For lease: Single womb. One lady owner.


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A Woog between two Thornelys

Just like the Bobbsey Twins. That is if the Bobbsey Twins were a talented, pen wielding, wordsmithing, sharp witted duo instead of being boring do-gooders. Today we have Shelley, (left I think) to discuss her uterus. Something that is always a hot topic with us over 40 somethings…..

I am done with my uterus.

We’ve had a good run, I suppose. My uterus has done all the things a uterus is supposed to do, and none of the things it’s not. It let me know regularly when it was ready to have a baby put in it. And when I did put a baby in it, the baby stayed in for the right amount of time before my uterus pushed it out again. Twice. It has been, for all intents and purposes, a generous and proliferous uterus.

In fact, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the uterus I have. Where friends and family have struggled, I’ve managed to avoid the problems that have plagued many others of the fallopian persuasion. Endometriosis, fibroids, cancer and myriad STDs have all passed me by so far. Everything that’s been in it, near it or removed from it has been, as far as I’m aware, disease-free and relatively normal.

But now, I’m done. My relationship with my reproductive system has been good, but the honeymoon is definitely over. I am utterly and irreversibly certain that I don’t want any more children, so now my uterus is just sitting there with nothing better to do than deliver cramps and self-loathing each month. At this time in my life, the only anti-social sloshy thing I want arriving every four weeks is a case of wine.

But what can I do with a pre-loved uterus? Aside from an expensive and (in my case) medically unnecessary hysterectomy, not much. I hate the fact that there are thousands of women around me, desperate to have a baby, and there’s nothing I, or my uterus, can do to help them. There’s no colour-coded kerbside bin for spent baby-bearing bits. There’s no reproductive rack at the charity shop. There’s no womb room at the recycling centre.

I’ve done what I could – I jumped at the chance to donate umbilical cord blood after both my children’s births. We didn’t need it anymore, and I love the thought that we could possibly help someone overcome leukaemia with my second-hand stem cells. But at my age, what else can I do?

I’ve missed the window for donating any of my eggs, and everything else has to wait until I’m dead. I’m registered as an organ donor so when I knock off, anyone is welcome to my heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, corneas and pancreas. But that doesn’t make my uterus any more useful.

Adoption might help someone, if I was to have another baby. I’m pretty sure my uterus is up for the job, but the rest of me is either unwilling or unable. My back complains when I carry a bag of shopping, much less a bellyful of foetus. And even if I wasn’t already of an age considered high risk for certain genetic disorders and complications, I’m not sure I’m willing to substitute cocktails and sleep with reflux and hypertension all over again.

Surrogacy is clearly out too. It would involve all the difficulties of adoption, with an extra layer of legal, medical and ethical complications. Besides, I doubt any couple willing to let me carry their baby for them could really prepare themselves for amount of complaining I’d be doing.

I suppose I could rent the space out, given the current price of real estate. If people are prepared to pay $100 a week for a bed in a hallway, surely there’d be some interest in a cosy cervixed apartment. I know it can comfortably house at least one (very small) person. Access might be an issue though. And definitely no pets.

Maybe not a lodger then, but I’m sure it could accommodate other things. I’ve seen how far it can stretch, and with all that available space, I feel a bit silly still bringing a bag to the gym or on a short holiday. Then again, I do spend a lot of time rummaging around in the bottom of my carry-all for my car keys. Not a good look with a uterus.

So that’s it then. I’m stuck. This pointless, muscle-bound sack of emptiness is mine for the rest of my days. It won’t be reused, recycled or renovated; it will just remind me periodically of its productive years until it runs out of eggs and oomph.

At least I have wine.

What’s the story with your own uterus, and its current state of play?

Shelley Stocken is a freelance writer when she’s not designing workplace training, making school lunches or cuddling a coffee. One day she plans to find the person who invented the phrase “having it all” and punch them in the chops. She tweets at @shellity.

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