Our Sexuality! Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 27

As the word “hysterectomy” fell so casually from Dr. Y’s lips, I sat on the table somewhat relieved yet a little anxious. After all, having a hysterectomy signified the beginning of the end or did it…

This dreaded, depressing procedure has long been touted as the final stage of womanhood and sexuality. In addition not only are you expected to feel less than, this procedure is super duper secretive so you dare not discuss it with anyone other than your doctor. Not even your spouse can know the low-down dirty details of this God-forsaken procedure. this unwomanly mystery must only be shared between you and your doctor in the confines of their office.

These thoughts, beliefs and attitudes are embraced by lots of woman. In fact many women that I know, both young and old, have had hysterectomies in secrecy and silence. It’s almost as if having a hysterectomy is like joining a secret society or sorority that you only learn about once you have undergone the procedure. And of course I have my theories on this especially given the fact that sexuality is still so taboo, so misunderstood and still something that we aren't not to discuss openly and honestly....but I digress.

With all these thoughts, beliefs and attitudes swirling around this procedure, how could one not wonder or have a long list of questions. So of course being who I am, I did extensive research! In the past, I had done research about hysterectomies for my clients and my family members but this time my research would impact me in an extremely personal way.

After doing my extensive research, I had to make an informed decision that would changed the trajectory of my life as I knew it. I had to gather up all the tools in my tool box, now mind you this is the same tool box that I had used to empower so many women - and myself- in my 25 years of being in the field of sexology. More importantly, as a clinical sexologist and sex therapist it is my duty to share with you my experience in an effort to shed light, shatter myths and share tips with you about this unnerving procedure.

A hysterectomy is an operation to take out the uterus (womb), and sometimes the cervix and occasionally other reproductive organs. Although hysterectomy is the second most common surgery for women in the United States, that doesn’t mean it’s a breeze. The procedure can take a toll on your body, depending on the type of hysterectomy you have. A hysterectomy can be done in several different ways. It will depend on your health history and the reason for your surgery. The different types of hysterectomy include:

Total hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus, including the cervix. The ovaries and the fallopian tubes may or may not be removed.

Supracervical hysterectomy involves the removal the uterus without the cervix. The cervix is the area that forms the very bottom of the uterus, and sits at the end of the vaginal canal.