This chapter will give an overview of the various hysterectomy procedures - and also discuss the drawbacks of this surgery, which has become the mainstream treatment for fibroids.
The question has been raised however as to whether this is still legitimate medical practice in case of fibroid disease; there are overwhelming reasons to maintain that it is not – especially where valid alternative treatment options have presented themselves.

What is written here might upset some physicians, in particular gynaecologists. I do realise however that there are many doctors who are sincere in their care for patients. What I learned from those gynaecologists who are willing to discuss alternatives for hysterectomy, is that there are always different sides to the story. All I can do is put up the information I came across, that I think is important for every woman to know.
No matter what, gynaecologists are an important part of a fibroid-patient’s care. I just wish some of these doctors would listen more carefully to some of their colleagues.

Gynaecologist Dr. Stanley West: It is time we doctors stopped disassembling healthy women. But nothing will change until more women look their doctor in the eye and calmly state their determination to remain an intact woman.


You don’t need a Hysterectomy – it can do you more harm than good

Strong words perhaps – coming from Dr. West, gynaecologist and author of "the Hysterectomy Hoax" – but the facts are that more than 90% of all hysterectomies are unnecessary; 50% of all patients develop complications, some of them quite serious; and the operation can have long-lasting physical, emotional and sexual consequences that may seriously undermine your health and wellbeing. Hysterectomy surgery poses unacceptable risks when used to treat conditions for which alternative treatments are available.
Many gynaecologists unfortunately still have the outdated view that, as soon as the incubator role is over, the female womb is a useless, bleeding, symptom-producing, potentially cancer-bearing organ, which a woman can easily do without. It is crucial that every woman should know exactly what she is getting herself into when she is offered hysterectomy as a treatment for fibroids.
These consequences will be explained in detail.

Surgical Approaches to Hysterectomy - and common Complications

In public hospitals this surgery is mostly done by an apprentice, supervised by a gynaecologist. Some gynaecologists work on a private basis as well and will have you pay extra for them to do the operation themselves.
Technically, hysterectomy is a fairly simple surgery to perform. Because every female body is built the same way internally, the uterus can be detached from the ligaments that support it and the blood vessels that supply it. Since it is so straightforward it should be a safe procedure. Doctor’s fact lists often indicate low complication percentages.
Unfortunately however, general statistics have shown that this is far from the truth in many hospitals. An alarming fact is that one out of 1,000 hysterectomy patients will die. Given the number of hysterectomy procedures performed, of which 90% is unnecessary, this means approximately 540 unnecessary deaths a year in the States alone – one third of which happens when treating the benign condition of fibroids. Perhaps these figures are not world shocking, but when you suffer from fibroids it is important enough to know. Any unnecessary death is one to many in any case. We will also look into other effects of this surgery. If you should truly need a hysterectomy, it is important to find a good surgeon. Read more...

The Value of Hysterectomy - And Cancer

There is no doubt that there are valid and justified reasons for undergoing hysterectomy, of which cancer is the most important. Malignant tumours in the uterus are fortunately very rare. Fibroids are benign tumours and do not transform to malignant ones.
Today, some stages of cancer seem to be able to be cured without the necessity of a hysterectomy. The old rationale that hysterectomy and oophorectomy can prolong a woman's life by preventing uterine and/or ovarian cancer is currently being drastically reconsidered. The risk of dying of cardiovascular disease after hysterectomy is far greater than that of dying of cancer of the reproductive organs.
Often, pre-cancerous stages in the cervix or uterus are used to justify hysterectomy, while mostly these can be arrested and reversed without major surgery. Read more...

Importance of the Uterus - and Sexual Function

The uterus is far from just a disposable organ that serves no further purpose once the childbearing days are over. Apart from being an important sexual organ, the uterus is the main site for the production of some important hormones that have a protective role against cardiovascular diseases. Early menopause occurring after hysterectomy is a contributory factor for heart disease, breast cancer and other health problems.
Sexual dysfunction after hysterectomy has been widely discussed by many authorities. There is much more to it than just the emotional response of women to loosing their womb; there should be no doubt that the sexual changes women report after hysterectomy - a decline in desire or even losing orgasm completely - are real and not imagined. No physician today can assure any woman that hysterectomy will not affect her sex life. Read more...

Lifelong Role of the Ovaries – HRT, Hormonal Balance & Mood

While reproduction is the most dramatic function of the ovaries, these organs have as much to do with the maintenance of a woman’s own life as with their role in bringing other lives into the world.
The removal of the ovaries along with the uterus means instant menopause. But even after removal of only the womb, the ovaries may be impaired in their function, resulting in early menopause. Permanent ovarian failure also occurs, which is the main reason many women develop serious physical and emotional problems. Both uterus and ovaries are an important part of the neuro-endocrine system (nerves and hormones), even after menopause, and influence physical and emotional wellbeing.
The female reproductive system is by no means fully understood. Consequentially, removal of any part of this fine-tuned mechanism will result in imbalances that can only partly be remedied by hormone replacement. There are many controversies around HRT and the latest reports have a very negative outcome in regards to cardiovascular health, osteoporosis and breast cancer, and even dementia.
A woman should not need HRT at any stage of life. When necessary, there are very good natural alternatives. Read more...

Safer Alternatives to Hysterectomy for Fibroid Management

A patient: I don’t think you should take everything out that makes me a woman and then put me on a bunch of drugs that make me a woman again.
Keeping your female organs intact whenever possible may prevent a host of health problems, not only because you preserve your parts, and restore their natural balance, but because the ‘cure’ for the side effects may be worse than the original problem. Uterine Fibroid Embolisation (UFE) is in most cases a good alternative to hysterectomy for treating fibroids; it is less invasive, carries less risk, and restores the uterus to its normal function. Women should not be made to feel inadequate or disturbed for questioning the necessity of hysterectomy. They need the support of their gynaecologist.
It is indeed necessary for women to stand up for what they want, to be given a chance to base their decision on all available information, and to have the courage to look their doctor in the eye and calmly state their determination to remain an intact woman. Read more...

In the News

"Panic on cards as HRT tied to cancer"

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