Your Uterus–keep it for life

About gloria

I live and work in Vancouver BC Canada. I've been in the childbirth business for 30 years. I teach midwifery and doula courses both online and in person.
This entry was posted in Holistic midwifery & doula education, Public Health, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Your Uterus–keep it for life

  1. Lynn Reed says:

    I had two doctors tell me i needed a “ectomy” cause I had prolapse….well I still have my uterus and am glad I do!

    After being induced during the birth of my first child with the use of forceps and pushing 4 hours I was told I had irreversible damage that required removal “when I was finished having my babies”.

    I noticed that after my period was over the prolapse was not as pronounced. I had begun using cloth pads (diapers I folded into a long pad) since I could no longer use tampons which just slipped out due to the prolapse. This pad somehow acted like a pessary of sorts so I decided to wear a pad all month long to see if that would help. IT DID:) It took a couple of years but it somehow pushed/placed enough pressure on the area (sort of like braces I guess?) to permanently FIX it.

    So proud to say that I do not have prolapse now and still have my dear old uterus:)

  2. Anita says:

    I love you for posting this. I always learn so much from you.

  3. Helena says:

    Yes indeed, let’s keep our organs!
    Lady’s Mantle is a good herb for toning and drawing the prolapsed organs up. Good for hernias too.

  4. Evelyn says:

    Where do I find Lady’s Mantle and how do I use it?

  5. Helena says:

    A woman’s womb can be seen as an extension of her heart. Our heart’s electromagnetic field affects all of our body’s functions. Our babies gestate in the womb, this extension of our hearts/energy field and we all have our lives in the womb of the Mother Earth.
    Our hearts take in and process information from the world/people/environment/everything! Women have this extra organ to help with this.
    The hurts of life leave scars on our hearts, impairing function unless we heal them. For women, we often store the hurts in our wombs, ovaries and breasts (fibroids, cysts, cancers).
    Environmental degradation and the chemicals that disrupt our healthy functioning also contribute.
    Let’s take care of us and our Mother Earth too.

  6. Mandi says:

    I’m only 26. I’m thinking about breastfeeding, attachment parenting, preschool, home making, returning to school. I’ve not once stopped to think about my uterus and how I should not have it removed should life lead me down that road.

    I have thought about it now.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. gloria says:

    There’s a book called “The No Hysterectomy Option”.

    Lady’s Mantle can be obtained from Gaia Herbs in Vancouver on W. Broadway.
    http://www.gaiagarden.com/

  8. My mother has suffered a myriad of gyn and digestive problems that are a direct result of her complete hysterectomy at 30. Why? heavy periods….head to desk.
    So now, my mother is once again going to the hospital as a result…this time for exploratory surgery to see how much more of her body has been affected by that act of medical practice.

  9. Michelle says:

    For some reason I can’t view the entry. I can only read comments.

    Based on what I’m reading, I sure hope I’m not putting the cart before the horse here, I have a few things to say:

    5 births, #1 born in the hospital with a 4th degree episiotomy + forceps and my pelvic floor was in pain for a YEAR!

    #2 born at home with a labial tear. The Midwife thinks I tore because I had an over zealous doctor do a “husband’s stitch” one too many times after my 1st birth.

    #3 10lb 5oz baby born at home in the water and did not tear. My postpartum pelvic floor greeted me with a “bulge”. It concerned me enough to ask my Midwife about this and she reassured me, “Do your Kegels and don’t worry! You’ll be fine!”. I understand the controversy surrounding Kegels NOW, didn’t then. I did them then. I felt “normal” after about 8 weeks postpartum.

    #4 (the scary traumatic postpartum) I pushed when I should NOT have. I was exhausted & wanted the birth team to LEAVE! I’m sure they did too. After the baby was born (about an hr) the Midwife wanted my placenta delivered and started to pull it out. I told her, “NO WAIT, shouldn’t I feel an urge to push before you try that?” She proceeded, “Oh honey, you don’t feel any pain anyways.” After she pulled the placenta out her apprentice said, “Uh… what’s that?” Half my uterus was out of my body. The Midwife said, “oh it’s nothing…” then pushed everything back in and pushed hard down on my abdomen.

    At 8 weeks postpartum I get a UTI. The burning sensation, when trying to void, caused me to have an involuntary urge to bear down. I could not control it. I could see my cervix out of my body. This was happening at the doctor’s office while I was waiting to be seen. 2 hours later, I’m seen, was told there was a lot of blood in the urine and given a script for antibiotics then sent home. Nothing was addressed about me pushing my cervix out.

    I told my Midwife about this and week later she goes with me to see a gynecologist. This guy had NO bedside manners at all! Mind you, “he does a lot of hysterectomies”, so I’m told by my Midwife. This doctor had the audacity to say, “You look like a 60 year old woman down there! (My Midwife is laughing with him!) I recommend a hysterectomy”. I was so humiliated I wanted to die. I was sent into a deep depression.

    This is not the same Midwife who encouraged me to heal after I discovered the bulge when my 10lb 5oz daughter was born.

    I read a book titled Saving the Whole Woman, the “Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support Group” on MDC helped too.

    #5, yes we got pregnant again! I’ll admit, it was comforting to push things back up there and would practice that a lot.

    I prepared. I was so terrified of this happening again. This time I did what I could to breath the baby down. She was born weighing 10lb 2oz. She was born in the water. The buoyancy from the water, I believe, held my uterus up. Everything went much better that time.

    Today, I do not have a prolapse. Everything seems to be in pretty good shape.

  10. danielle says:

    It is not surprising to learn that the uterus has a plethora of functions and purposes- not to mention the consequences of it’s removal. How wonderfully we are created. I too am saddened by what seems like such an invasive response to issues that could perhaps have other treatments.

  11. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for finding this site. I have posted the link to the video on my site.

    I cannot begin to thank you enough for finding this. SO many doctors have tried to tell me that a woman over 60 does not need her uterus. I always argue with them but they say “Show me the data.” And I never could.

    Now, thanks to you, I have it. This is such a wonderful video. IT ought to scare the daylights out of women. I am only sorry for those for whom it is too late. I don’t want anyone to feel bad about something they have already allowed to happen to them.

    I am sorry.

    But if we can save the uterii of some then it is worth it even if some women feel sad. If it happened to you, at least you can perhaps inform your friends of the facts and save them from this very dangerous and unnecessary surgery.

    Gloria, you will never know how pleased you have made me today. I only wish I had the email address of a particular doctor who came just “that” close to doing a hysterectomy on me.

    I was all prepped and waiting to go in for surgery that I thought was the laparascopic removal of ONE ovary with a huge cyst attached. The doctor came in and said “Have you given up that idea of keeping your other ovary and your uterus?”

    I was flabbergasted. “No,” I said. We argued for a few minutes. He said I did not need any of that equipment. I said I did. He said “Show me the data.” I said I could not show him data but that I knew I wanted to keep myself intact.

    He told me that he had decided not to operate on me. “You don’t have the proper attitude for this operation.” he said.

    So I escaped. I literally fled away from that hospital. Later I found a wonderful doctor who LISTENED to me and saw that I was serious about wanting to keep my internal organs. He let me do as I wished and only removed the one ovary and the attendent 19 pound cyst. I am fine now, and sooooooo happy I still have one ovary and my uterus.

  12. Paging Dr. Mendelsohn… ;)

    The HERS Foundation (creator of this video) is awesome. They did some interviews two years ago discussing the parallels between overuse of the hysterectomy and overuse of the cesarean section.

    Check out this article… http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid:63225

    Great quote from the article: “The protesters encounter doctors who don’t want to take their pamphlets or who say they never do unnecessary surgery.”

  13. gloria says:

    Thanks, Jill, good article.

    I know I would have lost my uterus when I went through menopause if I wasn’t in the birth business. I was ALWAYS running around and never stopped to rest during my period. Had flooding periods in the last few years (mid 40s). One day I heard myself saying to the postpartum women “If you’re bleeding, get to bed with your baby skin to skin and only get up to go to the washroom.” I thought, “I wonder if that would work for me?” Decided to give it a go. At the start of my period, I would cancel everything for the week and rest in bed. Bleeding subsided right away.

    I know if I’d asked a dr., he/she would have recommended hysterectomy.

  14. Janet says:

    My mother died of lung cancer after being a nonsmoking, fit, active, healthy woman all her life. She was on HRT. Her spine was compressing and she ended up having surgery on it. She’d had 1 intervened vb, 2 cs, tubal ligation and a hysterectomy.

    The more I learn, the more horrified and sad I feel about what was done to my mother by western medicine.

    I’ve always had a slight lingering fear that my spine might compress too but since I’m really very unlikely to decide to remove my uterus, now I feel much more hopeful. And informed.

    Thanks, Glo. *kotc*

  15. Laura Bilbo says:

    Thank you for sharing! I had no idea, wow. Sadly, my mom had a hysterectomy at the age of 24… after my very fast birth, her cervix was not healing, so they took her uterus. She is now 50, and has had bladder surgery, heart surgery and 2 spinal surgeries. Now I know why. I am in tears.

  16. Andrea says:

    Wow, Gloria! I’ve changed my mind about getting a hysterectomy! Believing in healing from the Lord!

  17. Vicki says:

    Thank you SO much for this information! I know a dear lady who had a hysterectomy after her fourth baby and she has had nothing but problems ever since.

  18. Pingback: Being a whole woman - the function of the uterus We all know that the uterus is necessary

  19. LanaMarie says:

    A great resource! Love to know your view on the term ‘ovarian isolation’ in reference to tubal ligation.

  20. L says:

    the comments here have given me hope that my prolapse will maybe get better with time. mine is a vaginal prolapse which occurred after a home water birth with no interventions. I dont know why this happened, but I hope it will heal.

    thank you for this video, Ive posted it on my facebook and it has helped at least three other women.

  21. Tabitha says:

    I just had a baby two weeks ago. My bladder is sagging and I am having trouble getting back to my old self. I am still bleeding, not heavy, but still. I was interested in the Lady Mantle mention above to draw up my uterus and bladder, but I have read that you should NOT take Lady Mantle if you are pregnant or breast feeding. What is a good way to get back into shape “down there” after having a baby? Kegals?

    • gloria says:

      Tabitha, the number one thing for your well being after you have a baby is bedrest. Most women push themselves too hard in the first 30 days after giving birth and that is not wise. Kegels are fine but resting with the baby, allowing the uterus to contract back down to the size of an upside down pear, and letting your milk flow from your breasts are the key to getting back to normal quicker. I have 2 good posts on this blog that you can read. I’ll make a new post with the links. Thanks for your comment. Gloria

  22. gloria says:

    http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=171
    The Undervalued Therapeutic Power of Rest

    http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=34
    After the Baby, What the New Family Needs

  23. Sara says:

    I had horrible prolapse after my 3rd child (3rd induction). I had just turned 25. My doctor said that I would need hysterectomy after I was done with children. He was compassionate, but gave me no alternative options. Thankfully, now, I am better since the 4th child, unassisted, home birth.
    Wholewoman.com helped more than I can say. It is ALL about keeping your stuff and is exhaustive on the details of complications after -ectomies.

  24. post-trauma mama says:

    I hope that you don’t mind me asking several questions.
    1. Would a woman who had the uterus taken out of the abdomen and then replaced, as part of a procedure for complications after a C-section, experience the same symptoms?
    2. Do those nerves re-connect?
    3. Is there anything other than Kegels, that a woman in such a situation could do help the body recover?
    4. Is there any impact from having one ovary removed and if so, what, if anything, can be done to assist the body?

    Just to explain myself a little. My ovary was taken over by a cyst which then calcified completely. This walnut sized piece of bone bonded with my bowels during pregnancy by way of the bleeding that it caused in the irritation of its presence. This bleeding actually caused my entire uterus to fuse to the bowels and after the C-section, necessitated removal of the uterus in order to scrape them apart. The Dr placed a film of some sort in the way so that the two organs would not fuse together again. He removed the ovary and the deteriorated fallopian tube as well.

    Since that day, I have had a lot of health concerns but since this was my first child, I haven’t known what to treat as normal and what not to. Also, what kind of Dr would you recommend that I go to, that will address these problems in the way that you have?

    Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciated this video on many levels. For one, as a woman, it’s so important to know these things. Also, it is against my faith practice to have the uterus removed unless for grave circumstances, so this just affirms that and it’s nice to be able to support belief with both philosophic and scientific rationale. Thank you again.

  25. Amber says:

    I COULD NOT stop squirming in my chair while I watched this. Ew! I knew hysto’s weren’t good for us, but never really knew to what extent. My god, I never even though about some of those things. I’m going to cross post this to my blog, if thats okay.

  26. gloria says:

    Amber, this is such important information. Everyone should link it, share it, spread it around. You’re more than welcome to take it away for your blog. Gloria

  27. Laurie Brant says:

    Another book of interest, “Misinformed Consent” 13 women share their stories about unnecessary hysterectomy, by Lise Cloutier-Steele 2002 Stoddart Pub Co., Ltd.

    One excuse for doing a hysterectomy was previous C/S!! They gettcha’ coming and then they gettcha’ going!! Doesn’t it make you think, what is it about carving up women’s bodies??

  28. Katy Weston says:

    I gave birth 4 months ago and had really diminished pelvic floor functioning for the first few months. I couldn’t walk for the first few weeks because I felt like my uterus was going to fall out of me….

    Now that I know this IS possible, and because I’m planing to have more than one offspring, I think it’s imperative that I take care of my pelvic floor so that my uterus and all my bits stay snugly inside me. So, I’ve been doing lots of research on how to properly do kegels. If anyone else is interested, here’s some great things I’ve found online.

    How to do kegels the correct way:
    http://www.afwh.org/articles/paid/controversyoverkegels.htm

    Pelvic floor biofeedback and strengthening aids:
    http://www.medgollc.com/kegel-exercisers/kd-exerciser
    http://www.medgollc.com/kegel-exercisers/pelvic-locator

  29. Cathrine says:

    Thank you for posting this! Just one more thing I am learning about my amazing body. It continues to be a journey even after having two babies. I’m learning to rarely take anything at face value and to do my own research. Thank you to all those you posted replies!

  30. kathy says:

    I am 49 years old an have an 11 centimeter fibroid along with two smaller fibroids. Also and enlarged uterus. My Doctor is not pushing me to get a partial hysterectomy but I am tired of having my lower abdomen enlarged after two weeks after my period. I also have pressure on my bladder which makes me void many times a day.
    My question is if I have the fibroids taken only and leave the uterus and ovaries will my uterus stayed enlarged and could the fiboids come back. My Doctor says it’s up to me but they may come back. Please enlighten me more.
    Thank you, Kathy

  31. Bettie says:

    I was in such agony before my hysterectomy for pelvic congestion that I could not function. Pain meds didn’t touch what I was experiencing. All of this was complicated by the fact that I had lost my daughter to stillbirth only four months prior and that I had always had debilitating, painful and heavy periods from the start. I did research, but couldn’t find anything that gave me any hope for a resolution to my symptoms. So, at age 31 I had a complete hysterectomy. I retained my ovaries and therefore avoided hormones.

    My quality of life improved tremendously! After several months of healing, not six weeks like they say (and some complications) I was able to function in a way that I had never been able to in my entire life. This was not without a price, I have a shorter vagina, pains that I surmise are due to adhesions, back problems, hip pain, and a the loss of a certain sense of womanhood in general. Several months after my hysterectomy I had to have my gallbladder removed as well, I don’t think it is coincidence.

    While I still can’t really say what was worse because I was so bad off prior to the surgery, I can definitely say that no woman should have a hysterectomy without ruling out every possible alternative treatment. My emotional and physical state at the time did not allow for me to do much. Truthfully, I refuse to look into it even now because I don’t want to know that there is some fabulous new treatment or natural remedy. It was too painful of a loss. My entire identity was wrapped up in my uterus. I wanted more children and still wish that I felt completely intact.

    I share my experience with whomever will listen because I am in a position to educate, do what you can to hold on to your organs!

  32. Lisa says:

    Thank-you Gloria, as usual great information.
    In my practice I work often with prolapse and all types of uterine/menstrual problems, most of which begin with a displaced uterus her whole life. Most of which are at least 80% better after just a few abdominal massages, please seek a therapist in your area or even travel to find holistic help for prolapse or any type of pelvic pain. http://www.arvigotherapy.com
    Also for you pp women out there try Sea Pearls sponges for gently keeping your uterus in place with postpartum issues.
    SAVE THE UTERUS!
    Another great book and Lady is Wild Feminine by Tammi Kent check it out, her insight is a blessing to the uterus and ovaries :-)

  33. Katherine Suszczewicz says:

    I receive my well care at Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale. On a routine well check, my internist noticed something and sent me for a gyn consult. an ultrasound showed a large (8″) teratoma on/near my right ovary. At the consult appt, gyn announces,’Wow! I fully expected something to be prolapsed…your uterus and bladder are in great shape for having 5 children.’ ‘Thanks, I said. They’ve served us well.’ He removed the teratoma and I kept the rest of my parts.

  34. Elena says:

    Do you have any information or resources regarding Uterine Artery Embolization? I have a large fibroid embedded in the outer lining of the uterus that takes up almost all the space inside the uterus, which is the size of a 13 week pregnancy. The fibroid is causing severe bleeding/anemia. The bleeding is temporarily controlled with progesterone. However, without surgical intervention, I will need blood and/or iron transfusions. My two options are LSH (leaving cervix and ovaries) or Uterine Artery Embolization to kill fibroid and shrink it to half its size. Before the medication there were days it was difficult to leave the house. I am ready to do something to get my life back and have to say I feel betrayed by my body. I am a runner and had two successful vaginal births with midwives at a birthing center. Before I found your site I was seriously considering the partial hysterectomy. Now I wonder if Uterine Artery Embolization is the better option. I would keep my uterus but may have to have future surgeries if any fibroids return. I am 37. Thank you for your site.

    • Debbie says:

      To Elena: I know this is an old post, but wondered what you decided to do about your large fibroid. Did you chose UAE?

    • Linda says:

      Hi Elena – I am also very interested in how you have progressed. I am in a similar situation with large uterus, several large fibroids, and very heavy continuous bleeding which has led to anemia. I am currently taking Primolut (progesterone) to control bleeding. I have not had children and recently turned 50. The Dr I saw said embolization UAE has lost some popularity due to likelihood of infection and did not recommend it. He performed a Hysteroscopy and D&C and pathology have confirmed there is no cancer. I have had lower left abdominal pain and spent time after the procedure on an antibiotic drip for an infection – however we are not sure if the infection was caused by the procedure as I had lower left abdominal pain before the procedure. I do not like the idea of taking Primolut for a long period of time and am hoping there may be another option for me.

  35. Kit Sterling says:

    Hello Ladies! Bless us and keep our bodies intact!! I am 50, menopausal with two teenage children. Neither were big babies or traumatic births however, I have ended up with significant genital prolapse and as my delightful doctor says…..my cervix is getting fresh air. I have enterocele(small bowel prolapse), rectocele(large bowel prolapse), cystocele(bladder prolapse) and a very descended uterus and cervix. Unfortunately, my uterus is pressing down so significantly on both my bladder and intestine I find it almost impossible to void bm’s or pee– not a good or healthy situation. The fix is surgery, but most physicians want to immediately give me a hysterectomy and fill my pelvis with erosion causing mesh. I did not believe that they held the only solution. An amazing doctor in Pennsylvania did not believe them either. Dr. Michael Toaff believes in preserving the WHOLE woman. He will save your uterus (unless you have cancer there & then it MUST go) but otherwise he is the man who can help you with all problems uterus. I will have surgery with him in 2 weeks…other patients of his I have spoken to and they cannot praise him enough. You can call or email him all you like and HE personally will answer ALL your questions and it will not cost you a dime. How many doctors today do this? I am so grateful to have found him. Please do your research and do not accept the first option that is presented to you!!! Stay well. Kit. (www.althysterectomy.org)

    • Pamela Dutka says:

      Hi to Kit Sterling, Also had surgery with Dr. Toaff in July of 2011 – sounds
      like we had all the same problems. Unique and amazing man – wondering
      how you are doing now? Would love to compare notes..

      Pam from Connecticut

  36. Donna Bracey says:

    What about sexual side affects? My poor sister had a surgical hysterectomy and pelvic repair and she has no sexual response now. Pretty devastating for a 55 year old woman.

  37. Lisa Carmody says:

    Help! I have an 8cm fibroid that seems to be causing heavy periods and all that is associated with them…low iron, lightheadedness etc. I also have several smaller ones. I have a slightly dropped bladder with urinary retention problems. My gyn is saying I need a hysterectomy (I am 46). She said my ovaries can stay in. I am going to see an Interventional Radiologist to see if they can embolize the fibroid and then I could try a pessary for the bladder issues. I am so overwhemled and confused on which way to go. After seeing your video, I am more resolved to working hard to find a solution other than removing my uterus. They all say, “it is fine, i don’t have mine etc…” ANY insight would be so helpful!

  38. ram says:

    I have worries that when the midwife delivered placenta and started to pull it out. I told her, “NO WAIT, shouldn’t I feel an urge to push before you try that?” She proceeded, “Oh honey, you don’t feel any pain anyways.” After she pulled the placenta out her apprentice said, “Uh… and she massaged my abdominal very hard she give me shots as she thought I was bleeding then normal. . Ever since then I feel my stomach doesn’t look normal it looks like is been pushed in some times its out and some times it looks it shrinking in.. I have lots of air in my womb and my periods hasn’t come back as of course I’m breastfeeding . But yesterday i felt my period wanted to come but nothing came just lots of air in my womb .. I live in uk. .. I and my baby she is 5months

  39. michelle says:

    I have very heavy flow after menopause. I flow continuously for 28 days. My red blood drop to very low. Dr say it is very dangerous. He ask me to remove my whole uterus. Please advise. How to stop the bleeding naturally and how to
    handle my case? Please help me. I don’t want to remove my uterus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>