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What are some of the medical reasons that may necessitate a woman to lose her womb?

The womb (uterus in medical terms) is a key organ that defines women and their reproductive potential. As soon as reproductive maturity is achieved, the uterus always keeps itself ready for carrying a pregnancy. It’s a dynamic organ that responds in a predictable manner to female hormones that are produced by the ovaries. If a pregnancy fails to occur, the lining of the uterus is shed away as the monthly period. In the event of a pregnancy, the uterine function changes to an environment that can support the pregnancy. There is thus no monthly period till after the baby is born. This cycle of events continues till the menopause, but can also be interrupted by disease processes or hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).

Having had a hysterectomy is the commonest reason for a woman not to have a uterus. There are also some rare medical conditions when women are born without a uterus.

A hysterectomy is a major surgical procedure, and has irreversible reproductive implications. Thus a decision to have one done should not be taken lightly, especially in young women in whom child-bearing is incomplete. Contemporary Gynecological practice has revolutionized treatment options for various conditions. Thus the majority of women with bleeding problems, fibroids, pelvic pain or even pregnancy related complications can be managed conservatively without resorting to a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy however still has a role in conditions like: major pregnancy or abortion-related bleeding (where other measures have failed); cancer of the uterus and ovaries; or if conservative measures for other conditions have failed.

Women should confidently ask several questions if a hysterectomy is advised. They should be told what complications may happen, the cost, alternative treatment options (including doing nothing), and what the benefits of the hysterectomy would be. If any of the answers are unclear, a second opinion should be sought.

  • Even though very rare, there is medical documentation of women becoming pregnant without a uterus! This is akin to having an ectopic pregnancy, the pregnancy in this case settling inside the abdomen.
  • Women without a uterus can ‘rent’ one from a friend or relative, who can then carry a pregnancy for them (called surrogacy).
  • There has been a recent successful uterine transplantation, where a mother donated her uterus to her daughter. It remains to be seen if the transplanted uterus will carry a pregnancy.
  • Some women born without a uterus have the physical appearance of females, but their genetic component is male!
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The womb (uterus in medical terms) is a key organ that defines women and their reproductive potential. As soon as reproductive maturity is achieved, the uterus always keeps itself ready for carrying a pregnancy. It’s a dynamic organ that responds in a predictable manner to female hormones that are produced by the ovaries. If a pregnancy fails to occur, the lining of the uterus is shed away as the monthly period. In the event of a pregnancy, the uterine function changes to an environment that can support the pregnancy. There is thus no monthly period till after the baby is born. This cycle of events continues till the menopause, but can also be interrupted by disease processes or hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).

1 Comment

  1. Damaris says:

    I got one big fibroid, giving me severe back pain and pressing my urine bladder to a point of not being able to hold urine even for a slight press. I look five months pregnant. But I did TL after having three kids. I’m 42yrs.
    Dr has advised hysterectomy soonest. What’s your opinion

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