Castration is an ugly word, but it's the right word to use when talking about the 600,000 American women who have their uteruses removed every year! And of them, 438,000 simultaneously have their ovaries cut out also. One out of three American women over 60 lives on without her uterus or ovaries, and is never the same for their loss.
Never the same sexually: a woman who always had uterine contractions during orgasm can't have them ever again after a hysterectomy. Furthermore, even if her ovaries are not removed, sexual sensation is diminished because of the severing of nerves and lowered flow of blood to the vagina, labia and clitoris. If a woman consents to removal of her ovaries also, she is thrown into an immediate and crushing menopause.
As someone who underwent uterine removal in her 40s, I am speaking from personal experience, but to get a sense of how bad it is for women take a look at both the website of the HERS Foundation and its associated blog and comments. The foundation's mission is to stop this continuing assault on women by the medical profession. In their comments on the blog, young women, one only 16, others in their 30's and older describe not only devastated sex lives, but loss of energy, depression, memory loss, bone and joint pain.
Nora Coffey, president of the HERS Foundation, is campaigning for a law that would require that women receive complete information about hysterectomy before they consent. They aren't getting that now, with so-called patient education information limited primarily to talking about the uterus's function as a baby incubator. (You don't need it anymore, dear, do you? goes the spiel.) HERS has developed an 11-minute video that makes clear the uterus's other functions as a sexual organ and a muscle that supplies support to the bladder and bowel. The video should be required viewing before a woman gives her consent. In fact, there's a petition to sign to make that happen.
In no other country do so many women undergo hysterectomies, and the procedure is less necessary today than ever because there are now alternatives for treating bleeding from fibroids, for example, the single largest reason for hysterectomy. It's a scandal of which America's oby-gyns should be ashamed.