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Hysterectomy

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Hysterectomy

Hysterectomies are the most common major non-obstetrical surgical procedure in the United States, second only to caesarean section. About 20 million American women have had their uteruses removed. Officially about 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually. Unofficially, however, the figure is closer to one million..

Hysterectomies are the most common major non-obstetrical surgical procedure in the United States, second only to caesarean section. About 20 million American women have had their uteruses removed. Officially about 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually. Unofficially, however, the figure is closer to one million.

The average age at which women have this operation is 42. More than three-quarters of hysterectomies are performed on women under the age of 49. In fact, twice as many women in their 20s and 30s are hysterectomized as women in their 50s and 60s. It is estimated that 50 percent of American women will have a hysterectomy in their lifetime.

Dr Stanley West, noted infertility specialist, Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology at St Vincent’s Hospital, New York and author of The Hysterectomy Hoax, says, "more than 90 percent are unnecessary." He believes that, in general, a hysterectomy is never necessary unless a woman has cancer. Other more conservative views conclude that 50 to 90 percent should not have been done.

Technically, a hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. An ovariectomy is the removal of the ovaries, also known in medical terminology as female castration. Since women who have hysterectomies go into instant, surgically induced menopause, they are immediately put on estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) although estrogen (or any other drug or other treatments) will never successfully replace a woman’s ovarian and uterine hormones or functions. Estrogen still puts women at increased risk of breast cancer. It also causes many women to experience all the ensuing estrogen-dominant symptoms.

In whatever form it may occur, a hysterectomy is radical surgery for a woman. Some of the most common consequences, in addition to operative injuries are: heart disease; osteoporosis; bone, joint and muscle pain; painful intercourse; displacement of bladder, bowel and other pelvic organs; urinary tract infections; chronic constipation and digestive disorders; short term memory loss; depression; and dulling of emotions.

Why They Do It

The leading reasons for recommending hysterectomies are fibroids (usually the cause of heavy bleeding), endometriosis and uterine prolapse (the uterus falls from its normal position). Fibroids and endometriosis respond extremely well to natural progesterone cream as well as dietary and other nutritional support. A prolapsed uterus, in addition to following dietary and nutritional guidelines, has been successfully treated with naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and other natural healing modalities.

Dr [John] Lee, [writer] has his [hysterectomy] patients wean themselves off the synthetic hormones by gradually reducing the dosage (following the same protocol as described for coming off HRT). To those very few women who still have hot flashes or vaginal dryness, he gives estrogen cream, usually estriol, to use intravaginally for a few months. They are then able to taper off the estriol completely.

Natural progesterone combined with a good diet, exercise, appropriate nutritional support and stress management will insure women who have had hysterectomies as well as ovariectomies renewed hormonal balance without ever needing synthetic hormones.

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