Musician Anoushka Shankar has undergone a hysterectomy.
The daughter of sitar legend Ravi Shankar and former wife of filmmaker Joe Wright has opened up about the surgery in a post online, revealing she had her womb removed after suffering large fibroids.
The 38-year-old mother-of-two writes: “As of last month, I no longer have a uterus. I had a double surgery: a hysterectomy due to my large fibroids, which made my uterus as big as if I 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 in all.”
Anoushka, who has two young sons from her marriage to Wright, admits she fell into a deep depression when she first discovered she needed to have her uterus removed: “The news triggered fears about my womanliness, my possible desire to have more children, 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 undergone 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?’ 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.”