Losing my womb affected me more than I would ever imagine 63



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I was in my late 40s when I had my cervix and uterus removed. After a lifetime of gynaecological issues, including painful endometriosis, I took the plunge and make the choice with my doctor to have a total hysterectomy. I thought it was right for me because I’d done my dash with having children, and I wanted desperately to stop cramping up or feeling agony. Little did I know that the pain I would feel mentally would be greater than any physical pain I had, for years after the surgery.

Many women describe having mastectomies as being very emotional and upsetting, however I seldom read anything about women who have had hysterectomies. It’s almost as if because you cannot tell someone is womb-less that it isn’t a problem in society.

After my hysterectomy I launched straight into menopause, and even now in my 60s, I am suffering from post menopause and hormonal issues which have not been helped by HRT.

My doctor told me that women who take hormone replacement therapy usually find that their hot flashes will resume years later, when they go off the drugs, which is what happened to me – it really feels like it never ends.

For me, my hysterectomy never felt like an elective surgery. It drastically changed who I am and was, and wasn’t at all the liberating experience people like Angelina Jolie say it is. She and others say it didn’t diminish their feelings of being a woman but I can tell you, 20+ years on from having the procedure, I do still mourn for those parts of me.

I’ve read about woman who have sexual re-awakenings but in the years since the operation, I’ve rarely felt sexual urges, which is a complete change from when I was younger. I used to love sex and being with men, in fact I often had multiple partners (not at once but let’s just say I played the field)! It was a great time but far in the past. I would go so far as to even say my hysterectomy led to my divorce as I fell into a deep depression and pushed him away. I felt scarred, inside and out.

I wonder if there are other older ladies like me out there who wish they had the libido they had back in their youth, as well as that feeling of completeness in their body. Having your womb taken out isn’t a relief: it can be as if they’ve put 20 other organs in its place, all of them which feel foreign.

Tell us, did you have a hysterectomy? Was it a good experience or do you wish you hadn’t had the procedure?



Guest Contributor

  1. I have to agree with Angelina Jolie, I was just 30 when I had to have a complete hysterectomy also because of endometriosis and yes I too went through menopause instantly and being young I thought I would be able to handle it better at that age until my surgeon told me I would go through it again later in life, which I thought was totally unfair however it was never as bad as what I experienced after my surgery, so I guess unlike yourself I did feel totally liberated, best thing that ever happened to me after the birth of my three children. Sorry your experience was less than desirable for you, good luck.

  2. My mother had this experience.
    However the incision from her navel to her pubic bone vetically and her keloid scarring I always felt was the cause…but she had a huge personality change.
    Me on the other hand…well my uterus was literally falling out, it wasnt elective surgery in fact the time between the public hospital gyno assessing me and the operation was 2 weeks…in the public system.
    I will say it is the best move I have ever made.
    However I did go through the hot flushes etc etc…I chose not to have HRT…we have a scary history if breast cancer in my family.
    I do mourn not being able to conceive but hell Im nearly 60..,.I also miss not being young and slim.
    Im sorry you have gone through this and I do think your issues are valid…in fact I wish I had understood what my mother had gone through better in the late 60s but of course such matters werent discussed.
    Good luck.

  3. It’s sad to hear you had such an emotionally crippling outcome. Like Trish I found it liberating in my forties and a huge relief, but I must say, I’ve also had the experience of the mastectomy…and that was certainly not liberating. I think because it’s so much more visual – but hell I’m still alive, and with all the parts they’ve removed from me over the years I should rattle, and certainly shouldn’t be on this stupid diet….

  4. I had mine at 33, my husband had just had an operation for bowel cancer six months earlier and as mine was cervical I felt I should do the same thing with his support unfortunately his was not successful as he passed away four months after my operation, my father also passed away 3 months after my husband. I not only was suffering from menopausal depression I was also mourning and trying to look after 4 young children on my own. It is interesting to hear others talk about their feelings because I thought my feeling that way was because of the death of my menfolk. I didn’t let a man near me for 10 years and that wasn’t successful.

    2 REPLY
    • I feel for you but get some help and you will be fine. Many women have had tradegy but we are stronger than we think. Good luck my dear I hope you find happiness.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Jenny. That was 37 years ago, I am fine now, just celebrated my 70th birthday over a 2 week period with an wonderful interstate weekend with my four children then lunch on the actual day with children and friends, plus a morning tea with friends. I also received phone calls & visits from 9 grandchildren too. My life has been very blessed but I did have some sad feelings based on the hysterectomy for a few years all part of the process I think.

  5. I experienced exactly the same. I told myself often it isn’t true, but it was. It’s definitely not ” a lot of crab” !

  6. I am so sorry you feel like this. Experiencing loss of any kind is very difficult. I had a hysterectomy because my uterus was falling out and I constantly had urinary tract infections. I was so relived when it was all over and free from worry. I actually found it liberating and healing. About half the female population have had this operation.

  7. I had a total hysterectomy in my late 40’s. I have two children which is all I wanted. I don’t miss my uterus at all, in fact never think of it. I did have night sweats for many years but few hot flushes. I have not taken HRT.

  8. I had a hysterectomy near 20 years ago and have just this past year come off HRT. I have never looked back, emotionally & physically. I know the HRT helped my libido, but I was surprised to find it only dropped a little with the onset of menopausal symptoms again. The fact that I lost a little bit of weight cheered me up though & now only have the occasional hot flush, etc. Glad I’m finally off the HRT at last and have adapted well, considering. The whole experience has been very positive. Loved the freedom right from the start. The symptoms I was experiencing before the hysterectomy were horrendous.

  9. No issue with me, it was either have it removed or die of cancer. Same as my boob, lose it or cancer wins. Hasn`t made me feel any less a person. Life has too much to offer to be obsorbed in meledramac thoughts.

  10. Was the best thing I ever did! (In my thirties!) freed up the rest of my life. If you need it, don’t be afraid. I fought it, until finally the doctor said ‘are you ready to give in yet’ and I realised I was. Again, for anyone needing it. Best thing I ever did.

    1 REPLY

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