HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
SHARING IS CARING
After the Fact: 5 Ways to Cope with an Unnecessary Hysterectomy
From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List
It's been 6 months since my hysterectomy and I have serious regrets. My pathology report revealed a normal uterus. I’m having a hard time coping with the knowledge that I removed a perfectly healthy organ. I feel sadness, regret, and anger at myself and my doctors. What do I do now?
Hysterectomy is a journey. It’s a journey that brought you to the point of surgery, and a whole new journey began with your recovery. It’s been a long road, so it can be very difficult to find out that your surgery was not medically necessary. The fact that a hysterectomy can also be a very emotional surgery may compound those feelings.
Hysterectomy involves an organ that can be deeply connected to your sense of womanhood
. You may find your fertility made you feel desirable and feminine. Losing the ability to conceive can bring on feelings of grief, emptiness, and guilt
. Even if you felt your family was complete or you didn’t intend a pregnancy, it can be very hard cope with the loss of choice.
Whether you find you’re still experiencing the same pain you had pre-hysterectomy, received an inaccurate diagnosis, or are having new issues since your surgery, it can be hard to accept knowing a healthy organ has been removed and your life is forever altered because of it. The suggestions below can help you cope with the effects of having an unnecessary hysterectomy.
1. Acknowledge Your Loss
It’s ok to grieve the loss of your uterus. This is an organ that has made itself known to you (for better or worse) since adolescence. You may find yourself going through the 5 stages of grief
-- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance -- and feel unprepared for them. It’s ok to cope with your grief
by crying, feeling angry, or resentful. Those are your feelings and you have every right to them. Allowing yourself to feel these emotions helps you process your grief and move past it. You may also find it helpful to symbolically grieve your uterus
by planting a tree, making a quilt, getting a tattoo, or starting a journal.
2. Don’t Play the Blame Game
What's done is done. Rather than placing blame on yourself or your doctor
, choose to move ahead and take control of what you can change -- your present and your future. Unfortunately, you can’t go back in time and make different decisions, and you can’t get your uterus back. It’s counter-productive to dwell on the what if’s and why didn’t I’s. Be kind to yourself and accept that you made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time.
3. Surround Yourself with Support
As you heal emotionally, you may find that counseling, a support group, or prayer will help. Spend time with family and friends and accept their love and kindness. They may not truly understand what you’re feeling, but they can still accept that you’re hurting and give you much needed TLC. Nurture your inner self
emotionally and physically by eating well
, exercising regularly
and getting enough sleep. Watch for the signs of depression
and do your best to manage the stress in your life
. You may find that meditation, yoga, relaxation, and mindfulness exercises are very helpful as well.
4. Turn the Experience Into a Positive One
During this experience, you acquired knowledge that you can use to help others. Consider joining a support group and offering your time and support. Whether it’s in your local community or online, you may find causes that speak to you. These might include gynecologic cancer
, fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, hysterectomy, a women’s shelter, etc.
5. Move On
Allow yourself to move on. You’ve had this experience and it’s changed you, but it doesn’t have to be a negative change. All women are made up of personal experiences. You learn and grow from them. You may have learned valuable lessons such as getting a second opinion
, doing your own research, advocating
for yourself, and trusting your inner voice. These are important skills for life.
You can learn more valuable information about your emotional healing post hysterectomy by browsing through the HysterSisters Grief & Depression Articles
. You can also find support and share support by posting on the HysterSister forums.
This content was written by staff of Hyst erSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
08-28-2016 - 08:15 PM
SHARING IS CARING
Do you have a question?
If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
Find a Surgeon
|Arnold Advincula, M.D.
Columbia Ob/Gyn Midtown
51 West 51st St, 3rd FL
New York NY 10019
|Geoffrey Cly, M.D.
Suite 101, 11123 Parkview Plaza Drive
Fort Wayne IN 46845
|Ted Lee, M.D.
Magee Womens Hospital
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh PA 15213
412 641 6412
|Ellen Wilson, M.D.
5323 Harry Hines Blvd - Dept of OBGYN
Dallas TX 75390
|Eric Grossman, M.D.
903 Sheppard Road
Voorhees NJ 08043
|Jonas Wilson-Leedy, M.D.
71 Prospect Avenue
Hudson NY 24016
|Stephen Zweibach, M.D.
515 S Kings Ave
Brandon FL 33511
|Tiffany Jackson, M.D.
7217 Telecom Parkway #290
Garland TX 75044
|Antonio Gargiulo, M.D.
Brigham and Women's Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston MA 02115