I Took Out My Uterus To Live A Better Life

July 15, 2021

As told to Mariam

Last month, in a conversation about womanhood, Bee told me she had her uterus taken out. Curious, I asked more questions and here’s what she told me:

woman lying down holding her stomach

The doctor found the first cyst during a routine ultrasound. It was 2014, and I was 18 and pregnant. The doctors didn’t know what it was, so nothing happened. Three years later after I moved to the United States, I went to the hospital to complain about some symptoms I had been experiencing. My periods were never consistent. They would come at different times in different months. Some periods came with so much pain and hurt till I cried. I was also experiencing acne breakouts and mood swings. The doctor said she would test for polycystic ovary syndrome.

After a couple of blood tests and ultrasound scans, they found a ton of cysts of different sizes on my ovaries and fibroids growing in my uterus. That was when I knew for sure that I had been living with PCOS and fibroids for a really long time. I had other symptoms I didn’t catch early like a slight insulin resistance, so I was prediabetic. 

My doctor told me that there is no permanent treatment for PCOS and fibroids. I would have to manage each symptom with drugs like birth control pills. I said no to the drugs because I worried about the effects on my body. She also said I had to cut back on carbs since my body couldn’t process it normally — this is a general PCOS symptom. I was more concerned about what PCOS was doing to my body — my hormones were a mess, from mood swings to acne. I started working out and I tried doing the keto diet for a few months. I felt better but the diet wasn’t sustainable for me because I like to eat everything.

In 2020, I started feeling uncomfortable. Whenever I peed, I felt sharp pains in my bladder. My lower belly had grown big and felt hard to touch. I thought it was a hernia at first.  In August, I went to the hospital for a heartburn reoccurrence, but the doctor said that it was a stomach infection and prescribed drugs for it. Also, she suggested an MRI scan because my stomach was unusually hard. The results showed us that the fibroids in my uterus had grown so large in my stomach that they were crushing on my ureter, and it was affecting my bladder and kidneys. The doctor sent me to a gynaecologist to discuss my options. 

My options were taking out the fibroids or the entire uterus. The problem with taking out the fibroids was that there is the possibility of the fibroids reoccurring. Also, there would be a lot of scarring in my uterus. If I manage to get pregnant in the future, my baby and I could die.

After a lot of discussions with my gynaecologist, I decided to take out the entire uterus. She told me that the hospital sets aside money for necessary life-saving surgeries like mine, so I didn’t have to pay a dime. 

The doctors did the surgery laparoscopically so there are fewer scars on my stomach and vagina. The whole thing took about four hours. After taking it out, my kidneys and bladder started to hurt so bad, especially when I had to pee. They healed over time, but my ovaries started to malfunction because of the absence of my uterus and PCOS. I had premenopausal symptoms — hot flashes, headaches, chronic insomnia, etc. I started hormone replacement therapy treatment in February 2021 and it helps with the symptoms but I need a new insert, which costs $300 every three months.

Honestly, I haven’t processed how all of this affected me mentally. I told my siblings and friends I could trust about the surgery but I couldn’t tell my mum about it. I knew the idea that her first daughter wouldn’t have any more kids would break her. My siblings told her it was a fibroid surgery. Till today, she doesn’t know. I don’t feel so bad about it because I cannot deal with her being sad. Right now, I am focusing on living my best life. 

Subscribe here.

Mariam Sule

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

PMS symptoms
May 28, 2021

In commemoration of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021, I asked Nigerian women to share their funny PMS symptoms with me. Here’s what nine of them had to say:  Uche, 25 I get angry easily. If you step on me, I can slap you. I also lose my appetite and I really like food.  Bimbo, 22 I […]

March 12, 2021

Although some people regret having children, there are still some that have things to be grateful for about being a mother. These five Nigerian women share the best thing about being a mother. Zuma, 34 My favourite part of being a mother is the fact that I have little people that think I am the […]

Women Stories 2020
December 30, 2020

This year, we documented a wide range of experiences from women of all backgrounds. In today’s What She Said, we highlight some of these stories. From the divorcee dating again to the first-class law graduate, these are stories of women living life on their own terms — our 2020 must-reads! 1. What She Said: What […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

More from Her

black girl leaning on the wall with curly hair
September 21, 2021

“Everyone from his fraternity ran away except him, and that was how he went down. He died on school grounds. Omo, I wasn’t myself for days. That was when I realized everything everyone said was true.”

8 Nigerian Women Talk About Their Experience With Cultists

Read here:

black woman with afro smiling
September 20, 2021

Hair lice are tiny, wingless insects that live in the hair of humans. They feed on tiny amounts of blood they get from the scalp. They spread easily from comb to comb. It is especially rampant among kids.  It’s not easy to get rid of hair lice but here are a few tips that have […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.