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5 Myths and Truths: Feelings of Loss Following Your Hysterectomy

From the Emotion Health - Grief - Depression Articles List

Am I the only one dealing with heartache over the loss of my uterus?Am I the only one dealing with heartache over the loss of my uterus? Comments said to me by others make me feel alone and sad.

A hysterectomy is a physical surgery to remove the uterus, but it also has some emotional aspects for many women. The uterus is deeply connected to womanhood, so without it some women feel they will be less of a woman. The uterus, or womb, may have held your child or prevented you from having a child, thus its loss can bring deep sorrow.

Whether or not you define yourself by your uterus, it has been a part of you since you were born. It’s okay to feel emotional and sad over its loss, no matter what others may think. Many who have not had a hysterectomy do not understand these feelings, so they may say things that can be hurtful. Their well-meaning platitudes may do little to ease your pain, and could even deepen your sorrow. Here are some heartfelt facts from your HyterSisters, who know what you are going through. Hopefully their replies for the well-meaning comments made by friends and family will be a balm to your soul as well as help you know you are not alone.

You have suffered a loss.

Well-meaning friends and family may say: "You’ll get over it."

You might and you might not get over it. Your loss is real and nothing will change that. You can consider counseling to help you go through the stages of grief and learn to live with your loss, but you don't have to pretend you haven't suffered a loss. While you may never get over the loss, you don’t have to let the loss control you either.

You may miss your uterus - even if it is diseased.

Well-meaning friends and family may say: "You’ll feel better without your uterus."

Again, maybe, maybe not. Removing a diseased uterus can be helpful for overall health, but it can also bring on some emotional distress. If you also have your ovaries removed, the hormonal changes can also contribute to emotional concerns. Be aware of the symptoms of depression so you can seek help for them. Even if you physically feel better, your heart will need some healing.

You can choose to parent

Well-meaning friends and family may say: "You’ll never be happy without a biological child."

There are many adoptive parents who will disagree with this statement. Adoptive families can be very happy and content, never bothered by the lack of blood connection in their families. If you choose to adopt, there are support groups and services to help you manage the process as you grow your family from your heart.

You can choose to remain childless

Well-meaning friends and family may say: "You can adopt."

Adoption isn’t for everyone, and it can be an emotional, time-consuming, and expensive process. Don’t feel pushed to adopt if you do not have a biological child. It’s okay if adoption is not for you. A counselor can help you decide if you should consider adoption or learn to cope with your loss of fertility in some other way.

Your grief is real

Well-meaning friends and family may say: "At least you have a child."

Having a child does not mean you cannot and should not grieve over your inability to have more children. Your loss and feelings of sadness are very real and valid. It hurts when you can’t have a child you want, whether you have none, one, or a dozen. Love your child, but don’t discount your grief over the loss of having another.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

11-10-2014 - 07:52 PM


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