Elective hysterectomy has become culturally patterned as a normal part of the life cycle with more than half of all American women destined for hysterectomy if current rates continue. In keeping with this widespread acceptance, both women and their doctors frequently express satisfaction with the operation. The sequelae that do occur appear to be serious in only a few women, though more minor disturbances do appear in a sizable number. Repeated or controlled studies indicate that hysterectomy may yield problems for some women in the following areas: rejection by male partners, hot flushes after conservation of ovarian tissue, severe hot flushes after ovariectomy, long-term psychourinary problems, weight changes, lingering fatigue and prolonged convalescence, painful intercourse, depression, sleep disturbances, and other psychiatric symptoms. Prospective studies using matched control groups are needed which follow patients at least 2 years postoperatively, as repeated studies have shown "sleeper effect" after hysterectomy with sequelae developing after the first 6 months or even after 1 year. The impact of varying surgical techniques and the long-term endocrine impact of hysterectomy need to be detailed as well as further study undertaken on the psychosomatic sequelae.