Internationally-acclaimed sitarist Anoushka Shankar has revealed that she “no longer has a uterus” as she had double surgeries last month.
Shankar on Friday took to Instagram and penned a lengthy note, sharing the details about her surgery.
“As of last month, I no longer have a uterus. I had a double surgery: a gynaecological-oncologist performed a hysterectomy due to my large fibroids, which made my uterus as big as if it were six months pregnant, and an incredible surgeon removed multiple further tumours from my abdomen (which I blessedly then heard were all benign). One tumour had grown through my muscles and was visibly protruding from my stomach. There were 13 tumours in all,” the post read.
Shankar, the daughter of late globally-renowned sitar exponent Ravi Shankar, shared that she went into “short-term depression” when she heard about her diagnosis and the fear of not having children started haunting her.
“The news triggered fears about my womanliness, my possible desire to have more children in the future, the fear of dying in surgery and leaving my kids without a mother, the effect the changes may have on my sex life and more. I spoke to friends and family about my news and was shocked to discover how many women had hysterectomies although I’d never known they had.”
Shankar wondered “why the surgery wasn’t talked about more if it was so common”. So through her post, she urged women not to get embarrassed while talking about sexual health.
Citing her own example, she added: “I look back and grieve for my younger self and all the girls I knew, for how much we were expected to cope with in silence. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who comfortably shares most thoughts and experiences. Yet I look back and realise I allowed my internalised embarrassment and shame around sexual health, and my periods, in particular, to remain unchallenged all these years.”