The Symbolic Experience of Hysterectomy
Pamela Wood, RGON, BA, Christchurch Polytechnic Lynne Giddings, RGON, RM, BA(Hons), MN, Auckland Institute of Technology
Reference: Wood, P., Giddings, L. (1991). The Symbolic Experience of Hysterectomy Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 6(3), 3-5
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.