A case control study compared the bowel habit of 91 post-hysterectomy women with paired controls from the same family doctor practice. More cases had an abnormal bowel frequency, a firmer stool consistency and assessed themselves as having abnormal bowel function, predominantly constipation after hysterectomy, than controls. Significantly more cases than controls had consulted a doctor because of constipation but there was no significant difference in laxative usage. There was a significant short-term association between decreased bowel frequency and increased urinary frequency after hysterectomy. This became highly significant in those patients who developed chronic symptoms. Oophorectomy, unilateral or bilateral, did not significantly affect bowel habit other than to intensify the change in stool consistency. The hypothesis is discussed that the post-hysterectomy effects on bowel and bladder function may have a common aetiology in a degree of autonomic denervation of both viscera.