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October 3, 2021: In the first half of a woman’s life, which I’ll base on an average 80 year life span, medicine is merely an inconvenience. When you’re young and seemingly healthy, medical obstacles are speed breakers, slowing you down to a safe pace, but rarely stopping you in your tracks. That changes post-40 when, as my gynecologist said when I was 37, “It’ll hit you like a ton of bricks.” That ominous ‘it’, mind you, could be a sugar addiction and subsequent surplus weight, a bad smoking habit, the inability to replace hours planted in front of the TV with a brisk walk…any unhealthy spark could, nay would, flare into an ominous hell fire.


“The uterus,” my mother’s gynecologist told her, when she was in her forties, “is meant to procreate and when women stop having babies, the uterus starts acting up.” I could never really wrap my head around that theory; it made no medical sense at all, especially to our generation that believes in science. If the average female hit puberty at 12 and menopause at 50, it gave her 38 apparently fertile years to have, let’s say 19 children. Impossible.


But the uterus does act up. It’s like an alternate being that may give mankind the miracle of birth, but is actually another woman that lives inside your body. And she’s as emotional as you are, or aren’t. The uterus needs to be constructively occupied to stay healthy and happy; pin that down to having kids or an active sex life. A dormant uterus is a problematic one; mom’s doctor wasn’t entirely wrong.


I’ve also always believed and even seen that every person has a medical Achille’s Heel, a certain part of the body that absorbs all trauma. For some people it’s the stomach, others develop skin problems including eczema and hair loss, some have psychosomatic issues. In my case, and I believe many women are like me, the uterus takes the hit. Your son is waiting for his University acceptance; you miss your period.


I’m lucky that my uterus cooperated through childbirth; she behaved herself during both my pregnancies and gave me healthy babies. I was 24 and 28. But once I stopped procreating (which is 19 years ago and ammi’sdoctor’s ominous ‘words of wisdom’ clapped back), she started acting up with one ‘bloody’ problem or the other.


This time around, three weeks ago, I was sent off to the OT with an unusually thick endometrium and investigation to rule out malignancy. I have to confess I was unnerved. I like to believe that I have a high pain threshold and surgery doesn’t scare me but the fear of cancer is daunting.


As it turned out, the biopsies were clear and I was discharged with a stern word on healthy lifestyle: lose weight, eat better, work less, walk more, try not to stress. In other words, a change of lifestyle. I read up on natural ways to reduce estrogen production in the body: eat less dairy, cut back on red meat, less fatty and oily food (so basically, high protein and keto diets will screw up your system) and of course say no to processed carbs and sugars. This should help the uterus get back on its feet.


Whether it works, about a month and a half will tell. If not, it’s bye, bye baby!


Illustration: @moodlestudio





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