Anoushka Shankar

Internationally-acclaimed sitarist Anoushka Shankar had been suffering from migraines and constant bleeding through motherhood for a while now. She had taken a break from her live concerts and had informed her fans that she had been gearing up for a major surgery. She recently underwent a hysterectomy after she was detected with multiple large fibroids. The Indian classical player revealed that she no longer has a uterus after she opted for hysterectomy.

Anoushka penned a heartfelt note on Twitter to talk about the struggles her body had gone through and how the news about the need to the removal of her uterus triggered fears about her womanliness. She revealed that there were 13 tumours that were surgically removed from her abdomen.

"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

When I found out a few months ago that I needed to have my uterus taken out. I went into a short-term depression. 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 had hysterectomies although I'd never known they had.

I wondered why the surgery wasn't talked about more, if it was so common. When I asked, one woman said in response, "Well, we aren't exactly going to flash our lady-bits everywhere. are we?"

Fuck that. This is a flash)" read tne entire part 1 of Anoushka's letter.

She further said, "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 period, in particular, to remain unchallenged all these years."