My guest this week is Nora Coffey, president of the Hers Foundation. HERS aims to provide information about the consequences of hysterectomy and educate women about its alternatives. Nora is also the author of The H Word: The diagnostic studies to evaluate symptoms, alternatives in treatment, and coping with the aftereffects of hysterectomy.
This video is a fascinating look at the female anatomy and its invisible functions.
In mid November HERS is hosting a conference here in the Atlanta area. Friday night is a screening of the teleplay Unbecoming.
Points from the Show:
- As evidenced by the questions they ask post surgery, many women do not understand the functions of the female organs.
- Hysterectomy is the 2nd most commonly performed surgery (after Cesarean section)
- The medically accurate term for removal of a woman’s ovaries (gonads) is castration
- Doctors still falsely tell women that their lives won’t change after hysterectomy
- The uterus is a hormone responsive sex organ that has structural as well as physiological functions.
- The ovaries produce hormones all through a woman’s life, and are needed all their life (including post menopause).
- The uterus and ovaries play a role in the immune system.
- Among common effects of hysterectomy are greater risk of heart attack (3 to 7 times greater)
- The average age of hysterectomy was 42 a decade ago and now it is 36. Now, it is not uncommon for teenagers to have hysterectomy.
- A woman never needs a hysterectomy for fibroids.
- When women experience inevitable problems post hysterectomy are often told by their Doctors that the symptoms are “all in their head“.
- Post hysterectomy, women will not experience uterine contractions during orgasm, diminishing their sexual experience.
- Hysterectomy is a $17 billion dollar annual industry.
- Hysterectomy is very rarely warranted. There are usually alternatives.
- Some treatment options include myomectomy, fibroid removal surgery
- Endometriosis is widely overdiagnosed. An MRI of the pelvis is a better diagnostic tool than exploratory surgery.
- Drugs commonly prescribed for endometriosis are very dangerous.
- Acupuncture can balance hormones and is good for treating endometriosis. Diet and exercise are also important treatments.
- Women who eat a lot of soy products develop more endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer. Soy stimulates an abnormally high amount of estrogen in the body.
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I agree with hysterectomies being performed as a quick fix but I need more reliable information than saying that a hysterectomy is a bad thing. I am 39 and the mother of 3. I want to hold on to my uterus but I think I am experiencing Peri-menopause and at the moment have had no one to confirm those symptoms. The only information I have seen offered treats menopause as a disease to be treated with drugs that can cause cancer or naturally. No one has addressed Peri-menopause or the possibility of the younger age range experiencing these symptoms. Where are the OBGYN’s offering consistent, reliable, information on our bodies and how can I find one? If you are out there please put out more information on what to do if your body has gone through extremely heavy cycle, exhaustion, mood swings, longer cycle, or a period that happens before your 21 days are up. I personally just had the Novasure procedure and a bladder sling. I have a period that is not as heavy but happens about every 2.5-3 weeks if I am lucky. When I had the procedure I was told that the Novasure procedure had approximately a 95% success rate. Well, I just saw the specialist and he just informed me that it had a 50% success rate. Where is the accurate information and why do I have to beg, plead, and dig for research in the hopes that I might find something I can use? Why are we still reinventing the wheel on care for women? So, I have a question, where are you doctor? Will my daughters have to go through this as well? If there is a doctor that reads this remember this could also apply to your wife, mother, aunt, nieces, and daughters. Do you want them to go through what I am now?