I shouldn’t knock the Guardian too much, however, because this week they had this great article by Sasha Petrova about having a hysterectomy at the young age of 32. For me, it’s an inspirational piece about taking the decision to not be defined by your faulty reproductive system, and how having a womb and being a woman are not contingent on one another.
You can read it here:
Petrova’s gynaecologist warned her that she might grieve ‘the loss of womanhood’ after her hysterectomy. Rationally, she knew her uterus was just an organ that had given her years of grief with disabling endometriosis. She never wanted children. But it seemed to hold symbolic power over some people, as if a woman without a womb were less of a woman.
Her experience gave her greater realisation that there’s no such thing as an easy, uncomplicated road to fulfilling your supposed biological role. Or, sometimes, not fulfilling it.
‘…I’m proud of the women who give up trying and adopt a child, or a dog, or decide to be happy not having children at all… I’m proud of many friends for whom having children is not a priority, despite their healthy wombs. And…I’m proud of myself for having made the decision to no longer be a slave to my malfunctioning reproductive system and reclaim my body’.
It isn’t an easy choice to have a hysterectomy, it brings its own physical fallout, but I think reading this will give solace to many.