Sunday, December 28, 2008

Part One: I'm Now Going to Talk About My Missing Uterus

If this idea is horrifying to you, then now is the time to cover your eyes or run screaming from the room. But a friend of mine, Freida of the Bees, asked me a question in her comments on a recent post of hers, and a hell of a post it is by the way, about the quality of orgasm with a uterus and without a uterus. I'm in one very good position to speak about this, since there has been a before and an after. I have heard women for whom there is not an after or at least not yet, claim some expertise in this area, and I question the claimants credentials here. How can you compare something you have yet to experience from the now you know of? This is, I do believe, the very essence of existentialism.

Anyway, my uterus was always difficult. I started menstruating on the very young side of the young norm for my day and age. I was just barely eleven. And the whole thing was traumatic for a number of reasons not the least of which was that I was not expecting it. If you are curious about my menses inauspicious beginning and the big public deal made of it, and the loss I suffered as a consequence, I will refer you to the Chapter called Too Old in the novel, Maggy, linked for your convenience on my side bar But the upshot of the whole thing was years and years of pain so severe it made me throw up, and have horrible headaches, sensitivity to noise and light, and hemorrhage-like flow. So I did ask for a hysterectomy for my sixteenth birthday. Cheapskates gave me clothes that I hated, of course. I was sixteen after all. What sixteen year old girl in her right mind and rebellious stage ever likes the clothes her parents buy for her? But no way on the hysterectomy. Then my gynecologist prescribed hormones. They helped with the pain, but were not a good thing to have done in the long run. Very high dose of Premarin which cause me to have what the doctors called "break through bleeding." In other words, I bled fifteen days instead of the usual seven. And it was always a hemorrhage that left me with a great deal of embarrassment, ruined clothes, and lost days of work and school.

The dysmenorrhea and heavy bleeding led to D&C after D&C. No known cause. But everyone who treated me assumed, despite my protestations to the contrary, that I would need to keep my uterus as I would one day want children. Oh Yeah? Fat fucking chance!

So with menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea my uterus was making my hellish life worse.

To be continued...


Mauigirl said...

You're leaving me in suspense...

I have a very hostile relationship with my own uterus so will be interested to know how you're faring without yours!

Utah Savage said...

Glad to hear I'm not alone, but sorry for you pain.

Comrade Kevin said...

I dated a lady for a time who was cursed with endometriosis---it sadly rendered her unable to have children---so I understand your plight.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Yes, I'm finding this a riveting topic as well. My mother had her uterus removed as a result of I don't remember what, in her forties, so I have no gauge for when I'll hit menopause. My daughters both have problems with their period and nothing seems to work; so I worry about them.

Me, I got pregnant just holding hands with a man I was attracted to. Never any problems; except that at 49, I don't seem to have many symptoms of peri-menopause, never mind full-blown. I don't mean to say that as if it's a desease, so I hope you know what I mean.

Women have such complicated reproductive systems. My issues were around childbirth; which I sucked at, having had lots of problems with both pregnancies. Not an enjoyable experience at all. I was not a pregnant woman at peace. Much better at it once the offspring was out and could at least hold its own if I fed it and loved it. That I could handle.

Sorry to write a novel but you got me wound up with this one.

I may get up the nerve to ask my mother about the quality of her orgasms before and after. I suspect that she didn't maximize her potential in that area. Poor Maria.

I have to go look around your blog a bit now to see how you spent your holidays. For better or for worse, I enjoy reading what people did. TCR, that amazing photographer spent the day alone taking pictures.

Take care, dear Utah

Looking forward to the next installment.

Utah Savage said...

Pagan, I'm so glad to have you here in the discussion. It seems to be a topic that needs exploring. And I can speak quite athoritatively about the big O after having the uterus removed. Hint of things to come or cum, as it were.

Utah Savage said...

Kevin honey, I never considered it a plight or a problem that I couldn't have children. I never ever wanted children. I just wanted to get rid of my uterus.

yellowdog granny said...

I haven't had sex since i had my uterus/ovaries, etc. removed in 1985..yup..23 years..wasn't intentional..just one thing and another and the next thing you's been 23 years...I haven't smoked in 36 years, and haven't had a drink in 18 if you see me smoking and drinking you know i just got laid.

Madam Z said...

This topic is of great interest to me. I can't wait to read about your experiences in the before/after context.

You've also given me an idea for the next post on my blog. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Oh for cliff's sake. You know I've been advised to have a hysterectomy, but I've not done so for a number of reasons. Money, time, the fact that I don't want to have surgery, blah, blah, blah.

Orgasms, huh? Now I have to pay attention to where they come from? Good lord. Well, okay.

Actually, I'm guessing if I'm not aware of my uterus when I have an orgasm, it's not so much involved.

Where is part two? (taps foot, looks about impatiently.) MathMan wants to know, too.

Oh, another question - are we talking just orgasms from intercourse or are we also talking about self-induced?

Did I just cross a line there? If so, please email me a slap. Thank you.

Utah Savage said...

No, Dcup, you did not cross a line there. The only line here is the no boring old misogynists, no nasty, mean spirited trolls, not right wing nut jobs and no one who tries to bully the women. I may bitch slap myself, and I may argue or disagree with one of you, but I'm pretty sure you are all well equipped to defend yourselves, even from the old savage one.

I'll get back to this later tonight, or tomorrow, believe me, I just had to get a little background out of the way first in the interests of honesty and full disclosure.

mud_rake said...

Sadly, my uterus has been missing for 67 years!

susan said...

If being post-menopausal counts as being uterineless.. (boy, spellcheck didn't like that one -- haha, or that either). Where was I? The brain cells may be popping out of existence too but the orgasms remain. Now if the clitoris and g-spot were removed, I'm not so sure about the results being happy ones.

Utah Savage said...

Mud-rake, either you are a man, or older than I. But either way, I'm now curious.

Susan, in the end it all boils down to the same thing. If we don't lose it one way we lose it another and I'm glad it's gone. If I weren't so damn lazy I could be orgasming all day long. Or at least once in awhile, and I wouldn't even have to break a sweat. My vibrator is always at the ready. And it's huge and gentle.

Cart said...

Here at last and confronted by issues uterine, which have always been a tad too deep for me. Truth is I probably lack to gonads to confront the uterus close up, understanding the dangers of seeming to trivialize the inner mysteries. From my own point of view I have survived marginally unscathed sans uterus, but only after I learned when to shut my cake hole.

anita said...

i began to bleed extremely (and unusually) heavily just as i moved out of my 30's into my 40's. at one point i went to the emergency room and they sent me to the 'women's center' of their fine hospital, where i was diagnosed with uterine fibroids. i was told by the 'women's center' doctor that the ONLY option was to have a hysterectomy.

however, i was at that time aware of a procedure known as 'uterine fibroid embolization' wherein with minor surgery the blood supply to the fibroid would be cut off and the fibroid would essentially die. and i planned to bring that up with my doctor.

also at that time were numerous articles in newspapers and magazines about the very large numbers of theoretically unnecessary hysterectomies that were being performed (hysterectomies being a 'profit center' of sorts) and so therefore i became extremely skeptical when, after i inquired as to an, or this particular, 'alternative' to hysterectomy, i was told 'we do not perform that procedure at this fine hospital' and, 'no, there is no alternative for you at this time.'

they had already started setting me up with dates for pre-surgical testing and surgery.

hold on, i said. i am OUT of here.

i personally had never had any beef with my uterous and actually felt quite fond (and remain quite fond) of it for some reason, so i left that hospital and found another doctor who did more ultrasounds and more testing and discovered that there were fibroids, yes, but they were not in any way shape or form the cause of my bleeding.

no. rather, a very simple blood test revealed that i was in menopause. extremely early onset menopause, but menopause nonetheless.

fortunately, i was able to tolerate the bleeding, which, obviously, eventually, stopped. i endured the hot flashes and other symptoms and got through them just fine and with no need for any kind of hormonal intervention.

and here i am six years later, uterous intact, for what that's worth: perhaps, mostly, the avoidance of major, totally unnecessary surgery (for me, i speak not to the pain and suffering of others in this regard).

for me, it seems, it's always Deja Vu All Over Again: Some Doctors are Lazy, Some Don't Know Shit or Give A Shit and The Others (Just) Might Have A Clue.

the trick is the find the latter.

anita said...

oh, and i guess this "fondness" for my uterous of which i speak might have something to do with what i saw my mother go through. after six full-term pregnancies, she experienced a prolapsed uterous and required a hysterectomy almost immediately after my youngest sister was born. i don't know if this is the case for all hysterectomies, but she was in a lot of pain for a pretty long time. plus, she was, i guess, one of those women who, after that particular surgery, felt in some way "different." that the way she felt about herself and her body had changed profoundly.

in hindsight, i'm not sure to what extent "we" can attribute those changes to the operation versus the stresses (both physical and emotional) of raising six young children, but in my mother's mind, it was real.

and so i walked out of that original doctor's office saying that that was not going to happen to me.

Utah Savage said...

Your mother's experience would, I imagine, color your sense of your uterus as something really important to your sense of yourself as a woman. And If I've read you right, your mother had a very hard time emotionally which had a big impact on you. Very complex, all of this.

Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!


Pagan Sphinx said...

I'm struck by Anita's story. I would not be in a hurry myself to undergo surgery. I applaud your resolve to keep your uterus, Anita. Too many women are put under the knife uneccesarily by a medical system that is largely hostile to women. That goes for C-sections, too. I had one of those. I'm in no hurry to have anything removed, ever, unless it has cancer.