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The Symbolic Experience of Hysterectomy
Pamela Wood, RGON, BA, Christchurch Polytechnic Lynne Giddings, RGON, RM, BA(Hons), MN, Auckland Institute of Technology
Nurses undertaking their basic nursing preparation are often taught that the uterus is “a hollow, muscular, pear-shaped organ, situated in the pelvic cavity”. To women who have had a hysterectomy, it can be considerably more. Because it is bound up with ideas about being a woman, the uterus carries with it symbolic ideas about womanhood. Its removal has symbolic significance.
Reference: Wood, P., Giddings, L. (1991). The Symbolic Experience of Hysterectomy Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 6(3), 3-5