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.
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.
Western 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|
|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|
|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.