Hysterectomy: What Lena Dunham told about the removal of the uterus
Yesterday the whole world has heard the news that Lena Dunham has postponed a hysterectomy — surgery to remove the uterus — after years of excruciating pain due to endometriosis. In his column for American Vogue Director tells how difficult it was to make this decision, given that she has always wanted to have children. Understand why such interventions it is important to say out loud.
That someone removed the uterus, one hears quite rare in our country, it is not the most common operation, but probably plays an important role and the taboo nature of the topic: women have lost their reproductive organs, can condemn (as if it's their fault) or to call "defective". Our heroine who have had ovarian cancer, told me how her roommate discussed whether to talk about "female" husbands — unfortunately, families often disintegrate after women put cancer diagnoses (up to six times more often than in cases when the sick man).
While in the US, hysterectomy is the second most common surgery in women of reproductive age (in the first place — cesarean section). Of course, this operation is carried out on strict conditions, including a malignant tumor or severe bleeding; the uterus can be removed with the development of serious complications during childbirth, when it comes to saving lives. While the General attitude towards the intervention is still positive: if we women decided to intimidate their future "disability", in America they explain that, although the uterus because of an illness you want to remove and it's sad, but the issue of contraception will be solved forever.
Due to the low awareness of the removal of the uterus has acquired a huge number of myths: after it allegedly once menopause occurs, and the abdominal organs (probably intestines) can fall through the vagina. Actually menopause is associated with hormonal and ovaries, if they are saved, after hysterectomy continue to work — instead of the uterus the eggs fall into the abdominal cavity or the pelvic cavity, where it simply dissipates. In one study, ovarian failure after removal of the uterus was found slightly more often than women with intact bodies, but still the menopause for four years after surgery occurred in only sixty of the 406 women given their age (up to forty-seven years in the beginning of the study), perhaps the effect of hysterectomy was even weaker than it seems. Because the hormones after the surgery does not change (and if necessary the doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy), it is not justified and the other common fear about masculinization. From the removal of the uterus does not grow a mustache and will not change the voice, as well as from the removal of the breast from the point of view of biology, a woman will not turn into a man — however, understanding these facts, even the judiciary is the problem, what can we say about people who do not have professional knowledge.
Libido and ability to enjoy sex also must not change after this intervention, another thing is that they can be seriously affected, if a woman has reduced self-esteem or develop depression. If other countries in this situation you can seek psychological support, we have a problem with sexual desire to discuss the pending — and turning to the doctor, there is a risk of running into condemnation in the spirit of "what would you like, you have a hysterectomy!".
Due to the low awareness of the removal of the uterus has acquired a huge number of myths: after it allegedly once menopause occurs, and the abdominal organs can fall out through the vagina
In addition, there is in our culture and some need for suffering supporters of the sham "we are not looking for easy ways" the healing operation may seem a simple solution. Women who request the services of a surrogate mother, is accused of "unwillingness to spoil her figure", not realizing that the number of hormonal injections can also lead to excess weight, and many other unpleasant consequences, and the removal of the uterus is regarded as the most direct way to get rid of the pain instead of continue to endure it. You should think about the fact that any operation is a risk associated with anesthesia and the actual procedure, and then rehabilitation that can be long and difficult.
Dunham says that she had to stay in the hospital for two weeks (an unprecedented period of hospitalization for the country, where the night in the hospital cost the healthcare system a lot of money). At this time was carried out not only the procedures of preparation for the operation, but the repeated discussion of the situation: the doctors had to make sure that she understands what is coming. Of course, this is done with the aim of protecting the clinics and doctors from lawsuits in the future — but the main thing here is the awareness of the patient so she can make the decision, weighing the pros and cons.
What's worse — the endless excruciating pain or infertility? What's important is to get rid of endometriosis and enjoy life without pain or to be able to potentially carry a child in the future (potentially, because the endometriosis can not to do it)? Make the decision should the patient herself, getting the most fair and objective, without intimidation or pressure, information on possible options and their consequences.
In a perfect world and there would be — or rather, in a perfect world no one would hurt, but in nearly perfect people would get the most objective data to make an informed choice. In such a world, women would have felt the unconditional support of their medical choice — from doctors, partners and society, and the state would provide counseling services, not to mention that people, without any authority, it is the worst parent. Until you do, we can support each other on their own, Recalling that everyone has the right to decide what to do with your own body, without fear of condemnation. In the end, for people who have lost their kidney or a lung, the labels of "inferiority" are not affixed with such ease, as after removal of the mammary glands, the ovaries or the uterus of women.