With my health in steady decline, I visited a new female Doctor in 1998 who put me on birth control pills and extra calcium, feeling this would fix my heavy period flow. Instead, the birth control made me have heart palpitations for which I would have to have an echocardiogram, and worse, it never relieved my heavy periods. After three months I threw in the towel and In 1999, I went to another female gynecologist as I thought it would be good to get another opinion. I came ready to ask a lot of questions, having I brought journal notes to this annual visit. She entered my examining room very pregnant and introduced herself, shaking my hand. During her standard 15 minute exam and question period she confirmed fibroids and she ordered an ultrasound. As with all the other doctors, she advocated hysterectomy, telling me I could resolve all my problems that way. I could not believe what I was hearing! A very pregnant OB-GYN telling me just to rip out my uterus… Just have a hysterectomy, like its no big deal! I was beyond frustrated and dismayed. I was hell-bent on living with these problems because no matter what, I was determined not to have a hysterectomy.
Desperate for an alternative, I started to research other options; I read countless books, I changed my diet, I stopped drinking coffee, I started taking all kinds of different vitamin therapies, I thought of doing colonic rinses to rinse this disease right out of my body. I even looked back on my life trying to figure out if I could have done anything differently, but facts were facts. I had a huge fibroid and so did my mother, and I felt I was following in her footsteps.
I came to the conclusion that I was spinning my wheels in every direction but forward. I knew in my heart that there had to be a solution to this. I just needed to find some answers. A hysterectomy represented… I felt like it was castration. It was like everyone was saying… ‘Just take out your uterus… You don’t need it; you’ve had your children. Plus you won’t have your period anymore. You’ll feel so much better. I have seen a lot of women in their life get hysterectomies and they’re doing great! But this never felt right to me, like I ate something bad and my stomach would ache.
I thought that if I firmly believed that a hysterectomy would change me, then it would, and not for the better. In my research I found out about the loss of libido that’s often reported following a hysterectomy. My husband and I had always enjoyed an active sex life and I was painfully worried about how this was going to change our intimacy with one another. I thought he might look at me differently and not see me as a whole woman. Most of all I was afraid of losing the passion between us. Plus, research findings have shown that the uterus controls hormones in the woman’s body, and so bone loss was a real concern and synthetic hormone replacement was just out of the question for me.