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Hysterectomy - the emotional implications

(24 Posts)
kittya Sat 17-Apr-10 12:43:45

Has anyone had one and, how did you decide it was the right course of action? How did you feel afterwards. Ive just been advised to and feel abit sad, Im only 41!!

LadyLapsang Sat 17-Apr-10 12:50:13

Hi there,

Are you absolutely sure that a hysterectomy is medically necessary in your particular case? Have you tried other treatment for whatever problems you are experiencing? Of course it may be necessary but some (mainly male) doctors seem to view it as a first rather than perhaps a last option.

kittya Sat 17-Apr-10 12:57:53

My three fibroids are the size of oranges. I was told that given my age (??) and the pain Im in its the easiest treatment. Im shocked. He did go through a myonectomy (but I would need three ops) and a emulisation but he really doesnt think they are options. God, I feel too young!! is it abig op. I need to get on the net and see what else is out there.

PinkFuschia Sat 17-Apr-10 16:24:23

Kittya do you have DCs? I had a hysterectomy at the age of 33, with no children, after having had a miscarriage caused by fibroids. This was some years ago and I know that the treatment of fibroids has changed a lot since my op. As far as the op goes it wasn't too bad (was in hospital for just over a week and took about ten weeks to recover) but it is major surgery and does take some getting over.

I had a lot of treatment before the decision was made to operate, but in the end had no choice over having the op - my periods were so heavy that I couldn't leave the house for three days every month and my fibroids were also very big and the treatment I received to shrink them didn't have any effect.

As far as the emotional implications are concerned - for me the op meant that I couldn't have DC and that was obviously a life-changing moment for DH and me. TBH I have just kind of got on with my life and (apart from the odd blip when I'm feeling down) I haven't really had any emotional impact. However I do understand why you feel fed-up. It's a big decision to make and once done there is no going back. The up-side is no more periods and no more pain. But LadyLapsang is right - there is a tendancy to view it as a first, rather than a last option. So I would get on the 'net to see if there are any other options for you and would also see if you can get a second opinion.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 17-Apr-10 18:11:38

I had a radical hysterectomy as I had cervical cancer at 31 years old. I must admit I found it really hard to come to terms with for a while, despite already having 2 children.

Partly I think that was because the diagnosis came as a massive surprise and thee was only 5 weeks between diagnosis and operation but also I think I just struggled with the 'no more kids' thing at a relatively young age.

I would say it took me a couple of years to deal with it emotionally and now I don't think about it too much at all. My ds's are at that age that even if I could I wouldn't contemplate anymore as they are growing up and our lives have moved on, which definitely helps.

It is a big operation and recovery can be slow. Mine was done abdominally and lots of 'extra bits' were removed because of the cancer but the advice is the same, no lifting for 6 weeks, no strenous exercise for 3 months. You will feel very tired for the first few weeks.

A bit rambly sorry,I hope things work out for yousmile

Guadalupe Sat 17-Apr-10 18:20:11

Mine was similar to doyouthinkhesaurus, had it done two years ago aged 30, also for cancer. I have three children.

I recovered quickly but the emotional and physical effects are ongoing tbh. I would try every other possible avenue before having one I were you.

Having said that, I know people who have never looked back and are pleased that they had it done. Mostly this is something like fibroids where they were in agony and are now pain free, whereas my cancer was early and had no symptoms to feel 'better from' iyswim. Although, being alive is of course a good thing. grin

kittya Sat 17-Apr-10 18:31:43

Tbh, after hearing your stories, I think its only fibroids surely there must be something I can do for them besides such a big operation. 10 weeks recovery? I didnt realise. Im so glad that you got a good result, it feels quite trivial me asking about it. I know it could be alot worse. It was basically put to me, you wont be having any kiddies now so whats the point in being crippled for two weeks of every month. Im sick of living off pain killers. I cried for hours afterwards it seems so final. Looking at the other two options, they both seem pretty hardcore as well. Cant even lift a kettle afterwards. He made it quite plain (in a nice way) that if I was 25 there would be much more he could do for me. I just let him think I had a dp, I couldnt have taken him thinking I was some spinster. Gosh, you lot were in your 30's, thats so young but I can see how necessary it was. Maybe I should wait until it gets unbearable?

Guadalupe Sat 17-Apr-10 18:40:02

You don't need to feel it's trivial asking at all, it's life changing for you whatever the reasons are for needing the op. I know fibroids can be utterly debilitating.

It's a really hard decision to make. It might be the right ting for you but I do think its worth exploring every other possibility first.

Guadalupe Sat 17-Apr-10 18:40:25

thing not ting

kittya Sat 17-Apr-10 18:46:10

Oh, I thought you were Irish! Ive looked at the other two options, they seem just as bad and not guaranteed. One would mean three major operations, the other would mean radiotherapy to cut of the circulation. I wonder if there is anything in my lifestyle I can change? I need to investigate. I can feel them, sometimes I can hardly put my shoes on and, hey, who knows I may beable to get into a size 10 again (except that would need a tummy tuck!) Im just trying to get my head around it.

Malificence Sat 17-Apr-10 18:52:24

Can you not have the less radical option of having your womb removed internally? It's much less of an invasive procedure and the recovery time is far shorter.

Will your ovaries be left in place?
There are so many questions you need answering before you make a decision.

Have you been on the hysterectomy association website or any other ones for fibroid info?
The galling thing is that you will probably go through menopause within 5 years of hysterectomy anyway and menopause actaully shrinks fibroids, how ironic is that?

There is a new ultrasound technique for destroying fibroids too, not available on NHS right now but perhaps there are clinical trials you could ask about?
I would be exploring every option before accepting such a big operation.

kittya Sat 17-Apr-10 19:02:48

Today I really wish I had private medical insurance and that is so beyond everything I believe in. I have thought about the menopause thing and it makes me feel worse! Having said that, Im wondering if I can hang on until then. I havent had time to investigate, I only had my appointment today and then had to do stuff. Im going to open a bottle of wine in the next hour and will start looking then.

trumpton Sat 17-Apr-10 19:23:46

I had a vaginal hysterectomy at 38 ( 3 children ) Got to say never ever regreted it especially now when friends are going through horrendous flooding and erractic periods due to menopause. Ovaries were left in situ so had normal menopause.
I was a bit suprised when it was advised as I had a prolapse but DH had already had vasectomy and surgeon thought it was best. I also had rectocele and variocele done.
Health wise best days work ever!

Guadalupe Sat 17-Apr-10 19:53:29

How long after your op did you have the menopause, Trumpton?

I kept my ovaries and I am having some menopausal symptoms now though it could be a few years before I have it properly apparently.

trumpton Sat 17-Apr-10 19:58:58

oh golly . Let me think. Was 38 for hysterectomy and had menopause probably at 52ish. But not having periods made it difficult to tell what was menopause and what was me being a moody cow ! Def through the other side now .Certainly wasn't any earlier than i expected .

trumpton Sat 17-Apr-10 19:59:33

oh golly . Let me think. Was 38 for hysterectomy and had menopause probably at 52ish. But not having periods made it difficult to tell what was menopause and what was me being a moody cow ! Def through the other side now .Certainly wasn't any earlier than i expected .

Guadalupe Sat 17-Apr-10 20:02:30

Oh, I am glad to hear that. Thanks.

I thought it was pretty certain the menopause would come within five - ten years and some of my hormones are raised so I've been worried.

Like you say though, not having a period it's hard to tell whether it's general moodiness or not. Every symptom I get now I think aaarg I'm menopausal!

trumpton Sat 17-Apr-10 20:07:52

You can have a blood test to check hormone levels to see if you are peri-menopausal .

Guadalupe Sat 17-Apr-10 20:17:34

yes, I had that, it's showing some raises in fsh but oestrogen is okay atm. If I have the menopause at 32 they like you to take hrt till you're 50 which seems like a long time!

Kittya - I meant to say I found the hysterectomy association quite helpful too, although there were times when it made me feel worse as everyone seemed to have so many problems but then it's one of those things, you don't tend to post when all is well iyswim.
Most of the positive stories I heard were from rl people.

trumpton Sat 17-Apr-10 20:20:59

Well I am one very positive story and all my friends who have had hysterectomies are happy as well. By the way my mother had a vaginal hyserectomy by epidural in 1982.

PinkFuschia Sat 17-Apr-10 23:18:17

As I said earlier I had a hysterectomy at the age of 33 (womb only) and I'm now 51 and haven't had the menopause yet (altho there are a few signs lately!)

I had the abdominal procedure because my fibroids were so big - but that was a long time ago and, as Malificence aays, there are now procedures that can help shrink fibroids which might make an internal removal possible.

Definitely do some more research before making your decision.

expatinscotland Sat 17-Apr-10 23:31:19

A friend of mine just had hysterectomy vaginally for fibroids and she is 43. She never wanted children, though, so for her she's very pleased.

She first went through a 6 month course of Depo Lupron to shrink her fibroids so her surgery could be performed vaginally, under epidural.

I'd get a second opinion especially if all that's been offered is a total abdominal hysterecomy for fibroids. You need to be told why.

kittya Sun 18-Apr-10 00:02:19

He didnt say that it would be a toltal abdo hysterectomy so I should ask him that. I wonder if I could just have the drug to shrink them and then see what happens? he never mentioned drugs been an option.

Tabitha99 Tue 27-Sep-11 23:21:23

Do you have a prolapsed colon? I read an article by a doc recently that 95% of his hysterectomy patients had a prolapsed colon. This puts pressure on other organs. I suffered from awful pressure in my lower abdomen and recurrent UTIs until my prolapsed was discovered. The colon was massaged back into place by a kinesiologist, but 4 days later it came down again because it was so heavy and impacted (constipation due to lack of fiber and water keeping me regular I believe). I did 3 caster oil colon cleanses - after the 2nd one, the colon moved back up itself. I knew because the nighttime pressure in my abdomen disappeared - I used to have to take paracetamol and sleep upright in bed because the pressure was so uncomfortable.

A colon cleanse seems to be too simple a solution for such a problem, but please read the article, it's worth a try. I can't believe how it has sorted out 12 years of my progressively worse problems.

I hope this helps.

This is the article:

and this is the book on Google about prolapsed colons (page 527)

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