Are you considering having a hysterectomy...?
Once you answer the question yes, that you are considering a hysterectomy, the survey begins. If you answer no, you will be told the following: "Thank you for your willingness to participate in this study. Unfortunately, we can only accept information from women who are considering having a hysterectomy." OBGYN.net only wants to pass along information about hysterectomy from women who are "considering" the surgery. They do not allow women who have been hysterectomized or women who have decided against the surgery to weigh in. It is not that they "can only accept" the information they are looking for. They are only interested in the information that is shaped to be beneficial to them, not you. This survey is a lead-generator for doctors.
If you answer yes to the entry question, you are allowed to proceed through the first 11 questions, regarding your age, employment status, why a hysterectomy is being "considered", ranking from 1-10 how you feel about being told you need a hysterectomy, how you define hysterectomy, and how well informed you are about why and how hysterectomies are performed. This demographic information about women helps gynecologists, device manufacturers, and the hospitals who benefit from the removal of your female organs to hone their sales pitch to women.
Question 12 asks, "If your symptoms warrant a hysterectomy, how difficult would it be for you to have your uterus removed after you have completed having children?" The implication is that the only thing that might make hysterectomy difficult is if you desire to have children, or if you do not intend to have more children, then hysterectomy should not be difficult for you. There is no mention of the well-documented adverse effects that result from removing the uterus - whether you have children or not, whether you want children or not, is irrelevant.
Question 13-16 ask how well informed you are of "the role" of the cervix and ovaries, how concerned you are about their removal, and who you turn to for more information about these issues. The question informs you that they have a "role", but the question is never asked about how well informed you are about the functions of the uterus. It implies that the cervix and ovaries have a "role", and that the uterus has none except for childbearing.
Question 17 asks, "If the physician currently caring for your gynecological health recommends a hysterectomy treatment or alternative, to what extent do you trust their opinion?" The only answers they allow to this question are A) "I trust my doctor completely," B) "I trust my doctor, but may do some research on my own," or C) "I basically trust my doctor, but would seek a second opinion or some outside counsel." If you don't trust your doctor, you're out of luck, that answer is not an option.
Question 18 asks you to rate from 1-7 different factors in deciding which method of hysterectomy you might choose. The last two "factors" ask how important choosing a type of hysterectomy with "no change in sexual satisfaction" and "no change in urinary control" might be. There is no mention of the fact that in order to amputate the uterus with or without amputation of the cervix, the nerves that are attached to the uterus that flow into the cervix must be severed. Removal of the body of the uterus compromises bladder support and often causes urinary problems. Uterine orgasm is not possible without a uterus, so for women who experience uterine orgasm, avoiding sexual loss is unavoidable after the uterus is removed, regardless of the method. Furthermore, the participant must respond falsely to some questions. In two sections you must rate the importance of your answers, with #1 ranked the highest importance. You cannot assign the same number twice. If any questions have equal importance, you must rate one higher than the others, which makes your answer, and the conclusions drawn from it erroneous.
Question 20 asks, "Are you willing to consider treatments that may temporarily relieve symptoms and delay the need for hysterectomy for a few years?" What might be inferred from this question is that A) only hysterectomy provides permanent relief from symptoms, B) alternatives only provide temporary relief, and C) once a doctor says you need a hysterectomy, it is just a matter of time, and within 1,3, or 5 years you will be hysterectomized, so why bother with an alternative.
Question 21 is hardly a question at all. "Leaving the cervix maintains pelvic support potentially reducing the risk of incontinence, and appears to play a role in sexual satisfaction. Generally, the risk of vaginal/cervical cancer is less than 1% regardless of whether the cerix is left in place." They then ask whether or not you would like to keep your cervix. There is no need to consider amputation of the cervix unless there is a life threatening cervical disease. Questions 4 and 5 list only benign conditions that they say might lead to hysterectomy (fibroids, endometriosis, heavy bleeding, PMS). Those "conditions" can be treated conservatively, without removal of the uterus or cervix. As OBGYN.net states, the risk of cancer in the female organs is statistically insignificant.
Finally, question 22 cuts to the quick, and a probable reason for this survey comes into focus. It tells women that hysterectomy by laparoscopy is performed through a smaller incision, the cervix need not necessarily be removed, and that the hospital stay and "recovery" times are less. Then it asks women which one they want - abdominal, vaginal, or laparoscopic hysterectomy.
The adverse effects of hysterectomy are permanent and irreversible, so "recovery" is not possible. For most hysterectomized women, the size of the scar, whether the cervical stump remains or not, and the length of the hospital stay quickly become inconsequential when they begin to realize that the damage done to their bodies and their lives is permanent.
The survey then tells you "95% of women are candidates for a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy." In other words, regardless of almost all conditions, you are a candidate, as if hysterectomy is a given, a rite of passage for all women, healthy or not, and the only issue is how it will be carried out.
The remainder of the survey is a sales pitch of LSH. You have learned almost nothing of value, and you have been bombarded with subliminal programming, pressure and misinformation.
At the end of the survey, OBGYN.net says, "Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey. Your input will help other women as they face this difficult decision." They then request your name and email address. This survey is clearly not intended to "help other women," because it supplies erroneous information. You have just been led through a sales pitch for LSH that is posing as a helpful survey. In other words, you have just participated in medispecialty's "lead generation, qualifying, and tracking programs," and now you are in their "sale pipeline." This "survey" is a poll of their target market, women with intact sex organs, and your uterus is the bulls eye. It is research and development, designed to inform gynecologists about the most productive way they can increase their market share by selling hysterectomy to unsuspecting women.
Let the buyer beware.