The Endangered Uterus

Copyright: Copyright © 2008. MORE Magazine.

Your doctor has recommended a Hysterectomy. Don't make a decision until you read this startling report on the real risks of surgery and the less-invasive
alternatives your ob-gyn may not be mentioning.

By Peg Rosen
Excerpted by Athena Institute

"Ms. Peg Rosen has written a valuable piece of journalism for women on hysterectomy in the current issue of MORE magazine. She has my appreciation and should be commended
for her lucid airing of some very complex issues that are vital to the health and well being of women over 40." --Winnifred Cutler

PAGE 119...
If someone suggested that you undergo an elective procedure that could keep you out of work -- and in pain -- for 6 weeks, might leave you incontinent, deep-six your sex life, increase your risk of osteoporosis and heart disease and possibly shorten your life span, would you do it?

Maybe not-- but what if your trusted ob-gyn told you it was a good move?

Chances are you would agree to it. In fact, every day, as often as 11 times every 10 minutes, women in the U.S. struggling with .. fibroids, endometriosis, and heavy periods agree to resolve the problem by getting rid of their reproductive organs...


The idea that hysterectomy is ok is deeply ingrained in our culture, (Carla) Dionne (of the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation) says... "what many women don't realize is that they might have resolved their problem without such a drastic measure or without the physical complications that may result..." One eye-opening statistic: Compared with women who haven't undergone the surgery, those who've had a hysterectomy have a 60 percent greater risk of being incontinent after age 60, according to a study from the University of California, San Francisco.

"Women also may not realize that the uterus supports everything above it. ... Unless the woman has strong muscles, her bladder or her bowels can descend into her vagina," says Beth Battaglino Cahill, RN, of The National Women's Health Resource Center. Finally, the surgery itself can shorten the vagina and damage nerves, making sex less enjoyable or downright painful.

Some research has nonetheless suggested that hysterectomy improves women's sexual lives, but that claim is controversial.

"I'm wary of such studies," says biologist Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D, author of the upcoming HORMONES AND YOUR HEALTH. As an example, she cites the 1995 Maryland Women's Health Study, in which women two years beyond hysterectomy reported they were more sexually active, more orgasmic and had sex more frequently than before the surgery.

"But the researchers asked the women about their sex lives in the 30 days prior to the surgery {to establish a baseline}. What woman, experiencing and fearing pain, is going to be having a lot of sex in the month before her operation?"

With such a low baseline, Cutler notes, any increase may be misconstrued as improvement due to the hysterectomy. Her own findings with coauthors on sexual response postsurgery, presented in 2000 to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) showed just the oppposite: Hysterectomy can have a negative impact on sexuality. That is why she urges women considering the procedure to look closely at the facts.

End of excerpt

*For More Information on Dr. Cutler and her hysterectomy research, click here

Copyright © 2008. MORE Magazine.


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