1. mammalian womb
2. a powerful muscle and sex organ located between the bladder and the bowel in the female pelvis; continuous with the cervix which is continuous with vagina, much in the way that the head is continuous with the neck which is continuous with the shoulders; provides lifelong functions that are vital to every woman’s health and wellbeing
3. a word legislator Scott Randolph was reprimanded for using on the Florida House floor
Just a few months ago the word uterus was as rare in conversations as the word penis. But that was before Scott Randolph had the audacity to speak the word in public.
What Scott Randolph said is this: “If my wife incorporated her uterus, you all would say hands off…But now we’re standing here and we’re saying we’re going to increase regulation on a specific type of membership organization. And that’s unions.”
Although Florida lawmakers sought to limit the use of the word in public by reprimanding Randolph, within days not only was the word uterus emblazoned along headlines in every media outlet in the country, it was immediately added to the Planned Parenthood debate.
Jason Linkins of The Huffington Post said, “At one point Randolph suggested that his wife ‘incorporate her uterus’ to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions. Republicans, after all, wouldn’t want to further regulate a Florida business.” There’s no question that choice is the central issue here.
Just as the union debate is concerned with whether or not workers ought to have the right to collectively bargain for wages and working conditions, the abortion debate is concerned with whether or not a woman ought to have the right to abort pregnancy. And the uterus question I’d like to ask here is this: do doctors have the right to amputate the uterus, without first informing women of the sexual, structural and hormonal functions of the uterus and the consequences of its removal?
The obvious answer to my question is yes, not only are doctors allowed to surgically amputate uteri without informed consent, they are handsomely rewarded for doing so…once every minute of every hour of every day.
It’s not unusual for women to ask HERS if they can still have a baby after the uterus is gone. Or, more commonly, women ask HERS if it is unusual for menstruation to continue after hysterectomy, or if she still needs a pap smear after her cervix was removed along with her uterus.
The reality is that only a very small percentage of the population has been taught the information contained in the HERS video Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs. It’s rare that I meet a woman who’s aware of the fact that the uterus is a hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ, or that hysterectomy impacts every cell in a woman’s body and increases her risk of heart disease three times that of women with a uterus. Until she watches the HERS anatomy video or reads the Fact sheets on the HERS website home page, where can she go to learn that her sexual vitality and overall health and wellbeing depend on her uterus?
Is hysterectomy a matter of choice for the women who do not have this information? Of course not.
One of the many blog posts I’ve read since Scott Randolph’s faux pas said, “My uterus and I protested at Bank of America today. We paid more in taxes than BofA did. One of our fellow uterati got arrested during the protest.” Only good can come from using the word as often as possible. But with more than 600,000 hysterectomies and female castrations performed without informed consent (which is the same as unconsented) each year in the U.S. alone, she and her fellow uterati might consider protesting in front of hospitals in every state in this country, as HERS did in 2004-2005.
America’s uterati is denied the right to make informed decisions about what they will and will not allow to be done to their bodies.
Let’s keep the discussion going, but let’s not miss the forest for the trees: This is about choice, a woman’s right to make an informed decision about whether she will consent to the surgical removal of her uterus. The female organs are every bit as important to women as the male organs are to men. At what age does a man not need his sex organs?
One of the most common arguments that I came across after my hysterectomy was "You don't need a uterus". It seems the uterus is regarded by most practioners in the so called "women's health" industry as a dispensible, bleeding, problem prone organ which should be removed at the earliest opportunity. I found that there was absolutely no support at all from medical practioners when I complained about health problems after the hysterectomy. The practioners will not budge from their position that women feel better after a hysterectomy. I only wish now that I had found HERS before I was manipulated into having my female organs removed. Regards, Charmaine Saunders
Blind Sided says
Although I found Scott Randolph's comment to be bizarre to say the least, I want to know why a woman should have to incorporate any of her body parts?
I am going on 3 years since I was mutilated beyond hope by a surgeon.
I'm sure Mr Randolph would really be concerned with the plight of hysterectomized women, after all we can't be incorporated or be pawns any longer in the baby murdering machinery that has turned women's bodies into even more income producing commodities for Dr's.
Charmaine, the health industry treats women as a second class citizens, as our own country does.Women are too 'emotional' blahblahblah. Since my castration and mutilation 3 years ago I have had severe carpal tunnel dismissed as 'depression', cluster migraines (which I never had before) dismissed as depression, and this month I had laser surgery to treat glaucoma which my Dr classified as, you guessed it 'depression'.If it wasn't for my eye Dr. (who is a friend) I would have gone blind. I blame the glaucoma at such an early age on the hysterectomy, and now I am beginning a new leg of my life as a 'low vision' person.
I am a castrated, mutilated, half blind, crippled up person and I am still on the sunny side of 40.
Instead of women getting the basic right of informed consent in regards to the surgical removal of the uterus; women are served up the fanasty that its removal is inconsequential.
With the current maintenance of this fanasty:
– one can then deny the complaints of women post uterine removal;
– doctors of various specialities then present wome with a variety of dazzingly diagnosis, treatments, and drugs post uterine removal;
– women are silienced as denial and hysterical hostility are the response to any position opposing uterine removal; and
– women's lives by the hundreds of thousands are allowed to be snuffed out by uterine removal.
Women have been forced to believe and endure the removal of vital organs to thier detriment 100 years ago, 15 years ago, 2 years ago, and today.
Without gaining the basic right described in this post, women will not be able to hang on to basic health which then makes opportunities, charting their life course and care of their families an impossible dream.
Shame on Mr. Randolph for using the word uterus. Women's organs are still regarded as not important for her health and well-being.
I was easily talked into being hysterectomized and castrated for a pea-sized fibroid by not being informed about my sexual organs being important. My doctor told me I didn't need my uterus or ovaries. If you can't trust your doctor who can you trust? NEVER TRUST WHAT YOUR DOCTOR IS TELLING YOU. Gather all the information you can and a good place to start is at HERS. I found HERS after my surgery.
What's even worse is after your surgery when the problems occur, you are told it must be depression or it is all in your head. Once you start complaining, your doctor will kick you out the door. He has gotten what he wanted; your money.
Look at the pictures of the female anatomy and see the nerves, ligaments, arteries and veins that extend from the ovaries and uterus to other parts of your body. The list goes on and on how important the uterus is. These pictures should be in every OBGYN's office.
Did your doctor tell you the uterus produces substances (beta endorphins) that affect brain function and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease? My doctor only told me everything will be better than ever.
We need to value our sexual organs like men do theirs. Doctors wouldn't get by with castrating thousands of men like they do women.
There will always be women around you who will tell you the surgery was the best thing they ever did. I think women can't face the truth as to what their doctor did to them or that they were tricked into having something so horrible happen to them.
What a beautiful organ the uterus is! It makes me sad and angry that I don't have mine.
Mad as Hell says
In any other industry, tactics used by gynecologists to get women into the Operating Room for sex organ removal would be considered fraud and treated accordingly. Where are the states’ Attorney Generals or the U.S. Attorney General?
Despite a published report in the February 2000 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology stating that 76% of hysterectomies did not meet ACOG criteria, the hysterectomy rates are as high as they’ve been for many decades. And female castration rates don’t appear to be decreasing either.
Graduate Medical Education of gynecologists still places a strong emphasis on hysterectomy despite this published report and the many studies showing the permanent harm caused by hysterectomy. Resident programs even lure applicants by ensuring ample experience performing hysterectomies. They must still be teaching the Tufts University mantra “There’s no Room in the Tomb for the Womb.” Sickening and demented!
This won’t change as long as hysterectomy is profitable. The insurance companies can make a big dent in this but choose to favor the “medical mafia” instead of the individual medical consumer. It’s also problematic that many of the insurance companies are part of the same corporation as the hospitals and surgery centers. Follow the money….
The only solution to this runaway greed – hysterectomy informed consent legislation!
Mad as Hell says
Mrs. Randolph probably doesn't know how lucky she is to have a uterus! She probably doesn't realize either how quickly that could change. Fraudulent tactics by doctors are unfathomable but are a common occurrence in the gyn specialty. Our long-term relationships with these doctors puts us at further risk. BUYER BEWARE!!
I was 'given' a TAH against my written consent 4 years ago. I was a very sexual, energetic. happy woman. I am now contemplating ending my life. I am neither man nor woman. I am a big ZERO. I am a nothing.
Mad as Hell says
Yesterday was just another bittersweet Mother’s Day since being hysterectomized and castrated. I guess I should at least be thankful that I was able to have children unlike many hysterectomized women. But Mother’s Day, or any day for that matter, no longer holds any joy or even contentment. It’s just another day of drudgery.
How can my children possibly understand the dramatic changes to this once happy, energetic, productive woman they call “mom?” They can’t possibly comprehend that my feelings of maternal love evaporated with my organs but I know they sense it. And sadly, nothing can restore this love that I took for granted prior to being de-sexed by Dr. Richard Muckerman. Hysterectomy destroys the very bonds that build strong relationships and strong families not to mention the horrific health consequences.
How can this not be criminal? It’s time that our legislators, Attorney Generals, and medical boards take action to stop the fraud of hysterectomy!
I always learn something new from your post!Great article. I wish I could write so well.
What do you think about annual mammograms? Do you thik the radiation is harmful? I would appreciate your thoughts.
Nora W. Coffey says
Charlene, I have never had a mammogram, so I have no personal experience to contribute.
Mammograms expose women to radiation and crushing of the breast tissue, neither of which seem beneficial. MRI is better at detecting breast tumors than mammograms are, but I have not had an MRI either. If breast cancer is detected by mammorgram or MR you are then trust into treatment involving surgery, toxic drugs and radiation, but not cure. Currently there is no cure for breast cancer. There is a significant risk of developing another type of cancer from the radiation exposure, and a significant risk of other serious conditions from chemotherapy.
There is much hype by researchers and oncologists about women living longer because of early detection of breast cancer, but women are not actually living longer with early detection, they are just aware that they have it for a longer time because it was detected early.
These are personal decisions, and I am comfortable with not going to doctors. I have consulted with one doctor in the past 28 years, and her diagnosis was incorrect, and the ointment she prescribed exacerbated the lesion. I decided I could do as well by trying remedies that might work, and I did cure it with simple salt water applied 3X a day. I broke my finger playing ball a few years ago, and set it with a popsicle stick and tape. In the last 28 years I have had many similar experiences, and prefer to treat any health problem myself, and have been successful doing so.
You are smart and confident, Charmaine, you will decide what works best for you, and I would be glad to discuss these and other issues with you. I, and other women, would like to know your thoughts about it, if you care to share them. Thank you!
I would appreciate your feedback to an anonymous comment in the last blog dated March 25, signed as "Bobbie". .
The comments compliment a Dr. Eisenburg in Texas because he provided a myommectomy vs. a hysterectomy for Bobbi's fibroid. She went on to say she traveled extensively to find this doctor.
I went to this doctor's website, http://texasobgynmd.com/davinci.htmand was disappointed to read the following statement: "Most commonly, a hysterectomy is necessary for women suffering from endometriosis, pelvic prolapse disorders, uterine fibroids, cancers and multiple uterine diseases".
It appears this doctor does hysterectomies for fibroids and your information states it is time to find a new doctor when they perform hysterectomies for fibroids.
Right now, I am a little confused with the mixed information and would appreciate your response.
Dennis Eisenberg received the book "The H Word", and his name was added to the list of doctors who have received the book on HERS website. HERS then received a letter from his "reputation manager" asking that his name be removed, however we do not remove doctor's names from the list. Receiving the book does not imply anything about a doctors practice. The goal of the list is to have every practicing gynecologist be sent the book either by one of their patients, family or friends so that there are no gynecologists who can say they did not know the damaging consequences of hysterectomy.
It is not unusual for gynecologists to have web sites that claim they are experts at performing alternatives to hysterectomy. It does not say on their web sites that they often perform hysterectomy and castration, and they do not tell women the consequences.
If you have questions about Eisenberg's web site and his practice you might consider discussing it with him by phone.
Bobbie is the only woman I know of who has undergone a myomectomy with Dennis Eisenberg.
Thank you for the information. Do you have a list of doctors that are against hysterectomies except for cancer?
So what do you losers have to say about the catherine kieu becker case you sexist morons?
HERS Foundation says
In light of the fact that the comments are not sexist, your comment makes no sense.
Please post with your name or an alias to make it easier for people to respond to your comments.
You people make it sound all so pathetic when a woman gets castrated. When a woman gets castrated, you people make it as if it's some major crime. And there you have women laughing on the CBS show regarding catherine kieu becker. And mind you, millions of people are watching. So when women gets castrated, its such a big deal, and when a man get mutilated, its FUNNY?! Give me a break!
(Anonymous comments are assigned an alias)
HERS Foundation says
Female and male castration without the information required for informed consent should be a crime, but in the US it is considered a civil offense, not criminal. Very few informed consent cases get to court because it's "s/he said I said". Doctors invariably testify that they told the woman all of the consequences of hysterectomy.
If you have an issue with people laughing about the program on CBS you might want to send them an email. Castration, female or male, is not a laughing matter. Male castration is as mutilating as female castration.
More BS on the “Vital Signs” Fox radio show of Missouri ob/gyn Randall (Randy) Tobler. I had called into a previous show about healthcare reform to say that reducing the large number of hysterectomies would go a long way toward reducing healthcare costs. His response was that his patients said they wished they’d done it sooner. Hmmm…I wonder how many really said that AND how soon after surgery those comments were made…couldn’t have been too long after or they wouldn’t be singing its praises.
Recently, his show focused on prolapse and incontinence. Of course, hysterectomy wasn’t even mentioned as a risk factor by him or his guest, urogynecologist Edward Levy. When I called in to say that they failed to list it, the substitute co-host Chris denied that it was a risk factor. No surprise there since these hysterectomy surgeons (and their cohorts in mutilation) deny every other risk and adverse effect of this horrific mutilation of women.
big island helicopter tours says
Absolutely educational. As a newbie student for nursing, this is a big help for my case study.
PLEASE HELP!! My local paper posted an article and is now offering access to a new show called "The Doctors". They show a hysterectomy being preformed on a women who had 'pain' in her uterus and so her doctors recommended a hysterectomy. According to the show, she is now pain free and feeling 'better then ever'. PLEASE get on the site. Post as often as possible. This is INSANE!!!
HERS Foundation says
The Doctors website does not have information on a show about robotic hysterectomy. Would you please tell us where we can find this information? Thank you!
Last night, I emailed you personally the site that appeared in the online version of our newspaper. You are most likly just receiving it. It states, "Do not comment unless you want to be on the show." PLEASE comment! I am not sure if they are talking robotic or labroscopic surgery. Either way, it is wrong!
OK So go on The Doctors. Where is says,"Getting to know your Girl Parts" click on that. It has some Joan Rivers stuff but if you scroll down it will go into hysterectomy and it talks about this woman and has a vedio showing the procedure.
That would be a video!! DUHHH
HERS Foundation says
There was a program with that title last Thursday. I didn't see a place to comment, and when I went to the site yesterday I didn't see it. I will check it out again.
Besides. what difference does it make if it is robotic or otherwise?????
When I went to a pharmacist recently, a young woman working there made the comment that she dreaded the day when she would have to get a hysterectomy. I told her she never needed one unless she had cancer. She looked shocked. I then told her about my negative experiences with a couple doctors in town and how I found another doctor and was able to save my organs and am now past menopause and feel great. I still have hot flashes without bio-identical hormones but I am intact and the change is practically seamless. It appeared this young woman was listening to me and I hope I am not wrong about that.
Mad as Hell says
I'm glad you had this opportunity to educate this woman! I hope she spreads the word. I'm appalled (and somewhat perplexed) by the number of women who think that a hyst is needed at some point. And some consider it a rite of passage of sorts. I'm sick of hysterectomized women who justify their surgeries. I know it's human nature to justify our decisions but this just perpetuates this atrocity.
I'm active on several hyst forums and not having a lot of success getting women to fight to keep their organs. I'm at a loss how to get across to them. Of course, it doesn't help when women who've had hysts post that they feel great, haven't had any "problems", yada, yada, yada. Of course, many of them have health issues that they don't connect with their hyst. And many would never admit how they've changed – gotta keep up the facade!
Do you know if there are negative consequences if someone just removed one ovary but left the uterus and other ovary intact?
Sh-t Disturber says
EVERY woman who was not told the consequences of hysterectomy or castration by her surgeon should be taking every avenue possible to get justice and expose these doctors. Some suggestions are:
1) Pursue legal remedy with a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer. Remain anonymous until you can confirm that they have no conflict of interest with the surgeon.
2) File a complaint with your state's medical board.
3) File a complaint with your health insurance company that approved the surgery.
4) Rate/review your surgeon and "second opinion" doctors on every website you can find – doctor rating websites as well as business listing websites. A web search of the doctor's name or gyn practice should bring up these sites.
5) Gather the facts about hysterectomy and print them on postcards and mail them to the doctor. Just think of all who may see them and get educated while also exposing these scammers.
6) Write your legislators.
Don't give up!
Mad as Hell says
I only wish I’d found HERS before becoming a victim of the fraud of hysterectomy. Since my gyn failed to follow the recommendation of the oncologist to whom he referred me, I thought I had a good chance of him being disciplined by my state’s medical board (Missouri). Of course, that didn’t happen; they said that he did nothing wrong by removing my uterus and both ovaries for a benign ovarian cyst. I know this is typical of states’ medical boards. They protect doctors instead of patients.
I have to say NO to hysterectomy
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My gynecologist really really wanted to do a hysterectomy on me. It's a snap! After comparing the complications, I think I'm making the right choice.
She (yes, a she) actually said to me, "If you have your hysterectomy, you won't have to worry about uterine cancer." Well, yeah, if I have my legs removed, I won't have to worry about knee problems either.
I'm having UFE to shrink my fibroids. I'm going against the doctor's opinion that removing the uterus will cure all my future problems. After reading all the complications from hysterectomies (which she failed to mention), I know this will be right for me.
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Thanks for the information.
I just had a myomectomy 3 days ago. Before I found this site, my gut instincts told me not to accept the hysterectomy speech the 1st doctor was trying to push on me. I found a more skilled doctor who did a laparoscopic myomectomy on me and I came out from surgery feeling whole and like myself.
Truth Seeker says
Yay Meg! I am so glad to hear that you listened to your gut and sought out a doctor who does myomectomies. Unfortunately, some other women who did the same ended up with hysterectomies anyway via the "bait and switch" tactic which can occur anywhere in the process (in office consult, in pre-op as sedation is begun, or while under anesthesia). So glad you were not one of these! Thanks for posting here.