Here is another wake up call – too late for some… 1 in 5 adds up to a lot of women walking around without their uterus. In the past, hysterectomies were performed because women beyond child-bearing years did not ‘need it’ anymore. Doesn’t anyone else see the absurdity in that thinking? Perhaps this was before we understood that each part has a role in the health of the whole person. Especially any of the organs in the endocrine system – take out one organ and the intricate dance and balance is thrown off.
Is it possible that taking out the uterus – other than making a big profit for the medical industry – served another purpose? When one starts reading through psychology one see reference to the ‘wandering uterus’ and of course hysteria and hysterectomy have been linked since the time of Aristotle. But when one starts looking into women’s spiritual writings – about the essence of womanhood, the role of the uterus takes on another whole meaning.
I found this beautiful writing by Amy E. Fraser in her book entitled: Dissecting the Western Woman Artists; An Artist’s Dialogue.
The Significance Of The Uterus Symbol
The uterus is a multifaceted symbol that holds great personal and social significance for women. It’s image expresses life and death, fears and anxiety, freedom and oppression, power and vulnerability, femininity, motherhood, personal choice, career choice, identity, status, and woman’s procreative potential as well as creative potential. It is my belief, that, given the multiplicity of meanings, the uterus stands as both a power symbol and a reminder of who we are. The uterus is representative of the choices we make about our bodies and within our bodies. The uterus is a symbol of our personal and intimate choices, but it also reminds us that we are not alone; every woman has had the same choices. I think the uterus is a positive symbol because being a woman is about these choices and experiences and we should not be ashamed of our struggles, hurts and happiness.
Throughout history there have been many misconceptions about woman’s procreative capabilities. Once woman was believed to be a magical being who could produce a baby at will and was greatly respected for her powers. This notion did not last long and soon woman and her procreative powers became the property of man.
It is said that a long time ago, a Greek physician named Hippocrates first suggested that hysteria was the result of a wandering uterus. He credited the uterus with a life, mind and will of it own. It was believed that the uterus had the ability to detach itself and wander about the body, causing dysfunction by adhering to other organs. The uterus was seen as the cause for dysfunctions from chest pains to gastrointestinal problems. The uterus was believed to be the culprit, attaching itself to the heart, stomach or other organs, eventually causing women to become hysterical. Apparently Hippocrates believed men were incapable of becoming hysterical. No one knew how to prevent this from happening, but the most commonly prescribed cure was to anchor the uterus. Anchoring could be accomplished by either impregnating the hysterical woman or by keeping the uterus moist through intercourse in order that the uterus would not seek out the moisture of other organs.
Next time a doctor tells you that you need a hysterectomy – get a second opinion, if you feel this is not in your best interest.
Am appalled a the millions of women who have foregone what may have been and unnecessary procedure.
Nearly 1 in 5 women who undergo hysterectomy may not need the procedure
University of Michigan
January 06, 2015
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A University of Michigan-led study of nearly 3,400 women in Michigan shows that one in five who underwent a hysterectomy for benign conditions may not have needed it.
The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, indicate that alternatives to hysterectomy are being underused and that treatment guidelines are often not followed.
An estimated one in three women in the U.S. will have had a hysterectomy by the age of 60. Researchers found that although the numbers of hysterectomies are decreasing, nearly 18 percent of hysterectomies that were done for benign indications were unnecessary, and a pathology analysis for nearly two in five (38 %) of women under 40 did not support undergoing a hysterectomy.
“Over the past decade, there has been a substantial decline in the number of hysterectomies performed annually in the United States,” says senior author Daniel M. Morgan, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the U-M Medical School.
“An earlier study found a 36.4% decrease in number of hysterectomies performed in the U.S. in 2010 compared to 2002. However, despite the decrease in numbers of hysterectomies in the U.S., appropriateness of hysterectomy is still an area of concern and it continues to be a target for quality improvement.”