I’ve broken some unspoken woman rule

stink-eye

It’s been fascinating to see how much disapproval I’ve attracted for NOT having a hysterectomy.

Women are quite evangelical about them.

My gyno is pretty giddy too.

I have friends who went through hell prior to having their hysterectomies and are sooooooo grateful to finally have relief.

That’s not me.

My womb razing earlier this year took care of most of my problems. It’s just the recent expansion of Freddie that’s causing some minor issues. He’s pressing on my bladder and causing discomfort. I also look a bit pregnant. But it’s not enough to justify major surgery – it would feel a bit like killing a spider with a machine gun.

That said, Freddie is just going to keep growing. He’s more than doubled in size in a year – best cut off his blood supply now.

I’ve lost count of the people who’s tried to talk me into having a hysterectomy, telling me it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to them. Their mouths set in thin lines when I insist I don’t want one.

I swear, it makes them SO niggly and cross.

They’re all pffffft when I explain my reasons for not wanting one:

  • I want to avoid major abdominal surgery
  • I’m worried about stuff prolapsing
  • I don’t fancy six weeks off work/sex
  • I’m a single mum with no grown-ups to help me around the house
  • Not being able to drive a car for two weeks as a single mum would totally suck
  • The concept of someone removing my womb and cervix, then sewing my vagina shut at the top and pinning it somewhere inside me makes me shudder.

They also look skeptical when I tell them I’m having an embolisation instead.

Sure, embolisation might not work, but in most cases it does the trick, with just one night in hospital and a week of recovery.

Why WOULDN’T I try that first?

A study published in 2014 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, revealed that post-surgical pathology indicated that nearly one (18%) of five hysterectomies that were done for benign indications were unnecessary.

The women who had the surgery did so for the following reasons: uterine fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, and pelvic pain.

Nearly 40% of women did not have documentation of alternative treatment before their hysterectomy, the researchers found.

I’m trying the alternative treatments.

I might still need a hysterectomy at some point. I hope I don’t. But I might.

Until then, I’m confident embolisation is the next step I want to take.

fibroid2

It’s a slightly uncommon procedure in Australia, so I’ll be something of a pioneer. My doctor has only done it 105 times and he’s the most experienced in Sydney.

I’ll report from the front line.

Hospital check-in time: 10am, Friday, December 18.

Song of the day: REM “Man on the moon”

 

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11 thoughts on “I’ve broken some unspoken woman rule

  1. It’s your body. My mother had a hysterectomy when she was thirty… that’s 45 years ago and she had a six week recovery period. How come the technique and recovery time hasn’t improved over 45 years? You’d think they’d have main some improvements over time. Gah!

  2. I understand your reasons completely, and as another single mum with no support, I would do the same as you. Six weeks is a long time.
    These are the kind of times single mums need to stick together and help each other out. I know a mum who had to pay a stranger to pick her up from hospital after her colonoscopy. When i found out I told her to call me any time. It’s hard for others to understand how the logistics can be really difficult when it’s just you.
    Just 9 more years til my eldest gets her licence . . .

    Go with what is best for you. Good luck and I hope Freddie gets sorted out.

    • Thanks Liz. I feel bad for that mum who had to pay a stranger to take her home. It shouldn’t matter, but it just feels so much better to have someone who cares making that journey with you.

  3. Hey Alana

    Meh to the haters! Your body, your choice. You are educated, you have made sure that you have informed yourself and made a decision for you (and no-one else) based on that information.

    I will be thinking of you on Friday.

    Much love xoxo

  4. I am surprised at the disapproval. I am glad hysterectomies have worked for them but it is not first choice for everyone. I really hope this works for you. And I know you will keep us posted on your recovery and the shrinking fibroid. Women’s bodies are incredible sometimes, but other times our bodies suck. Good luck.

  5. I agree with you – you need to do what is right for you and not what everyone else thinks you should do. At the end of the day, those people who are saying have it done, are they going to come around and do housework and cook meals and ferry children back and forth ? Good luck – hope all goes well xox

  6. I totally agree that if you can avoid surgery you should. It’s not a little deal and there can be major complications. I’m glad you’ve chosen what feels right for you.

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