Please get the facts right

Please get the facts right

One morning while enjoying a bowl of rice porridge for breakfast and watching a television programme on Channel 3, I heard a female entertainment news co-anchor, who was also a member of the judging panel of a popular TV talent show, report that a Thai actress had made a perfect recovery from a surgery to remove cysts from her uteruses.

Geez! I didn't know the actress had two wombs. I was sure that I'd heard her right. We're taught in high school a normal woman has one womb and two ovaries. Well, it's possible for some to be born with double uteruses, which is regarded abnormal, but the incidence is very low.

My second thought was the entertainment reporter might have made an unintentional mistake. She reported it in a firm and confident manner, not realising that something was wrong. Meanwhile, her male co-anchors on the programme and another female anchor kept quiet.

I was curious so I looked up a popular Thai news website to find out the truth. I found that the entertainment reporter indeed had it wrong. The actress had a surgery on her ovaries, not her womb. And of course she wasn't one of rare cases with double uteruses.

My point is that people these days are less aware about their body or anatomy. It's understandable that the male anchors didn't care much about details of the female reproductive organs. But, the female entertainment reporter should have known better. If she had sound knowledge of the female body, she would have known there was something wrong about the message and tried to correct it before passing it on to viewers. What a shame.

And that wasn't the only embarrassing case of female ignorance of their anatomy. Recently, a Facebook friend of mine posted on her wall that she was safe and getting better after an operation to remove cysts from her two wombs. I was curious to know whether she really had double uteruses so I posted on her wall asking if that was really the case. But she didn't answer my questions.

I don't consider myself lucky in life, at least not lucky enough to have met people who have double uteruses.

I'm not sure whether the lady really knew which part of her body had a problem.

I'm not sure either whether she had thoroughly discussed the matter with her doctor before having surgery.

It's important for us women to understand and care for our reproductive system as it can affect our overall health. Female reproductive organs are complex and very sensitive, making them prone to diseases. Learning about the function of each of the organs and how they work together will help us be aware of our body and changes that might indicate a problem. When anything goes wrong, we must be able to detect it and know when to seek professional help.

It's even more important if a woman sustains a gynaecological disease. Be serious about the condition. You may need to seek a second or third opinion. A friend of mine was told by her doctor that she had a fibroid, a benign tumour in one of her fallopian tubes after having an ultrasound.

A similar examination by a second doctor however showed that the fibroid was actually in her uterus. That's why she needed to see a third doctor.

If the condition goes from bad to worse and a woman needs to have uterus or ovary removed, she has to be very careful and get all the facts right _ that is all the treatment options available to her. This is because the removal of either organ will leave her with different results. Both affect the chances of having a baby, a dream for many women.

Here are the differences. When a woman has her uterus removed, she can no longer become pregnant.

But with the ovaries, the egg-producing organs still in place, she may consider doing a surrogacy if she wants to have a baby.

But the removal of an ovary means a woman is able to conceive a baby herself but the chances of having a baby are reduced by half.

Always care for various parts of our body and in particular our reproductive systems so that we can keep them healthy.

It's marvellous that women and men have reproductive systems as they are designed to create new life. So, they are worth taking good care of.

Ladies, be well aware of your own body so we don't make stupid mistakes such as telling people that we have two wombs.

Sukhumaporn Laiyok is a feature writer for the Bangkok Post.

Sukhumaporn Laiyok

Life reporter

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