“Am I less of a woman? In some ways I feel like I’ve lost what made me a woman.”

“Only those who have been there can really understand the feelings of loss and frustration and questioning that a woman goes through when she has surgery, hoping for relief from the physical problems that hinder her daily living and then to find she continues to struggle to heal and to have the life she has dreamed of for so long.

“Do not allow the thoughts of being less of a woman continue to haunt you. The woman you have always been is still there. She is in the heart and soul of who you are. These physical challenges did not remove her.”

You have what it takes to over come every situation that comes your way. Look at what all you have already come through! Try not to speculate on the future what-ifs. Take care of each day as it comes, and don’t worry about tomorrow. There is grace enough for today.”

“A hysterectomy can bring emotional and physical issues for some of us. We feel a loss, and it is normal to be sad and grieve. Remember that others are going through similar feelings.”

“In my opinion, I think it takes a much stronger type of woman to brace herself, make the decision for the surgery that will save her life, and do whatever it takes to manage the consequences. LESS of a woman? NO WAY!”

Womb or not, I’m still every bit a woman.

still-a-womanAfter a hysterectomy, many women feel a sense of loss. Regardless of their age, whether or not they have had a child, whether or not they ever wanted a child, how settled they are in their career, or even how much their uterus pained them. They feel a loss of possibility, a loss of choice, and a loss of femininity.

These emotions can be very strong. If you feel them, it is important for you to know and accept that they are normal and reasonable—especially right after your surgery. You need to allow yourself to grieve this loss; this is the only way to allow the healing process to start.

Know that your body parts do not define you as a real woman. You are female in your brain and heart, much more so than in your belly. Being a woman is written in your very cells, in every strand of your DNA code. Nothing can change that. All women become infertile eventually; as a woman who has had a hysterectomy, you just did so a bit sooner because of a surgery that was necessary to make you healthier.

If your feelings of grief and sadness do not lighten with time, it is important to talk to your partner about your feelings and accept help and support from elsewhere if necessary. Seek a counselor or talk to your doctor or your clergy person.