Beverley Knight felt she had been hit with a ''thunderbolt'' when she was told she needed a hysterectomy.

The 44-year-old singer was forced to undergo the invasive procedure, which is the surgical removal of the uterus and can be the extraction of surrounding structures, after being diagnosed with Uterine Fibroids - muscular tumours that grow on the womb - in May this year.

And the star has admitted the moment she was told she needed to have the operation was a huge blow to her, as she realised she will ''never ever'' be able to have children, and though she ''never'' wanted to be a mother because of her busy work schedule she liked the fact she still had ''an option'' to have babies.

The 'Shoulda Woulda Coulda' hitmaker said: ''In February I was told I could die if I didn't have urgent medical treatment. I knew there was something wrong, and my stomach was so bloated I was convinced I was pregnant but the tests were all negative.

''To be told you need a hysterectomy is a thunderbolt, even at 44. I had never wanted children because I always felt my work was so full on I couldn't be the mother I wanted to be, but in the back of my mind there was always an option.

''Now everything was whirling: 'That's it. I am never, ever, going to give birth.' I came home in June, cancelled everything in my diary and had a hysterectomy.''

And after the operation Beverley returned to her home in Wolverhampton where she stayed with her mother, Deloris Smith, to recover.

Beverley - who is married to James O'Keefe - told Daily Mail's You magazine: ''When times are tough, home is the place I have to be. I was very poorly for several weeks and I just had to be in Wolverhamption with my mum.

''The surgeon didn't remove my ovaries so I wasn't pushed into menopause.''