Last week marked a milestone of sorts for me- the 10 year anniversary of my hysterectomy. I had very large uterine fibroids that were growing rapidly and causing a variety of very unpleasant symptoms that would have only continued to worsen had I not had the surgery. And, I won’t lie- not having to deal with monthly periods anymore has been pretty great too.
I can still remember all of the horrified gasps I got from people when I told them I was having this procedure. I was told it would have a negative impact on my sex life and/ or my marriage (it didn’t, in fact the exact opposite is true). I was told I was “too young” (I was 37). I was told that I shouldn’t be pressured into doing it (I wasn’t). I was told I would regret it (I don’t). Very few people were concerned about my having surgery per se, but lots of people were worried about me have this particular surgery.
No one thinks your life is ruined if you have your appendix or your gallbladder removed. No one rushes to judgement if you get your tonsils or wisdom teeth removed. To me, having my womb removed was no different. It was a body part that wasn’t working properly and causing me pain, and getting it out was the simplest way to solve the problem.
The past 10 years have seen a lot of changes in how society defines what a woman is. But there are still a lot of women for whom fertility is still the most important part of what makes them female. If you want a lot of kids and you can emotionally and financially support that desire, go for it. But I’m no less of a woman than you because I chose a different path. I’m no less a wife, sister, aunt, daughter, etc. And I’m certainly no less of a person just because I’m short a couple parts. My mind and my spirit and my experiences makes me who I am, not my uterus.