Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday, March 23, 2011. The media remains focused on her legendary life, but Elizabeth Taylor was also 1 out of 3 women who was hysterectomized, and 1 out of 3 women who died from heart disease. Women who undergo hysterectomy before the age of 50 have a 3X greater incidence of heart disease than women who do not undergo hysterectomy. Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in the U.S. (CDC, Heart Disease Facts and Statistics, 2008).
An extraordinary, talented actress, Taylor was best known for her hot, steamy sexy roles in films like Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer and Cleopatra. It is notable the list of “Key films in the career of Elizabeth Taylor” published by Reuters today ended with two films, “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Reflections in a Golden Eye”, both released in 1967, one year before she underwent a hysterectomy. Taylor continued to be headline news long after her steamy roles ended, which was soon after her hysterectomy in 1968.
Elizabeth Taylor had a back problem due to an accident when she was a child. The back problems she suffered with became more prominently referred to after the hysterectomy. It is not surprising since back pain is reported as one of the most common problems women experience after hysterectomy. Taylor also developed many of the other problems known to be caused by the surgery, including the need for three hip replacements.
The long, passionate love affair between Taylor and Richard Burton ended in divorce two years after the surgery. The loss of sexual feeling commonly experienced by hysterectomized women might, in part, explain why their marriage ended. They remarried, and again it ended in divorce. Not long after the surgery it was often reported that she was addicted to drugs, alcohol, and physically unable to work.
Taylor died this week, and her fame will follow her beyond the pale. We will never know what this iconic figures career and life might have been if she had not been hysterectomized at age 36. She was extraordinary, but she was also an ordinary woman who experienced great difficulties in a very public way.
It was as if after Elizabeth Taylor’s hysterectomy life was frozen, like watching a film that suddenly hangs on one frame.
When you would look at Elizabeth Taylor you could tell she had alot of health problems. I am sure her life after the surgery was not a good one. I wonder if she knew all her problems were from the hysterectomy? I am sure if she complained she was told it was all in her head. What a shame that doctors would do this to a 36 year old woman or to any woman!
I think about how much she could have done if she was not given this life altering surgery. What could any of us have accomplished if we didn't have health problems?
What's sad is the doctors doing this to women don't even care. All they see is dollar bills and how many more cars and houses they can buy.
I can NOT believe that you are blaming Elizabeth Taylor's death to her hysterectomy! She lived to be 79 years old and had a series of health problems and I am pretty positive that all of them were NOT from her having a hysterectomy!
I happen to know quite a few women that have had hysterectomy's and are FINE! They have NOT gained weight, they actually have a better sex life and are NOT nuts! Your website makes a hysterectomy seem like a death sentence! I guess it is better to die of cancer and go through chemo then to have a hysterectomy.
I think it is horrible that you post only the negative effects and not any positive effects of having the procedure. Yes as with any surgery there are going to be complications and NOT every woman is the same, however there are many women that have hysterectomy's that live VERY full and happy lives, why is it you don't have any stat's on them?!
*Note* Please do not post as "anonymous", use an alias so that people can follow your comments. Comments posted as anonymous will be given an alias and reposted.
My Mom and two Aunts had hysterectomies in their late 30’sand had exactly the same problems as Ms Taylor. Well accept for the alcohol problem. My cousins and I are all in our 60’s now and refused hysterectomies. We watched put Mother suffer to the the end of life. We are all healthy with no problems. Doctors have tried to give us hysterectomies fir various reasons. We have refused. None of those problems like cysts etc have been debilitating. Most resolved on their own.
Many hysterectomys not all are going to effect hips and spine depending on removal of everything o have had rapid like Elizabeth and suffer terrible with spine and lots of other parts of my body some ppl ego dnt experience are just ignorant to woman that really do suffer after total rapid hysterectomy and everything removed does cause on going sexual issues pure ignorance just like most doctors wnt admit the horrendous effects after in life I have major mobility problems now aged 45 so if your not dealing with it yourself I guess your just blinded by ignorance
Nora W Coffey says
The only “blame” regarding the many physical problems Elizabeth Tayor had after her female organs were removed sits squarely on the shoulders of the gynecologist who did not inform her before he hysterectomized her of the damaging effects of hysterectomy. She went from the very sexy lead actor in “A Place in the Sun” 1951, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1958, “Butterfield 8” in 1960. After her hysterectomy in 1968 she was no longer cast in as the sexy lead actor in movies.
Since HERS shined a spotlight on the adverse, damaging effects of hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and castration (removal of the ovaries), millions of women are coming forward to share their very personal experiences in the hope that they can save other women from the irreversible, permanent effect of the surgery. Kudos to every woman who is dedicated to helping other women by telling the truth about their own experience. They have saved millions more women from lifelong suffering by giving them the honest, straight forward facts about the damaging consequences of removing the female organs.
HERS Foundation says
Janet, neither the blog post or comment suggest that everything Elizabeth Taylor experienced was from being hysterectomized.
The women you know who have been hysterectomized may appear to you to be fine, but most of the problems caused by hysterectomy are not apparent by looking at someone.
If a woman's sex life is improved by having her sex organs removed, perhaps she never experienced orgasm, so she has not experienced a loss. You can only lose what you have. Sex would only be better if a woman had severe pain during sex, and the surgery relieved her pain.
Elizabeth Taylor was not hysterectomized for cancer, and less than 2% of hysterectomies are performed for confirmed cancer. 98% of hysterectomies are not life saving, and are unwarranted.
The usual complications of any major surgery are infection, blood clot or death.
The adverse effects of hysterectomy are not "complications" of surgery, they are damage caused by removal of the female organs. You can learn more about why this occurs by watching this video "Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs" at http://www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy.
Janet, you really need to educate yourself about the importance of the ovaries, uterus and cervix. The ovaries produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as a small amount of androgen, a male hormone, all of which produce sexual desire and overall feeling of well-being. The uterus is a hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ that supports the bladder and the bowel. The uterus produces a hormone prostacyclin which protects women against cardiovascular heart disease. The importance of the uterus goes on and on. Just one of the many functions of the ovaries and uterus is cardiovascular protection. So yes, Elizabeth Taylor's death could have been due to her hysterectomy. The cervix is studded with nerve endings which can give women intensely pleasurable feelings as the penis taps these nerve endings. When a cervix is removed, a man can almost always tell the difference.
Tell a man that you want to remove his gonads and part of his penis because he has a benign growth. I believe a doctor would never suggest this to a man, but look at the women who have their gonads (ovaries) removed.
There will be women around you who will tell you that it was the best thing that they ever did. Some women can't face the truth so don't count on hysterectomized women you know telling you what really has happened to them. They are embarrassed to admit that they were tricked into having something so horrible happen to them. I know because I almost became one of these women who didn't want to speak up. I didn't want to embarassed me or my family. My family are now my biggest supporters and I thank God for that because some families will critize the hysterectomized woman. Some women don't connect their health problems to their surgery because it could be years later.
Not only does this surgery affect your sexual enjoyment, but your health, family life, marriage and career. The majority of hysterectomized women will end up losing their job because they are not able to keep up the pace as before their surgery.
This is what happened to me. I had two small sons when I went to cosmetology school. I wanted to work five years and then open my own salon up. After five years I was excited about doing just that, but, I made a mistake and had a physical where the doctor found a pea-sized fibroid. He said it was a cyst and I could get cancer. I trusted what he was telling me. BIG MISTAKE! Since day one after the surgery I have been sick with many health problems. I worked part-time for another 5 years, but had to give up the career I had always dreamed about.
The HERS Foundation would never tell you what to do. They are there to guide you and give you the correct information unlike your doctor will do. Women call HERS to find out information as to why they are feeling so sick like I did.
I have to say Janet that the women I have talked to at the HERS Conferences and local women have nothing positive to say about their life after the surgery. But, if you want to start a foundation about women who have positive things to say about their surgery that would be great!
Mad as Hell says
The large number of hysterectomy support forums on the web says a lot about women's struggles after this surgery.
I'm only five years out from being de-sexed by my ob/gyn of 20 years and two gyn residents for a BENIGN ovarian cyst. Like 98% of hysterectomized women, I did NOT have cancer although my gyn used cancer scare tactics to get me into the Operating Room. It's been five years of hell! In the last year, I've developed back and hip pain which awakens me during the night and causes tingling in my legs and feet. I hate what this surgery has done to my life and health. I aged 10-15 years overnight. I worry daily about all the health problems I will likely develop during the rest of my life. I used to think I'd live a long, healthy life like the intact women in my family. Now, I know I won't.
Women need to know the medically documented facts about hysterectomy and oophorectomy so they can make an informed decision.
I'm so sorry and sad for women suffering from having a hysterectomy. PLEASE don't stop yelling at the top of your lungs about this madness. I was one who listened and had to go through six doctors and travel hundreds of miles to find a skilled surgeon who agreed my uterus was worth saving. I am now recovering from a myomectomy last week. I would never have even KNOWN to look for this option if were not for HERS.
So THANK YOU and don't let anyone shut you down.
Had a 10 cm benign fibroid
And by the way… The myomectomy was a breeze. I have concluded that it was so hard to find a surgeon to do it because a myomectomy is longer surgery thus more trouble and risks for those WITHOUT the skill (or desire to obtain the skill).
Once I found someone with the skill , it was "no problem". The other doctors just shook their heads and said "no way", instead of helping me see other options, even though it would mean cash walking out the door.
When my long time doc realized he could not talk me into a hysterectomy he said "Keep your damned uterus" and walked out the door.
Thank God for doctors like Dennis Eisenberg in Texas who are not afraid to do the right thing.
Mad as Hell says
I'm so glad you persevered and were saved from the horror of hysterectomy! I can't believe the resistance I get when I try to warn women. I'm oftentimes accused of scaring them but every woman should be "scared" of losing her uterus (and/or ovaries). I know I've saved at least a few women but I had to keep at them especially when women post saying "it's the best thing I ever did" or "I haven't had any problems" etc. Hmmm…I wonder why they're on hysterectomy support forums!
Your long time doc who tried to bully you into hysterectomy deserves scathing ratings on all the doctor rating and business listing websites! This is a great way of speaking out and warning other women.
A woman on one forum said that her gyn keeps telling her she'd have a great figure if she would just have a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy will only make her figure worse as her spine compresses and her hip bones widen causing a protruding belly and frozen pelvis.
Mad as Hell says
If you had insurance, did you have to fight your insurance company to pay for the myomectomy versus hysterectomy?
I know Blue Cross Blue Shield of CA lost a case where a woman wanted an ovarian cyst removed via cystectomy. BCBS was going to cover an oophorectomy by a network doctor but not a cystectomy by a non-network doctor. She fought and won. BCBS had to pay 100% for the cystectomy in addition to a fine.
It's time the insurance companies revise their authorization process and reimbursement rates to favor organ preservation.
Mad as Hell –
My Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma covered it. Maybe that CA case sent a precedent.
Mad as Hell says
Was your surgeon in-network? In the CA case, the surgeon who did the cystectomy was out-of-network. The patient couldn't find an in-network doctor to do a cystectomy; they all wanted to remove the ovary.
To Janet and others who promote unnecessary surgery for women: I spoke to a politician who had asked a medical director why so many unnecessary hysterectomies are performed, and he said that if they stopped them, that the gynecologists would go out of business. Wake up ladies! You are being had. If you don't see anything wrong with these quacks removing the uterus of nearly half the female population in the U.S., then either you are stupid or you are stupid.
Mad as Hell says
Ironically, the Missouri Board of Healing Arts has the following Edmund Burke quote in their document on "Preventing Prescription Fraud."
“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”
Yet they continue to turn a blind eye to the fraud of hysterectomy. In any other industry, the states' Attorney Generals would be taking action.
Mad as Hell says
I meant to post the link to the document on prescription drug fraud that contains the quote I posted – http://pr.mo.gov/boards/healingarts/scams.pdf (sixth edition)
Janet, have you ever seen an informed consent for hysterectomy? The thing is, Janet, is that there is a direct correlation between the HERS information and the pre-surgical informed consent process. You see, for example, when the informed consent lists prolapse as a possible complication, its' legal purpose is to warn you of the immediate and continued risk to bowel, bladder, and vagina. Likewise, again for example, when the informed consent lists depression, its' legal purpose is to warn you of the immediate and continued risk that hysterectomy can bring to one's mental well being. And, yes, it is widely accepted that depression is associated with a host of illnesses.
Janet, the informed consent legal warnings were not put in place without sound reasons. In addition to the HERS female anatomy video, there is expert medical literature available at the non profit HERS Foundation site that documents what HERS maintains. In truth, I find that HERS but elaborates and explains that which too much of the medical profession would prefer kept quiet.
Personally, I would have liked to have known, before my surgery!, that the removal of the ovaries, the female gonads, is castration.
In my opinion, it is the wide gulf between what is generally the norm in the legal proceeding of the hysterectomy informed consent versus what a lay person truly needs to know that is one of the primary reasons that the HERS Foundation is so desperately needed. Further, given that our doctors represent themselves as our medical advocates, I feel that what is legally required should better reflect true medical advocacy as opposed to being mere practitioner protective legalese.
As to the women that you know who are "fine" post hysterectomy? Consider that not being "intact," or, that being castrated, is not something that they wish to advertise…or, perhaps, even to admit to themselves. What I have found illuminating is to personally compare, within the same age groups and risk factors, overall health between the intact and those not intact. Btw, I have yet to have this, admittedly, unscientific comparison to defy the very scientific medical research on HERS' site.
I'm pretty sure he was in network. All I asked the doctor's office was to find out if the surgery would be covered and they came back with a yes, but only up to a certain amount, which to me was embarrassingly low for such a surgery- $1100 for the doctor. I wonder if that's all they allow for a hysterectomy? It doesnt seem to be a price to encourage doctors to promote myomectomy. Am I off thinking $1100 is not enough for. 1.5 hour intensive surgery? I understand hysterectomy only takes 20 min.
Castrated and Lost Spunk Ever Since says
I know a woman at work who says she had a hysterectomy and her ovaries removed years back. She says it was the best thing she ever did….And yet, she has a blank affect, stares at the wall for minutes on end, is very slow cognitively, is very passive and sluggish, has lost her hair and her 'spunk'…she does not relate the fact that all she suffers from is caused by her hysterectomy/castration….some women just are not astute enough to relate the major 'coincidences' or they have been told so many times by their Doctors that it is just 'all in your head' and ' I haven't heard of that before, you need an antidepressant' that they too begin to believe it. Stanford Medical Center knows the effect of female castration on women's cognitive functions….they also know the lack of the hormones cause medical issues as well as suicidal thoughts. They have researched it. It is time for women to be protected in the Conventional Medical Community. Hysterectomy is named after the old thought process in the Medical Community that the uterus roams around the woman's body causing her to be hysterical. Though the Drs now know the uterus does not roam around the body, they seem to still think women are hysterical and not to be listened to. Some years back the Medical Community used to think a Lobotomy helped 'calm' women who would 'nag' their husbands, now they just perform a hysterectomy and/or castrate them so they have no life in them to speak up…Sad, very sad, and very scary how women are treated in the Conventional Medical Community!
Mad as Hell says
My insurance company, Cigna, paid my gyn $1000 to hysterectomize and castrate me for a benign ovarian cyst. And Cigna evidently didn't care what organs were removed because the authorization was actually for a hysterectomy. From the operative report, it looks like my surgery took 55 minutes (D/T). Two gyn residents assisted. The surgery would have been shorter if they hadn't waited for the frozen section. Not sure why they bothered waiting because even though it was benign, they proceeded to remove the other ovary, fallopian tubes, uterus and cervix. And despite a vertical incision, my uterus was removed through my vagina. I suspect this was to give the gyn residents experience with vaginal hysterectomy since this seems to be the more popular method. All that SHOULD HAVE been removed was the cyst (cystectomy).
Mad as Hell says
That is PART of the problem – insurance reimbursement rates oftentimes favor organ removal. But I have to also believe that many of these gyns have sociopath personalities. What normal person would castrate another person? The ACLU has deemed castration "cruel and unusual punishment" for sex offenders yet gynecologists castrate 73% of women at the time of hysterectomy. And, hysterectomy (with ovary preservation) oftentimes causes symptoms of castration as well as many other health problems.
Luckily, you found HERS and didn't fall into the hysterectomy trap!
As for the comment that said "If a woman's sex life is improved by having her sex organs removed, perhaps she never experienced orgasm, so she has not experienced a loss. You can only lose what you have. Sex would only be better if a woman had severe pain during sex, and the surgery relieved her pain."
I have to disagree that this is a fact. Yes Im sure it is true that many woman have been wrongly hysterectomized and have suffered for it but I am not one of them. I am 33 years old and have had health problems of back and hip pain, no sex drive and constantly sick and tired for years now. I eat a healthy gluten, dairy, sugar free diet and exercize regulary. a few years ago I really began to suffer with womanly issues of pain and bleeding. My uterus was swollen and I was thought to have and infection which was never helped by antibiotics. After years of suffering I was scared to death but finally agreed to have a hysterectomy since nothing else I had tried was working. I am now appx 3 months post surgery. I kept one ovary and tube and my sex life is better then ever. I never had pain with sex before surgery. I always had intense wonderful orgasms before and I still do. Only now I actually have a huge sex drive. I also have a ton of energy now as well as less back and hip pain. I am now able to exercize more and have lost 12 pounds already. I feel better then ever. Heart disease already runs in my family so I make sure to eat healthy and exercize. I will also monitor my hormones and take bioidentical hormones as needed. The hysterectomy has changed my life for the better. and yes I am sure it has drawbacks to but I would rather live my life pain free with a healthy sex drive then to live in misery as I was. Even if it may mean my life is shortened due to heart disease. At least I am able to LIVE now….
I have to add that my kids and husband have made several comments to me since surgery saying It's like I am a whole new person. I am not in pain all the time anymore and hubby said it's like Im 18 again. He has been with me since I was a teen so he has seen all that I have been through. We are all so happy that I have come out of surgery so much better. I am not saying this surgery is for all women. But it does help some of us.
It all sickens me.
We must keep the education going.
Hopefully things are changing- I'm a sign they are. -Bobbie
Sorry Kat- I wasn't referring to your story sickening me.
That is great you are doing do well 3 months out. Hope it continues!!!
HERS Foundation says
Kat, uterine contractions that occur during orgasm cannot occur without a uterus. A small number of women, about 7%, report feeling slight vaginal wall contractions after hysterectomy. It is nothing like the whole body orgasm felt with uterine contractions, but better than no feeling at all.
Your experience is your experience. Perhaps there is some way that you are still experiencing uterine orgasm without your uterus, much as someone who had theirs leg amputated would be able to walk as they did before.
You are right, my experience is only my experience and every woman is different.
No I do not have uterine contractions with orgasm any longer but I still have a wonderful whole body orgasm with vaginal contractions.
I am glad you are here informing women of the risks of surgery. It is horrible that so many woman are uninformed and unecessarily given surgery. I was very informed. I did a lot of research, read on HERS site and even spoke with Nora Coffee for advice. I weighed all my options and decided upon surgery.
Thank you for having a site to warm women of the risks. I believe however that anyone saying (no you did not say this but I have heard it before) that all health problems post hysterectomy are caused by the removal of organs is almost the same as trying to say that absolutely no problems are caused by the removal of organs. I believe both statements to be untrue. There are two sides to every story. There is good and bad. Pros and cons. Every woman should know both sides to make an educated decision.
I simply wanted others to know that I am a case that has not turned out horrible. I actually have a better quality of life now as I am no longer in constant pain and am able to do more with my family now. I am saddened to know that so many woman do not turn out like I have and that is why your site is necessary to educate women of the risks… Thanks for the info:)
Thank you very much for your site and blog. Your information is so important. My close relative had this procedure…The consequences is terrible (and its consequences was growing tendency with the lapse of time…
I love your activity (I am from Ukraine)
In our organism there is a interconnection between organs and system… First of all you need to work with your mentality in order to recover from ANY disease …
I did and I could
I think the blanket blame you place on Taylor's surgery for every problem she had is irresponsible. Having said that, I know that hyster is traumatic to a woman's body but something that would help all women in this regard is information and education. That is lacking everywhere including here. Yes, I watched the video, but it barely said anything. You are not an informational resource, you are an advocate for informed consent, which is fine, but women need much more information. Not only information to make the decision, but if they choose the surgery, to know how best to take care of their health afterwards.
I had the surgery, and I can tell you there was no choice. My fibroid took up my whole uterus, and caused me to be homebound for 5 years due to anemia, pain and bleeding. So what was my alternative? You don't offer any alternative to hyster. Give women a solid, curative, permanant alternative and they'll be flocking there.
I'm almost 6 mos past hyster. My stomach is flatter than it's been in 10 years. My colon is in better shape, I'm no longer eating bottles of tums. Yes, my body is different and of course it's damaged. You can't rip someones uterus out and all the ligaments and nerves and tissues, without damaging the body. But I need to know what has happened to me to be aware of any future problems that crop up. No one provides any cmprehensive information. In addition, the subject of sex always comes up so there's a lot of confusion there as well. Why not offer information on that. Not one liners, but real information.
Lastly, I have to say that it's also not a good idea to talk about hyster as it there's just one. Some of us just remove the uterus, some the uterus cervix and ovaries. The information on HERS should be separated so that it's clear what is attributed to what. Scaring a woman and saying her bones will compress and belly stick out is not helping anyone. Bones won't compress in the spine unless there's some kind of severe osteoporosis or age related loss of disc material, I imagine. And women after natural menopause have to deal with hormone imbalance just like we do. What role can hormone replacement play in helping us? Or exercise?
I'd like to see a day when hormones receive more attention. I wouldn't have had my fibroids unless I was out of whack somehow. What about my thyroid? My adrenals? Why can't we cure women without cutting them? I hope to see that day.
HERS Foundation says
Louise, if you read HERS post again you will see that it refers to some of the ailments and problems Elizabeth Taylor had that are known to be caused by hysterectomy, but nowhere does it attribute all of her problems to the surgery.
For detailed information and education go to http://www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy and watch the video "Female Antaomy: the Functions of the Female Organs".
You should also go to HERS Home page and read the "Fact Sheets" about symptoms, conditions, procedures and surgery.
I'm sorry that you were unable to leave home for five years due to symptoms from a fibroid, and that you underwent a hysterectomy because of a fibroid. You never need a hysterectomy for fibroids unless you have the wrong doctor. To learn more about treatment for fibroids go to HERS Home page and click on the "Fibroids" link.
With regard to compression in the pelvis and boney structure that takes place after hysterectomy, watch the Female Anatomy video again, and you will learn that it is not caused by osteoporosis, it is caused by the destruction of pelvic support when the ligaments that attach to the uterus are severed. It is not treatable with hormones or exercise because it is a structural change that cannot be remedied.
We are actively researching and writing about all of these issues, and will post them on the Home page as soon as possible. HERS shares your frustration that there is little funding for non-profits that decline contributions from pharmaceutical, device manufacturers, corporations and individuals who profit from the hysterectomy industry.
A donation to HERS is something important that you can do to help us provide the information you would like to develop and make available faster. If you have research and writing skills, that would also be enormously helpful.
Another way that you can be helpful is to educate and inform other women and men by sending a link to HERS website and to the Female Anatomy video. The Fact Sheets and video will help women to make an informed decision about what they will, and will not, allow to be done to their bodies.
Mad as Hell says
I refer to the ligaments that hold the uterus in place as the pelvic scaffolding. Once this scaffolding is breached (the severing of the ligaments), everything starts compressing. You can't defy gravity.
This started to become apparent to me about 18 months post-op. I noticed a slight crease about two inches above my navel. Over the next year or so, that crease gradually spread all across my stomach and my belly became bigger. I'd always had flat abs so this is very distressing, probably more so than the hormonal havoc. All because of an ovarian cyst. The compression has caused back and hip pain which is likely to get worse.
Given the fact that Ms. Taylor had 100 surgeries, no one can say for sure the cause of so much disminished health, but the post doesn't attempt to do that. What it does note is the correlation of common post-hysterectomy health issues with issues suffered by Ms. Taylor. But I would say we can definitely assume that a hysteretomy changes the trajectory of one's health going forward without a doubt.
Not sure why there are two comments taking offense to something not said in the post.
Thank you for posting the lovely picture of Elizabeth Taylor and for the tribute and information about her health. She was truly a beautiful woman. I survived NOT getting a hysterectomy and I give credit to Nora Coffey and this website as a part of keeping me from an unnecessary surgery. Nora Coffey, thank you for all that you do to help women.
My cholesterol was great all my life until I was hysterectomized and castrated. Within six months it rose over 30 points without any changes in eating habits. Thank you HERS for telling the truth about this horrible barbaric surgery.
I have a question for you.
I read on this site about the side effects of this surgery and they are just awful. With that said, why do you suppose so many women continue to get the hysterectomies when there is widespread documentation about the effects of hysterectomy? You would think by now, the after effects would be common knowledge among women. But it appears that is not the case.
With your experience working with women and doing extensive research, do you have any theories about why it continues to happen to more and more women?
HERS Foundation says
You have asked the question that puzzles so many people. There are many reasons why a destructive surgery continues to be done to women for more than a century, and for more than thirty years since it was first widely exposed as a damaging surgery that is almost always unnecessary.
First, I believe the primary reason is that the abundant information about female anatomy and the functions of the female organs is not taught to girls and women. Second, and even more important, when girls and women are educated about the functions of the uterus and ovaries it does not protect them when they are in a doctor's office. When confronted by doctors who tell women that hysterectomy is their only option and that it is not done the way it used to be, it is now a simple little outpatient surgery done threw the belly button, women have no idea that hysterectomy is damaging and that the lifelong effects are often devastating to their health and well being. Third, the majority of women ask very good questions about the consequences of hysterectomy, and their concerns are trivialized. They are assured that sex will be the same and that they will feel better than ever.
The next logical question is "Why isn't this information made available to every woman"? The answer is money. As usual, follow the money. If HERS had the money required to place ads on Google, Facebook and other venues, and to hire a publicist who has connections with the press and other media, millions more women would have this information and they would know that hysterectomy is damaging, and how to avoid it.
Please share your ideas about how to raise the money needed to educate a large number of girls and women. HERS will do the work to attain the ultimate goal of legislation to mandate that every doctor must provide the video "Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs" to every woman who is told she needs a hysterectomy. That is the way to stop unwarranted, unwanted and unconsented hysterectomy and female castration in America.
Blind Sided says
This is for Kat;
You are only 3 months out, but wait until 7 months and eight months when the real horror begins.
Your remaining ovary will probably quit functioning without its blood supply. Your surgeon probably failed to mention that the blood supply for your ovaries is from your uterus. Your surgeon probably didn't tell you that the blood supply for your vagina is connected to your uterus and once thats gone you lose the ability to become fully aroused before sex.
I'm 3 years out and in 3 years I've lost 3 inches of my height, gained an extra 10 pounds (I've lost 5 through starvation diets, seems to be the only way to lose weight), live each moment of every day thinking about killing myself, developed a permanently dislocated hip and tilted pelvis, glaucoma, herniated discs, carpal tunnel, receding gums, hearing loss, vaginal atrophy, tilted rib cage, cluster headaches, hearing loss, and became a chain smoker because its the only way I have to deal with what was done to me.
And my once fantastic sex life is over. My husband took a job that keeps him away from home for weeks on end so that neither of us have to deal with our disappointing sex life any more. The extra income is welcome because I need about $80 worth of skin cream each month to combat the aging skin, special toothpastes and rinses to treat the gums, laser surgery costs to keep me from becoming blind, HRT and creams to treat the atrophy.
Before I was never sick, never felt horrible, was always on the go and had a fantastic life. Friends remind me that at least I am alive, that the cancer was caught early, etc.. but theres a big difference between being 'alive' and 'living'. I just merely exist.
Dear Janet, You must read about the importance of the ovaries, uterus and cervix. Only then will you understand what women are going through after their organs are removed. When doctors remove sex organs how can you say women have a better sex life? Do men have a better sex life after they have been castrated?
Tell a man that you want to remove his testicles and part of his penis because he has a benign growth. What do you suppose would happen if doctors were removing men's gonads like they are women's gonads? Do you think there would be an outrage against the medical doctors? I think there would be. Men refer to their reproductive organs as crown jewels. Women should value their reproductive organs as men do theirs.
There will be those around you who will tell you that it "was the best thing they ever did!" I know of women who can't face the truth. No woman wants to say that she doesn't enjoy sex like before her surgery. The majority of hysterectomized women will not tell you the truth because they are embarrassed to admit they were tricked into having something so horrible done to them. I know because I was one of them until I finally was so sick that I wanted to inform women about the many consequences of having a hysterectomy and castration. Women don't often connect their symptoms with the surgery because they appear months and years afterwards.
The women that are speaking up have found the HERS site and want to tell their story about their life after there surgery. I have to wonder why you looked up HERS? I have been on a mission since my unnecessary hysterecomy for a pea-sized fibroid 22 years ago to prevent it from happening to other women.
Keep in mind that surgeons earn their living by doing surgeries. Think of the billions that doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and drug stores make off the business of hysterectomy. Doctors are castrating women at a rate of 1 every minute of every hour of every day.
The women that are calling the HERS Foundation has had the surgery and need help with their many health problems. You will never get your questions answered by your doctor. They will just tell you it is all in your head. This surgery not only affects your health, but your marriage, family life and your career. The majority of us who have written on the HERS Foundation site have lost our careers because we weren't able to keep up the pace as before our surgery.
Maybe you can start a foundation on women that feel wonderful after their surgeries. Women that will tell you sex is better than ever. Women that will tell you they were able to keep up with their families and careers. I think that would be a wonderful thing for you to do Janet.
I'm really sad that I had a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. It was part of my body. And it happened right before the holidays. They did it cause my ovary twisted and an 11 in. mass started growing pushing my pelvis to the left, and was moving towards my lungs. It was an emergency surgery and I didn't know until I woke up. I freaked out! They had to remove body parts! They said the left ovary would kick in, but I will never have the same amount of hormones as I did before.
For woman that want to have their body parts removed, let them, transgender people do it all the time. They have to remove their testicles, and transgenders have given me the strength to move on. If there was anything I could have done to prevent it, I would have. The pain is unreal. But I'm glad my female OB/GYN informed me how important everything is. Woman really aren't educated enough about their bodies. Men can see theirs that's why they freak about losing one or both of their testicles. Even though they have prostate one.
But I asked my husband what he thought if he was in my shoes, and he said he would have freaked out! Sadly the female nurses at the hospital didn't really get it? Just cause I can't see it doesn't mean I didn't want it, I want my heart too.
Wow and all I had was an ovary and fallopian tube removed, I heard the younger you are the chances of memory loss, dementia, and Parkinson's disease rise. My aunt had cancer had a hysterectomy because of cancer, and suffered from dementia very badly, she died 2 years ago. I lived it, that may be why I'm so scared of the what if's.
And the pain afterwards my god! This was my first surgery, my worst period didn't fell like this, and it's been 2 weeks. Since I moved down south cause of my husband's job, they think woman can handle more pain. It still hurts! I'm moving back, but not fast enough.
After this pain I'm in, I couldn't do it again, I really couldn't. My husband had to help me do everything. I'm really young, the last thing you want your husband thinking is you're a sick person.
He was talking children, now he doesn't want one. And he really wanted children before. So now I get to worry about being replaced with another woman that can stand the challenge. That's real fun.
I had a total hysterectomy: cervix and one ovary removed vaginally….2 months ago….I FEEL GREAT. I was bleeding and hemorrhaging for 7 months; and in Dec and Jan it worsened to the point I almost died from blood loss…NO HEALTH INSURANCE. I contacted an American Urologist M.D., a dr. friend who lives in Cabo and he arranged my surgery in Guadalajara Mx… Had a Laporoscopic Vaginal Hysterectomy. Yes, I have orgasms that are still fantastic as before, Yes, I can exercise and sleep and have not gained weight. YES it was difficult the first week after or so but I improved. SO FAR I AM DOING WELL… Sorry to hear all the negative news on hysterectomy. I, too, am very well read on this and did not initially want a hysterectomy but with the chronic bleeding and how close i was to death…I am happy. I do exercise the same: gym, 1 hr cardio, weights and jog… God bless you all.
HERS Foundation says
Very glad to hear you are doing well. I do have a question. How do you have contractions of the uterus with orgasm, without a uterus?
What was the cause of your terrible bleeding problem? Did you have fibroids?
ABOVE IS FROM ME CHLOE. SORRY THIS DOESN'T SHOW MY NAME RIGHT AWAY.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown has left a new comment on your post "Elizabeth Taylor was also one in three women":
I actually put a full response to you and was having trouble with those letter/words to enter comment and then it was lost…what a frustrating issue dealing with the 'robot' concern.
Anyways, I had written to the blog previously that I am doing well; and i continue to do well. It's been 2 months and a cpl days since post hysterectomy, cervix and one ovary removed. You ask me about 'uterine orgasms.' I never mentioned that I had uterine orgasms following surgery however I will tell you that there is no difference for some crazy reason I have the same powerful release and it feels like a uterine contraction… I cannot answer why I do but it all works. I was so worried that I would never have any feeling whatsoever but my body is responding well. I will also add that after the 2 month mark my mind is feeling more clear again and my stamina has increased.
You also inquired about the bleeding: Yes, I had 2 fibroids, one large pedunculated forced through my cervix inside my vagina the size of a golf ball and they found another less large upper uterus wall. The bleeding was non stop and it only slowed for a week at a time before hemorrhaging which increased in Dec. and Jan. 2012. Aug 2011 the physicians assistant who performed the cervical biopsy (negative) also told me that I was "healthy" even though there "are fibroids" but she never ordered an ultrasound when I asked her to do this…instead I continued to bleed and by Dec. I had a terrible incident of hemorrhaging and then 2 weeks later another that lasted 7 hrs. I know I know I should have gone to the emergency room but w/o insurance and knowing they'd immediately most likely do an abdominal hysterectomy, I opted to lay flat and drink salty drinks and take ibuprofen which stopped the bleeding….then I started making arrangements. Yes, it was risky and maybe quite stupid on my part but I was lucky and fortunate to make it through…Laparoscopy Vaginal hyst worked for me….no more bleeding…
I will add that I had started Dr John Lee's bioidentical progesterone cream for 9 months prior to the surgery because of erratic and increased bleeding which slowly over time did not correct it. I stopped the cream after the Dec. episode and have NOT been on any hormones at all…considering bioidentical again. Also the Prog cream did help calm me and i felt better at the time of taking it, sleeping well etc.
Posted by Unknown to Hysterectomy – the Experts Speak Out at April 7, 2012 5:41 PM
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HERS Foundation says
Chloe, how unfortunate that the gynecologist didn't just do a myomectomy. The type of fibroid you had that was causing the bleeding, a prolapsed fibroid that came down through the cervix, is the easiest to remove. It gets snipped off the stalk, which is the blood supply, the stalk is cauterized, and it's done.
Since the sexual feeling that you have is the same as it was before, it's safe to assume that you never experienced uterine orgasm. That would explain why it feels the same to you. For women who experienced uterine orgasm, the small number, about 6% who experience slight vaginal wall contractions after hysterectomy is, as one woman put it, "the difference between diving off the high dive and sliding into the water". It's better than not getting wet, but not satisfying in the way uterine contractions during orgasm were for them.
The important thing for women to take away from this is you never need a hysterectomy for fibroids unless you have the wrong doctor.
HERS wishes you continued good recuperation.
Did you also have a hysterectomy? What was or is your story? I tried to find out who you are but not any information on your "website" about you.
In an ideal world where and if I had enough money and health insurance I most definitely would have opted for the myomectomy; because IF the fibroids return AND they can and DO in many cases, plus you left out the small tangerine sized one in my upper wall, in that case I could afford to go back into another round of surgery and possibly get the myomectomy or similar non-hysterectomy procedure done again and again when needed. Again this is IF I had health insurance and financial resources available to cushion this issue and of course prior to the hysterectomy fall back on in order to have the less invasive procedure… Back to the orgasm issue: I've always had incredible whole body orgasms that made me feel like an electric shock current was going through me… and I still am moist and responsive as before…SO if what I am experiencing is NOT a uterine orgasm…well…you can imagine…perhaps I am one of the very fortunate women to have this incredible feeling when I want it and never have a feeling of loss, lucky me. How can I know or care about what a 'uterine orgasm' is if it is true what i am experiencing is other than that and completely satisfies me? We'll never quite know the truth. Anyways, prior to the surgery my blood dropped to less than a 3. I was severely anemic for 6 months before the hysterectomy. I'm surprised I am doing as well as I am doing. I am still on Leave of Absence too. Perhaps doing my own thing, no work or stress has allowed me to feel so well… My questions for those women who had a hysterectomy: Did all of you take 3 months off that had a hysterectomy? Do you exercise or did you ever exercise prior to the hysterectomy? e.g. Jog? Cardio at gym? Were you over-weight before the hysterectomy? Many factors must be taken into consideration.
For women searching for
alternative surgeries to hysterectomy:
I left this on the other blog site for others to check out. I had initially wanted to have a MYOMECTOMY but under the circumstances I had no choice: die or have the procedure literally. Because by the time I was in Guadalajara I was unable to function and the doctor was in control… If I did not have the bleeding issue etc…. well you get it.
I've thought about the questions you asked. I went in for a myomectomy, but a hysterectomy was performed. My time off from work for surgery had been pre-arranged and I was entitled (based on the surgical procedure) to 6 weeks. Once cleared by doctor to do as much as I felt up to doing, I started an exercise program, walking, cardio, and abdominal. The only thing I didn't return to was weightlifting.
Once I returned to work, I entered into a training schedule for the next 7 months. I didn't re-register for school as it seemed like that would be too much, eventhough I had completed a course right before taking a leave of absence and the surgery.
For me, I really didn't notice anything untold until after I returned back to work, but I explained it away initially as it was just a vague sense that something was different, nothing familiar. It took 6 months before the symptoms became pronounce enough to be reconizgable.
That was 14 hellish years ago. After thinking about, I don't think a longer time off from work would have helped as the damage had been done and even though I didn't know the ramifications of the surgery – that wasn't going to change the progression.
Good luch to you
Thanks for your response. I have been back to work for one week. I have noticed I do not feel quite as limber but I work out to help that issue….AND SLEEP or lay around as much as I need to. My stamina is fine as long as I take good care of myself but not as good as before. However, I did begin bi-est 80/20 estogen cream (apply to labia in AM .1) 2 days ago and progesterone cream at night (bioidentical)… I had made an appointment with a Naturopath M.D. not a doctor on my own to experiment… Are you taking bioidentical estrogen and progesterone? I'll check in.
I don't take synthetic nor bioidential hormones, originally since I was left with a single ovary, HRT was not recommended. Once my health started to deteriorate and as I learned the truth of the surgery, I opted not to take HRT.
3 month check in to whomever wants to converse:
Hi TQ: What do you mean as you "learned the truth" regarding the surgery?… It's been 3 months and I seem absolutely fine, better actually. Unfortunately my dad died end of April causing an emotional tsunami of distress and I am recovering from that too. Ohhh LIFE so many twists and turns…
What I've learned is that the uterus and ovaries perform critical biological functions that enable normal female endocrine function, reproductive function, sexual function, and provides for normal anatomical and pelvic integrity. Menopause could never equate to the post-hysterectomy aftermath.
How one "feels" post-hysterectomy can be affected by drugs, but that doesn't change the damage to and lost of biological functions.
No lifetime of drugs can replace the uterine/ovarian functions anymore than it can for a heart, a limb, a tooth, etc.
Women have a right to thier lives in all it's many phases, a right to protect the integrity of their bodies, a right to the truth, a right to true choice and safe and effective healthcare
I stumbled on to this site by accident. I have to say I was one that begged the doctors to have my hysterectomy done. I do still have my ovaries, but not my cervix or my uterus. I was 26 when my surgery was done. I have to say my sex life did get better after the surgery. I had more orgasms than I had ever had before the surgery. I am NOT saying it is this way for everyone. I do have to admit I have had more medical problems after the surgery. I'm 30 years old now, I have pain in my upper back close to my shoulder blade, and I have an abominal hernia. I have no idea if these are related to my surgery, I can't say I have not wondered. I too have hip problems, however my hip problems started 7 years before the surgery. I have not noticed a difference in my mental health what so ever. I had a hysterectomy due to fibroids and endomitriosis.
HERS Foundation says
I am sorry you did not connect with HERS before your surgery, but I am glad you are in contact now.
The hip and back problems you're experiencing are common after hysterectomy, so they may well be related to the surgery. You may find that doing some stretches every morning will help your back and hip. To do the stretches, with your feet together, extend your arms as high as you can over your head as though you are reaching for the ceiling. Then bend forward from your waist and let your arms dangle in front of you until you feel a release of tension in your back. When this happens your hands will now be closer to the floor. Then with your feet apart let your left hand slide down your thigh while you hold your right arm, bent slightly, over your head. Then do the same with your right side. Then with your feet still apart, take your right hand and touch the outside of your left foot, then do the same with your left hand.
You may also find that acupuncture gives you relief of pain.
You are fortunate to be one of a small percent of women who experience vaginal wall contractions during sexual stimulation. If this is an improvement over orgasm before the surgery, you may not have experienced uterine orgasm.
If you are interested in receiving information by email go to HERS website at http://www.hersfoundation.org and fill out the 'Contact' form. I also suggest that you watch HERS video "Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs" at http://www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy.
HERS wishes you the best.
Hysterectomy does cause back issues and sometimes imbalanced hormones as well as some belly fat. But the simple truth is that the body can overcome those things. I did. My hips locked up because they were spreading. I did therapy and yoga. Now I have curves I didn't have before. I felt some discomfort with intercourse. I used a hormone cream and I have no issues. I never had a problem with lubrication. Most of my issues with sex was that I just felt tired and had a lack of interest. I still had a sex drive thought and still do. A hysterectomy is traumatizing to the body just like any surgery but worse because you are screwing with your hormones. But women go through hormonal imbalance anyway. We no longer need our uterus and ovaries anyway. It is just speeding up the inevitable. Most women feel it is the best thing that ever happened to them. I do. As for heart disease, anything you do to traumatize your body can activate a different illness like herpes or anything that is written into your DNA. The MIND can rewrite DNA. The mind is 99% of the problem because all things manifest from mind first. Purify the mind and do what you feel is best for you. Much love~ Cari
HERS Foundation says
Hysterectomy is not something a woman's body can overcome! When the female organs are removed their functions are permanently gone. There are some things like exercise and eating less than you did before the surgery that may help your muscles and reduce body fat, but there is no replacing the many critically important functions of the uterus. For example, regardless of how much you exercise and no matter how good your diet is, you will not experience uterine orgasm if your uterus is removed. And, the cardiovascular protection you get from your uterus is gone, which means if the uterus is removed you have a 3X greater risk of heart disease, and if your ovaries are removed it is 5X greater. If your diet was good before the surgery, and you continue to have a diet that is good to prevent cardiovascular disease, you will be better off than someone with a poor diet. However, your risk of heart disease will be greater because of the loss of the production of prostacyclin by the uterus.
You are dangerously mistaken in thinking that women do not need their uterus and ovaries! Your hormone responsive sex organs that provide structural support to your bladder, bowel and entire pelvis, hips and spine are critically important all of your life. Can you imagine considering that a man who no longer is interested in fathering children would consider having his penis or testicles removed because he thinks he will have no use for them?
The primary difference is the male organs are external and many of their functions are visible. The female organs are internal, so the functions are not visible, but they are essential to a woman's health and well being, all of her life. There is no age or time when the uterus and ovaries are not needed.
I had a hysterectomy 9 months ago due to severe endometriosis, I am 48. I have to say that it was a difficult surgery and recovery. I had my uterus and ovaries removed. I am on HRT (estrogel cream). I was in terrible pain before my surgery. Now I have no more pain which is great. I have actually lost weight which is wonderful and have a waist again as I was thick due to a swollen and enlarged uterus. Surgery is not the answer for everyone and has to be weighed very heavily against the risks. In my case I feel good, not as much energy but sex life is good and overall I feel good. I agree it is never good to lose an organ of any type. However many people lose organs due to illnesses…for many different reasons and the body does it's best to adjust. I will admit I had a sense of loss and mourning in the first few months but felt good after the 4th month. It is a hard adjustment but overall for me things have been positive. I do agree with some of the other posts though… this is a very negative site. That is never good for anyone's health or mind.
HERS Foundation says
It is surprising, for several reasons, that you underwent a hysterectomy for endometriosis at the age of 48.
The definitive, and safest, cure for endometriosis is menopause. At the age of 48 you may have been close to menopause. Did the gynecologist test your Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)? If so, where were you in your menstrual cycle when the blood for the test was drawn?
Second, since endometriosis typically begins when menstruation starts, you have lived with this condition for many years. Was there a change in your symptoms? If so, what diagnostic tests were performed?
Glad you're "overall" good, given the difficult adjustment.
I agree the consequences of hysterectomy are damaging, therefore negative, and it is important for women to talk openly about the aftereffects of the surgery. Thank you for sharing your experience, it is an important part of the dialogue.
Mad as Hell says
It's time we stop "buying into" the myth that the female SEX organs are disposable and justifying their removal. Granted, it's normal human behavior to justify our decisions but this only perpetuates the overuse of hysterectomy and its lifelong harm. Don't women deserve better than that?
Even ACOG has deemed 76% of hysterectomies to be unwarranted and only 2% are done for cancer. This is important for women to know so they can seek out conservative treatments that preserve their organs and their lifelong functions for which there's no true "replacement."
Good afternoon… Checking in to share thoughts with all of you…ONE YEAR LATER: However my surgery was Feb 2012. Had total hysterectomy, one ovary removed.
I am doing very well. Still exercising, had bone scan last month and it is "great" according to the dr. Although "mild osteopoenia on left hip." Taking, Vit. D3 w/ k-2, fish omegas, calcium, coq10, B12/complex shot injection cpl times monthly… Continue my bi-est cream and progesterone creams (periodically)…
HERS Foundation says
Chloe, glad you are feeling well, thanks for the update.
Hi my name i Maria I am here in Bangladesh I am. an American. A doctor said I should get a hysterectomy because i have a bulky uterus I was 17 when I first started my period she said because late I started my period late I will probably end late . all my test came back normal nabothian cycts and adamyosis I am 52 now can't I just leave it alone and go through menapau
HERS Foundation says
Having a "bulky uterus" is not a medical problem. You are on the right track. You have been checked out with tests that show everything is normal, you are okay.
You will probably go through menopause soon, and bleeding will stop, and you will have your critically important uterus intact and functional for the rest of your life.
If you would like more information please go to HERS website at http://www.hersfoundation.org and fill out the Contact form and we will email information to you.
Evidently, if Elizabeth Tayor had been castrated, it certainly did not diminish her sexual capacity. It is very well documented that she took a great many lovers after 1968. Many women enjoy sex much more AFTER their overies are gone. True sometimes it interfers with sex performance but in many women, not having overies or the uterus inhances their sex drive.
HERS Foundation says
I do not agree with your conclusions about Elizabeth Taylor. As it says in the above blog post, she stopped taking the steamy, sexy roles she had become famous for prior to her being hysterectomized.
She and Richard Burton divorced, remarried, and divorced again after her surgery. She had many men in her life, but does not mean they were "lovers".
I strongly disagree that there are women who enjoy sex more after being castrated (removal of the ovaries, the female gonads). It is an unreasonable suggestion that sex would be improved by either female, or male, castration.
What makes you think that there are women whose sex life was improved by being castrated?
Hi, checking in. It's been a little over 2 years since my total hysterectomy leaving ONE ovary. I am having great sex again now. Very well lubricated on its own; and orgasms more or less as before, not any difference; and of course if my man does the right thing sexually to me then I am pleased too. Overall, life is great. I exercise and take care of myself. While I am the same or less weight than when I had the operation, I did initially start to gain weight…. BUT finally had to focus on good eating habits and losing the weight. It worked. Wow that scared me. Shed 30 lbs the past 5 months.
Good luck all.
HERS Foundation says
What was your sexual experience prior to the surgery?Did you experience uterine orgasm?
HERS Foundation says
What was your sexual experience prior to the surgery?Did you experience uterine orgasm?
Nicole Bernier says
12 years ago i had fibroids. The gynecologist said i needed a hysterectomy with removal of ovaries. I had no pain but was bleeding a lot. Something told me that it was not right. Why removing the ovaries i asked him. He answered that it was safer in case of cancer. Something told me it was absurd and outrageous. I see hysterectomies as mass mutilations of women. It seems there had to be a conspiracy somehow. Women should be more informed..
Linda Ray says
My quality of life was ruined by hysterectomy. I thought I was having surgery to remove an ovarian mass.
Teresa Lovejoy says
I thank God there is a site like this which let women know the consequences of this mostly unnecessary surgery. What women need to know that the majority of gynaecologists are miseducated and misinformed on the life-long damage caused by this surgery. What I didn't know is there are unscrupulous doctors who target healthy women, and fabricate a number of non-existent problems, including non-existent cancer to trick women into these barbaric mutilations. They also phone each other and say to agree with their opinion, so women can go for a number of opinions, and lied to at each one. These predators prey on the most vulnerable, trusting women and bully or coerce them into surgery they don't need. My biggest regret is not having a computer in 2005, otherwise I would have searched for information, and no doubt found this site. Keep up the good work Nora. You have saved countless women from these surgical crimes against women. I wish I had been one of them. Kudos to you, and all those wonderful women who are not afraid of informing as many women as they can on the life-long damage these medical abuses cause…
Athina Xirogiannis says
I need a good doctor in the Chicagoland area who is a skilled surgeon in removing my fibroid that is 8cm from back of my uterus (outside). If there is a skilled surgeon out of state as well I will travel want this fibroid out by not my uterus. Any help is greatly appreciated.
As someone who is considering a hysterectomy, I find this article severely lacks any facts and of course any mention of how Elizabeth Taylor herself felt about her hysterectomy. I do agree that as a society it is a surgery that happens all to frequently. However as someone who has been struggling for years with severe pain, who has radically altered my lifestyle resulting in overall a healthier body, mind and soul, someone who actively works with my doctor, naturopath, nutritionist, and various healers in attempts to avoid the surgery, I am at a point where I am not willing to sacrifice any more days of my life to pain and a hysterectomy seems to be the solution. I am frustrated by all these "experts" who instead of providing proven statistics about possible side effects (both good and bad) of the surgery, chose to instead send a message of fear and make people who have had or are considering the surgery feel like they are not doing enough to heal themselves. And I have experienced orgasms, and they are lovely. However the ongoing pain I experience puts a hold on my sex life for half of every cycle ~ as well as limits my travel plans, keeps me home from work, and away from life. Would I sacrifice a deep uterine orgasm in order to have more intimacy with my husband, be able to backpack oversees for an entire month and never have to worry about commitments that fall near my cycle? You bet. And from all accounts, orgasms are still possible ~ they are just in a different capacity.
It is a deeply personal decision, and not one to be taken lightly, but society would improve greatly if we could support each other instead of spreading assumptions and fear.
I too am grateful for sites like HERS. At 40 I was desperately wanting a hysterectomy for my fibroids that cause excessive bleeding and anemia, which have become bothersome 2 years ago. I had no idea the things about the female anatomy that I had no idea about. I really thought the uterus became useless after being sone with child birth, and I thought the ovaries likewise became useless at a certain age. I found out otherwise the day before I was to go in for an ultrasound to confirm fibroids, so that we could get moving with a hysterectomy (she would've been able to do it before my next cycle). I was a no show. I will from hence forth value my God given sex organs as a gift and I will gaurd them with my life, and I will teach my daughters and son to do the same for themselves and his future wife respectively. I will sooner die of uterine cancer than lop off my bodyparts. The saying is true, there really are worse things than death. For the record, (I'm know many will disagree with me) but knowing what I know now, I don't believe a single woman who says she feels great after having her sex organs removed, and I especially don't believe sex is better unless it was awful before, and if it was awful before then she certainly couldnt have had orgasms, then call it awful.. Sure there's upsides to chopping off any body part. If I had a leg removed I'd never get a charlie horse in that leg again, I'd never stub that particular toe, I'd never have to shave it, or exert it, or worry about 2 fat thighs, now I'd only have 1. Plus I'd lose the weight of that leg, therefore the leg removal would result in weight loss, and…well, you get the picture. I agree with another poster…this is a conspiracy of epic proportions and I'm disgusted by it!!
I thought I had done everything, until I was given a hysterectomy and then the endless search for health resources ensued. What I did prior to surgery pales in comparison with the years of money, research, doctors, and various health regimens I've pursued post-op. The only difference between the two efforts is that post-op, the results are fruitless. Prior to surgery, I didn't know what I was dealing with and thus how to address it. Also, the health care professionals I enlisted, had no real strategy for assisting me as everything is setup so that you feel hysterectomy is the only answer. How do I know this, because people feel that they are holding out against a hysterectomy, rather than addressing the root cause of a problem.
The women who say how wonderful life is after castration remind me of the women who are horribly disfigured after plastic sugery yet still appear in public as if they aren't hideous (Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith, Joan Van Ark). Plastic surgeons should also clean house within their 'profession'.
My mother was ruined after her hysterectomy in 1978. I haven't trusted doctors since. The other women I've known haven't admitted it (and I haven't wanted to pry) but it's as clear as day they aren't the same emotionally or physically. 🙁
Pelvic organ prolapse happens even with a uterus. I know. I have 2nd degree uterine prolapse and cystocele right now. Hysterectomy scheduled for June 27, 2016. I will be keeping my ovaries. The ovaries retain blood supply from the ovarian artery. It is true they also recieve blood from the uterine artery, but they also have their own blood supply and supporting ligaments and membranes.
Horrific back pain, chronic fatigue, destroyed sex life, emotional emptiness, loss of vitality, destroyed figure, and personality change, are the things that I have greatly suffered from since having this life altering surgery 10 years ago. Very sad that such a beautiful actress was also a victim of the hysterectomy racket.
My health just seems to have gone downhill since having a hysterectomy, wish I could undo what’s been done.
Meredyn McNeil says
This website is dangerous and a disgrace. It gives false, sensationalist advice and no woman should take any heed of the scaremongering written here.
Nora Coffey says
If you believe there is an error on HERS website please let HERS know what information you believe is incorrect. Please provide the information you believe is correct and the resource for your information. If your resource has merit HERS will promptly correct any error.