For the first time on television, and as part of a series on women’s health, Channel 5 will be showing retired teacher Gillian Libretto undergoing a hysterectomy operation without sedation, reports the Daily Mail.
According to the NHS, a hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the womb (uterus). Once this organ is removed, a woman will no longer be able to get pregnant.
Gillian is reported to have suffered a prolapse after three complicated pregnancies between the ages of 34 and 42, when she was deemed to be a ‘geriatric mother’ informs Daily Mail.
A uterine prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch to such an extent, they get weak – therefore, they are no longer able to provide enough support for the uterus. Consequently, the uterus slips down into (or protrudes out of) the vagina, informs Mayo Clinic.
In Women’s Health: Breaking the Taboos, viewers will reportedly watch Gillian having the surgery to remove her uterus at the New Victoria Hospital, Kingston, Surrey. The 75-year-old said she wanted to take part in the show to educate younger women about the risks of having babies later in life.
Gillian is also filmed holding the organ, which she said made her feel “emotional” the Daily Mail reports.
In the programme which is hosted by Cherry Healey, viewers will see Gillian explaining her feelings while holding her uterus. She says it made her feel emotional because she was saying goodbye to a part of her body that enabled her to become a mother.
Gillian told The Daily Mail, “The cameraman was going, ‘Oh my God, wow.’ It was an education for him to see this and that interested me a lot. I would like to be part of an educational programme to do with women’s health.
“I find that so many people, and particularly women who are going into childbirth, are so ignorant about their bodies and I feel very guilty as an educationalist. I hoped that by being on the programme I might not only help educate women, but be a source of information for women who might be going through it right now.
“Also, I was having babies at an age when I probably shouldn’t have been. Women are having babies later in life, and they need to be warned that the older they are, the tendency is for more gynaecological problems.
“I guess it’s about making women aware, giving them all the information, they need to make correct decisions about their body.”
The programme, ‘Breaking The Taboos’ is reportedly part of a series hosted by Cherry which the authorities of Channel 5 hope will end taboos about health issues concerning women.
Cherry was also present for the operation and told the Daily Mai, “We filmed with Gillian when she was having a hysterectomy and she volunteered to stay awake for it, and she kindly let me watch it. It was amazing.
“I’m squeamish, but I thought, ‘I have to do this. When am I going to get this opportunity again?’”
Some of the other issues discussed in the women health series includes the removal of fibroids, incontinence and experiencing being perimenopausal – the natural transition to menopause, that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years.