One purpose for my blog is to share my experience with other women who are going through a hysterectomy or facing infertility. I’ve had multiple conversations with women who have undergone a hysterectomy and while some women were like “Good Riddance!”, this is not the case for the majority of ones that I’ve spoken to. Even though my hysterectomy occurred before I could really conceptualize the impact of it, I still had overwhelming thoughts about what had happened. Not only was I confused by them, I couldn’t even appreciate or understood why confusion existed.
Although having a hysterectomy may be required at times and has become a bit more simple of a surgery, the emotional experience can be very difficult to navigate. I want to help others going through a hysterectomy by sharing a few of the thoughts that I have experienced in my life. (Please note that not everyone may feel this way)
- “I am not female anymore.” Believe it or not, this is a thought that can occur once someone has a hysterectomy. The question of “What am I?” may cross a woman’s mind.
- “I am no longer attractive to my mate.” Yep. Women DO struggle with this after a hysterectomy. I used to believe that other girls/women put off a sexier or more womanly vibe that I possessed and that guys could tell; like men could tell that I was infertile. Seem crazy to me now, but it was a truth in my life that I had to overcome. I compensated for it; sometimes, with bad decisions and other times with the “I don’t care about any of it” attitude.
- “I must have done something wrong.” Shame. Guilt. Unworthy. Although ridiculous in many ways, these words can describe the feelings that come about after undergoing a hysterectomy. Infertility has a way of shouting this to us as well.
- “I am broken.” Despair upon despair. Damaged goods. It is hard to put a word that truly gives the meaning of what women go through after a hysterectomy. Broken seems just about right.
Often, women do not want to talk about their feelings because they are embarrassed to feel the way they do or fear they might be misunderstood. This seems to be especially true for younger women who are faced with the onslaught of friends complaining about periods and announcing pregnancies. Infertility is one thing but when you throw in a hysterectomy, the game changes.
For most people, these doubts and feelings will not make sense. For many others, though, there is great emotional fall-out after a hysterectomy, and, it is one that is surprising in nature.
If you have had a hysterectomy and are struggling, please know that what you are experiencing is normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself time to grieve, and know that there are others who have had shared your emotions time and again.