Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hysterectomy and Castration: the Enablers

Hysterectomy and Female Castration: Who are the enablers?
Part I—University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

*** ANNOUNCEMENT ***
Part I of this series was posted on January 1, 2008. Regarding the information below, HERS acknowledges that on or before February 6, 2008 UPMC deactivated the link to the “Hysterectomy” and “Preparing for a Hysterectomy” sections of their Patient Education Materials, thereby eliminating contradictions with the “Hysterectomy” section of their Procedures materials, which remains active.


One of the most frequently asked questions at HERS is, “How do doctors get away with removing the female organs from more than 600,000 American women each year without informing them of the consequences?” The answer is complex, but the responsibility largely falls on doctors, medical schools, and hospitals. One hand washes the other in the 17 billion dollar a year hysterectomy industry built on the profits made from removing the sex organs from more than 22 million American women alive today.

The internet is a minefield of both helpful and harmful information on any topic, including hysterectomy and female castration. The fact that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) publishes contradictory statements, for example, is easily demonstrated by comparing the information provided on their own website. As you will see, on the one hand UPMC claims that sexual intercourse isn’t affected by hysterectomy and that sex may even be improved by the removal of a sex organ, but on the other hand they say that the uterine contractions associated with orgasm aren’t possible when the uterus is removed. Both statements can’t be true. Therefore, the untrue information is contradictory and potentially dangerous.

We would rather believe that no hospital would put its name on contradictory medical information. But it’s irrefutable when, in their own words, UPMC publishes potentially dangerous information about the functions of the female organs. UPMC’s own website provides the proof that the information about hysterectomy is unreliable.

No matter how smart and savvy a woman is, if she isn’t accurately informed about the functions of the female organs before she sets foot in a doctor’s office she won’t be able to evaluate the validity of the information that a doctor or hospital gives her. Medical schools institutionalize and sanction an educational environment that uses advertising to attract customers to hospitals that provide professors and students with the live bodies of women to practice on. Teaching hospitals and large corporate hospital chains alike provide the equipment, staff, and facilities to implement hysterectomies on women. If those women rely on UPMC’s online “Patient Education Materials,” they may be misinformed of the aftermath of the removal of the uterus and/or ovaries. Medical schools, doctors, and hospitals who hold themselves out as experts form a circle of power that has a unique responsibility to provide accurate information about hysterectomy. That circle of power, however, often obscures information, omits facts, and reinforces harmful myths about hysterectomy.

This is the first of several posts that will highlight omissions of fact and misinformation about hysterectomy currently being provided to women on the websites of doctors, medical schools, and hospitals. As UPMC’s website (http://www.upmc.com/home.htm) demonstrates, the degree of accuracy of the information you will receive about hysterectomy depends in part on how you search their website, which is the reason why the following is broken into two sections.
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Section A:

From the UPMC home page, if you click on “Health A-Z” a list pops up on the left side of your screen. Under “Personal Health,” if you click on “Women” it takes you to the “Health Library.” Next, click on “UPMC Patient Education Materials” then “Women’s Health.” Finally, from the bottom of that long list select “What is a hysterectomy?” Or, after you click on “Women” from the “Personal Health” section, you can find it by clicking on “Health Reference,” then “UPMC Patient Education Materials,” then “Women’s Health,” then “What is a hysterectomy?” The “What is a hysterectomy?” link takes you to http://patienteducation.upmc.com/Pdf/Hysterectomy.pdf . The following excerpts were taken from that web page on 1/1/08.

UPMC begins by defining three types. “Partial hysterectomy,” they tell us, “is the removal of the top part of the uterus (the fundus uteri), leaving the lower part of the uterus (the cervix) in place.”

HERS comment: If they said, “Partial hysterectomy involves severing the nerves, ligaments, and blood supply that attach to the body of the uterus, leaving the cervical stump,” then it would alert the reader immediately that this is a major surgery resulting in far-reaching anatomical and functional changes.

They also tell us, “A hysterectomy does not include the removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Your doctor may recommend that these organs be removed at the same time,
depending on your age and the condition of the organs. Your doctor will talk with you about this.”

HERS comment: In order for UPMC to provide accurate information to women about female anatomy, they could say, “Your doctor may also recommend the removal of your ovaries. Just as the testicles are the male gonads, the ovaries are the female gonads. Removal of the gonads is castration.” If they said that, then women would understand that the removal of the ovaries is life-altering. UPMC implies that age is a disease. The gonads in both women and men continue to function throughout the human lifespan, and age is never a justification for removal of the ovaries. Women who understood this would be unlikely to consent to castration. It’s important for women to be informed of the correct medical terminology and consequences.

In the section titled “Removal of the ovaries,” the UPMC website tells women, “In general, ovaries are removed only if there is a problem with them. Two factors in this decision are a woman’s age and another is whether she has gone through menopause. In women who have not gone through menopause, the ovaries are important… The ovaries stop working after menopause, so they may be removed during hysterectomy in women who have completed or are close to menopause. Removing the ovaries reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, which is difficult to detect in its early stages. When a woman who has not completed menopause has both ovaries removed during hysterectomy, a condition called ‘surgical menopause’ occurs. Women who experience surgical menopause may have the same symptoms as those who have had natural menopause. These include hot flashes, night sweats, and shrinkage of vaginal tissue.”

HERS comment: This section begins with a contradiction. Whereas in the introduction to “What is a Hysterectomy?” we’re told, “Your doctor may recommend that these organs be removed at the same time, depending on your age…” this section says, “In general, ovaries are removed only if there is a problem with them.” So which is it? Do they mean to say that age is a disease or that the ovaries should only be removed if they are diseased? It can’t be both.

UPMC states that the ovaries “stop working after menopause,” although it’s well documented in medical literature that the ovaries continue to function in post-menopausal women. The ovaries are “important” to a woman’s health and wellbeing all of her life.

UPMC goes on to tell women that ovarian cancer is difficult to detect. But they fail to mention that the incidence of ovarian cancer is less than .01% of the population at risk and is listed by the National Institutes of Health as a “rare disease.”

Finally, UPMC also fails to use the word “castration,” which is the medically correct term for removal of the ovaries. Instead they use the euphemistic oxymoron “surgical menopause.” It is in fact impossible for a woman to become surgically menopausal. A menopausal woman has functioning, hormone-producing ovaries in her body. A woman whose ovaries have been removed doesn’t have the benefit of the natural hormones and other substances produced by her gonads. There is no comparison between castration and menopause, and the functions of the ovaries can’t be replaced.

Under the heading “Physical changes after hysterectomy,” UPMC states, “Unless extensive surgery is performed, the vagina remains the same after a hysterectomy. Once healing has occurred, the vagina will continue to function normally. Sexual inter-course [sic] is not affected by a hysterectomy.”

HERS comment: A majority of all hysterectomies are “total,” where the top of the vagina is cut into around the cervix in order to remove the uterus. After the surgeon removes the cervix, the vagina is then made into a closed pocket. The surgeon does this by pulling the walls of the vagina together to close the hole created in the top of the vagina and suturing it back together. Also, much in the same way that a seam created by sewing fabric together results in diminishing the pre-sewn size of the cloth, in addition to filling in the hole where the cervix had been the surgeon shortens the vagina when the seam at the top of the vagina is created by suturing it shut. Therefore, the vagina is altered in depth, shape, and elasticity.

And for those women who experienced uterine orgasm before the surgery, they won’t experience it ever again without their uterus. It would be informative for UPMC to explain how “sexual inter-course is not affected by” removing a sex organ. The possibility of uterine orgasm is eliminated, sensation in the vagina and external genitalia is diminished or lost entirely, the vagina is shortened, and the uterine ligaments, blood supply, and nerves that radiate throughout the pelvis are severed. Hysterectomy causes profound changes in sexual function.

In the section “Emotional effects” UPMC states, “A woman’s sexuality and femininity are not changed by a hysterectomy. During the recovery period from surgery, anxiety, fatigue, and fear of pain can cause a lack of sexual desire. Allowing time to heal and recover, sharing your feelings with your partner, and using a gentle approach can help you achieve sexual pleasure.”

HERS comment: A sex organ can’t be removed without altering sexuality and femininity. As we have said and is well-documented in medical literature, when the uterus is removed uterine orgasm can’t occur. The vagina is shortened, sutured shut at the top, and women develop adhesions that are often very painful. This scarring, shortening, and loss of elasticity in the vagina often makes sex extremely painful during intercourse. Furthermore, the nerves that attach to the uterus branch out to the vagina and external genitalia. Those nerves must be severed to remove the uterus. When they’re severed it causes not only a loss of physical sexual sensation, but it also often causes pain in the buttocks, groin, pelvis, and vagina. Severing of the ligaments affects skeletal structure, commonly causing pain in the lower back and hips. “Sharing your feelings with your partner” and “using a gentle approach” won’t replace the functions of the nerves, ligaments, blood supply, or sex organs. Nor will they stop the painful aftermath of hysterectomy. Lack of sexual desire is to be expected when a sex organ is removed.

In the section titled “Myths associated with hysterectomy,” UPMC refers to “Sex will be less enjoyable” as a myth. They elaborate by stating as fact that, “The ability to enjoy sexual intercourse should not be affected by a hysterectomy… Once healing has occurred, the ability to enjoy sex and achieve orgasm will return to normal and may even improve. Some women have a temporary loss of vaginal sensation and less lubrication during sexual activity. These are common side effects of the surgery. Vaginal sensation and lubrication will return to normal when healing is complete.”

HERS comment: No—sex can never return to “normal” after hysterectomy. That’s impossible because a sex organ has been removed. Even if you never experienced sex before the surgery, the potential to experience sexual satisfaction and uterine orgasm will no longer be possible. Sex isn’t improved by the removal of sex organs or by shortening the vagina. The loss of sensation to the vaginal and external genitalia isn’t temporary, it’s permanent. The nerves that made physical sensation possible are severed during hysterectomy and they can’t be reattached. The permanent loss of physical sensation and uterine function is universal. But sexuality and sensuousness aren’t limited to sexual acts. All of human interaction, sexual energy, and vitality are diminished by the removal of the female organs.

There are two “UPMC Patient Education Materials” about hysterectomy. The misinformation in “What is a Hysterectomy?” is reinforced and expanded in the “educational” document from the same list called “Preparing for a Hysterectomy.” On the third page, under the heading “Will a hysterectomy affect my sex life?” it says at the end of the first paragraph and into the second paragraph, “At this point in recovery your ability to enjoy sex and achieve orgasm will return to normal and may even improve. Because of the temporary shrinkage of tissues that occurs after surgery, your vagina may feel shorter or narrower even though no tissue has been removed.”

HERS comment: No woman can experience uterine orgasm without a uterus. A woman whose pain was relieved by removal of her uterus may be glad to be rid of that particular pain, but that doesn’t mean that she would have consented to the surgery if she had known that she would experience a total loss of uterine orgasm and diminished or lost sensation to the vagina and external genitalia.

The shortening of the vagina in a total hysterectomy is not temporary. It is an irreversible consequence of cutting a hole into the top of the vagina that is then sutured shut. The vagina is permanently shortened.

“This educational material,” UPMC tells us, “was developed by a team of women’s health care experts throughout UPMC, including Magee-Womens Hospital, a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.” Visitors to Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC are provided with a prominent link back to this hysterectomy information on UPMC’s main website. In the “About Us” page on Magee’s website they say that part of their “WOMANCARE PHILOSOPHY” is being “committed to…empowering [each woman] through education.”
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Section B:

UPMC’s contradictory information about hysterectomy becomes clear by clicking on a different link on the same website. It was “last reviewed January 2007.”

From the UPMC home page, click on “Health A-Z” and then “Women.” But this time, instead of clicking on the link to “UPMC Patient Education Materials,” click on “Procedures.” Once there, you’ll see a long list of “Procedure & Surgery Fact Sheets.” Next, scroll down the long list of “fact” sheets to the link for “Hysterectomy” where, in addition to reading about the surgery, you can view an animated hysterectomy, although this animated version does little to convey the extreme physical assault to a woman’s body.

The first paragraph narrowly defines hysterectomy as “the surgical removal of the uterus, resulting in sterility, or the inability to become pregnant. It may be done through the abdomen or the vagina.”

HERS comment: In addition to the comments above that demonstrate that this definition is incomplete, by omission it informs women only about the loss of childbearing, not the many other important functions of the uterus.

In the section titled “Parts of the Body Involved,” UPMC lists the following:
• Partial or Subtotal Hysterctomy [sic] – Removal of the uterus
• Total, Complete, or Simple Hysterectomy – Removal of the uterus and cervix (the opening of the uterus leading to the vagina)
• Radical Hysterectomy – Removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, upper part of the vagina, and the pelvic lymph nodes
• Salpingo-oophorectomy – Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes (may be combined with any of the above procedures)

HERS comment: In the first definition, although the cervix is not wholly removed during a “subtotal” hysterectomy, it is “involved.” The uterus is amputated from the cervix, which leaves a cervical stump. The description of “radical” hysterectomy fails to mention that the paraaortic lymph nodes and the omentum are often removed. And in defining salpingo-oophorectomy they fail to define removal of the ovaries as female castration. Rarely would a woman consent to being castrated.

It would be much more informative for people who hold themselves out as women’s health experts to say, “No matter how or what type of hysterectomy is performed, every cell in a woman’s body is involved. The endocrine system (of which the uterus and ovaries are major components) helps regulate every part of a woman’s body to maintain health and wellbeing in far-reaching ways, such as hair follicle stimulation, sexual function, bone structure, metabolism, sleep, insulin production, cardiovascular health, and all of the known (and unknown) functions of the female organs throughout every woman’s anatomy. For example,” they might add, “hysterectomized women have a three times greater risk of heart disease, and women whose ovaries are also removed have a seven times greater risk of myocardial infarction.” But UPMC fails to mention those facts.

Under the subheading “Description of the Procedure,” in the section titled “What to Expect,” we're told that during an abdominal hysterectomy, “A cut is made in the lower abdomen to expose the tissues and blood vessels that surround the uterus and cervix. These tissues are cut and the blood vessels are tied off to remove the uterus. Stitches are placed in these deep structures, which will eventually dissolve and do not need to be removed. The uterus is removed from the top of the vagina, and the vagina is closed to prevent infection and to keep the intestines from dropping downward.”

HERS comment: UPMC fails to inform women that the tissue and blood vessels not only surround the uterus and cervix but are attached to it. They fail to mention a fact of significant importance—a large bundle of nerves and broad bands of ligaments that are attached to the uterus must be severed to remove it. By stating that blood vessels are tied off it doesn’t convey that the rich blood supply that provides blood flow to the uterus and throughout the pelvis and lower extremities is severed. It also doesn’t mention that one of the ligaments that must be severed is the utero-sacral ligament that attaches to the uterus and to the sacrum in the lower back, which may be one of the reasons why hysterectomized women experience chronic back problems.

And once again UPMC fails to inform women that during a total hysterectomy the top of the vagina is cut around the cervix and the body of the uterus and the cervix are removed. It states that the vagina is closed to “keep the intestines from dropping downward.” In fact the intestines do move down to take up the space where the uterus had been, but because they’re no longer in their natural location behind the uterus they now sit directly on top of the surgical scar at the top of the vagina where adhesions develop. So suturing the top of the vagina shut doesn’t prevent the intestines from dropping downward, it only prevents them from falling through the hole that the surgeon has made into the top of the vagina.

The same facts apply to their definition of “Vaginal Hysterectomy.” In the second sentence of the paragraph describing what is done to women during vaginal hysterectomy, UPMC tell us, “The doctor does, however, make an internal incision at the top of the vagina around the cervix.”

HERS comment: If the precise language was used in all of the descriptions of “total” hysterectomy, then women would understand that their vagina will be cut into and sutured shut at the top, whether the surgery is performed abdominally, vaginally, with the use of a laparoscope, by a robot, or any other method.

This section is also inaccurate when discussing the dislocation of the intestines, as mentioned above. They don’t mention that there’s also a loss of the natural barrier of the uterus between the intestines, the vagina, the bladder, and the bowel, which is one reason why hysterectomized women usually experience bowel and bladder problems.

In the subsection titled “Possible Complications,” UPMC provides the following list:
• Reactions to anesthetics
• Pain
• Infection
• Bleeding
• Fatigue
• Injured pelvic organs (bowel and/or bladder)
• Urinary incontinence (problems holding your urine)
• Loss of ovarian function and early menopause
• Depression
• Sexual dysfunction

HERS comment: When the blood supply to the ovaries is damaged during the surgery causing the ovaries to cease to function (which occurs as often as 35-40% of the time), the doctor’s actions result in a de facto castration (a total loss of ovarian function) even if the ovaries aren’t removed at the time of hysterectomy. Loss of ovarian function is not comparable to menopause. A menopausal woman has ovaries that produce hormones her entire lifetime. She also has a functioning uterus. Menopausal women have not had their female organs removed.

In the section titled “Outcome” there are several subheadings. The first is “Physical,” in which the last paragraph begins, “If the ovaries are removed (oophorectomy), your body's main source of estrogen and other sex hormones is gone. If you were not already postmenopausal, this sends your body into an instant menopause…”

HERS comment: Again it incorrectly defines the removal of the ovaries as being the same as menopause and not castration.

Next is the subheading “Emotional.” Here UPMC tells us, “Some women have strong emotional reactions, including depression, in response to the loss of their uterus.”
HERS comment: This statement would be correct if it said that women experience depression because of the loss of the functions of the uterus and ovaries.

Finally, the last subheading is “Sexual.” In this subsection UPMC tells us, “Some women notice a change in their sexual response after a hysterectomy. Because the uterus has been removed, uterine contractions you may have felt during orgasm will no longer occur. If the ovaries have been removed, vaginal dryness may be a problem, but this is usually relieved with the use of estrogen. Some women report an increase in their sexual enjoyment, possibly because they are relieved of the pain from the condition that prompted this procedure, or no longer need to worry about an unintended pregnancy.”
HERS comment: Women who happen to find this link on UPMC’s website will at least be informed that the uterus is a sex organ and that uterine contractions that occur during orgasm can no longer occur without a uterus. But if they click on the Patient Education Materials link they’ll be told the opposite…that the “ability to enjoy sex and achieve orgasm will return to normal and may even improve.” This contradictory information is potentially dangerous and damaging. UPMC is one of the rare hospital websites that educates and informs the public about uterine contractions that occur during orgasm and that they will no longer occur without a uterus. It is unfortunately the last statement in this long description of hysterectomy and contradicts earlier statements. It should be one of the first, most prominent statements and mentioned throughout, not buried at the end. The loss of uterine orgasm is of vital importance to women.

Visitors to the UPMC website must wonder why it is that the question “Will a hysterectomy affect my sex life?” is answered in the Patient Education Materials page titled “Preparing for a hysterectomy.” This is information women need to be told prior to deciding whether or not they’ll proceed with the doctor’s recommendation for a hysterectomy and not while preparing for the surgery itself. As we have discovered, UPMC admits that in a total hysterectomy the cervix is removed, the vagina is incised and closed at the top, and uterine contractions that occur during orgasm can’t occur without a uterus. Why is it, then, that UPMC fails to provide the correct information when they themselves ask the question “Will a hysterectomy affect my sex life?” It’s baffling that they then answer that question by stating that sex “will return to normal and may even improve.”

“References” for these “facts,” UPMC tells us, were obtained by accessing the websites of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the National Women’s Health Information Center on October 14, 2005.

There are many contradictions throughout UPMC’s website, but for the purposes of this discussion we will point out just a few more. “UPMC Patient Education Materials” don’t provide a separate information page for oophorectomy—female castration, the surgical removal of the ovaries. But in their “Procedure & Surgery Fact Sheets” UPMC has a page titled “Oophorectomy.”

They define oophorectomy as follows: “The surgical removal of one or both ovaries, called bilateral oophorectomy. This procedure may be combined with the removal of the fallopian tubes, in which case it is called a salpingo-oophorectomy. Removal of the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes is often done as part of a complete or total hysterectomy.”

HERS comment: Again, because these are presented as “fact” sheets from those who hold themselves out as medical experts, if they used the medically correct definition for the ovaries it would convey an immediate understanding that the consequences of removal of the ovaries is serious and damaging. The ovaries are the female gonads. Removal of the gonads is castration. By omission UPMC fails to provide the critical information needed for women to decide whether they will consent to being castrated.

Under “Parts of the Body Involved,” UPMC provides a drawing of the “Female Reproductive System.” It would be accurate to say that the brain (chiefly the hypothalamus and the pituitary), the breasts, and other “parts” of the female anatomy (such as the adrenal glands and all of the connecting tissues, vessels, and nerves) complete the female reproductive system, along with the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and vagina. But not only are the brain, breasts, adrenals etc not included in UPMC’s artist rendition of the female reproductive system, the uterus itself isn’t labeled. The drawing only labels the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and vagina.

HERS comment: Their failure to label the uterus while labeling the bladder in a anatomical drawing of “The Female Reproductive System” is shocking. The uterus is a hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ, without which (UMPC makes clear elsewhere) reproduction isn’t possible. Under the anatomical drawing used on UPMC’s website it says, “Copyright © 2005 Nucleus Communications, Inc.” We visited the Nucleus Communications website and found many drawings of the female reproductive system, but we couldn’t find one where the uterus wasn’t labeled. In fact, the only Nucleus Communications drawing that we could find that resembles the drawing that UPMC uses on their website is called “Nerve Distribution of the Bladder and Uterus - Medical Illustration.” Not only is the uterus labeled on this drawing, but the “Pelvic Nerve Plexus” is labeled along with the “Left Inferior Hypogastric Nerve Plexus.” As evidenced by yellow-colored neural pathways that literally engulf the reproductive organs, it’s clear to see that these are some of the very nerves that radiate throughout the pelvis and enervate the sex organs. Why would UPMC choose to use an anatomical drawing that doesn’t label those too?

At the end of the “Procedure & Surgery Fact” sheet on oophorectomy, UPMC credits EBSCO Publishing. EBSCO is a privately held corporation out of Ipswich, Massachusetts. On their website, under “Consumer Health Complete Database Coverage List,” among many other publications they offer an “Evidence-Based Fact Sheet” called “Hysterectomy: Surgical Removal of the Uterus [or Womb], Vaginal Hysterectomy, Abdominal Hysterectomy” from “Great Neck Health Publishing.” They also offer “Health Animation” from “Blausen Human Atlas.” Blausen offers many short videos. In the one called “Ovariectomy” it says, “A woman’s reproductive system includes the uterus, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and the vagina.”

In the section titled “Possible Complications,” UPMC lists “changes in sex drive.” This fact, however, isn’t listed in the “Outcome” section.

HERS comment: Changes in sex drive are to be expected after removal of sex organs. It’s an outcome, not a complication. UPMC repeatedly makes the point that removal of the ovaries often accompanies removal of the uterus. In fact, the NIH reports that about 75% of all hysterectomized women are castrated at the time of hysterectomy. It’s baffling then, that elsewhere UPMC makes the blanket statement that sex will return to normal and may even improve after hysterectomy.

Under the heading “Postoperative Care,” UPMC states that, “If both ovaries are removed, your body goes immediately into menopause. If you are not being treated for breast cancer, your doctor will prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT), either estrogen alone or with progesterone, to help manage the symptoms of menopause.”

HERS comment: Castration—removal of the ovaries—results in the loss of the production of the many hormones and other substances produced by the ovaries. “Hormone replacement” is a misnomer, because it isn’t possible to replace the natural, complex, lifelong functions of the ovaries with any other substance produced outside of the body. This would be an ideal place for UMPC to mention the largest randomized HRT study ever conducted on healthy post-menopausal women. The NIH’s Women’s Health Initiative study was abandoned when researchers determined that the risks of HRT outweighs the benefits. A significant number of the study’s participants experienced serious complications, including breast cancer, strokes, heart disease, ,endometrial cancer, and other adverse effects.

“References” for the “facts” mentioned on UPMC’s website regarding the surgical removal of the ovaries, they tell us, were obtained by accessing the websites of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and the National Cancer Institute. It goes on to say that this information was last reviewed by them as recently as January 2007. “Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.” Visitors to UPMC’s website must wonder what the organizations referenced throughout this website have to say about having their organizations’ reputations attached to these confusing contradictions and omissions that are published by a major medical teaching hospital.

Let the reader beware. Before you make any decision about female surgery watch the
12-minute video “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs” at www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy.

Email HERS at hersfdn@earthlink.net if you know of a doctor, medical school, or hospital website that you think should be highlighted on this blog.

If you would like to talk with women about the consequences of hysterectomy, HERS provides a network of women who will talk with you about their experiences. If you have undergone a hysterectomy at UPMC or their affiliated hospitals since 2003, contact HERS at hersfdn@earthlink.net. video

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182 Comments:

At January 1, 2008 at 9:09 AM , Blogger Gracie said...

A Big Thank you to Nora and the Hers Foundation for their endless work towards stopping this unnecessary and barbaric surgery towards un-informed women. We all have our stories to tell from our doctors (who glorifies hysterectomy/castration) to the hospitals (who allows this to happen) to the insurance companies (who keeps paying for these unnecessary surgeries) to family and friends (who don't support you-mine does thank God). Yes, I will send my doctor and hospital's name to the Hers Foundation so they can check the information they are handing out to women. The imformation I was given was very inaccurate and set me up to have this life-altering surgery. Shame on you, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center! As I was reading this shocking story, it brought me back to the information I was given by Doctor Jerome Gundersen of Gundersen Clinic in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. All the information I was given for this surgery was mis-leading. Shame on all the doctors, medical schools and hospitals for allowing this to happen to energetic, life fulfilling, beautiful women and their families. What would we do without the Hers Foundation? Because you see, no one is doing anything about doctors getting by with removing healthy sexual organs. Surely not your congressmen, congresswomen or representatives. I will be writing my story soon. I just wanted to wish everyone at the Hers Foundation a Happy and Go-Get Them New Year! Gracie

 
At January 1, 2008 at 10:31 AM , Anonymous Cathy said...

I was not given ANY information when my doctor told me I needed an emergency hysterectomy. Even though I asked many questions, no staff and not even my own doctor would answer my questions. When I told him that I did not want a hysterectomy or the recovery time, all he said was that I could be totally recovered in two weeks. This doctor lied to me, pressured me and deceived me in order to get me to sign a consent form. While I was helpless under anesthesia, he amputated my healthy uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes with absolutely no medical justification. After he butchered me, he prescribed oral synthetic estrogen and didn't give me any post-op instructions. The oral estrogen gave me severe neck and head pain and I had to stop taking it. I've had vaginal dryness, chronic lower abdominal pain, joint pain, insomnia, severe hot flashes, night sweats, urinary incontinence, bowel weakness, sexual dysfunction, and many other health problems that I never had prior to this barbaric surgery. I was treated like a lab rat. If I knew then what I know now (the truth), I would have run out of that hospital and took my chances. This doctor, and the hospital staff should all be in prison.

 
At January 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My insurance company paid for the unnecessary and unconsented hysterectomy and castration even though the doctor's billing reasons for the surgery were deceptively inaccurate, along with having no medical basis. I don't see bank robbers being paid by the bank after they rob the bank, yet doctors are rewarded for lying and performing unnecessary surgery on women.

 
At January 1, 2008 at 2:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE WOMEN BE AWARE!

I was not given right information before my surgery too. I had for a lot of years a simple ovarian cyst on my left ovary. My first ovary they had taken out also because of an cyst big as an orange, but NO CANCER, at the age of 14 years!
Yes, you did read well, I was a child, when they semi-castrated me.
They told my parents that everything would be ok, as I had still the left ovary also with a little cyst. ....

I had my whole lifetime problems to have a regulary menstruel cycle- and when I met the man of my life, and we wanted to have children- this didn't function. So I adopted a sweet little baby girl.
And like millions of other women I went regulary to the gynecological controls to survey my ovarian cyst on my left ovary. And my gynecologist always frightend me because of this cyst, he said that this cyst would be able to turn into cancer one day! I was frightened. But I said that I was afraid of surgery and that I felt well. The cyst was not very big (about 5cm) and I didn't have problemes with it. I was used to my unregular cycle since my first ovarian surgery.
When I was 38 years old, my doctor started more and more to frighten me - he send me to a surgeon (a good friend of him) and this specialist too, said that he also wouldn't be glad to let this ovary inside, even if I would be his wife. I was alarmed - I believed theses doctors - I believed to be I in a big danger with my simple ovarian cyst. I informed myself at last at a women gyecologist (she was about 45 years old) and she too said: "Be aware, you have a nice daughter, you have to think of her - consent to the surgery, please!
There are so good hormonal replacement therapies- you may not be afraid"
My surgeeon gave me this sort of information, when I asked about the consequences: "What sould be afterwards? You will be set on HRT -and besides of it - I am the specialist"
And I stupid woman consented!
I believed them everything. I didn’t go into Internet to inform myself- I just believed these experts!

On the information paper there only were written some sentences about menopause, but I was too afraid to read it, as I consented the information paper, when I was already in hospital- 13 hours before my surgery.

After the surgery I was put on HRT and 6 weeks later, the hell begun.
This was in the year 2003 and today I don't know how I survived this hell. I didn't support the oral estrogens- and as my surgeon let my uterus in, I needed progesteron too...
Life was unsupportable- not only for me- also for my poor husband and my teenag daughter, who cried and shouted that she would call the police to put the surgeon into prison!
And if I wouldn't have had the support of Nora Coffey via Internet, I wouldn't have survived- as I was ready to suicide me. But like an angel in the dark - I found the website of HERS on Internet. And I saw the first time in my life, that I was not the only woman with this cruel destiny. My doctors here said, that I was the only one - they lied to me all the time- because of the consequneces and the impact of the surgery too!
And they didn’t help me after the surgery- they let me completely alone – pretendending that all my pain would be psychological!

I travelled from doctor to doctor in my home country (Austria) - in Vienna I found a specilaist who was able to give me some relief with progesteron. It was very hard to find out the best dosis of estrogen for me too.
And I followed the words of Nora Coffey: "Only listend to your own body- and then you go to the doctor - and you only listen to doctors who understand the whole impact of this surgery- which they don't dare to call it CASTRATION. Because they don't want to tell the truth to women and their families!
In 2007 I went to Paris- there are endocrionoligical specialists who gave me some testosterone too. And this was a big relief too.
But nobody knows about the consequences of HRT for my body – and indeed- it is not the same as before – my body is “redesigned” – this is the correct form- I am dependent on the artificial hormones- I cannot ,ive without them. And the testosteron, which is ver expensic´ve, I have to pay myself- the health assurance paid the surgery- but not the whole homron therapy.
I was sent to a lot of specialists- I had to go to psychotherapy – I had a lot of problems with my husbuand- with my daughter, who suffered most when I was so ill and changed after my castration. All this because of this damned surgery – and when I started legal steps – they found out the danger of this cyst: the possibility to get cancer because of my simple ovarian cyst was between 0,7% to 0,8% ......

This is my story – and I want that NO woman NEVER in the world will ever be so naiv and misinformed as I was it 5 years ago! I paid the highest price for my own castration: I paid with the health of my body and my soul!

PLEASE WOMEN BE AWARE!

rosa

 
At January 1, 2008 at 9:13 PM , Blogger Elaine said...

I just love the following paragraph
(tongue in cheek) on the UPMC website regarding removal of ovaries and surgical menopause:

"If the ovaries are removed ( oophorectomy ), your body's main source of estrogen and other sex hormones is gone. If you were not already postmenopausal, this sends your body into an instant menopause, and you will experience typical menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. Hormone replacement therapy is usually recommended."

This is EXACTLY what I was led to believe I would experience after removal of my ovaries...typical symptoms like hot flashes or night sweats. The same symptoms any naturally menopausal woman might experience. I was told an hrt pill would take care of those symptoms.

I have a friend and coworker who is going through natural menopause and she does have the typical symptoms of hot flashes, nightsweats, insomnia, mood swings. However, she still has a lot of energy, works full time, is active in her community and in her social life. She can run circles around me (and no she is not on any hrt)...

I am 35 and was 33 at the time of my hysterectomy and bilateral oopherectomy (aka castration) almost 2 1/2 years ago. I have been on some form of hrt since then except for a few weeks in 2006. What I have learned is that no amount or type of hrt can replace what those invaluable ovaries I had did for me. My symptoms as a result of castration are anything but typical menopausal symptoms. I have crippling joint and muscle pain (I was medically diagnosed with fibromyalgia after my hysterectomy), extreme fatigue and loss of energy, changes in my personality that can not otherwise be explained, loss of memory and cognitive ability (it's taken me almost 45 minutes just to write this much in the right words I am looking for), rapid loss of bone density, chronic nausea, bladder pain, yeast infections, etc...I am unable to hold down a full time job and am struggling with part time. My quality of life has been greatly diminished. And yes I do still have all the other "typical" "menopausal" symptoms as well, albeit in a much more extreme form than a naturally menopausal woman. The scary thing is that these symptoms I have will never go away completely for as long as I live as long as I do not have any ovaries. My naturally menopausal coworker still has ovaries that will continue to function on some level until she dies. Her body will slowly adjust to functioning ovaries with diminishing hormonal output.
For castrated women, the term hormone replacement therapy is a lie. The ovaries are so much more complex than being simply a warehouse for sex hormones. Their functions can never be replaced. HRT will never relieve all of my symptoms, nor will it make me feel like my old self. Had I known this prior to being castrated...had I known "surgical menopause" was far more than hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes and night sweats...I would never have consented to this.

 
At January 1, 2008 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2001 after many dr.visits with several drs.I had the recommended hyster.never informed ,never taking the time to find such a site and inform myself...I was in my fifties very good shape ,active sex life...7 years post op...never had or can have sex again...due to the operation...have had thyroid cancer and problems with pro lapse...glad you are there for others..Her es to knowledge in 2008

 
At January 1, 2008 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a hysterectomy in 2002 with both ovaries removed. I've begun to experience a chronic drawing pain in my right buttox, right side of my colon and down my right leg. It hurts mostly when I'm sitting.

I, unfortunately, join your list of unnecessary hysterectomies. Pre and post pathology reports were totally opposite. Post pathalogy report found NOT ONE CANCER CELL or PRECANCER CELL. I was given a total hysterectomy after being told I should have it done as soon as possible because of the risk of full blown cancer.

Your right doctors don't tell the truth.No one told me what happens after I was never given any information accept for lies.

 
At January 2, 2008 at 1:00 AM , Anonymous Deb said...

I thought I was the only one that felt like this after my hysterectomy which was 5 years ago. I am totally lost right now and do not no what my next step should be. I live in such a small place we never get conferences or anything like that, so I am so behind times. I will keep checking your sight and learn as much as I can. No one told me I never would enjoy sex again. When I asked the doctor he said sex "would be better than ever". I used to have a great sex life with my husband of 14 years, now there's no feeling at all.

Thank you for what you're doing.

 
At January 2, 2008 at 6:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The remove of the ovary was a big desire.
It is a castration and no normal menopauses, biologically also not possible.
The problems are impairment of the brain areals for decisions, judgment, concentration, processing of language and feelings as well as the ability to listening.
J., Germany

 
At January 2, 2008 at 7:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

*desire
meant: loss of health(sry)

 
At January 2, 2008 at 10:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add:
I gave no consent about removal the both ovaries.
The doctor had decided in the narcosis.
I had only a 1cm small corpus luteum cyst - no cancer, nothing.
The answer: he has seen something and every eventual risk is to stop.
He said, I need only a small pill and I would have a beautiful menstruation again.
I wouldn`t be so sure about that.
Strictly speaking, he made my life to a hell.
Thanks at HERS
J. Germany

 
At January 2, 2008 at 11:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At January 2, 2008 at 1:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ladies,

I am writing for all the other women of femica in Austria and in Germany who are not able to speak english well enough to post a comment.

We share the experiences of our american "sisters" - we are very often not informed at all about the consequences of pelvic surgeries.

If they are cutting out the uterus- they say that life will be better afterwards and that sexuality will not be affected!
When they cut out the ovaries they say that we will enter menopause- and they don't treat us like women with majour surgeries.
And a lot of doctors have only small knowledge about the endocrine function of the ovaries - they even don't know here that the ovaries are producing also androgens for example.

It is very hard here to make them understand our harm and pain - and most of the doctors are pretending that everything is only in "our heads".
They are still ignoring medical litterature and scientific knowledge.
This is very often the sad situation most of all in the smaller cities of the country. And nobody dares to say anything against- nobody here believes the patients- first of all the doctors are asked and the "experts" - nobody asks the patients - and they hardly believe the patients!

This system and this situation is not modern at all - it is incredible that such things happen to women in our century.
Even a little child would know the difference between a woman with sexual organs and a woman without them! DOctors don't know it and are denying the truth? What for? For making money?
No man without testicles and penis would be treated in this way and no male gonads would be cut out unnecessaricly! But they are performing unnecessarily castrations on women and are telling women that this is NOT castration - only oophorectomy!
They all should be ashamed!

They don't give us proper information prior to surgery- and they don't give us care post surgery.
And our partners and children are completely forgotten.

We hope so, that many women and their partners can read these postings - and that more and more women are alerted and protected against this cruel system which destroys lives of honest women and their partners and children!

femica

 
At January 2, 2008 at 1:42 PM , Blogger Gracie said...

I am sure we could all write a book on our story about being hysterectomized/castrated. My story would being with: I was a very energetic, strong and happy woman with dreams that I was fulfilling one at a time. I always wanted children; had 2 boys, always wanted to go to Cosmetology School and become a hair stylist; did that and always wanted to open my own salon up; didn't quite make it. At age 44, Dr. Jerome Gundersen of Gundersen Clinic in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, set me up to be castrated (a word I didn't know existed with women, only men). I only went in for hot flashes, but he found a pea-sized fibroid. I was given Depo-Provera which made my bleeding more intensed. I found out that Depo-Provera wasn't even approved by the FDA yet. He would keep telling me that I should have the fibroid removed so I wouldn't get cancer. Finally after 6 months of hearng about cancer, I agreed to the surgery. He didn't tell me he would be castrating me by removing my ovaries and that my ovaries were my gonads and sexual organs. I wasn't given any information on the life long damages of having my female organs removed. The movie I was shown glorified the surgery and the brochures said things would be better or even greater after the surgery. WHY WOULDN'T I HAVE IT? The consent form said I could die..that was it...Why is castration of men ruled as unconstitutionally cruel, but women castrations is not? When the courts want to castrate a man for rape, there is an outrage. No one seems to care when a woman is castrated. My doctor told me later that only dogs are castrated. After two years of being told it was all phychological by the doctors, I started doing my own research and what I found out was not very pleasant. Reading may books and articles on hysterectomy, I came across an article written by the Hers Foundation. I immediately called Hers to see if anyone was feeling like I was after their surgery. Their answer was they were receiving over 500 calls a day from woman like myself. I was actually relieved that I wasn't the only one on this
Earth who was having problems because each doctor I saw told me I was the first one to complain. Have you heard that One? This surgery has devastated my life, my career, my family life and my friend life. No one can convince me that this isn't for MONEY. Just to name a few of my problems: headaches, eye sight loss, aging faster than usual, loss of sexual feelings, severe osteoporosis, bone and joint pain, memory loss, personality changes, blunting of emotions, nauseous especially in the morning and at first when I couldn't find help, I did have suicidal thoughts, but my small sons helped me from taking my life because how could I leave them without a Mom. Do not tell me this is the best thing that ever happened to you or you feel better than ever because when organs are removed that you need for your well-being, it will and does have an effect on your body and life? I know how hard it is to find out you were castrated. I remember hearing that 'word' and I thought to myself that my doctor wouldn't do that to me, BUT he did! When you remove gonads, men or women, it is called CASTRATION. There is no one who has been hysterectomized and or castrated that is going to come of this feeling good or better than before. Sooner or later, it will happen. Just read the blog and you will understand what I am saying. Yes, I have issues with the medical schools, doctors, hositals, insurance companies and anyone who is involved with financing the business of hysterectomy/castration. WARNING: do not go to an OBGYN for a check-up. They are trained to do hysterectomies and castrations. We who have written on this blog surely don't need to do this because we have lost what we need the most. Our job is now to inform the women who have been talked into this barbaric surgery or are about to have one. Yes, we are doing this for YOU. I don't need to write editorials, go to conferences or speak at them, be on the phone for days trying to help a woman after this surgery cope with her life now. I don't need to open up my personal life to everyone on this Earth. This is not benefiting me, only YOU. Am I mad? Wouldn't you be mad if a doctor you trusted and believed would do the right thing for you ended up castrating you and making you disabled for the rest of your life. PLEASE believe each and every story. They are true stories, not fictional.

 
At January 2, 2008 at 6:09 PM , Anonymous patricia said...

02/jan/08
Women who have had anemia caused by heavy and painful periods will often feel relief after having a hysterectomy however there should be a balance.

According to recent research it looks like unless you have a history of cancer of the ovaries in you family the ovaries should be left in tact,
Also cutting edge research supports the fact that your risk level is low if you have had a low grade cancer of the cervix and a successful cone biopsy, so don’t rush into a hysterectomy and don’t even consider a radical one unless there is evidence that the medical profession can provide you with to support that you will be under a definite threat if you don’t have this major surgery, there is more threat to your well being from the surgery that they are offering you.
Here are some newspaper articles about hysterectomy for your interest, I don’t necessarily believe what the newspapers writer but there are so many traumatic testimonies from women that the research is only just catching up and the medical profession are half asleep or is this an issue of sexism:-

Title: Ovary removal 'raises brain risk'

The female hormone oestrogen may protect the brain
Women who have ovaries removed before the menopause could be increasing their risk of both Parkinson's Disease and memory problems, research suggests.
Removing one or both ovaries at a young age doubled the risk.
Sex hormones made by the ovary may be protecting the brain, said experts from the US Mayo Clinic.
A Parkinson's disease Society spokesman said the Neurology journal study might explain why more men developed the disease.
A large number of women each year have an ovary removed as a result of a cyst, ovarian cancer, or endometriosis.
The health of thousands of women who had undergone surgery on average 27 years ago was examined by the Mayo Clinic researchers.

This also helps to explain why Parkinson's is more prevalent in men than in women

Dr Kieran Breen, Parkinson's Disease Society
As well as checking records for diagnoses of Parkinsonism - movement disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, which can cause uncontrollable muscle tremors - they questioned either the woman or her relatives about the state of her memory.
They found that ovary removal prior to the menopause was clearly linked to an increased chance of poor memory and even dementia.
In addition, Parkinsonism was much more likely in women who had had the operation before the menopause.
Hormone loss
One of the main roles of the ovary, aside from the storage and delivery of eggs, is to produce oestrogen, one of the most important female sex hormones.
Hormone replacement therapy is given to some women who have one or both ovaries removed, but the majority either do not receive it at all, or only get it after the age of 50, said the researchers.
Dr Walter Rocca, the lead researcher, said: "It's possible that oestrogen has a protective effect on the brain and that a lack of oestrogen due to ovary removal may increase a woman's risk of developing memory problems."
He called on doctors to think carefully about the consequences of ovary removal in younger women.
Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Development for the Parkinson's Disease Society, said: "It is well known that oestrogen can protect nerve cells against the effects of external toxins that may be associated with the nerve cell death that gives rise to diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
"This study reinforces previous findings in this area. This also helps to explain why Parkinson's is more prevalent in men than in women."

Removal of ovaries may affect heart
Restraint urged on hysterectomies
By Carey Goldberg, Globe Staff |
August 1, 2005

Among the 600,000 American women who have hysterectomies each year, thousands may die prematurely of heart disease because doctors removed their ovaries along with their wombs, a new study suggests.

It has been medical practice to remove the ovaries of a woman older than 40 or 45 who has a hysterectomy, to eliminate the risk of ovarian cancer, an uncommon but particularly lethal disease.

But the study, which is being published today in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, suggests that women and their doctors should be less reflexive about removing the ovaries during a hysterectomy and more aware of the benefits that ovaries continue to provide well into middle age. Even after menopause, ovaries secrete hormones that help keep bones strong and heart disease at bay.

An editorial suggests that although the study must still be confirmed by other research, doctors will now rethink the advice they give about ovary removal, which is called an oophorectomy.

''While this study is certainly not definitive," the editorial said, ''it is sure to provide significant impact upon clinical practice." Doctors' conversations with older women about ovary removal used to be ''brief and pointed. This is no longer likely to be the case."

The analysis found that 9 percent fewer women whose ovaries had been removed between ages 50 and 54 lived to see their 80th birthdays than did those who had hysterectomies during those years but who had kept their ovaries. As many as 18,000 women a year may die prematurely because of ovarian surgery, said Dr. William H. Parker, the study's lead author.

The older a woman was when she had her ovaries removed, the smaller was the impact on her chances of reaching 80, said Parker, who runs a clinical practice in Santa Monica, Calif., and who is a clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. The younger a woman is when her ovaries are removed, the longer their absence will have an impact on her health.

In addition, women who had hysterectomies but who kept their ovaries reduced their chances of developing ovarian cancer by 40 percent compared with women who did not have hysterectomies.

Women without ovaries cannot have ovarian cancer.

''I would hope that now gynecologists would have this conversation with patients, to say that, like every other issue in medicine, there are risks and benefits," Parker said. ''One of the risks of leaving ovaries in is a small risk of ovarian cancer, but if you remove your ovaries, there now appears to be a larger risk of heart disease and hip fractures."

The question of ovary removal has long been part of a broader debate over whether doctors are performing too many hysterectomies. Nobody questions the need for a hysterectomy, removal of the uterus, when cancer threatens. But it is most often performed for conditions that are not life-threatening, like fibroid tumors or excessive menstrual bleeding. There are now more options for these disorders besides a hysterectomy.Also even with cancer there is an over enthusiasm for hysterectomy as cone biopsy is often a very effective way of removing all the cancerous tissue.

Page 2 of 2 --The ovaries can usually be left intact among women who have a normal risk of cancer, but the medical attitude has often been: ''When in doubt, take them out."

Alerts ''That's similar to saying, 'You might as well remove the elbow so you won't get tennis elbow.' It's true, but at what price?" said Winnifred Cutler, a reproductive biologist and founder of The Athena Institute, a research institute in Chester Springs, Pa.

Cutler reported in a scientific journal back in 1984 that the practice of removing healthy ovaries could not withstand scientific scrutiny, but the controversy persisted. The latest federal data, from the late 1990s, have found that 78 percent of women between ages 45 and 64 who undergo a hysterectomy have their ovaries taken out as well, though most are not at particular risk for ovarian cancer.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the decision about ovaries be tailored to the individual. But in practice, reads the editorial in today's journal, the dominant approach has been that patients under 40 should avoid ovary removal, that those over 55 should have it, and that 45 is a good cutoff point between the two groups.

Doctors had long relied on the assumption that women could take hormone replacement pills to substitute for lost ovaries, but research three years ago suggested that in many cases, those hormones did more harm than good.

''In the present atmosphere, it's very unlikely that women will be taking hormone replacement therapy, and until this is all worked out, I think leaving the ovaries behind is an excellent strategy," said Dr. Richard J. Paulson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California. Paulson was not involved in the new study.

Tess Hoff, a 50-year-old construction designer in Thousand Oaks, Calif., whose ovaries were removed when she had a hysterectomy four years ago, said the surgery probably caused the heart disease that now forces her to limit her activities.

The operation itself, performed to remove a possible tumor, left her with leg pain and pelvic problems, she said in a telephone interview. And the lack of hormones muddled her memory and ruined her sex life, she said.

''Women need to hang on to their ovaries with both hands, kicking and screaming," Hoff said. ''Do not let them take them from you."

Ultimately, said Jonathan S. Berek, a UCLA professor of obstetrics and gynecology and a coauthor of the paper, ''it comes down to counseling the patient and talking pros and cons."

If you are a woman of average cancer risk whose doctor has recommended ovary removal, he said, you should ask whether the surgery will help you live longer.

''And the answer, based on this, is: It's not."

Carey Goldberg can be reached at goldberg@globe.com.

I remember it took until the 60’s for people to even start talking about the female orgasm, well
take a look at at two medical diagrams, a woman’s reproductive organs and a mans's, actually a woman's look very similar to a mans only they are larger and on the inside it doesn’t take much imagination to realize that they
play an important part in creating our zest for life.

No! The ovaries play a large part in the hormonal balance of your body
even after they have officially stopped ovulating and this is why there are so many stories about women becoming depressed after their castration. (Castration is the medical name for this operation by the way)

The attitude that something should be removed in case of something going wrong it is as if to say that nature doesn’t know what it is doing.

If you think you will be able to replace what nature gives you with artificial hormones well good luck to you there were nearly a thousand deaths
In UK alone last year (that is reported and investigated) due to prescription drugs, and the pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

This is serious form of medical bullying and it must be stopped NOW!
SPEAK UP SPEAK OUT
HOLD ONTO YOUR BALLS!

 
At January 2, 2008 at 6:12 PM , Anonymous Patricia said...

Can there be a new term legal developed that can be called 'Medical Bullying’, my experience when I didn’t blindly rush into having a Radical hysterectomy after my successful cone biopsy which had removed all the precancerous tissue, was one of being treated like a juvenile delinquent or a political dissident by the medical profession.

At no point did anyone support my wish to keep my reproductive organs in tact and when an MRI scan showed that I had a lesion in my myometrium, (this is a medical jargon name for what is most likely a fibroid which has something like a 1 in 800,00 chance of being cancerous), my gynecologist waved his finger at me and said ‘You’ve got another tumor’ giving the impression this was cancerous. Now luckily I’m level headed and didn’t trust the man and looked up on the internet what it meant to have a growth in the muscle wall of the uterus.

Another experience was having my hand held by a nurse as if I was riddled with cancer.

After a traumatic time I finally got a gynecologist to admit they wanted to remove my womb and ovaries for a 5% chance of something microscopic and to boot the ovaries have nothing to do with cancer of the cervix.

What is going on? This really must stop without the wealth of information on the internet I would be half the woman I am now.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 12:44 AM , Anonymous Karen said...

This is further to my first blog. One thing the surgeon told me was how my life would improve after the surgery because I would have a better quality of life. My life is more difficult now than it was before surgery.

He also had the adacity (sp??) to tell me I should thank him because he did me a favor because now I don't bleed any more. As I mentioned earlier, I was a strong athletic woman with bike racing potential but after the surgery all my competitive juices completely dried up and I lost all my motivation. People at work wondered what was worng with me.

He wanted to remove my ovaries because he said he was reducing my risk of cancer. He was insistent on removing them. Although I was ignorant and didn't have much time I managed to keep one and there was a verbal agreement to remove them only if there was something dangerous.

After surgery he said he had to remove my right ovary because of a cyst. However, there is no reference to a cyst in the pathology report. Because of all his other lies and deception I do not believe there was ever a cyst. I believe the surgeon took advantage of a verbal agreement where I would have no way to prove anything against him and he covered his tracks in his notes.

WHat is written here and in my first blog are examples of the deception that I encountered with this surgery and the surgeon.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Monica said...

I had a hystorectomy done over 20 years ago. All of that time I have been thinking something was wrong with me, mentally. Before I had the surgery done, my doctor did not inform me of any of these problems that you mention here and I suffer from many of them. When I told my doctor of these symptoms at a later checkup, he said it was all in my head. Now I know better. This does not seem fair. Is there nothing that can be done? I don't even know now if I really needed a hystorectomy. Why aren't women informed fully by their doctors before such a drastic surgery is done? My doctor made it sound routine. My family, especially my husband, has suffered because of this and I would like to know if anything can be done now. Thank you for what your doing.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 9:33 AM , Anonymous Charlotte said...

Wow at last I found something that echos everything I have been feeling and thinking. My hysterectomy maimed me. I can't think of any aspect of my life that is still the same as before the surgery. I could say my past is still the same, but sometimes even that feels like it is slipping away.

I went in because my periods were very strong and I had to go to the restroom alot. The Dr. made one finger exam and told me that my uterus was falling out. He told me it would only get worse. He then told me that at my age 44, I should have a hysterectomy including my ovaries because I wouldn't need them any longer anyway. He said that the chances of me getting ovarian cancer were great. He told that he had just lost his sister in law to the same. He gave me no warning of what it would be like afterwards. He did tell me I would be so pleased and I would thank him. I was a size 4, in great health and working out 4 days a week.

Now I no longer work out , no energy. I am a size 14. I have gained 50 lbs. For the first time in my life my mental health is unstable. I no longer care to have sex, this is something I never would have believed. We had a terrific sex life and now it's gone. My heart health is at a questionable state. My body aches almost constantly. I am starting to wonder if I can keep up my job. I hurt alot and now I've got to force myself to work just 6 hours a day.

I HATE the way I look and feel, both physically and mentally. I am very angry with the profession that allows this. The insuance company too. I feel they have a responsibility in this as well.
Needless to say the dr. who did this to me is no longer my doctor. The problem is I don't have one. I have floundered a bit with Drs. since and given up. Please please stop them.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 8:57 PM , Anonymous Princess said...

I have had a hysterectomy in '98 and I have not been able to set down since. I had more surgery to remove scar tissue in '02. And as of today I still cannot set down without terrible pain. The dr. said I'd be a new woman, better than ever. He never said anything bad could happen. I need help real bad but he says its in my head.

I am worried about a friend she has had a Hysterectomy this year. It was a complete, she is having a hard time. She is not doing good at all, she is in alot of pain especially in the right side in the pelvis area in the vagina.She is in bad shape and don"t know were to turn to.

How come drs can do this to woman and get a way with it and theirs noone to help. I wished I died in that oeperating room. I can't live like this.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 9:25 PM , Anonymous Lina said...

I can't find anything about supracercical hysteroctomies, Last yr I was on a web site but I can't remember which one it was. It said only 6% of american woman have this type of surgery done. That there was no clinical proof it supported anything.

I am soooo distressed aboutthishe wassuposedto take everything and he left my entire cervic with cysts in it. just flopping alone in there . It caused me so much additional pain, then prolapsed and had to be removed inyet another Surgery! I have now found out he does this all the time! women don't even know they have a choice. I have searched extensivly and found what is
called a supracervical hysterectomy astually leaves something besides the cervix. You know ovaries, or falopian tubes I have not found anything about just the hanging cervix any where . He needs to be stopped . I pray you wil be able to help me find something in writting about this procedure. God Bless you for telling the truth about what doctors are doing to us women.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous Brenda said...

I would like to talk to about my story, what happened to me. I fit every description other women said on here. Everything in here it sounded like me to a T. My husband left me and took our kids thinking I am psycho and that I don't want to have sex with him. I have tried to tell him it hurts and that I don't have the drive to do it. The doctor (gynecologist) said "If you don't use it you will loose it." The doctor said that in front of my husband. From then on my husband said its me and I am having a mental problem. My family practitioner didn't like the gynecologist after all of this. I have been on paxil , buspar, and many others trying to get things right and nothing helps. I have been on premarin and it gave me migraines couldn't take that either. I have had shingles and mini-stokes (TIA'S) because of this stress. Thank you for listening to my story and for being there.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 10:00 PM , Anonymous Deidre said...

No doctor told me that the sexual desire was permanent. They
tried testosterine shots in the hip once but the insurance would not pay for treatment. My husband and I
have suffered the lact of sexual contact since this surgery and I blamed myself.

Thank you for being there for me and all the women, and now I will contact my little sister who had
the surgery done when she was twenty-seven and tell her to read this blog.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 11:09 PM , Anonymous Barb said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THis INFORMATION--HOW CAN I HELP WITH GETTING THIS INFORMATION OUT TO OTHERS---I CANT BELEIVE AS AN R.N. FOR 16 YEARS I WAS NOT AWARE OF ANY OF THIS-- BUT EVERY PIECE OF LITERATURE THAT HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO ME HAS NOT HAD ANY MENTION OF THIS! ALL OF THE INFO IS JUST ABOUT HOW BENIGN THE SURGERY IS AND NOT TO CONCERN MYSELF WITH ANY SIDE EFFECTS OR DIFFICULTIES THAT RESULT FROM THE HYSTERECTOMY! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!

 
At January 4, 2008 at 4:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all doctors' consultations for castration and hysterectomy were videotaped, 90% of gynecologists would be in prision.

 
At January 4, 2008 at 4:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don’t even know what to say…. Every time I look at this sight I see my story your story our story! And I get angry, horrified, sad, resentful, infuriated, overwhelmed, and grateful, relieved, passionate, and strong… All in less that 5 min. lol you know what I mean.
Every day I wake up and wonder how am I today? Who am I today? And how am I going to live today? Then I remember, oh I am empty, I have no idea/feeling about who I am, and I have already died… So how do I keep living?
2 years ago… When a man decided he was going to take the person I knew from me and everyone else, without hesitation. I hope he does not have someone come into his life and do this to his wife, daughter, or grand daughter. As he has done to this daughter, sister, wife, and Mother…

I am 29years old and I can see no future, why? Because I have no memories of who I have become no strength and assurance that a person gets from years of learning about ones self and what they have went trough to get there. I am not the same energetic, up beat, playful, sexy woman, I was 2years ago. And so I wake up lost! And try to find my way back, but it’s so hard, and No one around me can seem to understand. And so today I was present, yes that makes it a good day for me as I only thought of killing this body twice. As for tomorrow, its hard to say, the fight is day by day.

Thank You Nora!

Rica

 
At January 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM , Blogger judith said...

Obviously, I can't name the doctor who did this, but if any women from Sydney wish to email me to see if they are at 'risk', I'll respond with his name and address.
Almost 8 years ago I signed a consent form to have two large ovarian cysts removed. I said several times that was all I wanted; that's what it said on the form, I asked many times over if that was all this doctor was doing, even restating it before they knocked me out.
Because I work in special education, my students have difficulty generalising between teachers and I had assumed I would only be out of action for a few weeks.
I woke up in such severe pain that I couldn't believe that all he'd done was excise the cysts. None of my family was informed of what had happened to me. They were puzzled and fearful when they saw how grey and ill I appeared after surgery. It wasn't until the next morning that I was told I'd been hysterectomised.
My husband arrived early on the second day to witness my confrontation with the doctor. I'm normally a forgiving person, tolerant of other's mistakes and injuries; it must have been a sight for my sweet spouse to see me abuse this man when he said that he did it because of my age. He admitted to us that if I had been 32 (I was 48) or on IVF (very common in Sydney) he would have done something else.
I made the decision not sue, as the cost to the insurance company is passed on to increased fees to doctors and their patients, and not to meet with him through the Health Care Complaints Commission. Instead, through the HCCC, I had him dragged before the medical board. I imagine he was shocked I pursued the case this far. The HCCC had never heard his name, so this must have been a 'first' for him. He is still in his office, tending to his patience. Since, I have spoken to 3 other women who have had bad encounters with the same man. If they had complained, he would have been cast out. At least I know that I kicked up such a fuss (even had my denamed letter of complaint printed in the ObGyn magazine for all to read) that I hope I've changed a few minds about these 'gods' deciding for women that they don't require their organs.
I feel lucky compared to many of you. Although I do have a dangerously bad memory and I can identify with some of your other difficulties, I can still manage my challenging life. My anti-anxiety medication helps a little, and basically you can't stop me with a bulldozer.
The point is, they can even do it without your consent. We have to stop them, let them know their ideas about women and their organs are based in misogynistic fiction. Write to doctor educators (as I have done). Write to their ruling bodies. Let all women know what they are up against. Education of all is the key to stopping this practice.

 
At January 5, 2008 at 7:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blog comments are so touching and sad –each one! This is a perfect witness paper about the situation in the brains of a lot of gynecologists. It is hardly to believe and I hope so, that journalists –good ones- and men in politics will react soon. If they don’t react to all this - what can we do? We only can write down our experiences hopening that responible people wil react and help us! Why such things are possible still now?
It is so incredible what they are doing to women and everybody of the health providers stay still in silence- this all is unbelievable – but it is the truth and the reality.

rosa

 
At January 5, 2008 at 8:10 AM , Blogger Gracie said...

Me again! I just wished I could take all your pain away. As I was reading some of your articles, tears filled my eyes. To Brenda; I just want to say shame on your husband. If the doctors castrated him, he would understand how you are feeling. To Rica; You are a beautiful person and your child needs you. Just keep writing and getting yourself informed on how to keep going on with your life. You are special and I am so sorry this had to happen to you. My wish for the New Year is for every doctor who has done this to us would also get castrated. They shouldn't even be called doctors, only money hungary butchers. This year will be 20 years for me. 20years of emptiness, sadness, being sick and feeling very angry. Somehow 15 years ago, I picked myself up and started fighting! I have written editorials to local newspapers (find out who your editor is and email address and I will email him), talked to my state senators and have spoken at conferences. You can also do this! I don't go to doctors anymore unless absolutely necessary. I am on herbal supplements which has helped me a lot, especially Omega 3. My sister would have had surgery if I had not been with her. That doctor threw the Hers Information on the floor when I put it on his desk. My niece probably would have ended up having surgery (for a very small cyst) if I had not comfronted her doctor. Do whatever it takes to get yourself mentally and physically healthy again and then LETS FIGHT AND HELP THE HERS FOUNDATION PASS A LAW. What would we do without the Hers Foundation and Nora?

 
At January 5, 2008 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous Nancy said...

I just learned of your organization today. I had an abdominal hysterectomy that now I know I didn’t even need for fibroids. I am writing with what I thought was an unususal condition. Then I read all these women’s experiences. I recieved nerve damage from a hysterectomy 4 yrs ago and now have a numb vagina. So far 6 gyn's and a neurologist have not been able to help me. Although I’m mad and sad for me it’s a relief in a way to know I’m not the only woman with this condition. The gyn’s say it’s in my head.

I feel it's important to keep us all in touch so we can discuss this issue and any new information that becomes available about how to fix our bodies and how to fix the people who did this to our bodies. Thanks for doing something about it for all of us and future generations of women. Thank you!!!!

 
At January 5, 2008 at 9:52 AM , Anonymous Shannon said...

I had a hysterectomy 2 years ago. I suffer from one or more of the symptoms women talk about here especially loss of sexuality.

Can I sue my physician? My husband went with me to the doctor before the surgery and we asked if it would effect our sex life and she said flat out "NO, SEX WILL BE The SAME OR BETTER!". She lied, she misrepresented this procedure to me and my husband. I still can't believe it. My husband is wonderful and he loves me just as much but I can't even tell you what this has done to me and our marriage.I've lost all sexual feeling.

Thank you everyone for a safe place to talk about this. It's lonely and painful. I feel lost.

 
At January 5, 2008 at 11:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a full hysterectomy in 1993 at the age of 33 due to fybroid. I have since become disabled due to severe depression and anxieity. I had to leave my job, and now find it difficult to live life normally. I went back to my OB/GYN to see if it could be hormonal and he basic told me it was all in my head. I am so glad to find your blog and web site, and to find I am not alone. My husband wants to sue him but I think the statuate of limitations has run out. Thanks so much for caring.

 
At January 5, 2008 at 12:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. I've never done anything like this before. I am a 45 year old woman who had a hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries and my uterus. It was the worst decision I have ever made. I am sexually impotent, and it is ruining my marriage. I take sublingual drops of bio-identical testosterone, as well as tri-est gel applied topically 2 times a day. i also have a .025 mg. estradiol patch. I also take a
natural multi-vitamin daily. Still I grieve for the healthy sexuality I had prior to surgery. I am desperate. Thank god for the honesty of all the women here. I hope reporters see this and warn women. And men. Men suffer from what this does to their wives and their family too.

 
At January 5, 2008 at 6:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a hysterectomy August 2006 due to endometrosis. I now have no sexual desire, intercourse is painful. I'm tired all the time.
Have trouble going to sleep. My joints and muscles hurt, I'm depressed, and I can't seem to loose weight. I eat healthy and I've tried exercising regularly, but since my surgery, I'm just tired all the time. After working and trying to keep up with the house, I just don't feel like it.
I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm sick of hearing how exercise helps all of this, because I really don't feel any better when I do. Every day is just a chore getting out of bed. Even on vacation, I had to force myself to have a good time, because of being so tired. The doctor said I'd be back to normal in six weeks. I asked a lot of questions before but I didn't know his answers were lies.Why are doctors doing this to women??? Why doesn't someone stop them???

 
At January 6, 2008 at 12:27 AM , Anonymous Janet said...

thank you to Gracie and Cathy and all the women who have told their stories. I have felt so angry and alone before I found this. My doctor only gave me two options 1. treatment with hormone (I'm allergic), 2.hysterectomy. Since my surgery I walk with a limp from severe nerve damage and I'm in constant pain everyday. The surgeon kept telling me thatI was the very first person to experience any problems from this procedure and she had no clue on how to help me. So THANK YOU AGAIN.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 9:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another elective surgery:

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/malpractice/st/?postId=6529&pageTitle=Botched+Surgery+Leaves+Nurse+Disabled%2C+Unable+To+Work

I bet this doctor received kickbacks.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 9:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six years ago, at age 41, I went to a gynecologist for a routine pap smear.

When I went to that appointment, I had NO symptoms--NO health problems whatsoever! I was just following the guidelines of the medical establishment.

This was the first time I met that doctor. During the exam, he told me I had a massive fibroid tumor that needed to be removed as soon as possible. He made it sound very scary.

But he also presented himself as someone who was so kind and caring. I thought, "How lucky I am to have found a GOOD doctor if I'm going to have to deal with this terrible health crisis!"

I did ask many questions, but he not only didn't give me the information I should have had, he blatantly LIED to me!

This is a long story with many details, but to summarize it...I did NOT need that surgery. And because of it, the quality of my life has greatly diminished. For me, everything has changed, everything is lost. I want my body back, my life back. I want to be the me who I was before.

But then comes the painful realization of...this is permanent.
I am overwhelmed with disbelief. I waste my thoughts struggling to find answers that don't exist. "This is America, how did this happen here?" "What about our protections? Our rights?" "Why isn't the man who did to this me considered a criminal?"

But it gets me nowhere. I'm looking for something that can't be found because it doesn't exist. This is how things are, this is how they will remain. I'm not ever going to be me again. There will never be justice. And what happened to me--here in an American hospital--legally--was genital mutilation! "A rose, by any other name..."

 
At January 6, 2008 at 10:38 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

This is not how things will remain.

With your help and the help of hundreds of thousands of women and men who refuse to accept the surgical abuse of women this can and will be stopped.

Speaking out and telling the truth about how you were deceived and lulled into a sense of safety by a doctor who lied to you and ruined your life is a vitally important and powerful thing to do. Writing on HERS blog about how begin hysterectomized and castrated damaged your body, destroyed your sex life, fractured your vitality, and shattered who you were before this was done to you, makes you part of the solution.

I agree with you that there is no justice for women who have been hysterectomized and castrated because the surgery is permanent it cannot be undone.

You have the power to change this for future generations of girls and women. You can gather support to change the law to compel doctors to provide HERS 12-minute educational video, “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs” to every woman before she is told to sign a Hysterectomy Consent form. Make sure that every person you know signs the Petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saynotilyouknow/.

Don’t give doctors the power to keep removing the female organs from the next generation of women. Take it away from them. Sign the petition today and tell everyone you know to sign the petition NOW.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 3:40 PM , Anonymous Sad Angry Husband said...

My wife was given a total hysterectomy a little over a year ago. She is no longer the person I have known for the last 20 years mentally or physically. She was always a healthy strong female until she was butchered and mutilated by a greedy doctor who lied to both of us insisting it had to be done. Since this happened to her, she moves around like an old lady with weakness and joint pain. She hardly ever went to the doctors all her life, but now we are bombarded with healthcare costs trying to fix the damage that was done to her. She has never been someone to cry, but after this was done to her, she cried almost every day for 8 months. I've tried to help her but I just don't know what to do. It took her three months after the surgery to just be able to fill the dishwasher because she has so much pain. After over a year, she is not able to do half what she used to do before. We no longer have a sexual relationship. It causes her so much pain it is impossible. Her ability to reach orgasm is almost non-existent and she has lost feeling in most of her genital area. This doctor has not only ruined her life, but he has ruined my life with her. I feel like I am living in a nightmare. I don't know how to help her.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 4:11 PM , Anonymous Bobbi said...

To sad angry husband and everyone,

Thank you for sharing how you feel. My husband may be sad and angry when he reads it but I think he'll be glad to know he's not the only husband that feels that way. He doesn't have any one but me to talk to about it and he does not say much except that he is frustrated and angry that this was done to me.

I had a complete hysterectomy, uterus and ovaries, in 2002
and was told that I would not be any different than I was before and since I was 45, at the time, and had all my children and was having menstrual problems that it would be better for me. Yeah right! I was reading through what other women are experiencing and can relate to so many of them! Especially loss of sex drive and hot flashes! The Dr. had me on Premarin estrogen, but I quit taking it as I was getting severe leg cramps at night. I also think it was effecting my memory because I have a hard time remembering things anymore. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone. The Drs. say things like I’m older and that is why I don’t have a sex drive. But there was nothing wrong with my sex drive before the surgery.

Now I know I was castrated too. It is unbelievable!

What the Dr. said is not true. I am different than I was before. I am not the same person. Thank you.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 4:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a hysterectomy 24 years ago at age 35. Uterus, cervix, & left tube & ovary were removed. The right tube & ovary were removed a yr. before. I have had numerous problems I've tried in vain to address repeatedly with my doctors. Some of the issues I have been trying to resolve for years are fatigue, excess sweating, inability to lose weight (I had the same problem in all 3 of my pregnancies, but lost the weight immediately until after hysterectomy), non-arthritic joint & muscle pain, need a lot of sleep and afternoon naps almost daily, but only getting 3 - 6 hours of sleep per night, waking up at least as tired as I went to bed, if not more so, spastic bladder, frequent ill defined illnesses, depression, forgetfulness, my body thermostat doesn't seem to work well, I have to wear socks all day, but at night my feet get so hot I can't stand to have anything on them. I think I'd like to see a specialist, but I'm not sure I can take another male doctor telling me its all in my head, or female doctor for that matter.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 5:06 PM , Anonymous Vila said...

Today is Jan. 6, 2008. I am scheduled for a subtotal hysterectomy on Jan. 8, 2008. I found this site on Jan. 5. THANK GOD! I can't believe I almost had a hysterectomy! I am just in SHOCK at what I am finding out on this site. I thought I had done my research but everything I've read (before this site) encourages this barbaric procedure! I can't believe my doc did not even discuss anything like this to me. And she's a female doc!

I am a healthy 35 year-old mom of 2 kids. I have 6cm fibroids that's causing prolong and heavy periods and is causing me to be anemic as well. And some pain during intercourse.

I don't know what to do now. Should I opt for a myomectomy instead?

 
At January 6, 2008 at 5:42 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Vila,

For information about fibroids you can click on the link to HERS previous Post about fibroids near the top on the right side of the page.

You can also receive information about fibroids and alternatives by going to HERS web site: www.hersfoundation.org. You can fill out the contact form on HERS web site requesting information about fibroids and information will be emailed to you within 24 hours. You can also call HERS at 610.667.7757 and ask to have fibroid information emailed.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 6:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 46 year old women who had a hysterectomy at the age of 21. I have no sex life to speak of since that time. Doctors have been of no real help. I thought maybe it was just me, until I saw this. Now I know i t's not just me.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 11:47 PM , Anonymous Michelle said...

I had a total hysterectomy 23 years ago when I was 32 years old and I am still trying to learn how to cope with it. It has nearly destroyed my life. It certainly changed my sex life and not for the better. I am married and it is a constant fight to keep the sexual aspect of my marriage alive. This is the first time I found some hope in learning how to cope and seeing the symptoms I am experiencing are not in my head is a relief.

The HERS Foundation is a God send to women like me and to women facing the possibility of a hysterectomy. I wish you were around when I had to make the decision 23 years ago. The information you provide is priceless. Thank you for what you are doing for women.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 7:15 AM , Blogger Gracie said...

Dear Vila, I along with all the women on this blog are happy you found out this information before your scheduled hysterectomy/castration tomorrow. It is a good day when a woman is saved from their doctor butchering them and destroying their life. Female Doctors are no better than male Doctors because they need to make money also. This surgery would not take away some of your symptoms, only give you more. You MUST find a doctor who is competent in performing a myomectomy because it could turn into a hysterectomy/castration. Call Hers for a doctor. You might not have to do anything but change your diet. I told my sister to get on organic milk and meat products and that has helped her alot. PLEASE ladies write on your consent form that you do not want a hysterectomy/castration and if performed, you (the doctor) will be sued. Have a nurse and the doctor sign it and make two copies, one to keep for yourself. He will probably not want to do this and if so, find another doctor. It is your patient rights. Now that you have read everyone's story, spread the word to other women that are thinking about having this life-altering surgery or have had one to watch the video and sign the petition so Hers can get a law passed. You will now have a wonderful life Vila because you have your sexual hormone producting organs. I will say it again, DO NOT GO TO A OBGYN FOR A CHECK UP. Their income comes from performing hysterectomies/castrations.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 8:11 AM , Anonymous Cathy said...

Vila, I'm so glad you found this site before you were butchered. I don't mean to scare you, but be very careful what doctor you choose. The consent form will not protect you. Please contact HERS for a referral. Many women only consent to have a fibroid or a cyst removed, only to wake up with all their organs amputated. Hysterectomy is how gynecologists make their money, not in finer surgeries. Once you are under anesthesia, you have no control. My doctor went so far as to falsify my consent form after I had made it abundantly clear I did not want a hysterectomy. My uterus was healthy other than a less than 1 cm fibroid, but he amputated anyway. BE VERY CAREFUL! Consent laws are not enforced and once your organs are gone, there's no getting them back.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 9:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...
As a thin woman I could see the so called 6cm Fibroid Tumor? growing out of my obdomen, it started to look like a pregnancy and my husband and I were watching it grow very fast, I was in good health with regular menstral cycles at this point.
I was told by the obgyn that a tumor growing fast was an indication of cancer, in writing. I was told their was no way of finding the cancer until it was removed. I was told that the tumor?, was too large to remove the tumor and it would grow back, if removed. We were told in writing that sex would be as good or better and my health would be the same or better.
I was not well and did not know I was heading into a condition called hyperthyroid (your body goes into fast forward from too much thyroid hormones.) I was being coached by a friend of mine who had a hysterectomy at this time, she told me "everything stayed the same for me", and "it was the best thing I ever did." The so called friend said, "sex stayed the same for me" until after the surgery. The women then said to me, "isin't it horrible when it shrivels all up" and "my ovaries blew out within a year after the surgery."
I also did not know, and the obgyn doctor did not inform me, that my endocrine system (thyroid) is directly connected to the ovaries, although, thyroid nodule was marked on my chart. I was told by the obgyn that I had a lesion on my rectum too, I learned after the surgery from another doctor that a begnign cyst had come to the surface.
I was the perfect victim for the phoney information, it is legal for predator obgyn's, for decades, to trick women into surgery for profit.
I woke up after a hysterectomy cut in half with no cancer found and de-sexed. Within three and a half weeks after the surgery my body was moving robotically, I had unquenchable thirst, could not sleep and had high anxiety, it was a living nightmare. My vaginal area, abdomen and incision were excruciating, I could not concentrate and could barely walk I was in so much pain. I was sent to doctor after doctor, a heart specialist for possible insipitus diabetes (no wasn't that after heart monitor tests, and urinating into a half gallon jug for 24 hours and blood tests.) I had an MRI (was it an abdominal problem, NO), an endocrine specialist, yes, I was on Atenolol and Tapazole within six weeks for the hyperthyroid. I then continued to take the Tapozole for eight months to slow down the thyroid.
The inhuman treatment I suffered at the hands of these legal criminals was a torture. I was told after the surgery by the surgeon, "You could have looked it up", after I said, I was finding that he had not done the right thing, he then chuckled as he said, "Now you can get a Harley and a tattoo.", and many other crass comments and lies, this after he and their staff pretended I was ill.
While I was suffering with a "klebsiella pnumonia" hospital born infection during the so called six week recovery time, gone untested and untreated the comments from the colleagues of this surgeon in their practice were cruel beyond the limits of inhumanity. Several of the doctors in the practice said coldly, "Get some counciling", and "we dont offer counciling services here." Another doctor in the same practice said coldly, "your not coping, your not coping", as she glared at me, without ever examining me, as I lay writhing in pain. Another doctor in the practice then said to me, "it served you well", and "you can't put it back", regarding my unnecessarily amputated sex organs.
As I lay screaming in pain with a hospital born infection gone untested and my sex organs amputated in hyperthyroid, I was then told by this practice that it was a psycological disorder called "vulvodynia." The nurse was instructed to give me the web address, ourgyn, on the internet for me to learn more about the psycological disorder. I was encouraged to go to a major clinic who specialized in "vulvodynia", a condition where women have pain that is unexplanable medically. When I viewed the site, it was graphic photo's of what looked like infected vaginal areas, explaining the psycological disease with no cure, "vulvodynia." Oh, my God, I was sreaming in pain, they are torturing me.
I then saw a "top doctor", in the nation. He said he did see the, hysterectomy damage, he said I would need to learn to care for the damage.
Another doctor outside the practice then told me, "You are disabled by a hysterectomy and will need to learn what your limitations are." She also said, "You made the best decision you could with the information you were given."
They disabled me, for money and sick profit, I was in shock, pain and being tortured.
I was dismissed as a patient from my life long obgyn's office at this point by "certified mail" with a hospital born infection, now tested but untreated. Two doctors finally treated me for the infection using two strong antiobiotics at once for fourteen days at another obgyn clinic.
I have been permanently physically, mentally and emotionally damaged by the group of so called doctors who removed my sexuality, endocrine health, health and sensuality by deceit, legally.
Please stop these predator ob/gyn surgeons from ruining lives, this hysterectomy lie is long overdue to be a cruel historical fact. Just look at the statistics of how many women actually had cancer, not many. Do you think these women agreed to have surgery because they weren't lied too?
Stop these sociopathic OB/GYN,doctors, now, with a law.
THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS LIVES WE ARE TALKING ABOUT BEING MAIMED BY DECEIT.
MILLIONS OF US, AND OUR TORTURED LOVED ONES.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 12:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in a terrible desperate situation. My condition is getting worse everyday and I am so scared. Everyday is immense suffering and I don't know how much longer I can take it. After my hysterectomy, I never got better. I went back to the doctor and he just kepted telling me that it was normal. The pain is unbearable. My buttocks and rectum are involved. Also my lower right leg hurts. I think I am the only person in the world this has happen to. All my family doctor wants to do is give me Oxycontin painkillers and it takes the edge of but it's not fixing the problem. My son needs me. I hate him seeing me this way. I vegetate on the couch, just hating to get up to pee is the worse and it hurts to pee. This is not living at all.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 4:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

male in mich.
To Vila, I'm not a freq. visitor here just happen to log on this AM and seen your post. I assume you are still married or have a good partner in your life. Make sure he is involved in your MAJOR decision, he WILL be affected over time. Watch out for your surgeon as h/she will slip a consent form into the mix of paperwork that will end up permanently altering your life. Get a second, third or fourth opinion if necessary. Ask questions a lot of them and weed out the deception. GYN/OB's make a lot of money off of this. "do you have insurance"? This site has a lot of good information that has helped me understand what transformed my wife. We are still married but it is not easy. God bless you.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 4:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Nora Coffee and the HERS FOundation for opening my eyes, 35 years after my own Gyn/Surgeon deceived me into signing a consent form, without the necessary 'informed consent' required by law for these sex organ surgeries.

This is cruelty of the worst kind.

My life has never been the same since my surgery and no physician I have ever consulted has even begun to deal with the real issues created by my sex organ surgery. I had both ovaries removed and a total hysterectomy done at age 24, and done because of deception and lack of full disclosure by my Gyn/Surgeon.

Apart from telling me that everything else would remain the same after the 2 sex-organ surgeries I had, and that I would need to take Hormone Replacement Therapy for the rest of my life and that I would no longer have my monthly periods, I was told none of the above techincal surgical details. None!

Even after my 2 surgeries (3 weeks apart) I did not fully understand the details of what was done to me.

My surgeon 35 years ago used a pencil and pointed to a 12-inch plastic figurine on his desk to point to the sex organs and body parts he would remove during my surgery, never mentioning the many blood vessels, muscles, nerves etc. that would all be removed and the displacement of my other body parts due to the removal of these major organs from my body.

I was lied to at that time, and 35 years later, this practice of lying and omitting necessary information from patients before and even after surgery apparently continues.

We all need to sign the HERS Petition to have 'informed consent' become law in this country and worldwide.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 4:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This weekend while working at an expo, I was speaking a man who said he was a spiritual “shaman”…. I will call him a hustler. Somehow we came upon a subject about the differences between a woman and a man. In this conversation he was telling me that women have a place and it is our fault that the world/economy is where it is now. I was sitting back listening to the blah blah blah, of his uneducated, non-sense. He even told me a poem he had wrote to women about women telling us to stop trying to work in corporate and politics, and to remember our place.

Again I just sat politely and let him speak his unwisely words, when he made a comment that absolutely touch a nerve in me! He said women every day are “castrating” men. I said when? how? I even got excited, only for the sake of men possibly knowing how it feels… He said we are castrating men’s minds, by working and “making” men stay at home with our children, doing house work and playing the “female role.” I told him he was using his words loosely and asked him if he knew the definition of castration? He horribly attempted to pull something out of his @s$. When I gave him a clear and accurate definition of “castration” with definite confidence in my voice. I then gave him the statistics of male Dr. (gyns) in the U.S. that are/have been “CASTRATING” women everyday ( not forgetting to give to say that there are female Dr’s as well!) I said to him, that a mind can be changed and castration can not. I finished our conversation by asking why write a poem to women?, And not to his fellow men?

I explained that I seek knowledge and guidance, counseling from women and not men, why because we can relate and understand ach other. I said if he feels this way why not write a poem about men, to men about how to keep our mother, sister’s wives, and daughter’s complete and whole women……

He appeared to be a little puzzled, as I never disclosed my own situation of being 29 year old women who was castrated 2 years ago.

The point of my story is, without HERS and the amazing women with in it, I would not have been able to educate him and a few others around us. And to do so without hesitation and with such confidence in my words. I also did it all with little to no emotion never allowing him to see the hurt that this brings me everyday!!!

I met a women during this conversation who was listening and approached me afterwards needing support (I set her your way Nora and to the hers foundation.
So my words really did more than I thought.

I wrote last week saying it was a struggle everyday day to live and not make the decision to just check out. Thanks to Gracie who was persistent about posting. And thanks to what I have received from you and you and you.

Because of that, I lived today, to write this…..

Trying to find my way,
Rica

 
At January 7, 2008 at 6:06 PM , Anonymous Mother said...

Since my daughter has been gutted recently, I have been aware of the devastation this operation causes. A woman's reproductive organs are vital to a woman's health and if removed affects the function of most other organs. A physically healthy woman for 44 years, never needed a doctor except for check ups, she now feels terrible with pain and disillusionment. She went into emergency with stomach pain, was lied to and the gutting preformed for no reason. I am 78 years old and an invalid. She is my caregiver, to my husband also, who is now deceased so it has been extremely devastating for all of us. OB/GYN's are criminals and should be thrown in prison.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 7:47 PM , Anonymous Maryann said...

I had A Hysterectomy two years ago at the age of 30 and since it
has ruined my life as a woman. No one under stands what I am going through and I feel like my life is over. I have a a great husband but I feel bad for him and think he deserves more than my body can give now. I have a lot of guestions that I need some straight answers to. Thank you, your blog is great I just wish I had found it two years ago. No doctor told me what to expect and now it's too late for me.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 8:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ask these ‘experts’ at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center why any Judge would suggest castration of a criminal male sexual predator, as a possible ‘preventative’ measure of future criminal sexual acts by that criminal sexual predator.

QUESTION:
If some castrated females, according to the UPMC website, as quoted below, report ‘an increase in their sexual enjoyment’, AFTER CASTRATION, surely some castrated males (including criminal sexual predators) might also report a similar increase in their sexual enjoyment after male castration?????

Does the extensive research of UPMC on the topic of male and female castration reveal even one such case of ‘ increased sexual enjoyment’ by a castrated male????

This is such a blatant, illogical and outright lie for doctors/professors to continue suggesting that sex may be better for women, after the removal of their female sex organs.

We women must rise up and tell these liars and perpetrators of lies, that they are liars!!!!

UPMC have the responsibility to notify the public generally and all JUDGES in particular, that even after male castration, that males may have the same ‘increased sexual enjoyment’ after the removal of their male sex organ, if any logic is to be applied to their educational material on the subject.

Jokers! That is what they are, a bunch of educated, imbicilic, Jokers at the UPMC!

Thank you HERS Foundation for using God’s gift of wisdom and compassion to enlighten us all with your information, logic, patience and persistence in the quest for TRUTH on this topic.

Reference
This HERS Foundation blog article,
Part I—University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Section B

Quote:
Finally, the last subheading is “Sexual.” In this subsection UPMC tells us, “Some women notice a change in their sexual response after a hysterectomy. Because the uterus has been removed, uterine contractions you may have felt during orgasm will no longer occur. If the ovaries have been removed, vaginal dryness may be a problem, but this is usually relieved with the use of estrogen. SOME WOMEN REPORT AN INCREASE IN THEIR SEXUAL ENJOYMENT, possibly because they are relieved of the pain from the condition that prompted this procedure, or no longer need to worry about an unintended pregnancy.” END OF QUOTE

 
At January 7, 2008 at 8:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm writing to give my view of hysterectomies....I am a 49 year old female who underwent a hysterectomy approx. three years ago.I decided on the hysterectomy route because my friend and I were talking one day and she was having major problems with her period and was scheduled for a hysterectomy the following week. I had always dreaded/despised having a period and at that time decided I would do anything NOT to have one. I wasn't having any real problems. My husband and I were very sexually active and this just interupted our fun. I decided to change from my gynecologist to my friends gynecologist because I had problems, heavy periods, cramps which weren't that bad - basically the symptoms he needed to hear - he scheduled a complete hysterectomy ovaries,uterus.

That was the BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE! I am a completely different
person. It has changed my life drastically; the most important this is: I have no sex drive. I fake every feeling - emotionally, sexually - there is. I'm like a zombie. That doctor should have his license taken away. My husband and I have divorced. The gynecologist NEVER told me about the side effects of a hysterectomy. He must be the worst woman hater there ever was. Obviously, being a gyneocologist is all a joke to him. It's a daily struggle for me to accept the fact that I'm an attractive WOMAN! I hope every woman who reads this is warned DO NOT HAVE A HYSTERECTOMY – IT RUINS YOUR LIFE.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 9:09 PM , Blogger Elaine said...

I posted earlier in this blog but wanted to post again to thank Nora Coffey and the HERS Foundation for all the tireless hard work they have done to educate the world about this barbaric surgery, to save intact women from the lifelong consequences of hysterectomy and castration for benign problems, and for providing this blog for women like me who have already been damaged to have a voice. Thank you to all of the women here for your courage in sharing what has happened to you. Our collective voices together can not be ignored! Please sign the petition so that other women do not have to endure the hell we have.
I also wanted to mention that I too, like Rica mentioned a few posts ago, struggle daily to find the will to go on another day. I can't count the number of times I have just wanted to give up. Just this last weekend I wanted to die. I am in so much relentless pain from fibromyalgia triggered by being castrated along with osteoporosis that is forcing my posture to be slumped despite my desperate attempts to exercise and take supplements and hormones to slow it down. I once was very active (hiking, canoeing, dancing) but now can barely work part time, let alone get out and have a social life. My boyfriend is frustrated with me and at times, like last weekend, he loses his patience with me. Who could blame him? I am a shell of the person I was before. I have cried more in these last few years than I have in a lifetime times three. Sometimes I feel so utterly alone. I wonder how those of you so many years post hysterectomy and castration have managed to make it that far. Already at 35 I feel like I am ninety. I am almost certain, as hard as I am fighting against this osteoporosis, that I will be crippled and bent over by the time I am fifty if I live that long. How do you keep putting one foot in front of the other every single day for years and years? How does one accept that sex will never be the same? How does one overcome the grief and rage of being lied to and tossed aside like a used car ready for the junkyard?
Aside from my family and my lover, the only thing keeping me going is making my voice heard, and wherever I can letting others know what hysterectomy and/or castration does to a woman. I have nothing to gain by it but a clear conscience in knowing that I may have saved someone else from going through the hell that I am. Just last week I talked to an acquaintence who is struggling with painful menses and wants a hysterectomy. She had absolutely no idea what a hysterectomy involves, or that at her age, mid forties, most likely her gynecologist would not save her ovaries, even if she specifically wrote on the consent form to save them. You see, they can see a cyst while in there and claim it might have been cancerous and constituted removing a woman's ovaries regardless of her signing a consent form not to remove them. They can claim it was an emergency and exempt from consent. Our reproductive organs are not valued by society beyond reproductive capacity. This coworker did not even know what endometriosis was, had never heard of a myomectomy, had not even been diagnosed with a particular problem yet. She simply thought that a hysterectomy would relieve her of painful periods and she would not have to deal with them anymore. And sadly her gynecologist probably would have given her one, without informing her of ALL the risks involved or the long term consequences. A hysterectomy is not like having your tonsils removed. She thanked me for sharing what I knew and said she had a lot to reconsider.
Thanks again for listening and for such an informative site!

 
At January 7, 2008 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not been feeling well since my hysterectomy. Now I have been experiencing burning and pain in my head and my scalp. I have seen many Drs and have almost given up hope that I will ever feel well again. After finding this blog I realized I have alot of the problems many other women have and that makes me feel a little better mentally.

Does anyone else have the burning and pain in the head and scalp since their hysterectomy? The women here have courage to talk about this. I wish I had found you before my hysterectomy. My Dr never told me what you have. I appreciate your honesty.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 11:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having spent 35 of my past 60 years on this earth as a castrated female, without my ovaries, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and some very critical blood vessels – muscles - nerves, all vital for complete bodily function, I feel it is my duty to share some observations.

Females who seek the convenience of birth control methods of tying their fallopian tubes to avoid pregnancy, or removing their uterus for the same purpose in the hope of being able to ‘enjoy’ more sex without the fear of an unwanted pregnancy, too often end up losing the very thing they sought. Enjoying more frequent sex.

Females who get inappropriate treatment for fibroids etc., and suffer for many, many years at the hands of ignorant ‘doctors’ and often suffer from uncontrolled bleeding and painful, extended monthly menstruation, sometimes seek relief from this condition by selecting to have a ‘hysterectomy’ believing this will free them to enjoy more frequent sex. This is an illusion.

Even close friends do not always admit to their lack of sexual desire after these surgeries. There are many different reasons for this.

BOTTOM LINE:

Removing female sex organs does not increase a woman’s desire for more sex. Unless the male population gets this message loud and clear, they will continue to encourage their wives/loved ones to have these surgeries in the hope both they and their partner will enjoy more frequent sexual activity.

I can fully appreciate that there are individual situations where there are young children in a marriage that must be given priority concern, or financial situations etc. where women feel they must fake their own feelings and desires, after these mutilating surgeries, just to secure a higher ‘good’. This I fully understand.

I want to encourage those of us who have the independence and freedom to speak out and share the truth on this issue, to do so. Our individual voices, when heard collectively, will make the difference.

Some surgeons may be performing and encouraging these surgeries for money, and I feel sure some doctors, who are not surgeons, may be encouraging these surgeries out of IGNORANCE. We, the victims of their ignorance, can enlighten them. We who have endured this sex-organ mutilation can tell our story, and say how unhappy we are that we were tricked into it, by misinformation, lack of information and just plain lies.

Fortunately for me, during the past 35 years I have earnestly sought and happily found some insight into a few healing modalities that do work. These modalities can not reverse the effects of sex organ surgeries. It is too late after surgery.

Some natural healing modalities, however, may go a long way in possibly preventing the necessity for surgery, if our bodies can become healthy, naturally.

Using whole foods as part of this healing regime, can be extremely enjoyable. Food can be fun and if not a perfect substitute for sex, comes a close second I guess!

I will share more about my personal experience with some natural, gentle, healing modalities in subsequent blog postings.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 11:03 PM , Anonymous Ginny said...

Thank god for all of you!!! I am a 25 year old mother of three boys who underwent a full hysterectomy last year. The doctor who performed my surgery told me my sex life would be great afterwards and that I would feel great.....just the opposite has been going on...the dr who performed my surgery told me to find a sexual therapist and that there was nothing she could do for me. I have felt helpless and alone and my marriage is on the rocks due to this. Im so glad to find out that im not alone. Women should be told the truth about this...not lies!!!

 
At January 7, 2008 at 11:22 PM , Anonymous cathy said...

Women who have been surgically raped by gynecologists should be given retribution just like the children who were molested by priests. Then the predators should be castrated and sentenced to a life in prison. Make no mistake, they are serial butchers hiding behind the "M.D." at the end of their name. They are sex offenders of the worst kind preying on unsuspecting women.

 
At January 8, 2008 at 10:15 AM , Anonymous Melinda said...

I just had fibroids, I didn't really have any problems, but my doctor said they were growing and he scared me.

My life is a disaster since my hysterectomy, in 2002. Now my right kidney has shriveled up and shows adhesions. This was discovered by a scan for a kidney stone in my other kidney, among soooooooooo many other problems I cannot seem to control. Has anyone else had kidney problems?

I need to know from you women who live with this How to salvage my sanity, and life as I once Knew it, and what I can do to help Stop this from being done to more women.

 
At January 8, 2008 at 10:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This surgery is done exclusively on women. If men were to suddenly develop benign fibroid tumors or begin to bleed, would they willingly submit to being castrated? Certainly not! The medical community would rush to find a solution that would allow them to keep their sexual organs. I wonder what would happen if we castrated 600,000 men every year and then told them they’d be “good as new” and would never miss their testicles.

It is too late for me to avoid a hysterectomy. But I want to do everything I can to help my daughters, granddaughter, and other women to avoid them. Tell me what I can do, organizations, contacts, whatever, and I’ll help to find solutions to the hysterectomy issue, how I can help HERS change the law, I would appreciate it so much.

 
At January 8, 2008 at 11:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll tell my story later as I only have a few minutes to post now.

As far as taking action - my suggestions would be to file a formal complaint with your state's medical board. Although these boards are made up of doctors and doctors usually stand up for other doctors, they are required to investigate the complaint and the more they get for this surgery, the more impact it will have.

Also, write your congressmen and state's attorney general possibly referring them to this site (Nora - would you agree?). Any media - Oprah, newspapers, etc.

I also followed up with the lawyers that turned down my case and referred them to this blog whether it be for the next woman that comes to them seeking justice or for a woman/girl they love or care about.

Also, if you have used a therapist since your hyst, ask your therapist to post. He/she obviously can't list any details nor would you probably want him/her to but I would think he/she could still speak for the devastation it causes.

Family and friends.

Rate the surgeon and any other doc that misled you - ratemd.com, healthgrades.com, drscore.com and there are others but I don't recall what they are (they were listed in a recent issue of Prevention magazine).

Write to magazine editors to spotlight this issue. Prevention did one in August (not sure if it was the result of an email I sent them or not) but it wasn't nearly detailed enough as it didn't discuss the horrible adverse effects; it just mentioned that the surgery is much too common and there are other treatments (which it discussed) for uterine problems. Did not even touch on the whole deception / lies issue. I plan to write Prevention again and refer them to this blog.

And the "friends" and coworkers that had this surgery and didn't warn me - I haven't figured out how to handle that as I think I want to do it anonymously. I don't think they are really ok! They just try to make themselves believe that they are. Sometimes I wish I could do the same (while still being honest with someone who's contemplating this surgery as I could not live with myself if I didn't).

Just want to also say thanks to Nora and Rick and everyone else involved at HERS for their tireless efforts to STOP THIS ABUSE! You are our fearless leaders!

 
At January 8, 2008 at 7:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Post hysterectomy 4 years, have my ovaries never been right sicne.
Doctor would rather leave them in since I was 34 years old. Nite seweats,face hairs, NO libido, irrtitable so waht is left? I have the ovaries.

Before I found your web site I thought I was GOING MAD, and sometimes I still do. Thank you for a website that teels the TRUTH about hysterectomy.

 
At January 8, 2008 at 9:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a hysterectomy in August, 2006, since then I cannot have sex!

My anatomy has changed and I can no longer accomodate my husbands length. He is average size for most men. Before the surgery, I loved sex and had very high sex drive, more than my husband. Now I have no sex drive and when we try to have intercourse, it is just too painful and causes bleeding, even though he is gentle, there is just not enough room, there is plenty of lubrication.

I don't know what to do, it has messed up everything. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, can you please help and give me some answers? The doctor said she has never heard this before and that it has nothing to do with the hysterectomy, but everything has changed.

 
At January 8, 2008 at 9:19 PM , Anonymous Leeann said...

Thank you so much. If I knew what was going to happen to our sex life I would never have had the surgery. When I saw this blog regarding what information women are given about hysterectomies, which I had approximately 2 years ago, I was so relieved. I thought there was something wrong with me. My husband and I had always had a wonderful sex life, but after my surgery, it is zilch. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who is very supportive, but also losing patience. Hopefully, some of your information will help him understand it’s not just me.

 
At January 9, 2008 at 2:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a post on a popular message board today from a women who was told by her gynecologist she needs a hysterectomy because of an ovarian cyst. The reason she was given is that ovarian cysts are not common in 50 year old women. When is someone going to stop these crminals??

 
At January 9, 2008 at 3:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a hysterectomy three years ago. For two years I had test done, biopsies and a leap procedure performed. After all this, I was told I needed the hysterectomy. I was also told that I'd be the same way I was at the time and NOTHING would change. You have no idea what an understatement that was! Things were really bad after the surgery, I didn't do well. Now two years later, my life at times is hell! I've read what other women have experienced and I was glad to see that it's not just me. I have so many of the side effects that others have reported. At times, I wish I would have left the dysplasia there and have it turn into cancer so that I could be my old self again, maybe with less time but I'd have been happier. I'm not the same person, I feel this is a big part of my marriage problems as I am having MAJOR problems in the sexual area. Many of the other things women have reported also apply to me and NO ONE took the time before surgery to tell me these things could have happened! I'm young and feel as though a part of me has died. I just can't explain how I feel, I just know that I am no longer who I was and have lost things I once held dear and that bothers me so much. I use to be so carefree and easy going, now, the personality change and irritability has me being not such a nice person. I don't like who I've become. Not to mention that I have no desire for sex at all and that bothers me much more so my husband. I no longer know this person I've become and I hate it. I've tried every natural thing that was suggested and it's not working. I am on Premarin. It helps with the heat flashes but not with the other side effects I am dealing with.

I've had everything removed. What can I do to do everything to stop this from happening to other women.

 
At January 9, 2008 at 8:55 PM , Anonymous barbara said...

i had a hysterectomoy 3 years ago left with one ovary. i am suffering horribly mentally still.i have bouts of attcks of anxiety and mental attacks of feeling like i am going crazy. i cant takes meds. since the hysterectomy i am very chemical sensitive to everything even vitamins. this seems to be getting worse and worse. never had this problem prior to my hysterectomy with anything. plus i cant even take hrts. the meds make me feel worse so do hrts. nothing has helped me through this. not even counceling.. is this all because of my hysterectomy? can a hysterectomy do this to you even after 3 years post op. i cant handle stress anymore. i have no sex drive. lost all my self confidence since this surgery. i can realte to alot of the adverse effects on here. please help me if you can if you found something that helped you. i need help in dealing with what is going on with me. since my surgery i feel like that not only took out my organs but took my whole being along with everything else. waht is happening? i had fibroids in my uterus and left ovary.i didnt want the hysterectomy and felt there was other alternatives....but the doctor said no
thank you all soo much.. i am 40 years old

 
At January 9, 2008 at 9:21 PM , Anonymous Lili said...

I am a forty-five year old female who had a total hysterectomy six years ago. I had suffered tremendously from endometreosis and numerous miscarriages then infertility. Everyone thought that a hysterectomy would be my panecea. Now, I suffer tremendously from pelvic floor problems, with extreme constipation, overwhelming fatigue, osteopenia, re-current U.T.I.'s, and a host of sexual side effects, dryness, lack of lubrication, etc. It also seems that doctors do not take into consideration the side effects of a hysterectomy. I know I am not a hypochondriac, this symptoms are real. It makes every day a struggle.

I thought I would be well physically. It's been a real struggle!!! People don't understand because I "look well". I teach at a gym/spa and do personal training. I try to take care of myself the best I can, but the fatigue is a real killer. I found your web blog and thought it would be beneficial to exchange information with other women who understand and suffer too.

We should do everything we can to change the law and get people to sign the HERS petition. Maybe I can save other women who read about what’s happened to me.

 
At January 9, 2008 at 9:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need help. I suffered from pms and the doctor told me he could cure my pms if I had a hysterectomy done, I was 23 when it was performed and now I have so many problems due to the hysterectomy. I don't know what to do and no Doctors will listen to me. He just did it and never told me what I’d go through. I wouldn’t ever have had it if he'd told me what would happen. I don't have pms is now, I don't have a life.

 
At January 9, 2008 at 10:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since my totally unnecessary hysterectomy and removal of both ovaries Aug 19, 2005, I feel like an empty shell, like I've died, but am still alive. I can't describe what a horrible maiming experience this has been. My gyn was a female, a renown head of Women's Preventive Health at a well known teaching hospital in Dallas. She lied about everything. Told me I had a fibroid that had reached size of a cantelope and my uterus was huge. Hysterectomy was the only answer. Other treatments were dangerous and didn't work. I needed both healthy ovaries removed. There would be no after effects other some vaginal dryness and perhaps some hot flashes which she could stop with 2MG estradiol for 5 or 6 years. My stomach would be so flat after she removed that fibroid. All blantant lies. I showed her articles about importance of saving ovaries. She trivialized them and told me I didn't always have to be in control and that she knew what was best, just to relax, trust her and let her do her job. After the surgery, my fibroid was actually the size of a very small new potato. I asked after the surgery what I needed to know about menopause. She said nothing. Said I could pick up a brochure on the way out. I shouldn't notice anything different and didn't need to make another appointment since there was no longer anything to check. I had been in beauty pageants. After the castration, I gained 50 pounds, my cholesterol went from 140 to 230, I developed thyroid disease (Hashimotos), can't sleep, have sleep apnea, a chronic pain in my right leg and hip. My skin is dry and wrinkled. I can hardly stand to look in the mirror. I can't concentrate or think clearly. Have spent thousands of dollars going from doctor to doctor, internet peddlers, phone in nurse lines, creams, makeup, cosmetic procedures. No use. Nothing will bring back what she took away in a two hour mutilation. She must have known how horrible this would be. How could anyone, much less another woman proclaiming to be an advocate for women's health do this. I'm still in shock. Friends and family who hadn't seen me since before the surgery literally gasp when they realize it's me. I can't ever get back what was destroyed, but I can only pray that that other women will run screaming out the door if anyone suggest this to you. Go for ten opinions. Do your research. Don't fall prey to some patronizing butcher with an MD degree. Listen to your own instincts. I wish I had. That little voice kept saying something about this isn't right. Just before the anesthesia kicked in, the surgical nurse said, honey, can't they save either ovary. I naively said yes they could save both. Just before I went to sleep, I thought I saw a tear in her eye.

 
At January 10, 2008 at 3:47 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

Wow! I just finished reading all
the posts here. After I dried my
eyes (my tears are for all of you
who posted here)I surely felt the
desire to post also.

I first of all want to thank Nora,
Rick, and I know there are others
to mention, but thank you all for
your dedication, time spent, and
continued support to this cause.

I had an abdominal Hyst. at the
very end of 2003. I was told I
HAD to have this due to fibroids,
and had to have it asap due to
severe/heavy menstrual periods
each month causing such blood loss,
and anemia. I had known my OB/GYN
for 20 years. He helped bring my
two beautiful children into this
world. I had full faith in him.
Boy, was I mistaken. I listened
to him, and was pushed into having
this done. He said, (and I quote)
"You will feel so much better after
doing this." He also wanted to
take my ovaries while he was in
there, and also take my appendix.
He said I do not need my appendix,
so why not get it out of there. I
think back on this now, and a red
flag should have gone up then. I
think now it was a money making
gold mine for him. "Cha-Ching, Cha
Ching" with each and every item he
could get out of me.

I could give you a long story, but
the main thing is: I realize so
many of the same symptoms which
others have posted here. So many
state that their lives will never
be the same. I firmly agree. I
wish I could go back in time, and
change what happened. I would have
rather lived with the heavy periods
than what I do now. I have so
little energy - sometimes do not
want to get out of bed even. I
have no desire for sex/love-making.
I have abdominal pains. I cannot
sleep well. I have lower back pain
when I bend over. I gag when I
brush my teeth. Now get this...

I did not realize until I attended
the HERS Foundation conference in
November of this year (Hey, and I
cannot believe I had enough stamina
to even attend, but it was that
important to me to perhaps get some
help and answers and talk to other
people) I found out the following
which I did not know before...
There are nerves and ligaments
severed with this surgery - it was
unbelievable what I was shown at
this conference!!! Now, there are
so many other things of importance
which should be expressed to a
woman who is told she needs this
surgery, but this alone, I thought,
would have been enough to send me
running out of the doctor's office!
On a personal note with me: I
already had a nerve disease of RSD/
CRPS. I had that since three years
prior, and the OB/GYN knew this!
Why would he take the chance of
risking further damage to me with
knowing I already had nerve damage?
Is this not sick? Well, it was for
the money. He saw a great chance
to make it off of me. I found this
out at a conference. He is a
doctor and knew this already. Yet,
he went ahead and did this surgery
on me. I left that conference so
overwhelmed and hurt. Why would
a doctor do this to me? I put my
faith in him to heal me, not hurt
me further!

I cannot change/go back on what has
happened to me, but I am here for
this cause of helping others. I
am here to help those who have been
through this horrible injustice. I
am here to listen, and want to be
listened to. It really helps to
hear of others who have experienced
what I have. I do not feel alone
anymore. It is also good to hear
if anyone has found any relief on
their symptoms; i.e., ideas on
remedies - things that help, etc.

My family is very supportive. I
am so sorry for anyone who does not
have that. My husband has been
great. The poor guy...we had a
fantastic sex life before (the
French Maid outfit is growing
cobwebs; however). He was very
angry after he read one brochure
I came home with from the November
conference. He is even more
supportive now after reading it.
I would recommend all husbands do
read it. It is the "Hysterectomy -
True or False?" brochure by the
HERS Foundation. He is a great
man understanding me, and I feel
sorry for the women who have made
posts here with some husbands not
being supportive. They need to
have castration first, then talk
to you...Sorry, but if my husband
was not supportive, I would say
just this to him - "go and get your
balls cut off; then we can talk
about what you feel is wrong with
me, and why I cannot 'perform' in
bed".

Women have one major problem with
being heard with this - it is what
cannot be seen. Men have their
sex organs on the outside - women
have them veiled - on the inside
of their bodies, basically -
outside of the clitoris (as if that
is seen when standing naked...) but
would a man stand for having his
genitals cut off? I do not think
so - might as well end his life...
what we women tolerate!!!!!!!!!

My brothers and sisters in law
decided last Christmas to not give
each other individual gifts, but
to donate to good causes. Last
year we donated to "World Vision"
which helps out third world
countries, and our combined
donation went to helping dig a
well (as we were told), but I
could not believe all the mail
I received afterwards. About
twice a week, I got letters asking
for further donations. I felt
"They are spending more money on
this with the mail, than on the
well!" So I said to family when
they asked for the donation this
year to World Vision again, that
I could not do it for them, but
would send a donation to a just,
more personal cause - to the HERS
Foundation, and asked them to do
the same. It was a bit too late
for this Christmas, but they got
the point, and I expressed when
they felt the need to donate to
a cause; for them to make it this
one; especially, after what has
happened to me. Great for wells
in African countries (if it goes
for that), but I am hoping they
got my point...let us start with
something that hits close to home;
with what I have experienced and
work outward from there. If they
can do it all - great, but I would
rather give any donation to HERS
than to paper that goes to me
twice a week. (Sorry, but it was
ridiculous - World Vision may very
well be a great cause, but they
need to look at the 'pie' with
their cause and take the money
they spend on twice a week mailouts
and spend it on the well instead.)
Sorry - got side-tracked here, but
my point is my family will and
should put their money towards a
great cause as this because so many
women need to hear this. I wish
so much I was told about HERS
before I had my hysterectomy. I
wish I would have been informed
about the nerves and ligaments that
are severed with this surgery. I
wish I would have been told my
life would never be the same. I
wish I would have been told my
sex life/desire would diminish. I
wish I would have been told I would
have severe abdominal pain after
the surgery. I wish I would have
been told I would have horrific
back pain whenever I bend over, and
I would gag when I brush my teeth,
and I would not feel like doing
anything, and just want to stay
in bed so many times after this
surgery.

To all of you out there who have
had this surgery and suffering, my
heart goes out to you. I need to
keep in touch with people as you
to react with support, and also
hear if you have found any help/
solutions to your pain, etc., and
also to all of you who have not
had this surgery, but have been
told you need it...DO NOT DO IT!!!
PLEASE, OH PLEASE, DO NOT. There
are alternatives, but do not let
these doctors rape and castrate
you.

Again, I am so lucky I have support
from my husband and family. If
not, I do not know where I would
be. I have seen some posts here
where some are talking of no life
left - which sounds suicidal. How
dare these doctors to put us women
in such a dark area? Hang on, I
say, Hang on. How dare these
doctors also make us feel it is
all "in our minds". I remember
another statement my doctor made
to me when I told him something
was so wrong after the hyst. He
said, "I have never heard of any
of my patients having any
problems". I have heard many
women hearing this same thing by
their doctor after a hyst. What
a cover-up!

I close with this: again thank
you all at the HERS Foundation. I
am on a mission here, and will do
my best to support all you do. I
start with the little; in that, I
do tell all my family and friends
(women) to not do this surgery. I
have given to many the HERS website
for them to read and get educated.
I am working on getting a local
news media to do a series on this.
I am not financially well off, but
whatever I can contribute, and get
my family to also help out with...
I am working on - to help HERS.

Bless all of you out there who
have posted, and let us get the
word out of this insanity doctors
get away with.

 
At January 10, 2008 at 5:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all the new women who just found the Hers Foundation I suggest to all of you that you follow the Hers Foundation Web to see when the next conference is. I being a 29 year old women who as the young lady who was 23 when she had her life taken, I was not told ANYTHING by my Dr.. It wasn't until an attempt in suicide and the threat of my daughter being taken away, did I find HERS... Nora suggested the conference and I did everything and anything to get there. Including driving to CA with my ex husband... lol it wasn't that bad, and he is now one of my supporters when only 2 months prior he was threatening to take my child from me.

Educate yourself, and others around you. And write and talk and listen to those who understand!!!

This is what I have done... Not to say it works for everyone or even for me everyday. But At least I am trying to learn again. I would love talk to the one who had her surgery at 23, please e-mail hers if you would like my contact info, I will let them know and ask how we can go about contacting each other! Thank you again ladies

Rica

 
At January 10, 2008 at 9:26 AM , Anonymous Rick Schweikert said...

Thanks, Belle, and to everyone who has posted here. You can and do make a difference. We all change the world in everything we do, whether we want to admit it or not. And by simply breaking the sound barrier and speaking about what was done to you, generations of women in your families after you may avoid a similar fate. Please take the time to sign the HERS petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saynotilyouknow/ and make sure that ten of your friends and family sign it. If any of you wants to plan a screening of "un becoming" in your community, you can contact me at hersfdn@verizon.net. All the best, Rick

 
At January 10, 2008 at 6:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a hysterectomy seven years ago, 2007, I was just 32 years old. I was told that I had tumors, and that this was my only chance of feeling better, well it's been seven years and I am still waiting. I am tired all of the time, I feel like something big is missing, I just feel like terrible, and my sex life is dead.

My doctor has given me premarian. I have heard there are severe side effects, however I know that I need something. I just can't get in a good mood anymore. I’d like to chop off his penis, give him a little purple pro-man pill, and see if he feels like the same man (or better) than he did before!

 
At January 10, 2008 at 6:43 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

I am totally traumatized. I went into the hospital with stomach pain and in less than 8 hours, I was lied to, railroaded and woke up hysterectomized and castrated. It would have been shocking enough if it was necessary, but to find out that it was totally unwarranted makes me so angry and hurt that I don't know what to do with my feelings. If that isn't bad enough, I am reminded of it every day because of all the damage that it's done to me. I didn't consent, informed or uninformed. I have so much pain, sex is ruined for the rest of my life, leaky urine, skin problems, sore teeth and all kinds of other weird things. Why is our government letting this happen to us?

 
At January 10, 2008 at 6:49 PM , Anonymous Nora W. Coffey said...

For those of you who have not attended a performance or screening of the play,
UN BECOMING by Rick Schweikert was produced by the HERS Foundation and premiered
Off Broadway in 2004. Performances and screenings have been presented in more than 30 cities. Visit www.unbecomingplay.com to watch a trailer of the video-recording of the New York premiere.

To bring a DVD screening or performance of
UN BECOMING to your neighborhood, call Rick at 484.432.8356. Schedules and budget permitting, Rick and I will attend and lead a talk-back discussion.

 
At January 10, 2008 at 8:36 PM , Anonymous Julie said...

I had a hysterectomy and both ovaries removed in 1995 at age 36 due to excessive bleeding (fibroids and endometriosis). I am on HRT, but I no longer have any interest in sex. I have such a loss of sensation and my orgasms are so diminished that I feel sex isn't worth the effort. When my doctor recommended surgery, I asked about my sex life. He told me that many women enjoy it more after surgery b/c they no longer had to worry about pregnancy. When I have mentioned it to doctors I have since seen, they make me feel that it's in my head. So many times since my surgery, I've said I wouldn't have had the surgery if I'd known I'd feel this way. I'm going to have to re-adjust my way of thinking b/c I bought into the crap that it was a mind-thing. It has affected my confidence and self-esteem - my marriage!

I am so glad all of these women (and men) are telling their story. At least we know we’re not “the only one” and it’s not “in our head”. Count me in to stop this from being done to more unsuspecting women.

 
At January 10, 2008 at 9:22 PM , Anonymous looking for me said...

My husband has said I changed after the hysterectomy but I'd never realized all the similar symptons on HERS web site and that women described here too. Following lists them: personality change, difficulty socializing, irritability, loss of energy, loss of sexual desire, loss of nipple sensation, diminished lubrication and that which has been bought and used has caused excessive burning and irritation, pain with intercourse, deep vaginal pain, suicidal thoughts, loss of short term memory, muscle aches, bone and joint pain, back pain, stiffness, pain that runs down buttocks and back of legs, tingling and burning in feet usually in the evenings.

Ok, so now I know the majority of women have similar symptoms; what can I do about them. How do you live with this every day? I don’t know if I can. The thought of living like this the rest of my life – it’s unbearable. I want my life back, I want me back.

 
At January 10, 2008 at 10:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came upon your website 4 weeks after having a partial hysterectomy. To say the least I was upset and depressed. My biggest concern was resuming a fulfilling active healthy sex life which I had always had. Which had been suffering a bit for the past few years due to numerous fibroids. 2 1/2 years a go I had a D&C which relieved some of my symptoms for a little while. My symptoms.... pelvic pain, back pain, bloating, bleeding 10-18 days out of the month with heavy bleeding 3-5 days, the rest of the days spotting, then we would begin over again. Anemic, always tired, taking iron pills 3 times a day. I am an active person love summer activities like swimming, boating with most of the summer days unattainable to me for my active pleasure.... could not swim for most of the days in the month and any other activity had to be near a bathroom to constantly change my pads. At work would have to change my pad every 1-2 hours, could not wear lite color skirts or pants and cannot tell you how many time went through my clothes. I would keep a change at work just in case. When I wasn't bleeding, the few days out of the month, sex would be at the least uncomfortable and sometimes painful. You speak of a shortened vagina after surgery, my fibroids were so large and pressing so far down it made my vagina shorter. after the surgery it lengthened. My doctor did not pressure me into surgery he went over all aspects and gave me time to decide. Finally after 3 weeks of pretty heavy bleeding I could not take it any longer and agreed to the surgery. My fibroids were sizes of grapefruits, uterine fibroid embolization was not an option nor myomectomy due to their size. My uterus was the size of 24 weeks. Pressure on my bladder, pressure on my bowel, pressure on my back, I looked pregnant. They were not getting any smaller. At 50and beginning menopause already started with hot flashes, removing the ovaries were advised. My surgeon, a wonderful gentle man, removed my uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. My fallopian tubes and ovaries were covered in endometriosis as well as having ovarian cysts. And yes although I had just started menopause after the surgery was thrown in full blown. with or without the surgery, menopause inevitable, hot flashes inevitable, saying bye, bye to estrogen and vaginal dryness inevitable. Right now am not on HRT, just taking supplements. Yes, I am tired which is from the surgery itself, any surgery needs time to heal and recoup. I am not bleeding, have no pain, can lay down and not feel all those protruding lumps, my back pain so so much better. I have a wonderful husband who took fantastic care of me and would not let me lift a finger, he is warm and patient Now to my BIGGEST concern and days of being upset and sobbing over it. My doctor gave me the OK to resume intercourse this past Tuesday. I addressed my fears and concerns with him regarding the information about castration from this website and that I will now have a sexless life. As he explained from the onset of the surgery would leave my cervix. This has blood vessels and sensitive nerve endings for enhanced sexual pleasure. The hormones the ovaries produce was winding down and would stop sooner than later. Call it what you will, the ovaries are not the be all end all of sexual pleasure. We did take it a little easy only having the surgery less than 6 weeks ago. We had WONDERFUL sex last night, free of pain, and had the same multiple orgasms I had always had. And as far as vaginal dryness, I will say I was not as lubricated as before but certainly not bone dry. I look forward to now having frequent fulfilling sex. I understand everyone is different, but there is so much negativity some positive information needs to get out there to reassure other woman. Reading such information can put woman in such a state of mind that nothing can reverse. That is so sad. I may be one of the lucky ones with a knowledgeable, skilled, caring surgeon with his only agenda being his patients. he is always there for me and can call him with any concerns any time. Woman need to find a caring understanding doctor, if the one they are seeing is not, then look for another one. I feel you probably will not but hope you publish this.

 
At January 10, 2008 at 11:54 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

To Anonymous with hysterectomy for fibroids,

I’m sure that it was difficult to find a web site telling you the alternatives to hysterectomy and the adverse effects right after you had the surgery. It is unfortunate that you lived with such annoying, inconvenient symptoms for so long when your fibroids could have been removed. It is probably even more difficult to learn after the fact that fibroids slowly and gradually shrink to a negligible size after menopause, and you had just started experiencing menopausal symptoms.

It is important for women who read your post to realize that you never need a hysterectomy for fibroids unless you have the wrong doctor. Fibroids of any number, size and location can be removed if the doctor has the skill. Of course, if your doctor doesn’t have the skill he or she will not be able to perform a myomectomy, and you need to consult one of the doctors that has the skill to perform the surgery. It is very convincing when a doctor, or two or three doctors, say “your fibroids can’t be removed, they’re too big” or “your fibroids can’t be removed, you have to many of them”. The caveat they’re not adding is “They can’t be removed by me, let me send you to someone else who has the skill to remove them.” Fibroids the size of “grapefruits” are extremely common and can be surgically removed without removing the uterus.

Read more about fibroids on HERS blog by clicking on the link in the column on the right under "Previous Posts".

You are an extraordinarily generous woman to say that “My surgeon, a wonderful gentle man, removed my uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries”. As you know, because your gynecologist fully informed you, the ovaries are the female gonads, and removal of the ovaries is castration. Since, as you said, he told you everything, I’m not sure why you think that “saying bye, bye to estrogen and vaginal dryness inevitable.” The ovaries continue to function and produce all of the hormones a woman needs all of her life. They do not die or stop functioning after menopause.

You’re also an exceptional woman to experience “the same multiple orgasms I had always had” after your uterus was removed. Perhaps you experienced slight vaginal wall contractions, but of course uterine contractions with orgasm are not be possible without a uterus.

It is imperative that women not be mislead by your statement “I understand everyone is different, but there is so much negativity some positive information needs to get out there to reassure other woman. Reading such information can put woman in such a state of mind that nothing can reverse. That is so sad. I may be one of the lucky ones with a knowledgeable, skilled, caring surgeon with his only agenda being his patients. he is always there for me and can call him with any concerns any time. Woman need to find a caring understanding doctor, if the one they are seeing is not, then look for another one.”

With the exception of congenital abnormalities, such as women born some but not all of the female organs, basic female anatomy and the functions of the female organs is the same. The uterus is a hormone responsive reproductive sex organ that supports the bladder and the bowel. When only the uterus is removed a woman will not experience uterine orgasm, and she will have a three times greater risk of heart disease than women with an intact uterus. When the ovaries are also removed removed women have a seven times greater risk of heart disease. Regardless of the country you live in, the language you speak, the color of your skin, your sexual orientation, your height, your weight, or any other factors, the basic functions of the female organs is universally the same. There is no age or time in a woman’s life when her female organs are not important to her health and well-being.

Lastly, I don’t understand why you would think your comment would not be posted. All posts are welcome and do not have to be approved by a moderator. It is difficult to understand why, since you are doing well and sex is the same as it was before the surgery, you were searching for information about the effects of hysterectomy, and why you posted anonymously.

 
At January 11, 2008 at 1:12 AM , Anonymous Cathy said...

To Anonymous: My doctor was gentle also, as described in my surgical report: "The bladder was gently dissected off of the lower uterine segment using sharp and blunt dissection." Sounds gentle doesn't it?

 
At January 11, 2008 at 3:05 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

I just read the recent posts. I
again want to say my heart goes out
to all of you who deal with the
same as I do, and I so sincerely
thank Nora and Rick for doing what
they do (along with their other
staff persons- I cannot leave them
out - I thank you so much too).

The last post by "Anonymous"
spoke of her hysterectomy. What
I do not understand is she refers
to it as a "partial hysterectomy".
How can one have a "partial"
hysterectomy? Please, someone, let
me know; as I do not understand.

It is great that things have gone
well for you, but to all of us who
it has not for...it is not worth
one woman facing this; facing what
I have experienced - what I feel,
what I have to live with now. I
have pain and suffering. I have
no sex life. I have to sleep with
a heating pad on my stomach to
help with the pain - every single
day. I bend over and have horrific
back pain - all since the hyst.
surgery; along with other problems.

Again, you may be lucky, but I am
on a "Band Wagon". This should not
happen to even one female. It is
hideous. Hideous may be putting
it lightly...

Glad to hear you did well after
your surgery, and do wish you well.
I have to continue to concentrate
on the women, as myself, who are
suffering after this injustice to
their bodies. It would be great if
we were so lucky as you, but we are
not.

I am angry, so angry, after reading
all these posts by these women.
Get ready for me...I am on a
mission to help. I will not quit.

 
At January 11, 2008 at 3:23 AM , Blogger Marina said...

This website saved my life. I'm 43, single, no children, enjoying my freedom. Two months ago I felt something in my belly, went to OBG who sent me to ultrasound, came back to him with "possible fibroid" diagnosis. He offered surgery, and I did not understand how exactly he was going to do it. I heard him to say "hysterectomy" but I did not beleive my ears (I thought I do not quite understand the term). I asked him if he was going to remove my uterus, he said "yes". When I said "No way", his reaction was that he thought I do not plan to have children. I wish I asked
him if he was going to have children, and if not, why would not he remove his own private parts. He agreed to remove fibroid and to save uterus, if "the surgery will allow", but I had a very strange feeling. There are at least two non-surgical ways to get rid of fibroids, but he did not mention them. Then I found HERS website and was completely shocked by what is going on. Went to another OBG and pretended I know nothing. She recommended just to wait but to do hysterectomy in a few years (because "child-bearing age is completed" - are we women children-producing machines?). I am not comfortable with posting their names but it is clear to me that most OBG's behave the same way.
There are many things which make no sense to me. There is about 1% chance for suspected fibroid to be a cancer. It should be relatively easy and unexpensive procedure to get tissue sample from my uterus (biopsy) by sticking needle though my belly or vagina(with ultrasound or X ray) and to see if there ar cancerous cells in there. Then 99% of us would happily go home, and 1% would decide to do surgery, chemo, etc. There is no question that biopsy is cheaper (not mention suffering) than hysterectomy. But I was told that because there is very low chance of cancer, doctors and insurance companies may not be willing to do biopsies. But they are more then willing to do hysterectomies?
OBG's told me that they will open me up, see what is going on and then decide how to proceed. But this is not Middle Age century, we have ultrasound, MRI and God knows what else allowing us to see what is going on inside without cutting our bodies! I had to explain this to OBG and she had to aggree with me. I am not MD, I just spent a few hours on internet.
My understanding of anatomy tells me that for surgeon, hysterectomy is very easy and fast procedure. And all uterus/ovaries saving surgeries require much more skills and time, unfortunately...
Now, numbers. It costs 17 Billions a year to do hysterectomies. And another very good money are made by doctors providing HRT, painkillers, psychotherapy etc.
Did anybody calculate how much money is spent on disability and how much is lost because of lost workforce? Some of them could not take it anymore and took their own lives - are these numbers known or been estimated? How many divorces happen because of hysterectomies?
I am not here to discuss abortions but why all these people who oppose them and demonstrate against, and harass doctors performing them, do not pay any attention to OBG's performing hysterectomies? Hysterectomized women can not have children and many of them were tricked into this surgery.
On the same topic could be a question of immigrants. If American women are made infertile by American doctors, less children will be born here and more foreign labor will be needed.
Few years ago news channels and magazines were widely discussing removal of external genitalia in young girls in some African countries. Human rights organizations were involved in trying to prohibit this custom. After mutilation, these girls have families and children and some of them may even enjoy sex because their uteri and vagina are left untouched. Did anybody try to contact human rights organizations and ask them for help with prohibiting unconsented and unnecessary hysterectomy?
I am not writing all this to discuss federal budget, abortions, immigration and human rights. I am just thinking how many issues are affected by this brutal practice.
I will probably write to Michael Moore - maybe he decides to make another documentary?

 
At January 11, 2008 at 4:49 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

Wait a minute here...

I do remember before I had my
hysterectomy - (it just brought
back memory to this with my doctor
upon reading HERS's last statement
and regarding myomectomy...

I did go online before my hyst.,
and a response came from someone
stating I should consider possibly
a myomectomy rather than a hyst., and I should ask my OB/GYN about it.

I did, and he was upset that I
would go online to receive this
information back from someone who
had never seen me to even mention
this. Gosh, it was with this most
recent post with HERS (whoever did
the post) stated fibroids could
be taken care of with a myomectomy;
it struck my memory chord - so to
speak. I set it aside, believing
in my OB/GYN, and not ever hearing
of a myomectomy - I passed it off
to he knowing what he was doing.
I do remember, again, how upset he
was that I would listen to someone
from a website. Gosh, I got better
advice from this person over a
website than I did from my own
doctor!!! And then, with reading
this post - it could have been he
did not know how to do this type
of procedure, and would it have
been less money to him? I do not
know about the money to the doctor,
but I gather - he did not know how
to do this type of surgery, and
wanted to stop me from thinking any
further of it. Gosh, I just now
remembered this with the word -
myomectomy, and now how horrible
of him not to be honest with me
about the possibility of doing this
with removal of two fibroids I had
in me instead of doing a hyst.!!!
Money making mongrel!!! Why did
he not refer me to someone else?
He kept saying a hysterectomy was
the only route to go, and I needed
to have it done asap. Heaven
forbid I suffer one more heavy
period, he said, and get even
more anemic. His exact words were
"You cannot afford to have even one
more period." I wonder too now if
he was checking out my insurance,
and that was going to change to
Cobra coverage within the next two
months (as long as I went with
them.) This is another thing which
I question now. Did they look at
this, and think they better do the
operation right away, with knowing
I had good coverage at the time,
and not knowing what I would switch
to? Interesting, huh?

 
At January 11, 2008 at 5:14 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

I am right beside you, Marina.
We should contact Michael Moore.
We need to help Nora and Rick and
all the others supporting this.

A big broadcast of nature should
be done. Let us be heard!!!

Any ideas from others?

We are voices here, by golly, if
we even help one woman from not
having this done...it would be
worth it. I wish it would have
been me, but I am surely willing
to help another female to be
saved, and it really is a matter
of being saved, isn't it?

 
At January 11, 2008 at 7:55 AM , Blogger Elaine said...

To Anonymous (or anyone else interested):
If you click on my username here it will lead you to my blog (or go to this address: http://elainestory.blogspot.com/

Go to the archive on the sidebar to 2007 and look at the recent scientific studies I have compiled showing the harmful effects of hysterectomy and surgical menopause. These are just a few of them of course. Then tell me why a woman shouldn't be given every possible alternative to a hysterectomy and ovary removal.
Also, keep in mind that you are VERY early in your "recovery" and that it takes months, even years, to feel the full damaging effects of what this surgery does to your body (although some effects are immediate). That is why it is often wise for a woman considering hysterectomy/ovary removal to listen to women who are more than two years post op tell their stories. You'll still here the "best I ever did" ones, but they are further and fewer in between and not always fully honest.

 
At January 11, 2008 at 10:03 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

RE: What is a partial hysterectomy?

A total hysterectomy is removal of the uterus and the cervix. A partial hysterectomy is removal of the uterus, leaving the cervical stump. When a partial hysterectomy is performed the vagina is not shortened, but because the body of the uterus is removed uterine orgasm is not possible, and all of the attachments to the uterus, including the blood supply, nerve supply and ligaments that provide structural integrity to the pelvis are severed.

The woman who posted anonymously whose surgery was four weeks ago should get her surgical and pathology reports from the hospital’s Medical Records Department. If her understanding of what the doctor told her is correct, that she had endometriosis, leaving the lower segment of the uterus, the cervix would leave her vulnerable to the continued proliferation of endometriosis if she takes hormones. Perhaps she did not have endometriosis, perhaps she misunderstood the doctor who hysterectomized and castrated her. The Surgical Report (sometimes called the Report of Operation or Operative Report) will detail what the gynecologist says he saw and what he says he cut, sutured, repositioned and removed during the surgery. The Pathology Report will confirm what the surgeon said he found during the surgery or it will establish that he was incorrect in stating a finding of endometriosis in the Surgical Report.

Fibroids and endometriosis spontaneously resolve after menopause. Anonymous had recently stopped menstruating and was experiencing menopausal changes. Since she said her doctor was totally forthcoming and advised her of all of the alternatives and consequences of hysterectomy and castration, she must have been informed before the surgery that if she had had endometriosis, it would stop growing and disappear after menopause, obviating the need for surgery. Endometriosis stops growing, and fibroids shrink to a negligible size when menstruation ends.

 
At January 11, 2008 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Cathy said...

You can email Michael Moore at mike@michaelmoore.com. I have emailed him multiple times, but it would have much more impact if all you ladies would send an email. Make sure you add a link to this blog.

 
At January 11, 2008 at 12:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I e-mailed, Michael Moore, months ago, several times. I let, Michael Moore, know that the OB/GYN industry will love him when they have more victims to trick and maim for profit. I suggested that he educate himself and any women he knows of the true information concerning hysterectomy at, HERS.

 
At January 11, 2008 at 1:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted on 1/8 at 11:54 AM with ideas of how to get the word out. I wrote my congressmen and attorney general last week (haven't heard back yet). I have also contacted some media - magazines, Glenn Beck (just sent yesterday so haven't heard back). Mailed letters to the lawyers I had met with to provide them with the URL for this blog so they can read real stories of these doctors' lies. Awhile back, I had compiled a list of lawyers emails and sent an email. I need to send again with the blog URL (my concern is that it will go into their SPAM folder and they won't even see it). I understand that Oprah had done a segment on hysts years ago - we should email her.

 
At January 11, 2008 at 3:02 PM , Anonymous Joyce said...

I am 27 and 2004 I had a full hysterectomy. I have a lot of problems now that I didn’t have before. I find that I am completely lost concerning everything that has gone on and as to what to do now. I feel I have no one to talk to that understands or has the knowledge to help me make informed decisions. I wasn’t given any information before the hysterectomy except that my bleeding would stop and I’d be “a new woman”. All the way around I am terrified and extremely depressed. I’m a new woman all right, no sex and no feelings like I had before, I just don't know what I am now that I'm sexless.

How these doctors get away with it??? Can I sue him for wrecking my life???

 
At January 11, 2008 at 11:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read the ruined sex life women talk about here and that is exactly what happened tome. The Dr. SOLD me a hysterectomy. To prevent cancer he said. It ruined my sex life and he didn't tell me any of the possible side affects.

What can be done to stop this problem?

 
At January 12, 2008 at 12:29 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

We need to contact Oprah and also
Michael Moore. If anyone has any
other ideas, please post. I
see from one person's post stating
Oprah did do a segment on this
years ago, but did she really get
to the problem of what we are all
talking about? We need to all
contact her and also Michael Moore.
We need to do this in numbers, and
perhaps we can make them do a
program on this. I feel it might
be one of the best ways to be
heard. We need to write our
congressmen; of course, but the
visual through these two people
could be one best way to get our words and message out there.
So, please let us do this. Contact
Oprah - right away. Contact
Michael Moore - right away. We,
in numbers, can be heard.

I am tired of hearing Oprah put
one more show on with Nate and
remodeling...how about a few
segments concerning such this valid
and concerning issue with women?
Gosh; as I have said...who wants
to know about remodeling their
abode; when they feel so horrible
physically? In other words...
first things first!!!

Everyone at this site - please send
a message to Oprah. What would
be great is to get Nora and Rick
and these two wonderful doctors I
heard at the latest HERS conference
in Pasadena, and the other spoke-
persons perhaps - the attorney who
was there also. I don't know, but
at least Nora and Rick and some
others can speak; along with a
group of us - women who have first hand experienced this surgery, and the horrible aftermath afterwards
we now live with and can share. It
would make for a great program to
me. How do we get it accomplished?
In numbers - how can Oprah not
refuse posting this most horrible
injustice to women being done?
She would be insane not to listen
to us and get a segment regarding
this on television instead of yet
another "Nate" remodel segment...

 
At January 12, 2008 at 10:22 AM , Anonymous cathy said...

After I was taken to the hospital, no one ever told me directly that they planned to hysterectomize and castrate me. As I lay in the ultrasound room in severe pain and heavily drugged, the resident came in and told the radiologist that my doctor (who was not in the hospital) wanted the ultrasound stopped and that I was being taken to pre-op for a total hysterectomy. I immediately started crying and asked why? The resident turned and looked at me with a very cold stern look on her face and said "it's a reasonable assessment". I again asked why? She said "I cannot tell you that, you have to speak to your doctor". As I was still crying, I said, I am not going anywhere until someone explains this to me. I said, don't I have any say in this? The resident was silent and rolled me back into the ER room next to the nurses station while I was in severe pain and crying. I begged the ER doctor, nurses and anyone else who would listen to me for more information. When my doctor arrived, he would not answer my questions, but stood next to me sighing very loudly because I would not agree to a hysterectomy. He yelled at another doctor for proposing a less invasive procedure. As I lay there crying in pain, he threatened me that we would lose the operating room if I didn't make a decision. He was very angry and agitated. He never answered any of my questions or explained anything. I didn't understand what was happening and I didn't realize that I had been given six injections of a narcotic and wasn't able to think clearly. I wonder now, how could I not see what they were planning to do to me? Why didn't I flee the hospital? I didn't know these doctors were predators. After I signed a blank consent form demanding that the doctor not do anything that wasn't totally necessary, I woke up with my uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries amputated. I was in severe pain, much worse than prior. Then the doctor came in and told me lies about "why he had to take everything". My sex organs are gone because of a benign ovarian cyst. Every day when I wake up, this scenario runs through my mind and I try to figure out how I could have stopped it. Then my throat starts to tighten up, all the muscles in my back tighten up and I start having anxiety attacks and shaking. I never knew what post traumatic stress was, but now I wake up with it every day. How can this happen in the U.S.? Why are doctor's allowed to do this to women and all the hospital staff just stands and watches? How could they do this to me and just get away with it??? !@$#@#%^$%&^%*

 
At January 12, 2008 at 10:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I found out 20/20 had done a segment years ago with, HERS, called, Sexless After Surgery, I could not believe it, my doctors did not have to inform me of the gross after effects of this blatent lie called hysterectomy. This proves the point, the media and professionals; doctors, lawyers and media must be black-balled if they fess up.
It is over: we are here on this earth suffering, we and our families who have watched us suffer are real and we will not be hiding this truth to save our self image or make a profit.
We will save as many women from this torture as we can until a law is passed to protect women and men from the hysterectomy (sex organ removal) lie and cover up.

 
At January 12, 2008 at 10:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 46 year old women who had a hysterectomy at the age of 21. I have had no sex life to speak of since that time and Doctors have been of no real help. I thought it must just be me until I saw what so many women said.

All these years I didn’t talk to my friends or family about it because the Doctors said they never heard of such a thing. I was embarrassed and thought I was a freak. I didn’t think so many Doctors could be wrong but at least now I know I'm not the only one. Thank you everyone.

 
At January 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

I found this article on BMJ.com which was written in 1994. Yet it is still going on today.

BMJ 1994;308:1574 (11 June)

Letters
Enforced hysterectomies
EDITOR, - I am not surprised that Caroline Richmond has collected 11 cases of women who have had hysterectomies against their will.1 In my research,2 in which 500 women were questioned, over a fifth stated that their experience of obstetric or gynaecological procedures was "very distressing" or "terrifying." Indeed, on a clinically validated questionnaire,3 30 women were found to have post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their experiences. Many described their treatment as resembling an assault, which accords with others' findings.4
As a general practitioner, I have received letters about patients from gyaecologists to the effect that "while I was in there, I decided it was better to take it all away, rather than have to go back in later if she develops ovarian cancer." Prophylactic oophorectomy is, in my experience, carried out in many cases without proper discussion with the patient, who is often devastated after the operation to find that she is rapidly undergoing postmenopausal aging, which cannot be reversed by hormone replacement therapy.

Until women are involved in the decision making process affecting their own bodies, and are given information, choice, control, and the freedom to withhold consent, my concern is that many will continue to be traumatised by a system which is fond of its own power.

J Menage

 
At January 12, 2008 at 4:04 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Sep 28, 1977

---------------------------------
Headline: Segment 3 (Unnecessary Surgery)
Abstract: (Studio) House committee will begin hearings next week on issue that is difficult, but urgent: major surgery, especially on women, that isn't needed. Person is somewhat helpless, when physician recommends surgery.
REPORTER: David Brinkley

(New York City) Many women who undergo hysterectomies don't really need them. Physician, who asks to remain anonymous because he fears reprisals from other doctors, says half of all hysterectomies are unnecessary. [PHYSICIAN - notes in 1 of 2 women, operation not only unnecessary, but also unwanted.] Reasons, legitimate and otherwise, for removal of uterus, noted. [PHYSICIAN - cites nonmed. reasons doctors advise such surgery.] Cancer is reason for only 20% of hysterectomies. Possible side effects of hysterectomies noted. Lois Schaffer and Trudi Hill claim to be victims of unnecessary surgery. [HILL - notes hormone therapy prescribed by doctors didn't help; says doctors told her she'd feel better after operation.] [SCHAFFER - says doctor told her reason he removed healthy ovaries was so she'd never get cancer there, notes own 1st thought then was to ask why he didn't remove other parts of body.] Authorities say large number of such operations are performed on disadvantaged and minority women, who are less likely to question procedure. Case of woman who had operation at age 16, while growing up in Virginia, noted; years later, she found it was stomach disorder she'd had. [WOMAN - is angry. Says it pays to see another doctor and to not have operation so young, and be as unhappy as she's been.] Many physicians say these charges are unfair and there are no statistics to support them. [Dr. Alvin SIEGLER - says most operations are to remove diseased organ or prevent diseased organ. Calls charges inflammatory.] There is evidence in Canada's Saskatchewan prov.; details noted. [Study chairperson Dr. Frank DYCK - says study showed large number of hysterectomies performed in prov. were unnecessary; notes that as result of study and publicity it got, number is back down to 1964 level.] Surgeon, who asks anonymity, says patient must monitor necessity for operation. [SURGEON - wants patient to be aware that no one is watching doctors and patient must activate doctor's conscience.] Patient can, at very least, see another physician in such cases.
REPORTER: Betty Rollin

 
At January 12, 2008 at 10:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had an hysterectomy in 2003. I was confined to a wheel chair for 4 months completely unable to walk. I then moved to a walker, then to a cane which I still used. My bowel function is not the same. I am still trying to find out what happen to no avail. The doctor said it has nothing to do with the hysterectomy.

I NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I cannot get a definite answer from no one. I was fine before all this. I was told I had fibroids by my GYN doctor. What else could be the reason for this right after surgery. I don’t no what to do. It’s sad doctors do this then don’t care what happens to you.

 
At January 13, 2008 at 10:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...
BEWARE...you will hear from the gynecologist and their partners:
"I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THAT BEFORE."
The gynecologist will try to make you look like you are mentally unstable to protect their cash cow, hysterectomy-sex organ removal.
The gynecologist will alter your body by deceit and your medical records to continue maiming for money.
You may ask, how?, how can these gynecologists do this with a clear conscience, they can't.
After the first telling comment by the surgeon who said, "You could have looked it up" after the surgery, is when it was confirmed to me that I had been tricked. The doctor obviously enjoyed insulting me, in fact, it was like he couldn't wait to insult me.
That is when the other doctors in their practice come in with the comment, "I have never heard of that before" and "Get some counciling", it transfers the guilt to the patient, while their colleagues confirm the patients guilt for the doctor.
The doctor knows another doctor will not speak against them, because of the damage it would do to the accusatory physicians career.
The energy it must take to fool a patient, while acting like a compassionate doctor must be exhausting for the harmful doctor because what they really need is a fix and fast money. The harmful gynecologist is addicted to the rush inflicting harm on another person gives them and the release of their guilt and self loathing after they transfer their guilt on to the harmed patient.
The damage to the harmful doctors mental health becomes so severe that the doctor has developed a mental illness.
After the doctor hears the painful cries of women saying the same comments about how damaged they are, so many times, they become mentally damaged from repeatedly crossing the boundaries of inhumanity. Over and over these harmful doctors hear about the physical, sexual, emotional and hormonal damage they have caused another human being.
The harmful doctors themselves can not function in a healthy caring manner at this point. The harmful doctor has not received the proper medical help for the mental illness they have developed from their repeated harmful behavior.
This will be the legacy of these harmful doctors. It is a known fact that women are being lied to and harmed by genital mutilation, by deceit.

 
At January 13, 2008 at 11:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fifteen years ago, I was made an uninformed decision to have a hysterectomy based on my doctors recommendation because I had a prolapsed uterus. During the operation he decided to remove my overies too saying he saw scaring (though I don't have any idea what could have caused that). Having that operation was the worst decision of my life. It ruined my sex life. I also immediately recognized other troubling things. I wasn't able to think on my feet as fast as I had been just prior to surgery. My memory was much worse. I had hot flashes and no longer had any libido. It was as if a sensuality switch had been shut off. This is the first site I've ever seen that told anything of my story. Thank you!

 
At January 13, 2008 at 2:16 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

You are so right Mattie. These doctors are severely mentally ill. When I refused to agree to being hysterectomized and castrated, my doctor sarcastically and rudely said: "Well, you are 44years old, you're not planning on having children, ARE YOU?" When his assistant said, if we only remove one ovary, her recovery time will be a lot less, my doctor raised his voice and yelled at her saying "It doesn't matter if we just remove one ovary or everything, the recovery time will be the same!" He was like a little kid having a tantrum, very angry and agitated. When I told him that was bs and he was nuts, his tone changed and with all the confidence in the world, he said "oh no, you can be totally recovered in two weeks. If you play it right, you can, I've seen it many times." He also told me that if he didn't take everything, I'd be back in a couple months to get everything out. He never answered any of my questions as to why he was proposing this major surgery. When I wouldn't consent, then he threatened me that we'd lose the operating room. He kept standing next to me sighing really loud and he was very angry. After I made him promise to only do what was absolutely necessary and signed a blank consent form, his personality abrutly changed. He was all happy and smiling (like a split-personality). I thought it was bizarre, but I had no idea how sick these doctors are. I didn't know that when I signed that form that it gave him free-reign to do anything he wanted against my will and at the detriment of my health. After he butchered me, he was so antimated and happy telling me that he used dissolvable stitches. He wasn't concerned that he mutilated me and left all my ligaments hanging inside me that once held my uterus and ovaries in place. He was gloating about the dissolvable stitches. He was so proud.

 
At January 13, 2008 at 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I experienced a total hysterectomy when I was 19 years old. Giving up the ability to bare children at such a young age was a rather difficult experience. However, the most challenging aspect was not accepting the fact that I would never procreate, but was indeed the severe depression I experienced due to the biological response to losing all natural estrogen. I was not informed in anyway shape or form about the estrogen/depression connection, and was given little to no follow up care regarding this biological link. Furthermore, my family was not educated on this topic either, and had no ability to truly support me/guide me through the duration of my early twenties as I learned to deal with the post traumatic stress disorder associated with experiencing an "emergency" hysterectomy. After several years of self education and investigation I found ways to cope with the loss of natural estrogen and the lack created through the removal of my uterus, ovaries, and estrogen. It was extraordinarily difficult and I received zero help from my medical doctors in this pursuit. In fact the only help they offered was a prescription to premarin and anti-depressants. They failed to offer me any information on the purely biological side effects of the hysterectomy. My family, overtime, treated me like crap because they did not understand why i had changed and had trouble with the simplest of tasks- like getting out of bed in the morning. My college experience was tremendously disrupted and I was given no information as to why my concentration levels plummeted and my grades significantly suffered. Because I did not have any friends who knew anything about hysterectomies (except maybe their mom had on during mid life) I felt incredibly alone. This was awful! My wish is for women to be informed and properly treated with regards to hysterectomy. If it can be avoided it should be. If you "have" to have one, my wish is that you are properly informed about the side effects so you don't have to experience several lonely years as I did, wondering why every time you look at the ocean (my favorite thing to do as a child and teen) you may feel empty and dismal instead of uplifted an inspired.

 
At January 13, 2008 at 4:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The enablers of hysterectomy and female castration:
1. male gynecologists and other doctors who feel the need to exert control and domination over women
2. Their female counterparts who follow along with the accepted norms of a sexist patriarchal society without question
3. Hospital and clinic administrators who ignore the pleas and complaints of hysterectomized and/or castrated women and their families
4. insurance companies who readily approve hysterectomy and/or female castration regardless of whether or not a woman has been given all other options
5.Scientists and medical researchers who KNOW the truth but choose to minimize and belittle the effects of hysterectomy and castration because of extortion from powerful medical associations and pharmacutical companies

 
At January 14, 2008 at 1:33 AM , Anonymous shelli said...

I had a hysterectomy in 2004 at the age of 34. I am now 37 and since the surgery I have had a lot of joint pain. First it was my hip and now it is my knees and wrist and lower back. Dr. took x-ray and said I have osteoarthritis of the hip. Could this progress this fast because of a hysterectomy? It seems like since my hysterectomy that I have went downhill. I just don’t know what to do. I’m glad to find this web site. Thank you.

 
At January 14, 2008 at 1:33 AM , Anonymous shelli said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At January 14, 2008 at 1:47 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

I will say this: I have continued
reading the posts here, and will
state a response made by so many
is this: They are thankful for
this site! It has helped so much!
I agree! To be able to read other
women and what they have gone
through; their experiences, what
suffering they have, what their
lives are like - post their
hysterectomies, how they have been
treated, etc., is beneficial so
much to know they are not alone!
One woman out of all of these posts
said she was doing well after her
hysterectomy. Well, I am glad to
hear that, but the rest who have
posted are far from that; including
me.

Is it not interesting; in that, the
comments posted here...we all have
the basic problems.

One, being, how we feel after the
surgery;

Two, being, what we were not told
by our doctors;

Three, being, what we were told
by our doctors; i.e., "We will be
so much better after this surgery,
and our sex life will be just as
good, etc.";

Four, being, the doctors state that
they have never heard of any of
their other patients having any
problems after their hyst. and
they do not understand.;

Five, being, doctors feel it is
all "in our heads", and others
can feel this way too - family
members and friends.;

Six, being, this really being the
most frightening point - this has
been going on for so long, and
laws are not in force so this does
not happen to one more female!
What goes along with this point is
women cannot sue after they have
had this done! How awful to have
doctors, hospitals, and others
make so much money off women; yet
they have taken our lives away!

If men had fibroids in their
penises (sp?), and doctors told
them their penises had to be
removed, how many men out there
would have this done? "You will
feel so much better; your sex life
will not change." I do not believe
any man would consider this, and
all alternatives would be in affect
to have another solution to not
have one penis removed. Doctors
would give any man all other
solutions, and make this possible,
and inform the man of every other
idea to insure he keep his penis.
Tell me...what is the difference
with a female? Because these
cannot be seen - the uterus and
the ovaries - it makes it okay to
be taken/cut off/removed? But,
heaven forbid...cut off a man's
penis and/or balls!!! A man would
rather die than have these taken
away. Why live afterwards? Well,
we women have experienced, with a
hysterectomy, in ways, just what
a man would feel like after having
these removed; along with even
more complications with our bodies.
Isn't this just so sad; in itself?
So, just because we are females;
why won't doctors do everything
possible to inform and help keep
such valuable organs intact - just
as they would with a man????????

I am writing Michael Moore. I have
already sent two messages to Oprah.
I will state this to Michael Moore;
especially, this last statement I
made a point about. I hope it hits
"home" with him on this.

I cannot stress this enough. All
who have posted here...please send
a message to Oprah right away and
also Michael Moore. Right away!
We have to be heard. Nora, Rick,
and all their other staff have
worked too hard to not be heard by
people as these, and to listen to
them through us. We can do this!!!
Do it and let us save some women!!!

I would love to hear of any of you
out there who can give advice on
what helps you after having a
hysterectomy. I would love to hear
of any doctors you have seen who
are sympathetic to this and can
help. I truly feel I need my
insides checked out. I feel there
is leakage, and that is what makes
me feel so ill all the time. I
also have horrific back pain when
I bend over - all since the hyst.,
and pains in my abdomen. Oh, and
the sexual (well lack of) drive.

I wish the best to all of you out
there. I so sincerely mean this.
Bless your hearts with what you
have gone through. I understand,
and you are not alone - thanks to
Nora, Rick, and others who have
brought us together! I roll out
the red carpet to them!

 
At January 14, 2008 at 7:36 AM , Anonymous Cathy said...

I also ended up in a wheel chair. Both of my parents were very ill at the time and I was stressed to the max taking care of them. In the hospital, I told the doctor that I had two very sick parents that I needed to be able to take care of and I did not want a hysterectomy or the recovery time. I made him promise to only do what was absolutely necessary. I needed to be able to take care of my parents. One week after he butchered me and amputated all my organs, my mother was put on a ventilator, and 3 days after that her lung collapsed, and the same day my father was taken to ER for bowel obstruction. I had to get up to the hospital, and the only way I could do that was to be taken in a wheel chair. Three days after that, I was told my mother was not going to make it. I spent the next month going up to the hospital in a wheel chair in severe pain. To say this doctor didn't care about my health or my predicament is an understatement. It took over two months before I could walk any distance or walk up and down stairs. It's been a little over a year and I still have lower abdominal pain. What the general public does not understand is that this is being done to women against their will. Unless someone has cancer or is bleeding to death, there is no justification for such a radical emergency procedure. My condition only warranted minor surgery that I would have been totally recovered from within a week. Every day I wake up wondering how I could have done something different to stop this from happening to me. It has ruined my life. I can't get over the post-traumatic stress, I have no sex drive and cannot get aroused. I have chronic pain. I have often wished I would have died on the operating table. This is just torture every day.

 
At January 14, 2008 at 10:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gynecologists who lie to patients to perform unnecessary sex organ removal and then throw them away like trash, ruin the women's sexuality and health.
The predator gynecologist harms and changes the women to an extreme physically, mentally and emotionally by sex organ removal.
What is the difference between an attack by a criminal and an attack by a gynecologist? It is legal for a gynecologist to physically alter a womens body and permanently harm her.
Gynecologists are very similar psychologically to rapists.
Look at the reason experts give for rape, it is not considered only a sexual crime. Rape is committed for Power and Control. A rape committed along with a robbery would be considered a crime of, Power, Control and Profit.
Mutilation of a person by deceit by a serial mutilator would be considered by legal experts to be a heinus, unthinkable crime.
Look at the man they have in custody now for mutilating, torturing and murdering the women in Kentucky. Now the legal experts are considering him for other deaths and mutilations because he fits the profile.
This is how serious the crime of female mutilation-hysterectomy is. I know it and you know it, and I have lived it.
Does a women who is sexually raped experience, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Yes, then the women is given counciling to try to retreive her life.
Do I have, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, after being lied to and mutilated by a planned asault called hysterectomy, legally by a gynecologist?, Yes. Was I offered counciling, No. Did I try to get counciling while I was living a torture, Yes.
What was I told by the doctor of psychology.
I was told that I was not going to get the answers I was looking for.
I was told, "I would need to learn to live without a uterus and that was opening up a can of therapy."
The head of a local hospital yawned as I explained what had happened and handed me a list of names for counciling. The comments above are what I received from those visits.
The only help I received was from, Hers Foundation.
The medical community needs to rise above this embarrasment now. We are in the era of instant reality called the internet. How much longer are all of the medical doctors in this country going to perpetuate and allow these attacks.
You know it is happening at an alarming rate and so damaging for a women to have her sex organs amputated, so stop it. Sign the petition, get the word out to all of your patients and stop this legal crime from continuing.

 
At January 14, 2008 at 7:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a hysterectomy (saved ovaries)in 2000 because of severe endometriosis. I would like to know if has found help in some of afteraffects and what to do about it. For example: the odor,fatigue, sexual problems, why it seems I'm having menstrual every two weeks, night sweats etc...I Didn't think this was all in my head, but visiting this site made me realize I'm not crazy in noticing a difference. Thanks for the information provided, it’s good to know I’m not the only one and it’s not in my head like my family and the doc said.

 
At January 14, 2008 at 7:30 PM , Anonymous christine said...

I would like help with how do I "cope" with my systoms? I have been very tired, moody, incontinue, etc. for several years now and when I ask my doctors what is wrong with me they just stare and walk away and it is getting worst. I can hardly function anymore. I need help. I got mine 18 years ago when I was 30. I am having so many of the problems that are listed since my surgery. The fatigue, insomnia, depression, incontinence and headaches has gotten worst the last few years. Is there anything that I can take or do to help the fatigue, etc.??? I have tried talking to my doctors and they just think I am "crazy" and that the fatigue, insomnia will go away on it's own! I would appreciate any help, advice that you could give me! Thanks so much for bringing these issues to the attention of women that are having so many problems.

 
At January 14, 2008 at 8:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 29 yrs old. I had my hysterectomy at 28 yrs. I don't know if any one can answer my questions, but any help would be appreciated. When the gynecologist told me I needed a hysterectomy, I she told me on August 3 and my surgery was August 4. The first month, I was doing ok, sore, but ok. Then when it was time for my menstrual cycle, I did the normal monthly bloating, only, 8 months later, I still feel bloated. I have had other problems too. Just after new years this year, I had to have my gallbladder taken out. The doctor said that I had a lot of gall stones and the organ was inflammed. So, again, I had another surgery!

Now, I have been having sleepness nights, and getting really angry with my 3 children alot. I am never happy anymore, and I have no sex drive. I am afraid that this is going to ruin my marriage of 7yrs. My husband is very understanding, but I feel awful having to tell him 'no' I don't want to make love to him. I know I have changed, but not for the better. If there are other 20something women , who are going through the same thing that I am I would like to hear from you. Start a support group just for women that have had hysterectomies, and that are having problems. Please help!!!!

 
At January 15, 2008 at 5:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, let me begin by saying you are doing a wonderful job and you are a "God send!!" I was so happy to find that such an organization exists!!

But, I must also say it was painful and extremely saddening, I cried so much while I was reading it. Unfortunately for me (like many others), I had my hysterectomy and oopherectomy in 2003 at the age of 32. I believe it's too late for me to try and take any "legal" action, if any, against my physician.

Since my surgery, just like the other women on the blog, I don't know myself anymore and it's been extremely frustrating, confusing and depressing, to name a few feelings. I was a completely different person before my surgery and "I miss me" if you could understand that. My body has changed dramatically and I don't like myself very much right now. I'm not suicidal nor have I ever thought of it, but I am very sad inside about my situation and keep looking for help.

I am currently prescribed a "patch" treatment for hormones, but I find it's not enough to make me feel "normal" again if that's even possible. I also take Black Cohosh Root for my hot flashes and sleeplessness. It's helped a bit, but I can only try and be patient.

Since the surgery, I have visited my gynecologist lots and lots of times and asked many questions and the only answer I get from him is "it's normal" or "you'll feel better in time, it's your body getting adjusted to the new hormones." (ok 3 and one-half years have passed and I'm still miserable). This drives me crazy!! He doesn't understand or much less care how I feel and I know he's extremely tired of my complaining and I have become tired of his incompetence.

I have asked him if there is a test to check my hormone levels and he says "no" and "either way, you don't need something like that - we'll try something else." He just writes out new prescriptions if the hormones I'm currently using at the time aren't working for me and doesn't even have my blood or anything checked. I just take the new prescriptions and have them filled right away. I'm dismissed as soon as I start voicing my complaints.

On a bright side, I have a wonderful supportive husband who has tried to understand me, but has also told me that I've changed. This I already know, believe me. I try to be my "old self" if that makes any sense, but I have to really work at it. I'm not my old self on the inside so I have to pretend to be happy sometimes.

I had NO IDEA the organization existed or that other women felt as awful as I do. My mother had a hysterectomy at and she's never complained. I was raised in a very "old fashioned" Mexican home where women do not voice anything. I feel awful knowing my mother may have been just as miserable as I am.

Thank you for "listening."

 
At January 15, 2008 at 6:17 PM , Anonymous Lola said...

I had a total hysterectomy at the age of 35. I am now 39, I still can not find a hormone for me. The hot flash is more then I can stand. Sometimes I feel so crazy. Can you tell me something I can take that will help me. All I do is yell and cry. I never feel right. I hope other women read this and DON'T DO IT!

 
At January 15, 2008 at 6:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm saddened to read all the many posts that have outlined what is a mutilation of women on a grand scale.

Re: Gonads: Many will argue that gonads = testicles. This cannot be the case as for the first several weeks in the uterus the embryo is female. If the fetus is to become male it is a surge of testosterone that then forms the testicles, which have many similarities with the female ovaries such as granulosa and sertoli cells - as well as the other male sex organs.

I myself had a hysterectomy against my wishes and have suffered from PTSD since. Orgasms are a psychological and physical reminder of what has been removed. I don't have the same response as I used to. However, I do want to have remaining healthy sex organs and have worked hard to keep my sexuality albeit a shadow of what I used to have but it's better than nothing. I do use vaginal estrogen and this has helped somewhat with elasticity but I know that once the cervix is cut from the top of the vagina, ballooning which occurs during sexual arousal, is limited severely. I wish I had never signed the 'consent' form.

I am instigating legal proceedings. I know that time and time again women sue because they want this horrific harm against women to stop. Still it continues but I won't give in or give up hope. One day the attitude will change.

 
At January 15, 2008 at 7:35 PM , Blogger Gracie said...

Every night I read the sad stories and I know what each of these wonderful women are going through because over 19 years ago it was me trying to find answers as to why I was so sick mentally and physically. There are names I could use to call these doctors that are taking everything from us. As I was reading some of my notes from 19 years ago I ran across a letter that my husband (now my ex) read to the jurors at my trial. My wife Gracie was very energetic before her surgery. She did everything at full speed. Since her surgery, she has become extremely fatigue and gets stressed out very easily. She was a person who would get things done and not wait for someone else to do it. It is still hard for her to make it through the day. She is sick all day long. Isn't it terrible that not only do gynecologist ruin our lives, but ruin our husband's lives also. This surgery affects the whole family, not just the woman's life. There was an article in the paper a few years ago that stated U.S. Courts have prohibited castration as unconstitutionally cruel. Isn't it ironic that women are being castrated, but does this touch a public nerve? "Castration" is exactly what doctors are performing on women every day all over the world. Male Castration-the surgical removal of testicles that produces testosterone when removed the sexual drive is greatly diminished. Female castration-the surgical removal of ovaries that produces hormones that when removed the sexual drive is greatly diminished. Sounds the same to me! Don't be intimidated by your doctor. You must speak up, ask questions and not be afraid to disagree. It is your life, and if you choose a doctor who only mentions surgery and not other alternative surgeries, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. If unconsented sex is a crime, unconsented removal of a woman's healthy sexual hormone producing organs should be a crime and now add to the list, surgeries such as uterine artery embolization and tubal ligation. This abuse has inflicted immeasurable pain and suffering on millions of women and their families and the damages are life-long. There would a law passed if a million men a year had their testicles removed for no reason, but this is barbaric! Female castration is also barbaric? PLEASE GO ONLINE AND VOTE. That will be the only way we will be able to stop these doctors who are taking control of women's bodies. When I see my doctor around town I could castrate him myself. He really does deserve it for what he has taken from me. His name is Dr. Jerome Gundersen of Gundersen Clinic in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. LETS START NAMING OUR DOCTORS. I now challenge each of you to do it.

 
At January 15, 2008 at 10:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...

Dr. William Bradford,
May-Grant Associates, Lancaster PA,
Women's and Babies Hospital, Lancaster PA, Lancaster General Health Campus, Lancaster PA,
tricked and maimed me for life by surgically removing my sex organs, called hysterectomy, with false information.

 
At January 15, 2008 at 10:45 PM , Anonymous Nora W. Coffey said...

To Gracie and all the courageous women who have posted,

Naming the doctor who destroyed your life is an important way to let others know that this doctor could do the same to them, too. This is the doctor who did not respect your expressed directive about what you would, and would not, allow to be done to you, nor did they inform you of the adverse effects of the surgery. Most women ask very good questions but have no way of knowing if the doctor's answers are truthful or an outright lie.

Naming the doctor is a warning to other women who may, if they go to the doctor who ruined your life or someone like them (and there are many), may also become a victim of surgical abuse.

For many years I have named the doctor, Robert Giuntoli, who hysterectomized and castrated me at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. He told me that he would do exploratory surgery and would not remove anything but an ovarian cyst unless the pathologist said the cyst was cancer. He said the pathologist would be standing by to perform a frozen section, and if it was benign he would not remove the ovary or any other organs. The consent form says "Exploration, possible TAH, RSO for treatment of adnexal mass." I questioned the nurse that brought me the consent form to sign. I asked her what TAH, RSO meant and she said "oh, that's on all the forms, it doesn't mean anything. He's not going to remove your uterus or ovary, that's just a standard consent form.

Let the buyer beware.

 
At January 15, 2008 at 11:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 28 and had a complete hysterectomy two years ago. I have been on Premarin 1.25 mg for the first year and now I am on 0.9 mg. I do not like taking the pill. I do not have hot flashes or any major side effects. My question is what if I stop taking the Premarin? What will happen to me? It is getting that I can't afford the pill so I may have to stop anyway. Do I need to take any pills? I had my uterus removed in 2005 and my ovaries removed in 2006. I feel as though my thyroid is messed up. I have gained 15 lbs. that I can't get off and I feel depressed alot and really tired and I have no sex drive. I do not understand what is happening to my body. The doctor did not tell me I would experience these problems. I know my uterus can’t be put back. What do I do now? I want to help other women but I need someone to help me!!!

 
At January 16, 2008 at 12:13 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

I am more than happy to post the
GYN who ruined my life. His name
is Dr. Anthony Ramsey in Medford,
Oregon. His partner who was there
and assisted during the hyst. is
Dr. Rote.

I state again, statements he made
to me:

He told me I HAD to have a hyst.
and had to have it right away;

He told me there were no other
alternatives; even when I asked
him about a myomectomy(sp?) I had
heard about via the internet; he
got angry I had been given advice
by a doctor over the internet who
suggested it instead;

He not only wanted to take my
uterus, but also my ovaries, and
while he was "in there" he "might
as well take the appendix out also"
along with removing a growth on my
labia - which I had for years and
was of no problem - benign and
really small - like a birthmark.
'Cha-Ching', 'Cha-Ching' in money
for him with each item he could
'rack' up to take out!!!

Oh, and again, I think he checked
my insurance and knew I would be
with it until only a couple more
months; then I would have to make
a decision to switch to COBRA. He
also said, "You will feel so much
better, and your sex life will be
just as great." How dare him!!!

Afterwards, he scratched his head,
basically and said he had never
heard of any other women having
any problems after their hysts.
I have heard this from other
women I have talked with that their
doctors said the same thing - HAH!

Oh, golly...just get me going...
We need to get these doctors one
way or the other, and most of all,
besides us helping each other who
have gone through this is to save
any other woman to not have to
experience what we have. This is
so serious, so; once again, do not
mind posting the name of the doctor
who castrated me. In fact, I hope
he reads this, and thinks about the
damage he has done - the serious,
and almost unthinkable damage he
has done. I would love for him
to experience one physical day of
my life. He would beg forgiveness
I would hope and stop his insanity
to any other female (and to a male
partner who has to live with us
now). I am not one to use obscene
language, but he would be one I
could use it on. Yes, state your
doctor's name(s). They deserve
THIS TYPE of recognition.

Do you know I have thought about
standing in front of his office
and greeting women before they walk
in there to state to them to not
be talked into a hysterectomy? Of
course, I probably be arrested, but
I have never done anything wrong
in my life - as far as arrests -
doing crime of any sort; except for
one speeding ticket. If I had to
go to jail for anything, I would
feel good about being behind bars
for this. Hey, and I could talk
to other women in jail, and get
the word out. I am joking; yet,
in a way, I am not. It is like
the people who stood in front of
abortion clinics years ago when
that was of such fame, and wanting
to stop abortions. This is of the
same validity. My problem is I
do not have the strength to form
a group to stand in front of my
doctor's office because of what he
has done to me. This is the sad,
so very sad thing - he maimed me
so much I cannot fight back with
being physical - but....I can do
it with words, and here are my
words - Let us be heard!!!

On a final note - I was taken to
tears to hear of the one story
about the woman who had to deal
with her parents after she went
through a hysterectomy. My heart
goes out to you, and take care. I
feel I want to give up at times,
but this blog gives me emotional
strength, so I hope it gives you
some also. We are here for you.
Be there for me, all of you - too.
Get the message out, sign the
petition, write to Oprah, write to
Michael Moore, keep posting on this
blog, share your doctor's name(s),
give to this cause with your heart
and soul. We can make a change
in numbers! Don't quit - it is
too important!!!

 
At January 16, 2008 at 1:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

normal man,
I posted on another blog answering some questions that women and men have regarding return of sexual response after "female castration".(just from my perspective) More men who are married to women either contemplating hysterectomy or have it scheduled should be throughly educated. I am 54 and my marriage has become sexless after 5 years post op. It gradually got less and less and for my wife it is a struggle to even think of sex. Since her surgery she has been in menopause and her doctor says all her numbers are good until recently and now they prescribe estrogen. After much reading and research I have discovered that women do not commonly share their experiences and believe doctors when they say "oh the sex will be better". WOW what a lie. I now know what has transformed my wife who is not the person she used to be at all. Please encourage men to understand that SEVERE/CRITICAL risk to their relationship with the wife or girlfriend will be the result of hysterectomy. An intimate and physical part of the relationship is needed to keep things together. I have noticed that many posts refer to exhusbands or exboyfriends. I married for better or worse and being married to a spouse that has a seemingly endless health affliction list is trying. Especially when it could have been prevented just by being informed. Ladies if you are married contemplating this procedure make sure your spouse knows what is in the cards for him. I'm not being selfish just thinking of the "sex" part, after all sex is part of a healthy marriage. As you can tell I'm not happy in mine, and resentful of the standard medical practices which has destroyed our once healthy relationship. Most women relatives near our age(50's)have had hysterectomys and all I have noticed experience the same range of health afflictions. A standard sentence inserted in the legal consent form should be "Any type of Hysterectomy will affect your endocrine system and complications include all symtoms of menopause, sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, bone disorders, obesity, these and other risks shall be identified by your physician",further,"your physician shall be subject to civil or criminal prosecution if you are not fully informed of the risks" I applaud the Hers Foundation for trying to save more womens lives and those around her.

 
At January 16, 2008 at 2:02 AM , Blogger Marina said...

I thank all men who had posted on this blog. To win this battle, we do need men on our side. If husbands, brothers, sons, fathers, friends of hysterectomized women will join, it will make this movement much stronger. I believe men could provide invaluable energy (not being mutilated), knowledge of civil proceedings (legal, contacting government etc), and power because men are more heard in our society than women.
My main question to everybody who is familiar with legal proceedings - does not mass unconsented uninformed castration (called hysterectomy) represent a perfect case for class action law suite? Check Wikipedia for "class action". Thousands of women lost their reproductive organs as a result of unpunished actions of doctors and now suffer from multiple health disorders, loose their earning capacities, loose their husbands, get verbally abused by the same doctors who performed the surgery, not mentioning emotional damage - looks like perfect class action case to me.
I would greatly appreciate Nora and Rick's opinion about my another idea. There are so many women made disabled by their OBG's and it is hard to behave in civilized way, but to succeed, we have to stay clear of anything which can be turned against us. And I am not sure if my plan is civilized.
What if we write general message with warning about hysterectomy and other surgeries (exploratory etc) and reference to this blog, and post this message on any OBG review? We have to be polite and civilized and state that this is a general message, not related to particular doctor. It should not be difficult then to copy-paste same message in patient review on OBG on sites such as:
www.HealthGrades.com
RateMDs.com
DoctorScorecard.com
www-Doctor.info

This would save women who will be checking OBG's reports.

 
At January 16, 2008 at 9:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...

Premarin, is made from pregnant mares (horses) urine.
The pregnant mares are held in stalls collecting the urine for production and money. Only a hysterectomized women would ever need this product because of the severe damage caused by having her sex organ amputated by hysterectomy.
Go to a compounding pharmacy and talk with a compounding doctor. They know what this surgery does to your body. Ask the doctor of pharmacology about:
(For the women who has vaginal odor, vaginal sensitivity to creams like k-y Jelly, many yeast infections, severe dryness, emotional distress, sleep disorders and problems with mental clarity after having her sex organ amputated):
1.) Trimo-san Jelly, to balance the PH in the vaginal crevice you are left with. Trimo-san is usually prescribed for the elderly women, but is also used on hysterectomized women of any age.
2.) Omega 3&6, helps with vaginal dryness, joint pain, dryness of skin and helps to protect your heart but don't expect a miracle.
3.) You may need to take, Diflucan, every month if your yeast infections are severe, the crevice does not have a natural discharge anymore and is a hot bed of bacteria and yeast.
4.) Mental clarity after being hysterectomized, is anyone's guess, as the medical industry does not even know all of the hormones produced by the female uterus and ovaries yet and their connections to our brains, but they can hack them off and lie about it, legally, what a farce.
5.) Sleeping aid
6.) Women produce testosterone, the testosterone produced in the ovaries and uterus can not be duplicated. It is very unnatural and strange and causes heart palpitations, but never a uterine orgasm.
7.) Emotional distress caused by being hysterectomized.
8.) Estrogen, Estrace 0.5, cut in half once a day.
9.) Vaginal Moisturizers

Exercise if you can, start very slowly.
My husband started walking with me about a year after I was hysterectomized. I could not walk far and felt like I was being walked by my husband like a dog. My daughter would pick me up to go shopping and try to cheer me up, she was so traumatized by what was done to me, she said, "you don't even look the same", and encouraged me to continue to get stronger and to try to survive, I still find it very hard just to sit down because of the pain, swelling and atrophy.
It is nearly seventeen months since our life has been harmed so severly but I can walk. I can walk a couple of miles now, several times a week. It takes me out of my suffering briefly as I walk on those trails like a pioneer. I think to myself, I'm walking, I'm a walker and laugh. My muscles and abdomen hurt after I walk, but they hurt anyway.
I was a fine artist who painted almost every day. I have not painted since the attack, as it takes passion, concentration and your health to work in the field. Who am I now?, someone who is disabled sexually and physically. My best to you who have been screaming for help, you are not alone, we will stand together with, HERS.

 
At January 16, 2008 at 4:20 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

This is a description of the profound difference between natural menopause and what your body goes through after you are surgically mutilated and castrated. My mother who is intact had her periods end at age 49 years old. At about 52 years old she had minor hot flashes, one a day at most for approximately a year. That was it. I was castrated and hysterectomized at age 44, 14 months ago. I have had severe hot flashes up to 14 per day where every inch of my body is dripping wet. I have extreme night sweats where I wake up soaking wet and my bed is soaked right through to the mattress. Before I was butchered, I had light uneventful periods. I did NOT consent to this surgery. I was lied to and assaulted and no one does anything about it.

 
At January 16, 2008 at 6:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i found your website while looking up information for my mom..i don't know what's wrong with her, but ever since she's had the surgery, she hasn't been the same person. it's like she's a ghost walking around...a shell of a person that i once knew. what has been done to her to make her so.....empty? and so sad?

 
At January 16, 2008 at 7:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...
Cathy,
I am so sorry you are suffering from being assaulted by hysterectomy-sex organ amputation, by deceit legally.
It is so painful to lose your womanhood, clarity, health and self. I know, it is so painful, unfair and inhuman and I can't believe it is happening either, to one third of the female population in America and their families.
Keep talking, let it out, we are listening and trying to stop it.
I am suffering too.
I care,
Mattie

 
At January 16, 2008 at 7:08 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Anonymous daughter,

Your mother is fortunate to have a loving, caring daughter. Now she needs more understanding, love, and caring than she ever needed before the surgery. What is happening to your mom is probably as bewildering to her as it is to you.

What you described that your mom has been experiencing since the surgery is typical of what other women experience who have undergone hysterectomy.

As the comments on this blog convey, and as you can read in the Adverse Effects Data on HERS web site at www.hersfoundation.org, this is what women say about life after hysterectomy:

• Loss of sexuality: loss of desire, loss of physical responsiveness and pleasure, and painful intercourse.

• Pain in bones and joints: “locking” of joints so that some women are unable to stand, walk, or lift without assistance; some women require braces, walkers, wheelchairs; some are bedridden.

• Backache: severe, persistent, disabling.

• Extreme dryness of skin, eyes, genital tissues; vaginal atrophy.

• Rapid, abnormal aging of tissues affecting appearance, skin and general health.

• Angina: chest pain and pressure may occur spontaneously, with exertion, or with exposure to cold.

• Cardiovascular disease.

• Chronic urinary problems: stress incontinence, feeling of urgency or irritability, frequent night voiding, infections, fistulae (surgically-caused abnormal openings into the vagina from the urinary tract).

• Internal pain: in pelvis, groin, vagina or side.

• Emotional dislocation: profound depression, crying, emotional blunting; loss of maternal feeling and of emotional connection and response to loved ones.

• Chronic debilitating fatigue which is not relieved by resting: loss of stamina and of ability to resume the pattern of life which preceded surgery, i.e., diminished ability to run a household, return to work, maintain familiy and social connections.

• Persistance of the condition for which surgery was performed: endometriosis, cancer, pelvic infection, urinary disorders, etc.

• Insomnia; panic attacks; heart palpitations; impaired memory and concentration; weight gain; intolerable hot flashes.

This is what people who care about her need to know:

That hysterectomy may not be the end of her medical problems, it may be only the beginning.

That her ailments after hysterectomy and/or castration are not character flaws but symptoms of the biological havoc wrought by the surgery.

That it is not helpful to ask her why some women seem fine after the same surgery. She does not have the answer, and you may be unaware of hidden problems other women have.

That efforts to cheer her up the way you once did may not work any more because she is different. She may feel different, even alien, to herself. She may not find the same things (or anything) funny.

Family outings, holidays, even a vacation trip may no longer be fun – they may simply be too physically exhausting and emotionally draining.

She may weep at the kind of gift which once brought joy.

That if she cannot pull herself together it is because a part of her which once made that possible is now missing.

 
At January 16, 2008 at 7:50 PM , Blogger Gracie said...

We all care. Who else do we have to turn to but the women on this blog and the Hers Foundation. How can anyone really understand what we are going through but you? A few articles ago I challenged all of you to name your doctors. Only three have. LETS SEE YOUR DOCTORS NAME IN PRINT Barb, Barbara, Belle, Brenda, Bobbi, Cathy, Charlotte, Christine, Deb, Deidre, Elaine, Femica, Ginny, Janet, Joyce, J. Menage, Judith, Julie, Karen, Leeann, Lili, Lina, Lola, Marina, Maryann, Melinda, Michele, Monica, Nancy, Patricia, Princess, Rica, Rosa, Shannon, Shelli, and Vila. We need to let them know we are very upset with the way they treated us and took away our lives. WE WANT TO KNOW WHO THE CASTRATORS ARE. Next, I want to challenge all the above women, the husbands that wrote in and the anonymous women to put $30-$100 (or whatever you can give) in an envelope and address it to HERS. THEY NEED OUR HELP TO KEEP THIS GOING AND IF WE WANT TO SEE A LAW PASSED WE NEED TO SUPPORT HERS. My money will be in the mail tomorrow. Lets show these butchers that we are not going to take this any longer and we do not want them to castrate another women. WE NEED HELP NOW TO STOP THIS MUTILATION OF WOMEN'S BODIES. Every night I think, there goes more women who had their hormone producing sexual organs removed today. I get deathly sick to think these women will be going through what we are going through ONLY they don't even know it yet. They are thinking wow this is great! WRITE your congressmen or congresswomen and ask them to help us. You can go online to U.S.Congress and click on your State and email them with your story.

 
At January 16, 2008 at 8:58 PM , Blogger Elaine said...

gracie,
I am scared to put my gynecologist's name on here who hysterectomized and castrated me. I work at the same medical complex that he works in, and I am not sure of the legal ramifications. I have a rare part time job that comes with medical insurance which I desperately need since I am unable to work fulltime and have many problems resulting from my surgery. I am afraid of having that taken from me as well.
I will however be putting a check in the mail soon to help support the HERS Foundation! I am also taking other steps anonymously to help educate and inform other women about this devastating surgery.
Thank you everyone here for the courage to speak out and to HERS for providing a voice for all of us and a place for us to turn to!

 
At January 16, 2008 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

Gracie, I agree, everyone should post their doctor's names, and hopitals also (short of Elaine). I would LOVE to do that, but need to hold off because I am in the process of trying to sue the criminal for butchering me. I am also going to be sending HERS a check. Thanks for reminding everyone. It's really important.

 
At January 16, 2008 at 9:41 PM , Blogger Gracie said...

I do understand Elaine. Thanks for your support to Hers. I just want to inform everyone about the Oprah show tomorrow, Thursday 'my favorite gynecologist.' She is having Dr. Christiane Northrup as her guest and who Oprah states is her favorite doctor. I have to ask Oprah how Dr. Christiane Northrup who castrates women is her favorite gynecologist. She is a disgrace to all women. Any doctor who can castrate a woman and then smile as if she is the perfect doctor makes me sick to my stomach. WE ALL NEED TO EMAIL OPRAH AND TELL HER JUST WHAT WE THINK OF DR. CHRISTIANE NORTHRUP.

 
At January 17, 2008 at 1:41 AM , Anonymous Cathy said...

To see how Dr. Christiane Northrup really treats her patients, go to this link: http://users.rcn.com/
cabbidge/Index.html

 
At January 17, 2008 at 10:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...
The gynocologists call the adverse effects of being de-sexed and castrated;
"Mourning the loss of your uterus"
My doctor said, only women who wish they could have more children after the operation experience a mourning. You are going to feel better than you ever did and do great with it.
I just vomited twice this morning because of the pain and redness in my labia and clitoris.

 
At January 18, 2008 at 1:27 AM , Anonymous TQ said...

The HERS message has been clear, the current practice of desexing and mutilation of women is unacceptable.

This is not a situation of ignorance on the medical community part - as HERS has shown in analyzing a medical institution's website of misinformation. But it does serve to foster the illusion of informing women - a desired outcome.

This is not about women not doing their homework or being guillible, this is about a well-honed system of deception and denial of women's rights.

As a healthy 35 year-old woman, I was able to walk into the office of Caryl Mussenden with my medical records after being diagnosed with uterine fibroids. In spite of the following:
- consult and request of myomectomy to address fibroids
- asymptomatic
- no children and unmarried
- normal monthly menstration
- signed "Myomectomy Consent Form"

I was still able to walk out (after 1-hour procedure) with a total abdominal hysterectomy.

She had documented that my situation was an emergency, as I had rapidly growing fibroids (pre-opt). Pathology found 2 partially degenerated fibriods (post-op). She had assured me that a hysterectomy would not be done, when I hesitated in signing the consent form. Her post-op report, detailed that she had informed me that a myomectomy would be performed, noting radiologic findings..(what does that mean??). And lastly, she had described the horizontal incision she would make and advised me to get a tummy tuck (pre-opt). She actually used a 9-inch vertical incision instead at time of operation. Surgery was done at Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, DC (hospital now closed).

She had dealt with many women in my circumstance, trained on the legalities surrounding consent and pelvic surgery, my profile, and I had layed all my cards on the table. I on the other hand was dealing with my first major health crisis and alone.

Within six months of surgery, it was clear that my life as I had known it was gone...and February will be the 11th anniversary of my assault. Make no mistake, what was done to me is not legal. Whether I have the resources to bring about justice for myself or whether this society wants to recognize an injustice is not the determining factor of its legality.

I was fortunate to find HERS after surgery, to provide the much needed information, Dr. Mussenden did not, to give voice to my experience, to allow me to support such a historical and worth while cause - the protection of women's health, choice, and freedoms.

From The Great Debaters
....No, the time for justice, the time for freedom, and the time for equalty is always, is always, right now!

 
At January 18, 2008 at 4:51 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

I was just ready to post regarding
catching the very last of Oprah's
show today with Dr. Christiane
Northrup. Glad others posted in
regards to this. I was so upset
with what I did see. I wrote down
some of what bothered me - - -

Dr. Northrup seemed to want to
conquer any female problem with
natural means; i.e., you know
what I mean - acupuncture, herbs,
rubbing your body in areas, etc.
GIVE ME A BREAK! Sorry, but it
will not get to the root of the
problem. The problems are and
what need to be corrected are:

One - Hysterectomies need to stop
being performed for unnecessary
reasons;

Two - Women need to be informed
and given all alternatives;

Three - Get rid of these doctors
as ones as Dr. Northrup; who want
to tell women it all can be resolved with "natural healing
methods" (And - please Oprah,
do not tell me you are that stupid
to listen to her and put her on
your show; yet you did);

Four - Dr. Northrup wrote a book
called The Wisdom of Menopause -
how about - The Wisdom of Not
Having a Hysterectomy - first?
I do not want to discredit her
book until I read it, but she did
not help women on this segment at
all. I did happen to write down
a couple of things I did hear on
this segment: She said "8,000
nerve endings of the Clitoris are
not removed by Hysterectomy." Did
she mention the thousands of nerve
endings which are severed by a
hysterectomy along with all the
ligaments destroyed? NO!!! Did
she show a diagram of this? No!!!

She also made a comment - "The body
never lies". So with that - we
women know our bodies, and they are not lying to us; only our doctors are; not telling us the
truth. I could not understand
her point with this. I am sending
an email to Oprah on this segment;
in itself. Please do the same if
you watched this segment. We have
to do this to be heard!

As far as you, Elaine...I am sorry
you feel you cannot post your
doctor's name. I do not know how
you would be in trouble, but my
my heart goes out to you that you
cannot. You have posted some great
statements here; however, and thank
you for sharing.

Cathy - You have expressed you are
trying to sue; therefore, you feel
you cannot post a doctor's name.
Well, please let anyone (me) know
if you need any back-up support
for your case.

It could not hurt you to get more
evidence by other women who have
gone through this. It might help
your case. I am stating this to
say I am willing to help - if it
can. Hey, anything to help your
trial(s). We need to stick
together with this, and whenever;
however, help each other out. I
am here for you. Good luck! Go
get that doctor who did this
injustice to you.

On a final note: Bless you - the
fine man who posted just recently.
I commend you, and your wife has
one great husband and she should
be so glad to have a person as
you to be her partner in life.

I have been fortunate; in that, I
have a husband who supports me too.
I have to say, if he did not... I
do not know if I could sustain my
life, and what I have been going
through. Now, I am not saying I
am in any way suicidal, but I most
likely would just curl up in a ball
and make the world go away most
days...

Do you know; I love my husband so
much that I think sometimes if he
would go out and get a prostitute,
I would almost understand? Now,
this is not saying I would approve,
but again; of all times, I would
be more forgiving and perhaps not
leave him over it. Kill him - yes,
but I would not leave him. I do
feel so many of you out there know
what I am trying to convey here.
Our husbands have to tolerate so
much after our hysterectomies! My
husband, as I have relayed before,
enjoyed such a great sex life with
me. He is very sexually minded,
and what a great love-making we
had before. As I said, I have
outfits of lingerie in my two
drawers in the closet which are
collecting dust. I am talking of
"NICE AND SEXY" outfits. I have
not worn one of these since the
hysterectomy. I would love to
throw these in a box and label them
to my former GYN, and just put
my name on the box saying, "Thanks
for the memories..." (along with
a few other choice words).

Okay, now I have vented. Thank you
for listening.

Write to Oprah; and especially, if
you viewed this recent segment with
Dr. Northrup. We really need to
do this!!! - along with the checks
to HERS, the emails to Michael
Moore, the petition signed, write
to our congressmen, etc.

Again, thanks for letting me share,
and I close with - my back hurts.
Now, I go and put a heating pad
on it. When I go to bed, I put a
heating pad on my abdomen also.
I never, in my whole life, used a
heating pad before. I find these
as my "Blankees" every single day
now. Gosh, I wonder if the GYN
who did this to me might - at least
pay for these heating pads...

 
At January 18, 2008 at 5:13 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

I forgot to mention this:

For the person who spoke of her
mother; bless you that you hold
high regards of her and want to
help her. We, as children, should
do this always. My mother got very
ill during the last six years of
her life. I was right there with
her, at all times, but not for
aftermath of a hysterectomy; except, I do not know this for sure, and would have to do research to check this out. My
point is: take care of any beloved
females; whether it be mother,
aunt, sister, daughter. cousin.

AND - SO IMPORTANT -

Take care of the husbands too.
They need support of this dearly
also. They cannot be left out of
this horrible insanity. We need
our men to support us - as we need
to support them - it is all part
of this.

Bless all of you out there!

 
At January 18, 2008 at 8:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1999 I went in to surgery to have a cyst removed off by left overy however when I woke up I had A total abd. Hystorectomy. When I asked my md why he did the procedure he said well you had a very bad case of endomertosis and taht I need the Hist. mind you when i went in I fermly told him that i did not want a hysto. I was was 37 at the time and no children. well he said that I would not have kids any way because of the endometreosis. so he felt it best. well almost one year after that surgery. I was so ill with pain on left lower quad. that I went to another
md and was told after ex. lap that nothing was worng with me.so still in pain I had a ct scan which showed lef overy with a very large cyst. mind you this is why I went to surgery in the first place.By a third md wo went in and removed that left overy and cyst. covered with endometrosis I was hosp. for 5 days with ng tube.I consulted a lawer and was told you were not maimed so you had no case.be at the time I was hurt and angry. and that I was told amounted to nothing.by the way the second md was a frind of the first md thied md was at a different hospital. murder is what is just killed me and who cares???thank you for listning and doing sumthing about it.

tanya

 
At January 18, 2008 at 12:11 PM , Anonymous cathy said...

TQ very well said. And thank you Belle and Mattie for your kind words! My heart goes out to all of you living in this eternal hell. As TQ said, this is not a doctor's mistake. This is a planned out criminal act for power and profit. These doctor's know all they have to do is spin their web of lies to get a woman under anesthesia. Once you are unconscious, you have absolutely no rights. You are a slab of meat for profit. It doesn't matter what you say or write on the consent form. There is NOTHING to protect you. These doctors have figured out how to protect themselves from every angle. They know that when they butcher over 600,000 women per year that there will be no repercussions. It is virtually impossible to sue, you can't go to the police, and the doctor's have a code of silence to protect each other. Worst of all, after you are butchered, there is no going back. You can't ever get your organs back. After I was hysterectomized and castrated, I felt I had been lied to. What was done to me seemed totally overkill and unreasonable. When I got a copy of my medical records, not only was it clear I had been lied to, but then I found out that it was all totally unnecessary, and that what was done to me would cause me life-long problems. Prior to this happening to me, I didn't know anything about this surgery. Afterwards, I spent many hours researching it and found that I was butchered for no beneficial medical reason, not to mention against my will and without my consent. It was at that time I called the HERS Foundation. It was only then I found out that what happened to me was not an isolated incident, but that it happens all the time. I was so shocked and at first found that so hard to believe. Maybe I was just totally naive, but I just couldn't imagine a mass number of doctors purposely lying and removing healthy organs from women. How could they get away with that? How does this mass criminal act going on in the United States keep getting ignored? Even when good doctors speak out about it, they are ignored just like the women who have been lied to and butchered. Not only did my doctor talk to me like a piece of garbage, he hacked me up like my life was worthless. He could have killed me doing a major unnecessary surgery, and they have killed many women. I remember reading this in my surgical report: Patient was given an uncomplicated total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Of course it was uncomplicated, there was absolutely no reason for it. I watched the Oprah show with Dr. Christiane Northrup. I found it interesting that she told one of the women to just have her ovarian cyst removed. That's what I needed, yet I was hysterectomized and castrated. She also said that she had a very large fibroid tumor that was making her belly stick out, and she just had the fibroid removed. I only had a less than 1 cm fibroid and the doctor amputated my uterus. Where do you have to go to get the kind of care she is talking about? I had a smaller ovarian cyst than the person on the show, yet all my organs were amputated against my will and without my consent. Where are these doctors that will remove an ovarian cyst and leave you intact? None of the women on this blog have found one. I am terrified for any woman to go into emergency with stomach pain like I did. I had no idea I was a sitting duck for an unnecessary life-altering surgery. It makes me so angry and sick to know how much I was lied to and railroaded so they could get me under anesthesia. These doctors are so powerful that the whole hospital staff is in on it. They all listened to me tell the doctor I did not want a hysterectomy. They all heard me cry, they all heard me beg them and the doctor for more information. All the nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists heard me, but they were all just silent. They all heard me make the doctor promise to not do anything that wasn't totally necessary. They all heard my cries for help, but no one stepped into stop it. I am just totally perplexed at how this is allowed to go on. How could they do this to another human being? Any illusions I had about doctors and hospitals have been completely shattered. My grandmother who died when I was 18 years old, told me to never trust doctors. Because of that, I very rarely went to a doctor my whole life. But I had no choice but to go to a hospital with severe stomach pain. I needed help. I had no idea I would be lied to, railroaded, assaulted and then lied to some more. How could I have protected myself? How could I have known? How could I have avoided this fate? To this day, I still don't have an answer. I am tortured by it every day. I beg the media, the government, lawmakers, judges, medical professionals to PLEASE step in and stop this!

 
At January 18, 2008 at 12:57 PM , Blogger Sheila said...

five years ago my life ended when I had a hysterectomy. I just barley turn 34 when I was told that I had cancer due to a large tumor in my uterus. I just went in for a check up and was devastated bye the news. With in 2 weeks the surgey was done, the doctor had talked me into a bladder suspension because I might leak later on in life. During the surgery he stitched shut the tube between my bladder and kidney. The day after I was rushed in again for another surgery to fix that mistake and save my kidney from bursting. The doctor had to let down my bladder again to fix his mistakes and in that process he cut the nerves to my bladder and bowel. He took my left ovary even though he promised he would not touch them and 3 years later I had to have my right ovary removed because it was an ovarian remnant that had connected to my rectom.
But all of this is not the worst of it. The worst is my bladder is ruined. I have to self catheterize the rest of my life. I have to use lots of ennamas to have bowel movments. And I have horrible rectal pain due to where the ovarian remnant was found and removed. He has left me in constant horrific pelvic pain. The damaged nervers has now effected other nerves that all cause me pain. All the other doctors I have seen to try and get some help has protected the doctor that done the hysterectomy because they new I had a law suit and I got no where with them other than heart ache.
Through my law suit I found out that when my doctor took my left ovary he put in my record that I had cancer cells in the ovary he took so he saved my life by having the second surgery. Of course he never told me this infact I didn't find out ontil 3 1/2 years later witch was all a big lie, that was his way of covering up his mistakes he had to have a reason for the 2nd surgery. I all so found out at that time that the whole reason he told me that I needed to have a hysterectomy was all a big lie as well. I did not have cancer in my ovary,uterus or any where else, infact I did not even have a tumor. I was a completly healthy women. That lying deceitful man. He ruined my body, my life, my family's life all for nothing.
I have been diagnosed with complexe regional pain syndrom type 2 and about 7 months ago I finally got away from that net work of doctors and found a pain specialest that cares. He done some recerch on what could have happened and what nerves where cut. About 4 weeks ago he put in a morphine pump that is finally giving me some releif. I still don't have any function in my organs and my marriage has suffered because sex has been out of the question along with many other things. It has been so hard to know that I have sufferd so much and know it was a for nothing. That I was completly healthy before that surgery. They are so many other side effects from the hysterectomy as well.
As far as my law suit. I had a doctor that was going to testify for what he done to my bladder but just my luck my lawyer filed my law suit 6 days late and my cased was dismissed. My case is now in appeals and I could have a good case against my lawyer for leagal malpractice witch I haven't decided on that yet. The only thing now is I finally have in my records what nerves were cut even if it's a little late. I all so wanted to let you all know that my lawyer told me I couldn't sue for the fact of being misdiagnosed and lied about the reason he gave me to have a hysterectomy because he said that there would not be one obgyn that would testify in my defence because there all doing the same thing all over the states. I was so angerey because if it was a man that this happen to him or had his testes cut up and put back in him or removed there would be a million dollar lawsuit. How can this continue to happen? We as women don't have any rights! Through this experiance I have grown to hate men, I think that they are all sexest pigs who can do with us what ever they please and proven to be so.
The only thing that has got me through all of this is having faith in my god and having faith that miracals can happen witch I have received one through my morphine pump. As soon as I get my strength built up I want to spread the word and do what ever I can to inform women the effects of hysterectomy.
If any one has any question for me your welcome to call on my toll free number. call Sheila @ 866-842-8336.
God bless you all!

 
At January 18, 2008 at 2:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Belle - Regarding boxing up your lingerie and sending to the surgeon with some choice words -- Why not?? You can do it anonymously if that makes it easier. I really think you should! I am going to mail some books, a list of Facts and Adverse Effects from this website as well as the URL to this blog and send it to his office. I'm hoping the office staff opens it. I have already rated him on a couple of websites basically saying that he lied to justify removal of healthy organs and that he'd been my trusted ob/gyn for MANY years. I also wrote my Congressmen and the state's attorney general as well as some "alternative" doctors that have websites. (I tried to find a lawyer to take my case but no one wanted to "risk " it.) I can't imagine that something won't come of it but then it's still incomprehensible to me that this even goes on much less in this "great US of A!"

 
At January 18, 2008 at 2:53 PM , Blogger Gracie said...

My sister Lynn just called me (if you were at the New York or Pasadena Conference you met her) and told me her daughter Jenny just came out of surgery doing great. She had a polymectomy removing 4 polyps and leaving all her sexual hormone producing organs intact. Jenny can go on with her life which is so wonderful! Jenny has been to several doctors trying to find one that didn't mention DNC or hysterectomy. I was with her during her first appointment and I told the doctor how would he like to be castrated. Needless to say he didn't want to have Jenny as a patient. There was no way her Mom or I was ever going to let that happen to her. After a referral from the Hers Foundation, Jenny went to Iowa City, Iowa. She found a OBGYN and fertility doctor that doesn't give hysterectomies/castrations for cysts, fibroids or polyps. Her name is Dr. Ginny L. Ryan, MD Associate of OBGYN Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility at the University of Iowa Women's Health Care 319/3892-9170 ginny-ryan@uiowa.edu www.UIHelthCare.Com/Repromed. They do Myomectomies and also hysterectomies. Please email Dr. Ryan and thank her for saving Jenny Anderson's sex organs and tell her your story. Dr. Ryan IS a OBGYN, so be aware and informed!

 
At January 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, now that I have had a hysterectomy, complete, now what? Yes, I have many of the symptoms posted by other women. So what is the best treatment now? DO I go to a doctor? Which kind? I have joint pain, mood swings, etc.... Are there doctors out there that care? Believe in a link between my pain and the hysterectomy? What about hormones, natural vs synthectic? What about nutrition, suppliments, etc... How does one go on from here?

I’ve never written anything public before. I never even read stuff like this before. I am a very private person and cautious. Plus, I do not enjoy complaining, but am researching positive things I can do to help myself. My Hysterectomy was not elective, so many of the difficulties I faced for years are gone; now I have a whole new set of issues to work out. There is nothing worse to deal with than this, but, I hope to find some help. These are changes that no one wanted to discuss before my surgery. I’m glad I found a place people are willing to talk about how to live with this.

 
At January 19, 2008 at 12:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ladies,
I am from Europe- and I went to the court and I am still fighting there. It is very difficult but I wanted to speak out personally what has happened to me! Being castrated for nothing in a democratic country! And this I want to speak out in public!

And my castrator must also be in front of the judge! It doesn't matter for me if I win the process- here it is nearly impossible to win against a doctor at the court- but for me it is essential that my castrator must go to the judge! And I will face him there personally from face to face! I want to make a difference for other women - and nobody ever will hurt me so like this doctor did to me!

And the generation of my daughter must be protected against these ignorant idiots! And these are idiots - incredible idiots!

All the best for all women who are trying to get justice because of unnecessary castration! What inhuman society is this, where the victims are even not be heard although such a barbaric treatment like castration is!

rosa

 
At January 19, 2008 at 4:48 PM , Anonymous Saundra said...

I had a complete hysterectomy 18 mos. I cannot have sex anymore without a great deal of pain - my cervix was removed during surgery. My Dr. now says he can try to go in and "fix" the problem by more surgery and re-doing the cervix cuff. I cannot do this - it is too much again, plus, I am not sure it would work. No one told me that this could happen if I had my cervix removed. The pain is terrible - I am 48 years old and I cannot have sexual intercourse with my husband. It’s a terrible thing that is being done to women – their husbands suffer too. Thank you for listening and for being there for all the victims.

 
At January 20, 2008 at 7:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...
Oprah's favorite gynecologist, Dr. Northrup, is on tape now on national television telling women it is all in their head when their sex life is damaged by hysterectomy.
Did you see the poor women's face who asked, Dr. Northrup, what she could do because her sex life with her husband was nil since she had a hysterecomy.
Dr. Northrup, said the women needed to think to her, low heart, as she put her hand on her abdomen. Dr. Northrup was telling the women that it is all in her head. Then she dismissed the women by having the whole audience think to their low heart, Oprah, included, about having sex.
Too bad the women who was dismissed by, Dr. Northrup, does not have a low heart now.
Dr. Northrup, said they didn't remove her clitoris and it's nerve endings. But they did remove the sexual organ of this women, her uterus (low heart?).
It was sad and proves the point so clearly. Gynecologists dismiss women who have had their sex organ amputated and continue to promote lies.

 
At January 20, 2008 at 5:14 PM , Anonymous cathy said...

Yeah, Dr. Northrup had the hysterectomized/castrated woman put her hand on her heart and then her crotch (called lower heart) to transfer energy to fix her because she said she had no sex drive. I think she had everyone do it to distract from the castrated hysterectomized woman. I wonder how well that would work for castrated men? Just put one hand on your heart, the other on your penis, and bingo you will get all your sexual sensations back! It made me laugh. So ridiculous, but I could see a lot of women get totally sucked into it. What is Oprah thinking?

 
At January 20, 2008 at 10:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a few weeks, it will be ten years since I was duped into hysterectomy and castration for one tiny fibroid. I can still vividly remember how the gyn's office was filled with pictures of his lovely wife and daughters. He actually babysat his grandson in the office some afternoons. His walls were decorated with certificates testifying to his skill and experience. What stood out the most, though, were the awards given to him for his charity work. Even a decade past, I can remember how I then thought that I had found someone kind, someone caring. A family man, a man with morals much like my husband and myself. A man who promised me that I would be fine. That I would be better for his care ... despite the nonexistent cancer that he used to scared me with.
Bitterly, I know now that awards and certificates are meaningless
when it comes to one person having such absolute power over another. Bitterly, now I know why he feared so for his grandson- because he himself frequented the very depths of depravity. What else do you call unnecessarily desexing a fellow human being?
I remember, too, when I first shakily gave raw voice to my deepest fears. I told him that I wasn't enjoying sex anymore. I remember how he appeared concerned and said, ever so soothingly,"I've never heard this before. I will check with my colleagues. (pause) It could all be in your head... and you're getting older."
Getting older? In six weeks?? My mind started screaming, "Either he is lying to you or you are going crazy!" Dazed, I somehow found my way to the door. Only much later would I realize that those stumbling steps were the begining of a frightening journey without end.
One moment, fearing for my very sanity, the next, fearing that I was, indeed sane - and him a liar, I set out to find out all that I could about hysterectomy.
When the lay literature offered no insight, I turned to gyn texts. It was there that I came to understand all that had been done to me and all that he and the medical profession knew. Very dated texts note hysterectomy and ovary removal consequences (not complications!).
I've spent almost ten years now wondering how can this be happening in what is generally believed to be a civilized society. The answers are complex but I will offer my insights into it in the hope that someone out there reading this will be forewarned.
A little boy will have on a protective cup when he first takes the plate at T-ball. From the earliest time onward, men are taught the value of their sexual, reproductive and endocrine organs. Simply put, women are not. This is a failing in our society and it is a failing of our supposed medical advocates. We must change this. Little girls must be taught the value of their female organs just as boys are to value their male organs today.
Next up is the medical profession which operates with little fear of oversight or censure. After all, they are self governing. They are self promoting. So called "tort reform" strikes at the last thread that binds them in any way. This, too, we must change.
A third change must come in the way that medicine is billed. Built into every paying and/or insured patient is a cost and profit for those unable to pay. Problem is, that for the surgeon or hospital to get handsomely reimbursed, they have to do a procedure on you that pays handsomely. HERS is correct when they say that hysterectomy is a 17 billion dollar business.
Frankly, that's just at the start. From personal experience, I'm certain that the ongoing business of office visits and prescriptions post hysterectomy dwarfs the 17 billion dollar figure.
Big pharma is another example of the way medicine is billed needing to change. BTW, in my opinion, Big pharma has played a major role in promoting hysterectomy. All to the tune of "Forever Feminine" and "Let me sell you some horse pee!"
As consumers, we need to be alert to the role that revenue from advertising is biasing all media. The magazine that financially thrives on XYZ pharma dollars isn't likely to risk their revenue stream to tell you about a compelling new study that showed XYZ's blockbuster drug was ineffective -if not dangerous.
Anymore than Mercy General is going to kill its' own golden goose, hysterectomy, by reviewing
charts. No, it is up to you to notice the usual signs advising that each physician is an "independent contractor" --and solely responsible for his actions.
Sadly, the last thing that I can think of that we need to change is the one that I hold out least hope for changing. I've already read it mentioned on this blog. That is, the women who have had a hysterectomy and/or ovary removal and who either keep quiet about the negatives, or, worse yet, encourage everyone else to join them. Now some women who keep quiet never really knew orgasm and/or they haven't related their health concerns to their surgery. It is not as if the medical profession makes the connections apparent.
Still, it is my personal belief that almost every woman who suffers a hysterectomy had someone close to her who could, who should, have warned her. It is almost too prevalent for this not to be the case.
I know that it is for me. Someone close to me could've warned me and didn't. A relative, ten years later she's still wondering what she did wrong. Why we're not close anymore. The truth is, her betrayal rates right up there with the medical profession's. I'll not ever be forgetting either one.
Women tend to be competitive and some women fear admitting that they are somehow lesser. It can be a difficult thing to acknowledge even to yourself. I sympathize with this sentiment; however, if unnecessary hysterectomy is to stop, then we must be willing to speak out. Our voices for those unable to speak on the OR table.
Lastly, needing changing as much as a soiled diaper, there's the "misery loves company" crowd. You're apt to meet quite a few of those. What really gags me is the women who will post about how great it is, then email you privately to ask if you've found anything that helps. Yep, I've had that happen. Also been on an email list where the women were secretly debating whether the woman posting for help "deserved the truth".
Hear ye! Hear Ye! All women deserve the truth! Even if you've been a victim and you didn't hear the truth before it was too late, still all women deserve the truth.
You, my friend, deserved the truth, never the deception. Getting the truth out is what HERS is doing and has been doing for decades. That is what I hope to accomplish in this post. It is too late for me but I sincerely hope that it isn't too late for you or for someone that you know.
PS You may have noticed that I don't limit my criticism to the gyn field. My feeling is that every medical speciality has stood blindly and mutely by as we fell victim and, in this, the blame needs to reach all. The other medical fields were the ones most able to bring these practices into question... and, yet, few have taken our part. Think about that the next time that you go to your internist, your shrink, your neurologist, etc.

 
At January 21, 2008 at 4:25 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

Dear Anonymous who posted in reply
to my post regarding sending my
unused lingerie, etc. Could you
answer a question; in that, are you
sending the things you mentioned to
my GYN who I spoke of, or yours?

I really need to know, and WOW -
bless your heart!!! This is so
important for you to answer. I
am wondering if it is the same GYN,
and if so - WOW, again. Please let
me know. I implore you, and thank
you!

It was interesting to read about
what you others posted regarding
the segment with Oprah and Dr.
Northrup. I agree, and I was also
trying to convey with what she was
talking about with the other heart
and what a joke that was! This,
coming from a GYN! Oprah, how
could you!!!!!!!!!!!!! This being
another reason to write to Oprah,
and get her head straight and air
a program without this GYN to have
anything to do with it. I mean,
let us get Nora and Rick on there;
along with the doctors they know,
get that aired on a T.V. segment.
Please write to Oprah. We can do
something in numbers. That Dr.
Northrup needs to read all these
messages posted on this blog, to
wake her up! I mean it! (Our
other heart, give me a break...)

 
At January 21, 2008 at 5:00 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

To Sheila:

My goodness, what you have been
through, my dear; as so many others
of us. Thank you for sharing, and
I am so understanding and curious
about what you bring up with the
nerves; especially.

I mentioned on a previous entry,
it was not until I attended the
conference in November of this year
in Pasadena, did I discover all
the nerves, etc. which are severed
with a hysterectomy (TAH). Had I
known that, I never would have gone
through the surgery; since I had
already CRPS - RSD,a nerve disease.
This is unbelievable that a doctor
would, knowing I had this disease,
perform a hysterectomy on me. As
I said, talk about causing damage
to damage! How could a doctor do
this? Well, I think we know the
answer...for the money. If he was
thinking of me, he would have never
done this, and certainly would have
thought of less invasive treatment
for me for two fibroids. This just
made me cringe when I heard this at
the conference with HERS with the
doctor showing the pictures and
explaining the damage done with the
nerves alone. I will call you. I
certainly would like to touch base
with you about this and offer any
help I can. I am knowledgeable on
CRPS, and want to offer any support
I can. You take care, my dear -
all of you, take care!

 
At January 21, 2008 at 9:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something else that I need to add to my insights. My niece is graduating soon and looking to enter a good vet school. She came to visit us over the holidays and to tour a nearby vet school. She came back saying how they had a huge mechanical device where they could position a cow or steer for evaluation. Then she talked about the school's having a steer with a huge plastic ring in its' side. The teachers used this ring for the students to be able to exam the steer internally at anytime.
The vet school is not alone in its' need to teach, its' need for teaching subjects; however, few people will willingly submit to such experimentation. Don't ever discount the idea that hysterectomy is being used to teach
med students. I have heard that there are med schools that require students to do so many hysterectomies before a student can graduate.
This main help explain the medical profession's reluctance to end these barbaric practices. Sadly, we are like that steer in more ways than the experimentation.
The medical establishment has known from the first what the spaying and neutering of animals does. (sigh) Aside from sex, when mother rats have their ovaries removed, they then ignore their pups. Whyever on this earth would the medicos think the human female somehow different from all the other animals gracing the planet?
What kind of medical advocacy allows the unnecessary stripping of maternal and mating feelings?
After all, the ovaries secrete oxytocin, the hormone of mating and maternal behaviours as well as a vasodilator, muscle contractor, and a stress reducer. You probably know oxytocin by its' synthetic's name, pitocin, which is dangerously given to women to induce labor. Never forget that the ob and gyn specialities are one and the same.
It was nature's plan for us to lie with our partners, have an oxytocin induced uterine orgasm, and then look up at our partner (and the world) with love. The gyns routinely lay that beautiful plan to waste. It is a huge loss not just to us but to our spouses, our children, our families, our friends, even to our communities.
On another note, Woolsey did a study showing that in monkeys the dendrite spines in the brain were permanently shortened after just ten days of estrogen deprivation.Sometimes I charitably think that the "greatest thing they ever did women" are the ones most emotionally dead. Certainly, they have lost much compassion.
Btw, I am Brenda. I am so sorry that this has happened to those posting here, that this has ever happened to anyone. Ten years later, countless "specialists", grocery sacks full of new meds, and tears enough to end a drought, I can testify to anyone out there thinking that they will lose these organs and simply take a pill instead, that you are incredibly, most awfully mistaken. I have nothing to gain in telling you this. Can you say the same for your hospital, your surgeon, or for the pharma he pushes (and probably receives kickbacks for)?

 
At January 21, 2008 at 12:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattie said...
Well said, Brenda, good information.
Let's see is the women who coached me into this life of hell feeling better about herself now that she has tricked me. It is no different than the doctor who tricked me, she is emotionally void.
Am I supposed to pretend that I am alright now, like she is and go along with the hysterectomy lie, to protect my self-image? I can't the damage is too painful and discusting.
The women said after she so convincingly tricked me, "isin't it horrible when it shrivels all up" and my ovaries blew out within a year. She then told me, she had convinced her daughter who was in her twenties and had two children to undergo the de-sexing, and that her daughter did not do well with it.
I said to her, why didn't you tell me this before and she really didn't have an answer.
I then asked our mutual friend, a very good friend of mine, why she would do this to me. My x-best friend said, "she thought you needed it". My best friend then sided with the de-sexed women, even after seeing the, Hers, information and dropped me as a best friend.
This was a best friend that was very special in my life, we had many shared interests, and loved to spend time together doing fun things, laughing and sharing like women who are still intact do. She has not talked to me in almost a year but continues to be a friend to the women who tricked me.
All morning today, I have thought about dying. I would go to the same hospital that tortured and de-sexed me if they had a, euthanasia department, for women who can't continue to suffer after they are de-sexed.
I am afraid that I would not be able to commit suicide, what if I do it wrong, and my poor husband has to live with someone even more disabled, I want to give him his life back. If you knew him you would love him, he is the most fun person I have ever met, interesting and kind.
The verbal abuse I suffered after the de-sexing by the doctor plays out in my head as I wish I was dead.
I called so many times while I was suffering on the emergency line of the ob/gyn practice. One sunday morning when I called in pain beyond words about five weeks after the surgery. He said, "why don't you go to church, that is where I am. Don't you think the fellowship of a congegation would be beneficial to you now."
Another time when I called on the emergency line the doctor said, "Go paint your husband a painting, do the things you like to do". I said, I could not possibly paint anything now, I am in so much pain and can feel my womanhood melting through my pours." The doctor then said, "Well, dont ruin the ones you already have."
I called again in excruciating pain begging for help. The doctor said, "It's your diet, eat three blueberries a day. My mother likes the, Black Cohosh and blueberry by Estroven." Now this doctors mother must be in her eightys.
I remember after the surgery that the doctor said to me, "Your intestines and internal organs look withered, I would have that checked."
Now I know that my body was in hyperthyroid when he operated on me. He saw my organs were in distress, but that did not stop him, nothing stopped him or the enesthetists or nurses.
Now, you tell me that doctor did not know what he had done to me.

 
At January 21, 2008 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous Dutch said...

I am a husband who is struggling with understanding what my wife is going through. I am also afraid of the future based on what I have read. I am apalled at what people aren't told, or helped to understand. I would like anyone out there to please direct their husbands/partners to this website. It has been an invaluable source of help for me.

 
At January 21, 2008 at 9:00 PM , Blogger Elaine said...

Wow Brenda, thanks for such an informative post (especially about the ovaries doing so much more than producing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) and for putting so beautifully in to words what I have wanted to say but don't have the mental clarity to!

I just wanted to add my sentiments about hysterectomized and/or castrated women remaining silent about the consequences they suffer with or convincing other women that "you will feel so much better" or "this it the best thing I ever did". Yes, these women too are enablers of the hysterectomy industry. How in the world can having vital organs removed be the best thing you ever did? Even women dying of ovarian cancer who didn't have a choice don't go around saying it's the best thing they ever did. And as far as I know, removal of reproductive organs is the only organ removal that is considered "elective"(with the exception of cancer or life threatening blood loss or infection). No one "chooses" to have a kidney, or lung, or breast removed because it is bothering them or causing benign problems. These organs are removed because they are covered with cancer, or a loved one or stranger will die without a transplant. You can survive without one lung or kidney, but no one would think of having these removed unless it was life and death for themselves or someone else. So why would your ovaries or uterus be any different? The old argument that your ovaries and uterus are only good for baby making just does not hold anymore.
Why aren't more of us who have been hurt/ruined by hysterectomy and castration going to hysterectomy, gynecological (endometriosis, fibroids, etc.), women's health forums and speaking out?! Why aren't we going to these forums and warning women who have been told or brainwashed to believe they "need" a hysterectomy by doctors, friends and family and will feel so much better, of the consequences? I have been doing this for over two years now (my hysterectomy was 2 1/2 years ago) and often I feel alone in my quest, but sometimes other women come forward as well. I have been harassed, accused of using "scare tactics", accused of being negative and dwelling on the past, I have been kicked off forums for telling the truth, or had my words edited or deleted by moderators, and I have been ignored. But I will not be silent! I discovered online forums only two weeks before my hysterectomy and began to post about my concerns on a hysterectomy related forum. Not one person came forward and warned me of the long term consequences. All I heard were positives. Even the common hysterectomy books in the self help sections of bookstores and libraries are deceitful and glowing with positive reports of life post hysterectomy. If you want real information you have to dig deeper and research the medical libraries and journals where the terrible consequences are well known and documented. I wish I had known this before, that I would have to dig deeper and research harder to get at the truth instead of trusting my gynecologist and listening to the happy stories. I wish even one person would have posted on that forum and reached out to me with all the information that is provided on this site. I wish I had found the HERS site when I googled hysterectomy on the internet instead of the hysterectomy site I did find. I didn't even want a hysterectomy. I have no idea what possessed me to ignore my instincts and move forward with this. All I know is that I am now driven to help even one woman avoid the horrible consequences I have suffered with, to educate her with information her doctor will never tell her. I speak about it at work (I work in a hospital where hysterectomies are performed by the dozens daily), to friends, family, in various medical support groups in the community(for all the problems I am left with since my hysterectomy such as fibromyalgia and chronic pelvic pain). I started my own blog on Myspace and Blogger (with links to HERS and the video). It is so important to reach women wherever we can with what we know so that they hear both sides of the story and so that they can make an informed choice. Why wait for them to find us? It might be too late for yet another woman, as it was for all of us...

 
At January 21, 2008 at 10:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Belle:
I will be sending those items previously mentioned (books, lists of adverse effects, how women are lied to, etc.) to the surgeon that castrated ME not your surgeon. I doubt whether it's the same one (I live in the Midwest). I have already rated him on some sites.

 
At January 21, 2008 at 10:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Elaine - We have exchanged several emails about warning other women and how a lot of forums are enablers. I have lost privileges and had posts altered or removed when I've tried to warn women or have made negative comments about hysterectomy. It makes me so angry! Just shows how many evil and egotistical people there are in this world! I counseled a woman at work telling her everything and how so many doctors lie and how it sounded like her doctor was bullying her and she went ahead with the surgery. I only wish someone had told me just a small fraction of what I know now! Keep up the good work of spreading the word and hold your head high!

 
At January 22, 2008 at 12:13 AM , Anonymous cathy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At January 22, 2008 at 2:23 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

Oh, my goodness! Reading the most
recent posts, I want to comment on
so much. Well, I will just start,
and share my thoughts...

First of all, Anonymous, (or are
you Elaine, I am not sure...)

You said you wanted to die today.
Please, oh please do not give up!
We are here for you!!! I want
you to call me. I will talk to
you anytime, 24/7 - I mean it!

I had a close family member commit
suicide years ago. After that, I
made a promise I would be there for
anyone with thoughts of this. I
am here for you, as I said. So,
with that, please call me at
(541) 227-8536. This is my cell
phone number, but leave a message,
and I will get back with you. Ask
for Belle. Please know I want to
talk with you. I need you too!!!
It helps so much to share what we
both have been through. Sometimes,
just getting that out helps so very
much. You are not alone.

Those "friends" whom you refer to
are not your friends. Sorry, but
it sounds as if they have shown
their true colors. I called my
two close, longtime, but live far
away, friends and told them about
my surgery and aftermath, and also
to log onto this 'Blog', along with
the HERS Foundation website. They
did, and one friend just emailed me
back this evening and said, "Wow",
and keep up the pressure and fight
to not let this happen to another
woman, and she would inform others
also. Now, that is a friend! Do
not let these other women get you
down. They are not worth it, but
you are!!! Bless your husband for
supporting you, and be sure to do
the same for him. We forget that
the men are in this "boat" in a
way, also. They can never fully
understand; what we are truly going
through, but if your man is trying
to be there for you...hang on to
him - what a guy; yet he should be,
right? Now, be sure to call me,
okee-dokee? I bet we can have a
few good laughs together also. Hey
sometimes it helps to make fun at
our pain and trials - like mocking
that devil!

As far as your doctor, my gosh,
what a schmuck! Church was his
answer, and go paint, and eat
blueberries? Phooeeyyy on him.
You consider yourself above him,
and you are, my dear. Please know
he is the one who needs mental help
and if you do paint anything; paint
a portrait of him, and send it to
him. (I have an idea of what that
would look like...see we can laugh,
right?)

Hang on, my dear. We are all here
for you. I know your physical pain
you have. I have it also; as so
many here posting do, but don't
quit. So, I will be waiting so
anxiously to hear from you. You
have a friend(s) here.


To other Anonymous regarding the
lingerie, etc.:

Thanks for clarifying that. Good
for you sending the various items
you mentioned to your OB/GYN. I
just thought with the way you
worded your first message; you were
referring to my GYN. I have to say
I was disappointed; in that, I was
thinking we had both shared the
experience with the same doctor,
and it would further confirm his
injustice at his practice.

To Dutch:

What a Man! I am having my husband
read all of these messages on this
'Blog'. I will ask him to post.
Get ready to hear from him. He
has alot to share. I commend you,
Dutch. You keep supporting your
loved one. She needs you now more
than ever, and I hope she knows
what a great guy she has...

To Gracie:

I am sending an email to Dr. Ginny
L. Ryan. This is a great story
with a happy ending. How great to
hear Jenny was saved!

To Elaine: You are right, and I am
on a mission. You promote us to
fight to get this word out. Atta
Girl!

To Cathy: You are one great gal
too! I will go to Healthboards.com
and thanks for sharing this.

On a final note, it surely helps me
to have this blog site. I mean it.
I am able to listen to others, gain
knowledge, and share. My husband
may wonder why some other things
aren't done right now...(I hope
I paid the power bill), but this is
too important. My life has been
devastated. If I could not do
something as this - communicate
with others on this sounding board,
I would be at such a loss.

Thank you everyone for sharing and
listening. We deserve this!!!

Once again, thank you Nora, Rick,
and all of the HERS Foundation
staff, doctors, etc. who have made
our lives a little more tolerable.

 
At January 22, 2008 at 6:07 AM , Blogger Gracie said...

ARE YOU READING THIS DOCTORS? ARE YOU BELIEVING THAT YOU HAVE BUTCHERED US? ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR CAREER THAT DESTROYS OUR LIVES? Some very beautiful and courageous women have written on this blog. It is not easy to open up your personal life and tell everyone what has really happen to us. To the women who are thinking about taking your life. PLEASE, just get back in bed and stay there. Some days I was so scared I would just get back in bed until I was thinking clear. DON'T TAKE YOUR LIFE. Then everyone will just say, see she was crazy! During the first two years, I too, was thinking about it because I was so sick and just couldn't go on, BUT, I had a family that needed me even if I wasn't well. We will help you. I know it is hard to go on, but everyone of us on this blog have had the same thoughts. We now need to get even with the doctors that are doing this to us by passing a law, writing editorial, passing out Hers brochures all over, YES, even in the hospitals and bathrooms. Thank you husbands and boyfriends for writting in. It is so important to hear from you because I know it is affected your life also. We need the men on our team to fight this. I will say it again-if every doctor who castrated us would also be castrated, THIS WOULD STOP! I challenged you to put your doctors name on here and send Hers a donation. I really hope you will do that because it is so important. I do understand if you are going through a law suit you can't, but everyone else can. We need to see the doctors who are getting by with castrating women so we don't go to them. You are doing women an unjustice if you don't post their names. There is no doubt we have all been deceived and destroyed and for what, $$$$.

 
At January 22, 2008 at 9:43 AM , Anonymous Dutch said...

I really want my wife to get on this and see what everyone has said, but I am afraid of how she will react. I am afraid as much as it might help, the hard truths will make things harder. While I believe she is struggling with what everyone is talking about, I am not completely sure of everything. The last 3-4 months have been an incredible challenge as you all know. The two months preceding the surgery and the last month since. As much as it as helped me with what I have read all of you say, I am also scared, maybe more than I ever have been. Scared for the future. Scared because I want to help so much, but I don't know how and as a result, I have ended making things more tense. In general, things have been better than before the surgery in some ways. However, some of our better days are normal work days. Some of our hardest days are weekends because I am so protective. I just want to talk to her, hold her and take care of her like I always have. I know she knows this, but because she is struggling so much, I also know I have to give her space. She is a strong person and always has been even though she doesn't always want to realize it. She is trying to work a lot of this out on her own. Because of who she is, this is her way. I know it basically has to be this way - on her terms. I just want her to know there is help in the form of this website. Any of your responses help me a lot, being from the female perspective to help me know how to help her. If any of you can get your husbands/partners to respond, I would appreciate it.

 
At January 22, 2008 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Sally said...

Dutch:
You are a compassionate man as are the other male posters here. I for one welcome male input because it's good to get this perspective. Thank you, and good luck. My husband is angry at the treatment I received. We thought it was a life saving operation and to be mutilated in such a way has impacted on us both. We both continue to be intimate and thankfully I can talk to him. He worries about hurting me but I know it's something we can work out.

This is from Germaine Greer's book 'The Change, Women, Ageing and the Menopause.

'The evangelism of hysterectomised women is irrational, the patients themselves often proselytize for the particular form of devastation that they have undergone, convinced that after it they feel better than they did before.'

This for me sums up the nonsense I see on hysterectomy forums and I nearly had a fit when I read on one a woman who wrote about life being great after the 'nursery' was gone. Angry doesn't even begin to sum up my feelings.

I posted as anon further up. I'm going to sue regarding my abusive surgery, I'm from the UK. I read recently that the NHS (our health system) is to revise the amount of hysterectomies it performs yearly. My heart leapt. At last I thought they have seen the error of their ways. Until it was revealed that this was being done to save money. Ah yes we women know our worth in life.

 
At January 22, 2008 at 1:26 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

I have also tried to stop women from getting butchered, and although I think I've saved a few (one was horrified when she learned her vagina would be sewn into a pocket), but for the most part, I am categorized as a negative person and attacked. I've had part of my posts removed by administrators. I've also had women just go ahead with it anyway. It's sad we have to go through this to try and help someone, but I think the more we speak up, the more impact it will have. Please everyone on this blog. Let other women know how this ruins your life.

 
At January 22, 2008 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous IMPORTANT message from HERS said...

The last deleted comment has been re-posted. It contained a link to a web site with information that is potentially damaging for women. Although HERS appreciates the effort to share information, we do not post web sites that promote products or services.

 
At January 22, 2008 at 3:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay I sit here wondering how to say what i feel crying my eyes out after reading all this storys that are so close to home. I had a hysterectomy when i was 28. I too am unable to carry on a life that i once had. I have no feelings what so ever for anything but my kids... Seems there are the only ones who have not turned on me because of my medicial problems that i have had since my surgery. No one seems to understand the truth to the way i feel inside. I dont even feel like a woman no more like an empty shell of who I once was fighting to get it back. I dont feel like I can be a wife because it seems that no matter how hard I try its never good enough for him makes me feel like im inaddequite for him. He always is gonna leave me to find someone who can love him right make him happy. Being acussed of sleeping with someone else because not sleeping with him. Dont they understand its not them its a problem with me i dont want a sexual realatioship at all with no man. Leaves me feeling that im not a woman enought to please him. Which also effects my kids because there dad is always gonna leave because there mom cant please him or make him happy enough to stay here. So not only am i miserable seems my kids are also being affected by the outcome of my surgery. Once again i was told that the sex life would improve after the surgery the pain would go away he didnt tell me my sexual desires and interests would also go away.. It was a great concern that having the surgery would change my marriage and sexual life i was assured not only by the doctor but also by my husand everything would be okay...boy was everyone wrong!!! My husband has left me numberous times mainly over sex issues if i cant make him happy he will just go find someone who can. Well let me tell ya you can only be told this so many times until nothing at all matters anymore. I truley no the only reason im still sane is my two kids i love with all my heart or im not sure where id be right now!! I suffer day after day and there dont seem to be a end in sight if there is any help out there for me please please let me no my email address is slb111974@yahoo.com... Thanks for listening to my story

 
At January 23, 2008 at 12:26 AM , Anonymous cecelia said...

I NEED info about depression and hysterectomy. A year after I had mine (had hyst 4 yrs ago) I was having anxiety attacks and depression. I've taken Zoloft and Wellbutrin for depression but my mood swings are terrible. Could this be a result of hysterectomy? From what I read here I think I've found the answer. How come none of the doctors told me????

 
At January 23, 2008 at 12:34 AM , Anonymous Joyce said...

I had a hysterectomy over 10 months ago, with just removal of uterus for mild prolapse and rectocele. My vagina is now too short. Is there anything now that can be done for this, or will I just have to deal with it? Also, will there be anything I can do if further repairs or needed--or is cutting the vagina the only way to repair things now? Does anyone posting here know about this?

YIKES! I would be interested to know more of the ages of these women--they seem so young! This seems wildly negative--and I know that there are many women who need and receive hysterectomies, and it relieves their pain or discomfort. Unfortunatly, I probably had an old surgeon who was not up to date and did not assess me properly--but this is not the norm, I hope. Or is it???

I'd appreciate response. Thank you so very much for your honesty. Idon't mean that you're negative on this site, it's just that it's hard because it really is bad.

 
At January 23, 2008 at 6:09 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

To Joyce,

I do not know of any woman who
needs a hysterectomy. There always
has to be an alternative to this
insane act. I didn't understand
what you meant about wildly
negative. I assume you meant
the young ages these women are
having hysts. at. If so, you are
so right. I feel I was one. The
pain caused after a hysterectomy
cannot be better than before a
hyst., and that is why all these
women are posting here. Think of
all the women out there who are
suffering just the same after a
hyst., but have not even posted
here. I was finished having any-
more children, but think of the
young women who have had hysts.
who can never have any children
who did want them? It makes me
sick to dwell on for very long.
If there was a poll taken for just
the year 2005 of all the women who
had hysts., and they would answer
if they are happy with this surgery
in the aftermath; I guarantee you
it would be a very, very small
amount of women saying they are.
I guarantee you a high percentage
would list they have more pain now
they they did before the surgery.
I say 2005, because 2006 and 2007
would be too soon to do this poll,
because doctors tell women that it
takes time to heal and feel better.
That is exactly what my doctor told
me. "Oh, my dear, it might be a
year or so before you feel better
after this surgery." Those were
his exact words. So I waited, and
I waited, and I waited. I think
he was really trying to have the
time go by to get past the statute
of limitations in our state.

If you are one of the lucky ones,
who feel better after a hyst., I
am happy for you, but it sounds
as if you have problems already.
I wish I had advice on your
particular situation. I do not.
I do wish you the best, and hope
you do find solutions. I would
hope Nora might avail you with
some insight.

Please never think we who do post
here are negative. This would be
the wrong word. We are hopeful
for answers, I do believe. Hurt,
yes. Upset, yes. Angry, yes,
but positive for each other, and
begging for answers to help with
our pain and trials we have gone
through and continue to do so. We
need to get the word out to other
women to stop this inhumane act by
doctors. There is no better word
for it, in my opinion.

I wish for you the best.

 
At January 23, 2008 at 6:49 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

Do all of you who have posted here,
I feel so awful I have not stated
this before, so please forgive me.

I have never said I do not know how
you, who continue to work - do it.
I commend you so very much, and I
could not say this more sincerely.
I could not. I already had the
disease of RSD/CRPS which did
disable me, but after the hyst.
there was no way I could be in the
work force - NO WAY! What stamina
you must have. There are days when
I can barely get out of bed to even
do a shower. Those are my bad
days which happen periodically.
I want to just stay in bed with a
heating pad over my abdomen or
under by back (my two main pain
areas after the hyst.). My pain
gets so bad I have to just shut
all the lights off and go to a
zone to relieve the pain. I also
find if I zone in on a program on
T.V., it will take my mind off of
the pain. Now, how could I do this
if I was working? Well, only at
a furniture store, and a very
understanding boss who gave very
long breaks...pretty much all day.

So, you out there who are working;
you are my heros. I hold high
regard for all of you.

 
At January 23, 2008 at 4:02 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

Joyce, it is the norm for gynecologists to tell women they need a hysterectomy when in fact they don't. It is the norm for gynecologists to withhold information about alternatives and less invasive procedures, so they can make the profit from the hysterectomy. Most women have no idea they are being misled (before and after). Did your doctor tell you that your rectocele and your mild prolapse could be corrected without removing your uterus? Once these criminals start cutting on a woman, the damage has been done. You can't get your vagina back after they cut it up. It's not because your doctor is an old surgeon who is not up-to-date, it is because gynecologists are surgeons and they get paid more to do hysterectomies than other less invasive surgeries. When you realize that 1/3 of the women in the United States have had this done to them, and 90% are for benign conditions, you can't help but see something is terribly wrong. It's hard to believe this is allowed to go on in this country, but it's true. I'm sorry you were tricked just like the rest of us.

 
At January 26, 2008 at 11:09 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Hysterectomy:the Enablers
continued...Part II:
http://hysterectomyinformation.blogspot.com

 
At January 27, 2008 at 2:39 PM , Blogger Vila said...

I'm going in for my myomectomy on Jan. 29th. I know this is a very serious matter and thanks to HERS I decided against the hysterectomy (which I was scheduled for before HERS). I'm nervous and seriously considering writing "Just the fibroids, please!" on my belly with a permanent marker on the day of the surgery.

What do you all think? Ok, Ok, I know it's a serious matter but I hope I got a few laughs....

I'll update to let you all know how I'm doing.

 
At January 27, 2008 at 3:06 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Vila,

Bravo, good for you!

If you have the consent to surgery form and would like to fax it to HERS at 610-667-8096 and we will help you to modify it so that it reflects what you will, and what you will not, consent to be done to you during the surgery. Surgical consent forms are designed to protect doctors and hospitals, not the patient. You can add anything that clarifies what you agree to, and you can cross out anything that is not accurate.

For instance, if the consent form says "I consent to a myomectomy and possible TAH/BSO" you can cross out "possible TAH/BSO" and write in "I consent to removal of fibroids only, I do not consent to removal of any other tissue from my body". TAH is total abdominal hysterectomy and BSO is bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, which is castration ( removal of the ovaries). Do not accept a doctor or nurse telling you that the consent form must say possible TAH/BSO and that the doctor is not going to remove your uterus or ovaries. If it says "possible" and you sign it, you will give permission for the removal of your female organs. In a court room it is unlikely that the doctor or nurse will admit that they assured you your uterus and ovaries would not be removed.

If you do not have a copy of the surgical consent you can call the doctors office on Monday and ask them to fax it to you or you could pick it up at their office. It is not full proof, doctors can do whatever they want, but it adds a layer of protection.

Lastly, I'm going to ask you to please post your important comment again on the HERS new blog Post: http://www.hysterectomyinformation.blogspot.com

Everyone here willl be thinking about you on January 29th.

 
At January 27, 2008 at 3:08 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Hysterectomy:the Enablers
continued...Part II

Please post your comment at:
http://hysterectomyinformation.blogspot.com

 
At March 10, 2008 at 12:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a total hysterectomy two years ago with a rectal repair.I felt good afterwards and my sex life was good. However, for the last 4 months I have had an aching pain in my lower right vaginal area. That is when my sexual problems began: no arousal feelings and it is almost impossible to have an orgasm. What is going on??? I saw a gastro-enterologist doctor who believes I have adhesions and scar tissue. Help! Can this be reversed? Any advice would be appreciated. Susan

 
At January 11, 2010 at 11:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed at how many doctors pretend that they've never heard of anyone having problems before. Is there a way that everyone who has ever complained to their doctor and been told that put their name down on a list under that doctor's name. So that when we are told that they never heard of the problems before we can say we'll actually so and so and so and so etc. have told you that too.
Sue

 
At March 26, 2010 at 5:41 AM , Blogger Benji said...

Sue, that's a great idea. We should hand out questionnaires outside of hysterectomy surgeons' consulting rooms asking women to describe and rate their health problems after their hysterectomies. We should then pass this information on to Health Departments, Governments, health insurers, and the media.
The hysterectomy industry has a worse health & safety record than any other industry I can think of. It is only because doctor-patient consultations are one-on-one that hysterectomy surgeons get away with this kind of deception. It a denial of facts, a denial of impact and a denial of responsibility.

 
At May 13, 2010 at 11:05 PM , Blogger Conny said...

Once they’ve gutted our pelvises, they can easily tell us to take our health problems elsewhere. There’s hardly anything left that they still deal with. It’s like selling Hamburgers at a train station.
Gynaecology is defined as the medical practice that deals with the health of the female reproductive system. Yet, that’s exactly what they rob us of.

 
At July 15, 2010 at 6:31 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

The insurance companies, as well as most organizations and agencies that have the power to stop this, know full well the adverse effects of hysterectomy. It seems like we should be able to sue the insurance companies for paying these surgeons to remove our healthy organs.

Dr. Richard Muckerman hysterectomized and castrated me for a benign ovarian cystadenoma. This was despite the recommendation of the oncologist to only remove the one ovary. However, the actions of the oncologist are also suspect. Yes, the deception is rampant in the gyn specialty and protecting their referral base is oftentimes more important than our health.

And as most women experience, these doctors wash their hands of us post-op as they know full well that there's no fix / no recovery from hysterectomy. If we continued as their patients (not that we'd WANT to or have any NEED to), they may have to develop some sort of conscience when they are faced with the horrific consequences. I suspect their greed would still prevail.

Dr. Muckerman was assisted by two ob/gyn graduate medical students, Dr. Jennifer Rock (now Massara practicing in Arizona) and Dr. Courtney White (now Slonkosky practicing in Nebraska).

St. John's Mercy Medical Center is the perpetrator hospital that allowed Dr. Muckerman to remove my organs.

 
At July 19, 2010 at 9:07 PM , Blogger Conny said...

I ended up with a total hysterectomy, too, because of a benign ovarian cyst and because of heavy pre-menopausal bleeding for which there would have been alternatives. I was given an abdominal midline incision, apparently so that the gyno specialist experienced in ‘surgical work’ didn’t need to make it hard for himself. When I was sent back to my GP with multiple post-operative complications, I was told that I (!) had got myself into a mess. The surgery has left me mutilated, maimed and disfigured.

Hysterectomy surgeons force unconsented, unwanted and unwarranted surgeries on us and then refuse responsibility, accountability and liability for the consequences. In doing so, they are protected by their colleagues. Not just do doctors stick together against a patient, their medical association makes sure that nobody criticises how hysterectomy surgeons manage our health and treat our bodies. The AMA demands professional independence for its members and it dictates medical negligence laws. Investigations of professional misconduct, on those rare occasions when they occur at all, are internal to the association. The AMA is a peak pressure group with direct links to Health Departments, politicians, political parties, governments and the media. The health insurance industry buckles under this combined pressure and pays out, without questioning, when our healthy organs are needlessly removed and our overall health irreparably damaged. They all obey the doctrine “The doctor knows best”.

Hysterectomy surgeons are one of the highest paid medical specialists. Yet, their fall-out is covered by the whole country. For example, adhesions occur in 70% to 90% of patients undergoing open gynaecological surgery. The total cost of adhesion-related problems in the United States is more than $1 billion annually. It keeps fellow doctors in business.

I’m sure, hysterectomy surgeons wouldn’t advise their family members or friends to have these gruelling operations. But we are probably just pieces of meat on their operating tables.

 
At May 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM , Anonymous Denise said...

A hysterectomy is a huge decision, one that needs to be carefully thought out. I will tell you my story. I am 34 years old and had the surgery 5 months ago. I am not back to my old self, but getting there. I do take estrogen and progesterone. I had severe pain from cysts, endo, and fibroids. I had a total of 3 surgeries in a year. I had a wonderful doctor who tried to avoid this if possible. He has been there every step of the way and still working with me. Sometimes it takes awhile to get the hormones regulated. Sex honestly is better now then before. I have no pain and have no need for lubricants. I enjoy it more then before. I have no more bleeding. I actually lost 7 pounds with the surgery. I exercise every day. My drive is the same, it did take me some motivation to get my butt off the couch and get going but once I did I felt the old me come back. My only complaint is the lack of sleep from hot flashes, hormones aren't all the way in balance yet, but have faith they will be. SO ladies my advice to you, if you are suffering and your doctor isn't helping, find another one. There are many doctors that are a joke and will not listen, but there are others that will help you figure it out and you will feel better. Make yourself get up and do what you used to enjoy even if at first its a challenge. Eventually you will feel better. You just have to get up and live, it is possible. Sometimes a hysterectomy is necessary to improve your life. I do not personally view this surgery as a castration, I am still 100% a lady, I still have a vagina, and can give and receive pleasure.

 

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