a hysterectomy because they don’t want to lose the option of pregnancy.

Unfortunately, some of these women are very young, in chronic pain, and are being told that hysterectomy is their only option. Our hope is that some of these women realize they have a fixable problem and find a physician who knows how to treat their issue. The women who come to RADfertility with these symptoms work very hard to find an answer, and often find us through a referral from another women’s health practice, or through word of mouth by actively talking about their problem with friends and loved ones.

What I tell my patients is that their uterus is not responsible for their pain; therefore, a hysterectomy would not provide relief. Through a detailed history and work-up, we’re able to make a thorough diagnosis at RADfertility for these women and find the source of their pain. We ask for comprehensive personal histories. We perform physical exams, which include a vaginal ultrasound. If a patient comes to us with abnormal or heavy bleeding, we will use a sonohysterography to examine the uterine cavity, which gives us a good sense of the health of their uterine lining.

We know from our evaluation how we need to treat our patients. All the gynecological issues in this study—chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and polyps—are identified through our work-up and can be treated with laparoscopic surgery. Our surgery is minimally invasive and we perform it with our patients’ future fertility in mind.

Prior to surgery, we suppress our patients with Lupron and we continue that suppression with add-back estrogen therapy after surgery. As our patients get closer to 40 years of age and when they know they’re finished building their family, I think that’s an appropriate point where a lot of patients would stop taking Lupron, and consider removing their ovaries and moving forward with a hysterectomy.

However, many women’s health professionals today still regularly offer hysterectomy to young women of pre-childbearing and childbearing age. If the field of women’s health is going to change how they recognize the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions, we have to start with training the residents and caregivers who will see these women in the future. We’re thrilled to be working with the residents because they will move on after their rotation at RADfertility to become great diagnosticians who critically think about their patients’ problems and how to treat them.

Learn more about how the surgeons at RADfertility can help women live without chronic pain by visiting our Endometriosis & Pelvic Pain Center.

More Patient Experience Resources

Patient Care Team

Meet RADfertility’s exceptional staff that goes above and beyond on many levels of patient care.

Top Fertility Doctors

Our four leading Delaware fertility doctors are board certified experts in their field who follow the golden rule of fertility care.

Leading Clinicians

Meet RADfertility's clinical team made up of compassionate and caring women who will be by your side every step of your journey to parenthood.

Read Our Blog

Inspiring community members that are making a difference to the latest news put in perspective for our patients.

Patient Stories

RADfertility's Seeds of Success program is founded on inspiring stories from men and women who found success at RADfertility.

Celebrating 25 Years

In August 1995, Dr. Barbara McGuirk founded Reproductive Associates, now RADfertility, and was soon joined by her partner, Dr. Ron Feinberg. See how we celebrated this special milestone!


Read our latest reviews written by RADfertility patients.


If you are looking to join an enthusiastic team that has helped thousands of families grow, check out our current job listings.

Peggy Sue O.


"I feel so lucky to have found RADfertility. I tried two other clinics before I expanded my search and found RADfertility. I drive an hour each way to go to them but I don’t regret a thing. They are so caring and so professional. Every time I message them they respond quickly. Every time I see them they have a friendly smile and warm welcome. They explain everything so well and I never feel lost in the process as I did elsewhere. They also took the time to figure out what was wrong. Other clinics threw up their hands, said 'I don’t know' and pushed me to try IVF."



"Dr. Feinberg and the entire staff at RADfertility are absolutely amazing. The receptionists, coordinators, nurses, and lab staff are compassionate, caring, and straight forward. I’ve had a 12-year infertility journey and I’ve tried other clinics but RADfertility was the only one I felt at ease with. They answered any questions that I had and were there any time I needed them. My coordinator, Amy, was the absolute best and always had my back. Dr. Feinberg’s dedication to his patients is incredible. You are not just a number there, you are a person with individualized needs and care."

Anupama P.


"The RADfertility team gives you so much emotional support and positivity that it adds to your strength and keeps you focused on the end goal - a healthy and happy baby."

Samantha G.


"My journey with RADfertility and Dr. McGuirk started when my husband and I were trying to conceive and were having difficulty. We went to RADfertility, where we met Dr. McGuirk. I always say she changed my life and 'fixed' me. Dr. McGuirk is always learning more about endometriosis and how to help her patients. She’s brilliant and truly cares for you! I’m eternally grateful to her and everyone at RADfertility for their unwavering support, love, and care."

Annette D.


"Every step of our journey was tailored to us. We were treated so respectfully. Every detail was clearly explained and we felt so comfortable. Rhonda Wright was a Godsend and inspiring. I highly recommend this place! I cried when my weekly appointments were done and I 'graduated.'"

Amy W.


"The day I met Dr. Neithardt I knew she was the perfect doctor for me. Dr. Neithardt was so compassionate every step of the way. She held my hand, she hugged away tears, and continued to give me hope. There are not enough 'thank you's' in the world for Dr. Neithardt and the whole RADfertility team who will forever have a special place in my heart."

Shannon M.


"RADfertility's staff has heart and provided me with exceptional health care. I knew I was in good hands and felt like we were in this together. The doctors and nursing staff always answered all of my questions and provided thorough information about all of my options. I am so fortunate and appreciative of the care that I received at RADfertility. They go above and beyond."

Megan L.


"I cannot begin to explain how wonderful RADfertility is. We were frustrated with trying to start a family and it not working for us. The entire team of doctors and nurses made us feel comfortable and hopeful that we would be parents. We experienced so many ups and downs but we never felt like we were on our IVF journey alone, we had our RADfertility team every step of the way. If you're looking for a supportive team on the IVF journey, look no further. RADfertility is the absolute best."

Anonymous on FertilityIQ


"Dr. Schillings always kept us informed and never gave up on us. She always explained our options and risks with each procedure. She called us personally when there were any issues or sensitive subjects to cover. Dr. Schillings was the first doctor that had answers for us and wanted to help us have our miracle baby!"

Newark Office

4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Medical Arts Pavilion 2
Suite 3217
Newark, DE 19713

Wilmington Office

Silverside Medical Center
2700 Silverside Road, Suite 2A
Wilmington, DE 19810

Dover Office

Eden Hill Medical Center
200 Banning Street, Suite 240
Dover, DE 19904


Phone: (302) 602-8822

Fax: (302) 602-8832

©RADfertility 2021