Hysterectomy could be seen as the ultimate answer to heavy periods, and also potentially for pelvic pain. If you want your periods to stop, to have no more bleeding, then hysterectomy can provide that outcome. It is, however, major surgery, and the decision to have a hysterectomy should not be taken lightly. There may be other options that will improve your periods without resorting to a hysterectomy, (as described in heavy periods) and the decision as to what is best for you is made by you following a full discussion of all the options.
It involves the removal of the uterus (womb) and usually the cervix (neck of the womb), and also usually the fallopian tubes. The ovaries are usually not removed unless there is a good reason to do so, so hormonal production remains the same.
There are essentially three ways to perform a hysterectomy; laparoscopically (key-hole), vaginal, or via a laparotomy (bigger abdominal incision). If appropriate, either a laparoscopic or a vaginal approach are the preferred options. A laparotomy is occasionally required, for large fibroids, or when other pathology is present.
There is a potential for complications with major surgery, importantly damage to other organs such as the bowel, bladder, or the ureters (the tubes from the kidneys to the bladder). Depending upon circumstances, the risks, as described in the literature are about 1-5%. Recovery is also longer than other more conservative options, requiring 6 weeks off work. The vast majority of those that made the decision to have a hysterectomy are very happy that they did.