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Ovaries to stay or go???

(56 Posts)
BG2015 Fri 10-Feb-17 17:51:05

I've been to see my consultant today, after years of heavy, prolonged bleeding, 2 Mirena coils which worked for a time and an ablation last September, it appears a hysterectomy is the way to go now.

She says all being well it will be done by keyhole and talked to me about the pros and cons of having my ovaries removed. I'm 48.

She explained that menopause would kick in straightaway (scary) and that I could then go onto HRT.

She said I may need my ovaries removing at a later date and that would then entail further surgery and a risk of there being scar tissue etc. I don't know why my ovaries would go wrong at a later date??? Do they usually?

How she was talking she was leaning towards having my ovaries removed but I'm totally unsure. I've been having a few symptoms e.g. night sweats, insomnia, an occasional hot flush, tiredness but they are all very sporadic.

She also could give me no indication of waiting times for the surgery. I live in Staffordshire.

I need to hear peoples experiences

Nowthereistwo Fri 10-Feb-17 18:41:56

No experience with hysterectomy but my mum had ovarian cancer so if you can get it all out at the same time I would do.

Fishcakey Fri 10-Feb-17 18:42:53

Personally I would do it all now.

missyB1 Fri 10-Feb-17 18:43:32

I would get shot of the ovaries purely from the potential cancer point of view.

PollyPerky Fri 10-Feb-17 22:02:43

Personally I'd hold onto them! unless there is a real reason to remove them (ie cancer) I don't see why. Ovarian cancer is actually very rare so unless you have some added risk I'd not even think about it.
Your ovaries continue to produce small amounts of oestrogen and testosterone forever even after meno. Read too many tales on other forums of women trying to get the right combo of HRT /testosterone post ovary removal to see it's a minefield.
If you had just the hysterectomy you'd need only oestrogen HRT.

Spottytop1 Fri 10-Feb-17 22:04:29

I had a partial hysterectomy ( ovaries left in) at the age of 21. I'm now nearly 40 and have had no issues from my ovaries being left in.

zzzzz Fri 10-Feb-17 22:15:43

Are there any non-surgical options? At 48 surely you could do another couple of coils (since they gave brief relief) and then you'd be at menopause anyway and miss the whole surgery thing all together?

BG2015 Fri 10-Feb-17 22:42:47

No further surgery options. To be honest, I've had enough. I'm sick of constantly bleeding. I'm sick of spoilt clothes and bedding. I'm sick of it all now. 8 - 9 years of it and I'm done. The coil stopped working in May and I've been bleeding since.

I'm more scared about the effects of ovary removal than the whole hysterectomy.

I have no history of ovarian cancer (or much cancer at all) in my immediate family. My ovaries are fine, no cysts or anything.

I just don't want to become a dried up,old 48 yr old 😱

PollyPerky Sat 11-Feb-17 08:40:22

In all honesty, I think some surgeons completely misunderstand the impact things like this can have on women. In their minds it's just 'let's whip it all out' and they fail to appreciate you are going to have 40 years of life left possibly with side effects of the op.

In your position I'd seek another opinion. You might also want to pursue investigations (privately) that show how many eggs you have left and how long this could carry on without a hysterectomy. Presumably you have tried all oral meds options like Norethisterone etc to control the bleeding?

McNursey Sat 11-Feb-17 08:47:44

I had everything taken out a couple of years ago, for the same reasons as you. I wouldn't keep the ovaries. One surgical procedure to manage everything.
I was in hospital for one night.

I went straight onto HRT gel. I've had no problems since, in fact it's been very liberating!
At some point I will gradually reduce the dose of gel.

BG2015 Sat 11-Feb-17 08:52:00

Polly yes I'm on Northisterone- been using it on and off for nearly a year.

I do want the hysterectomy but am unsure of the ovary removal. I think I'm more or less decided that I want them to stay.

I need to do a bit more research, and let's face it the operation won't be happening anytime soon if the media is right about waiting times etc

blueskyinmarch Sat 11-Feb-17 08:52:37

I had a hysterectomy years ago and I chose to keep my ovaries. I have had no issues with menopausal symptoms at all.

BG2015 Sat 11-Feb-17 08:53:25

McNursey, how old are you and what does the gel entail?

Is that the extent of your HRT? No tablets etc?

I'm a complete novice at all this and have little knowledge of it all.

pinkhousesarebest Sat 11-Feb-17 08:55:56

I had a partial hysterectomy last June and had the same quandry. Couldn't face instant menopause. No ovarian cancer in the family but dm suffered greatly from osteoporosis. The liberty of no bleeding omg!

SloanyAnne Sat 11-Feb-17 08:56:30

I kept mine when I was 48 and had a hysterectomy. I also kept my cervix. I'm now starting menopausal symptoms at 52 and considering hrt as the risks are lower with oestrogen only hrt which I can have as I have no womb.

MrsDoylesTeabags Sat 11-Feb-17 09:03:53

I had a hysterectomy 2 years ago due to fibroids, my surgeon was very good. He only removed my womb as he said my other organs were healthy and a total hysterectomy has it's own side effects which are not always so straight forward to resolve. I found this website very helpful as a source of information and support at the time.

GingerAndTheBiscuits Sat 11-Feb-17 09:09:30

McNursey - my mum is going in for hers only two weeks after she and the consultant agreed it was necessary - on NHS too, not private! So may not take as long as you think.

Spring2016 Sat 11-Feb-17 09:45:49

I saw 3 gynob, to get three opinions, on my female relatives advice. One wanted to removed everything, he said that I would probably need my ovaries out later so may as well do it all at once, and go on hrt. Second one didn't say that, but her examination caused me a lot of pain, and I just didn't care for her, nit sure why. 3rd one was fine, and I went with him. I was 40, and kept my ovaries. I had menopause a few years later, and all is well with my ovaries. Oh, I ended up with very high blood pressure a few years later and hrt can cause that, so I was glad that I spoke to differant doctors. He was recomended to me by a friend. Hope that helps, good luck. PS. I found this a helpful website/forum, lot of members experiences, check it out. www.hystersisters.com

McNursey Sat 11-Feb-17 10:14:04

I was 51 when I had the operation.

I only use the gel, 3 squirts on my thigh once a day. No tablets.

Hopefully when I come to reduce the dose the symptoms won't be too bad.

GingerAndTheBiscuits Sat 11-Feb-17 11:00:03

Sorry, I posted to wrong person above!

BG2015 Sat 11-Feb-17 11:13:41

Thank you all for your replies. I think I'm still leaning towards keeping them in.

BG2015 Sat 11-Feb-17 11:17:50

Ginger, what area of the UK are you in? I do think the waiting lists are dependent on areas - it's a bit of a lottery isn't it?

I thought they had to operate within 18 weeks but I'm sure they manipulate the figures somehow.

PollyPerky Sat 11-Feb-17 11:23:49

spring can I just correct something? HRT doesn't cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure is usually a lifestyle disorder (not always) and the evidence on HRT is that is helps the arteries and reduces heart disease when started in younger women (under 60). There are many research papers confirming this.

OP Many women find they have an earlier menopause after a hysterectomy whether they keep their ovaries or not.

The HRT used for women with no uterus is oestrogen only as the progesterone to protect the uterine lining is not needed.

Oestrogen only HRT is very safe and in fact women using it have fewer cases of breast cancer than women not using ANY HRT at all. You can use oestrogen gel or patches- tablets are a bit old fashioned now though some women like them better for some reason.

BG2015 Sat 11-Feb-17 11:29:25

Polly you are a wealth of knowledge.

I've had high blood pressure for 13 years. Found out after I tried to go back on the pill after my second DS was born. My weight has always been pretty stable and I'm a regular exerciser and sensible with food (but do enjoy a few glasses of wine) I think mine is stress related.

I think I'm having very slight menopausal symptoms - nothing major. But I'd hate the thought of recovering from a major operation and going through a forced menopause at the same time.

PollyPerky Sat 11-Feb-17 11:36:57

Being honest, the wine may be the culprit but depends on what you mean by a few glasses! If it's more than 1 a night and you are having 1 every night, it can raise blood pressure. Could you try going dry for 3 months as an experiment?

Might be worth you reading some threads on the Menopause Matters forum- someone has started one on surgical menopause and they share their experiences.

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