Peggy O'MaraPeggy O'Mara
Editor and Publisher
Mothering Magazine

Saving the Whole Woman is a one of a kind book. It provides natural, helpful solutions for women and takes away the stigma often associated with pelvic floor problems. The original research in this book could be lifesaving.


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Yoga Bundle

Whole Woman Yoga® is a gentle but challenging exercise program that is pelvic organ support friendly and draws on female energies.

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Why Kegels Don't Work

Some Additional Thoughts on Hysterectomy

There are many reasons women seek or are persuaded to have hysterectomy. Endometriosis, fibroids and heavy bleeding are probably the three most common presenting complaints for which hysterectomy is advised by doctors.

Endometriosis is a condition where the cells that line the uterus, and shed every month during menstration, migrate to other parts of the abdominal cavity causing acute pain.

There is evidence that endometriosis is caused by an excess of estrogen in the system. There are a number of things you can do to mitigate this.

Changing your diet to aid in elimination and avoiding constipation is important. Seaweeds such as dulse, nori and wakame are very good binders for estrogen to be carried out of the system.

Emphasizing phytoestrogens (plant based estrogens) like red clover, alfalfa, soy and other legumes, and whole wheat will help because they latch on to estrogen receptors and prevent many of the dozens of estrogens from binding, and instead allowing them to be flushed out. A diet emphasizing phytoestrogens is also anti inflammatory which will help as well.

It should go without saying that taking supplemental estrogen either for birth control or estrogen replacement therapy comes with great risk.

Fibroids are always benign and are fed by estrogen. They are ubiquitous in women and shrink naturally at menopause. Some doctors use the presence of fibroids as a scare tactic to convince women to have surgery.

Get a second or third opinion. They are not life threatening and hysterectomy can definitely be quality of life threatening.

Heavy bleeding is common in women transitioning through menopause. Having a heavy, thirty day bleed can be frightening.

Doctors will often raise the specter of anemia from blood loss. I personally went through two heavy, thirty day bleeds and at the end of each, my uterus was noticably smaller and my prolapse was reduced.

It is clear to me that at menopause, the uterus purges itself. Bear with it. The uterus you save will likely be your own.

Christine

About Hysterectomy

Tragically, the Western medical system treats hysterectomy as a minor, routine surgery. It's neither minor nor routine.

Imagine a bicycle wheel. The outer rim holds the tire and is connected by a number of thin spokes to the hub, which is secured in the frame of the bicycle. The spokes can be thin because collectively they carry the load imposed on them. If you remove the hub of a bicycle wheel, it will just collapse. So it is with the pelvic organ support system.Bicycle Wheel

The uterus is like the hub of the wheel. All the major pelvic ligaments attach to it. When it is cut out, a hard muscle the size of a fist has been removed, and the organs readjust to fill the void left by the uterus.

Time BombWestern medicine treats the uterus like a time bomb that may become cancerous and therefore should be removed. Testicular cancer is fairly common, but it is unlikely you will hear a urologist suggesting that a man’s testicles should be removed “just in case”.

Just some of the often devastating side effects of hysterectomy include:

Severe pelvic pain Lifelong urinary self-catheterization
Back, hip and leg pain Urinary tract infection
Sexual dysfunction Rectal/colon spasms
Fistula (a hole between the vagina and bladder or vagina and rectum) Recurring and intractable prolapse
Chronic constipation Lifelong lifting restrictions
Mesh erosion and migration Progressive musculoskeletal changes
Urinary frequency Weakness
Slow urine stream Adhesions
Bladder spasms Personality changes
Chronic bladder inflammation Premature aging
Urinary and fecal incontinence Severe hormonal imbalance
Sexual non-function Emotional devastation
Hemorrhoids Chronic depression
Rigid vagina Vaginal air

This list, taken directly from a major hysterectomy support site, are issues that women posted on the forum seeking help.

If your doctor is recommending hysterectomy, understand that this is a profoundly life-changing event. If prolapse is why you are considering hysterectomy, be aware that research shows you are five times more likely to experience prolapse after hysterectomy than before.

Hysterectomy is Major Invasive Surgery

Some of the support calls we get from women who are post-hysterectomy and discover they now have a recurrence of prolapse are heart breaking. After surgery your options are limited: either learn to live with your condition as best you can, or start down the surgical slippery slope.

The hard reality is that none of the pelvic surgeries work. They may hold for a few years, but once they fail, each succeeding surgery will be more invasive than the last. Ultimately, gynecologists recommend “obliterating the vagina” (the technical term) which means just sewing the vagina shut. Unfortunately, even this doesn’t always work, as we have spoken with women who have had this surgery fail and had sections of their small intestines eviscerate through their re-opened vagina.

Many women who struggle post-hysterectomy, in spite of their own experience, will be staunch supporters of the procedure.

Seek Out the Many Legitimate Alternatives

There are many conditions for which women seek hysterectomy. There are alternative strategies for most conditions that would lead a woman to hysterectomy. I strongly urge you to investigate those before taking this step. Alternative treatments are useful experiments to see what can help. Surgery is not an experiment. It is a decision you will have to live with the rest of your life.

You may find our interview with Nora Coffey, founder of the H.E.R.S. Foundation, and tireless anti-hysterectomy advocate and counsellor, to be helpful.

If you are post- hysterectomy, many of our post hysterectomy customers have found that the Whole Woman Yoga - The First Wheel DVD has been useful for them. Whether pre- or post-hysterectomy, it is essential that you understand your situation anatomically and understand the Whole Woman posture.

If prolapse is what is leading you to consider hysterectomy, I strongly urge you to try every possible alternative. You need your uterus for your whole life, not just your childbearing years.