Elizabeth Taylor died
Wednesday, March 23, 2011. The media remains focused on her legendary life, but Elizabeth Taylor was also 1 out of 3 women who was hysterectomized,
and 1 out of 3 women who died from heart disease. Women who undergo hysterectomy before the age of 50 have a 3X greater incidence of heart disease than women who do not
undergo hysterectomy. Heart disease is the number one cause of death among
women in the U.S. (CDC, Heart Disease Facts and Statistics, 2008).
An extraordinary, talented
actress, Taylor was best known for her hot, steamy sexy roles in films like Cat
On A Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer and Cleopatra. It is notable the list
of “Key films in the career of Elizabeth Taylor” published by Reuters today
ended with two films, “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Reflections in a Golden
Eye”, both released in 1967, one year before she underwent a hysterectomy.
Taylor continued to be headline news long after her steamy roles ended, which
was soon after her hysterectomy in 1968.
Elizabeth Taylor had a back
problem due to an accident when she was a child. The back problems she suffered
with became more prominently referred to after the hysterectomy. It is not
surprising since back pain is reported as one of the most common problems women experience after hysterectomy. Taylor also developed many of the other problems known to be caused by the surgery, including the need for three hip
The long, passionate love
affair between Taylor and Richard Burton ended in divorce two years after the
surgery. The loss of sexual feeling commonly experienced by hysterectomized
women might, in part, explain why their marriage ended. They remarried, and
again it ended in divorce. Not long after the surgery it was often reported
that she was addicted to drugs, alcohol, and physically unable to work.
Taylor died this week, and
her fame will follow her beyond the pale. We will never know what this iconic
figures career and life might have been if she had not been hysterectomized at
age 36. She was extraordinary, but she was also an ordinary woman who
experienced great difficulties in a very public way.
It was as if after Elizabeth
Taylor’s hysterectomy life was frozen, like watching a film that suddenly hangs
on one frame.
Labels: back pain, Elizabeth Taylor, heart disease, hysterectomy, Richard Burton