My Story On Wanting A Hysterectomy
While I would never label myself a feminist, I would say I am very much for women’s rights. So, it is only natural that I felt when being faced with health issues relating to my body that it was my choice to make if I wanted a hysterectomy. This is where I am apparently dead wrong.
I have suffered from endometriosis since I was 14 years old. I was told at 17 years old I would never fall pregnant naturally. I have endured 7 keyhole surgeries, endless hormone treatments and had an ovary removed along with a cyst the size of an orange. I now have nerve damage which causes almost daily pain and I am still suffering horribly with pre
So, after having two beautiful children (naturally I might add, guess those doctors were wrong…) I decided the use for my uterus and ovaries had come to an end.
So, at 36 years old, after much thought and research on the procedure, the side effects and the recovery time, I decided that I wanted a hysterectomy. I feel I cannot endure any more pain and it’s high time my pesky woman parts got the flick. This was until I came to learn that this decision, to free myself from pain, is not my decision to make at all.
I have had male doctors, of all people, tell me that no one will touch me until I’m 45. I’m told I’m “too young” to have it all out. So this begs the questions, whose decision is it anyway? And should a doctor have the right to dictate to a patient what should occur with her body?
While I understand that doctors have a duty of care to do the best for their patients, to simply put an age limit on a woman’s ability to get a hysterectomy is frankly narrow-minded. While woman obviously can and have had surgery prior to this age, it is when the risk outweighs the benefits regarding the woman’s health.
But, for a woman like me, who suffers pain, crippling emotional issues and hormonal side effects, it apparently isn’t enough. Despite my quality of life having been severely impacted, the need for these doctors to maintain their blanket ban on anyone under the age of 45 remains.
These discussions, with a female doctor friend, brought up her own issue. After giving birth to her second healthy child, she decided that was enough children. She is a GP and her husband a specialist doctor. She asked her Gynaecologist to tie her tubes as she was finished having children. Despite being a doctor herself and understanding the risks, he refused – citing that she was “too young and healthy” to have the procedure.
So, when is it the patients right to choose what happens with their bodies? What God-like powers do these doctors think they have? Should she fall pregnant again now, does that doctor bare some responsibility given his refusal to enact her wishes?
I am now in a battle with the Gynaecologists. I am seeking out a female doctor in the hopes she may understand my predicament a little better. If she refuses to help, I will simply move on to one who will.
We live in an age where everyone is terrified of being sued. We are all too scared to do anything, say anything that may cause a lawsuit. Is this what prevents women such as myself from choosing what happens with my body? Or are doctors simply bound to an “ethical” code whereby they won’t entertain a hysterectomy on a woman younger than 45 unless it is life threatening?
In the meantime, I continue to suffer. Unsure as to my fate. Unsure as to whether I’ll have to endure another 7 – 8 years of crippling pain whilst I wait to hit that magic number.
Do you have an experience similar to mine? I’d love to hear from you!
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