Positive Hysterectomy Experiences

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AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S PERMISSION

Positive Hysterectomy Experiences *DO* exist!!

I cannot say I've received an abundance of them in the five years
Hysterectomy Awareness has been online, but wanted to make a space for the
ones I have received, with hopes for 6 & 12 month follow ups from
these ladies and that they are still doing great at these milestones too!

You will generally find, those with the most positive of outcomes, have
had their uterus only removed, and that sometimes, the full effects of
the loss of ovaries, ovarian hormones or hormone decline does not show
up right away, I felt great for 6-8 months after my surgery, it was not
until then that the severe loss of ovarian hormones affected my life and
health so please keep in mind this is a possibility.

Hysterectomy refers to removal of the uterus only. It has been my
experience in the years I've spent communicating with other women about
hysterectomy, most often, I'm not saying always, but, most often, when
a woman says hysterectomy is the best thing that ever happened to them -
they still have their ovaries.

The next time you hear someone saying how good they feel after their
hysterectomy, ask them if they still have their ovaries, and take into
account how long it's been since their surgery.

We must also take into account the *nature* of support groups
and forums online, most of those seeking support, are having some
problems, I expect that those that have had great experiences
are going on with life and not in need of research and support.

Again, it needs to be noted that many women feel *good* immediately after
the initial recovery period, I myself felt *great* for 6-8 months and
did not have health effects of hormone loss until eight months
post tah/bso, this is not a totally uncommon occurrence.

Without further ado....the positive hysterectomy
experiences that I am grateful to share.

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?(endo,fibroids,etc.)

**I had given birth to twins 35 months earlier by c-section. I nursed
them and weaned them at 1 year. When my periods started back I was
miserable. My periods were sickeningly painful. I bled off and on
(almost to the hemorrhage point at times). I was weak and felt
terrible. I felt like I was an old lady I felt so bad. I had my uterus
and cervix removed vaginally. My ovaries were left in. I was 38 years
old at the time. I was told that besides an over sized uterus I had
adenomyosis, endometriosis, a large bleeding polyp, an infection and
lots of scar tissue. After surgery, I felt better immediately. Within
a few days of my surgery I wanted to soar over the earth I felt so much
better all over! What a relief! Now 2 years later at age 41 I've been
told I look no older than 25, by more than one person. Others have told
me I look better than ever. My husband and I just took a 2nd honeymoon
to celebrate our 18th anniversary. It was extremely sexy! Better than
honeymoon #1 - which I didn't think possible. I feel wonderful!

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what to expect after
surgery and what the long term effects might be by your doctor?

**No long term effects were mentioned except that my (male) doctor told me that he
had never had a patient who regretted the decision to have a hysterectomy.

3.)If not your doctor, where did you get your information on hysterectomy?

**I read several books - some very anti-hysterectomy, and some just plain medical talk.
I disregarded the very anti-hysterectomy books because
I felt like there was a anti-male agenda behind it.

4.)Did you use birth control pills in your lifetime?

**Yes I used them for 9 years before my first child was born, then for 5 years
before the twins were born. I used them some after the twins to try and control
excessive bleeding. I started using them at age 20.

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**Yes, both.

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with reproductive diseases?
If so, what ones and which relatives?

**My mother had a hysterectomy for endometriosis probably. She had always had
painful periods. She gave birth to me, then twins 2 years later.

7.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**20 months.

8.)What problems, if any, are you experiencing?

**NO PROBLEMS! I feel wonderful - better than ever. I love my life!

9.)What if anything has made them better?

**Hysterectomy made my problems better! Plus I love
my husband, my family and my life.

10.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse that did not treat you with respect
in regard to your difficulties?

**Not really. Just people being normal people. I don't get upset at people's
little idiosyncrasies as long as they don't threaten my family!

11.)Are you currently using any form of hormone replacement therapy? If so what?

**NO. I kept my ovaries.

12.)How are you feeling currently?

**Wonderful!

13.)Anything else you need or want to share??

**I think a lot of problems are in people's head - not the "all in your head"
cliche. But I think your brain and attitude have a lot to do with you overall
self. You have the power to make or break a situation. Of course, I
understand legitimate medical problems - but there is always a way to overcome -
especially when you go about it with a positive attitude.

(Jeannah's note): "I want to share that I did go into "hysterectomy" with a most
positive attitude, no expectation of being anything but better and feeling
great after wards, attitude is a big help but it cannot cure everything - Jeannah"

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?(endo,fibroids,etc.)

**I had endo,I was 19 at the time of diagnosis but I managed
to have another baby three years after I was diagnosed.

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what
to expect after surgery and what the long term
effects might be on your health by your doctor?

**Oh Yes!! I had a wonderful OB/GYN he is a god send,told me any thing I
wanted to know and even asked me if I wanted both ovaries left or if I
wanted them taken. I got to keep one the other had too much endo on it to save.

3.)If not your doctor, where did you get your information on hysterectomy?

**My Dr. was wonderful about informing me.

4.)Did you use birth control pills in your
lifetime? If yes for how long total? At what
age did you start using them?

**I used them at 17 and then i was on depo at
18(I bled all the time on depo)

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**A combo of pads and tampons I bled for 8 days straight with a HEAVY flow.

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with
reproductive diseases? If so, what ones and
which relatives?

**My mother had endo(I am a clomid baby I don't know if there is a connection
there but my first OB said that he thought there might be a connection)
My sisters had cervical cancer.

7.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**I had my hysterectomy 11/98. I was 22yrs old.

8.)What problems, if any, are you experiencing?

**Insomnia.

9.)What if anything has made them better?

**Haven't found any thing for the Insomnia yet.

10.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse that did not treat you
with respect in regard to your difficulties?

**Yes,My first OB/GYN he was not even interested in hearing what I had to
say (he asked for a laparoscopy and diagnosed my endo)but beyond that he didn't
think that I was old enough to have a hysterectomy and should therefor suffer
with periods that left me in bed for at least the first 5 days. So I found
one that wanted to hear what I had to say and treated me like a human with feelings.

11.)Are you currently using any form of hormone
replacement therapy? If so what?

**Nothing currently I have my right ovary still and I works just fine. :o)

12.)How are you feeling currently?

**I couldn't be happier I feel great my family can deal with me now that I am
not in pain. Friends say that I don't get angry at the drop of a hat
(I used to hurt so bad that I had a low tolerance for any one that struck me wrong.

13.)Anything else you need or want to share??

**I have two beautiful girls ages 5 and 1 they are a
blessing I thank god every day for them.

Lynn writes to share her positive hysterectomy experience and has
promised me a follow up in 6 months.

I am 51 yrs old and just had a complete hysterectomy on 8-15-00.
So far I feel great and don't have any problems at all.

5 years ago I was told that I had an enlarged uterus, an ultrasound showed 2 fibroid
tumors. The doctor recommended a hysterectomy. I went for a second option and that
doctor thought I shouldn't rush into things. I have ever since gone to the second
opinion doctor rather than the first one.

My periods were always regular but after a couple years they got extremely
heavy. For the last 3 years I have been dealing with changing a tampon and a
pad every 30 minutes for 2 days straight. Nights were a nightmare. Had numerous
embarrassing experiences that I won't even go into.

My doctor put me on a complicated Premarin/Provera regimen that helped somewhat,
but was too much trouble. We then decided on the hysterectomy. He said that
my uterus was very large, and told me about a new instrument called a
MORCELLATOR. This inserted in the abdomen would cut everything up in strips and
take it out of the body into a container then it would be sent to the pathologist.

I ended up with 3 very small incisions that are healing beautifully.
When they woke me up in recovery I stayed awake from that point on with no pain.
They had me on a morphine drip which I never even had to "punch up". That evening
I told the nurse I wanted to get out of bed, wash my face and brush my teeth.
She let me and just shook her head cuz she couldn't believe I was able and
wanted to do such a thing. The next morning they took me off the morphine
and just gave me 800 mg of ibuprofen. I stayed one more night just for the
heck of it and walked all over with no assistance.

The next day I went home and never took a pain pill or even an ibuprofen.
My post op isn't until 9-14-00, but he expects to give me full go ahead for
everything. My boyfriend lives in Michigan, so will have to let you know about
the sex part after he comes to see me the last
week of September. I do not anticipate any problems.

I also started in the Viville patch before I left the hospital. So far no problems
with it except glue on my rear end. I also never had any bleeding
which they warned me I might have for up to 2 weeks.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Just wanted to let you know that
your website made my stress level go up way too high before the operation and it
was all for nothing. I'm doing great--knock on wood.

Jeannah's note:(Less severe hormone loss health symptoms are often not experienced by women
who are into their 50's when they have their hysterectomy due to hormone
levels already having been in decline. I'm sorry to stress anyone out but I'd
rather women be aware of the potential health
consequences possible from hysterectomy than unaware.)

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?(endo, fibroids, cancer, etc.)

**Diagnosed with fibroids after complaining of heavy bleeding,
incontinence, fatigue, and nausea during my period.

I had my partial hysterectomy Sept. 25, 2000,I am 43. I had been complaining
about these symptoms for years to both male and
female doctors and the primary recommendation was zoloft.

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what to expect after
surgery and what the long term effects might be by your doctor?

**Yes absolutely, by Doctors, nurses and material
given to me prior to surgery.

3.)Did you use birth control pills in your lifetime?

**Maybe for one year, when I was 20--because of another
medication I take, birth control pills are ineffective.

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**both, I became very pad-dependent.

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with reproductive diseases?

**No.

7.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**5 weeks.

8.)Did you have uterus and both ovaries removed?

**Uterus only.

9.)What problems are you experiencing?

**None. Maybe pantyhose rubbing across incision and hair regrowth,
gotten into wearing grandma underwear.

10.)What if anything has made them better?

**I haven't really had any soreness but I have found
that stretching and walking feel good.

11.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse that did not
treat you with respect in regard to your difficulties?

**Yes, the first doctor I went to see told me that I should have a complete
hysterectomy even though there was nothing wrong with my ovaries. He said
that it was better that I get them out in case one day they would become
cancerous. In addition, he used the lovely word "castration" with
respect to me and the operation and said that if I was his daughter he
would recommend that I have the full hysterectomy. He felt it was necessary to
get it done as soon as possible. I live in a small town (in Alaska) where
full hysterectomies abound. So, I went to visit my Dad and his wife in Annapolis,
MD., and got a second opinion at The Johns Hopkins Hospital which included
options and chose to have a partial hysterectomy. My
Doctor was absolutely wonderful at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

12.)Anything else you need or want to share?

**Before the surgery, the doctors at Johns Hopkins insisted I go through a
series of tests to rule out any other possibilities, that started in early Sept.
Because I was from out of state, they went all out to get my testing done and the
results returned in a timely manner. It was very comforting to have
someone look at this problem from all angles. We finally chose the partial
hysterectomy over the other possible remedies. The Doctor felt that I
may not start menopause for almost another 10 years so he felt it was best
to keep my ovaries.

The operation was on Monday, September 25, 2000. I had an epidural.
I was discharged Wednesday morning. Pain was primarily from gas,
(Johns Hopkins is very conscious of pain and nurses constantly ask your
state of pain from 1-10). The interesting thing is that the instructions
from the hospital recommended not sitting in a lazy boy watching TV all
of the time during recuperation. They encouraged me to take small walks
(but not to overdo it as is often the case for women my age), by Friday,
Sept 29, 2000, I could walk an easy mile or more a day. I went for
a postoperative checkup and release to fly on the 29 Sept and flew home the
following Tuesday. I took 3 days off of work and started back the following
week. I actually lost weight (26#s) (I had gained quite a bit by being
lethargic). In addition I have stopped taking zoloft; don't need it. I feel 1000%
better and the sad part is that I did not really know how bad I was feeling
until now. So much lost time!!!!

I would prefer to remain anonymous but highly recommend Dr. Bristow and
The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Thank you

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?
(endo,fibroids,etc.)

**endometriosis and fibroids

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what
to expect after surgery and what the long term
effects might be on your health by your doctor?

**yes

3.)If not your doctor, where did you get your
information on hysterectomy?

4.)Did you use birth control pills in your lifetime?
If yes for how long total? At what age did you start using them?

**yes, at age 22 for 1 year

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**both

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with
reproductive diseases? If so, what ones and
which relatives?

**mom also had endometriosis

7.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**3 1/2 weeks

8.)Did you have uterus, and both ovaries removed?

**yes

9.)What problems, if any, are you experiencing?

**none at all

10.)What if anything has made them better?

11.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse
that did not treat you with respect in regard to
your difficulties?

**well, there was one nurse in the hospital who was a total b***h. The anesthesiologist
gave me a saddle block and made me very sick and the nurse was very hateful
every time I was sick. Other than that everyone was great.

12.)Are you currently using any form of hormone
replacement therapy? If so what?

**yes, Estratest

13.)How are you feeling currently?

**I really feel great.

14.)Anything else you need or want to share?

**DH has been wonderful and very helpful. 6 days after surgery I went
walking through the mall. Everyone who has seen me up and moving around has
been very surprised that I am doing so well. I guess they expected me to be
in bed milking this and making my husband do everything. Even sex
(yes, we have) is great...no problems there.

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?
(endo,fibroids,etc.)

**I had experienced several years of unusual periods. Without birth control
pills I never had a period. If I stopped taking the pills I would have unusual
periods about a year after wards. I had my first d and c about 6 years ago.
My doctor put me on the pill and I was fine. I quit taking the pills when I
changed jobs and had no insurance for a while. Sure enough almost a year and
a half later I started having problems bleeding again. This time was worse.
I passed clots as big as softballs. I would bleed through 2 maxi pads in a
matter of minutes. My doctor performed another d and c and put me back on the
pill. I stayed on the pill for about 2 years. I went in for a long overdue
checkup and they realized that my blood pressure was through the roof (high
blood pressure runs in my family).

I was fine for about a year and a half again. This time was different. Not
only was I bleeding very badly but the pain was unbearable. The
cramps made me sick to my stomach and just made me sick. My doctor found
a cyst. They first thought it was about the size of half a hot dog. When
I had my hysterectomy they found it was almost 30
cms. As big as your head is what the doctor said.

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what
to expect after surgery and what the long term
effects might be on your health by your doctor?

**I had actually asked my doctor to perform a hysterectomy. I have not
had kids and do not wish to have kids. When I finally decide to become a
mother I will try to adopt. He gave me several options, but I knew I
did not want to go through the pain and unsteady periods.

3.)If not your doctor, where did you get your
information on hysterectomy?

**I talked to several women before deciding that I wanted to have a
hysterectomy. My doctor was also very informative.

4.)Did you use birth control pills in your lifetime?

**I have used birth control pills for about 7 years.
I started taking them at 27.

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**I never could use tampons. They would never stay
in or they would be uncomfortable.

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with
reproductive diseases? If so, what ones and
which relatives?

**none

7.) Are you a DES daughter?

**no

8.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**My surgery was on April 18t 2001. It has been 9 weeks and 2 days.

9.)Did you have uterus, and both ovaries removed?

**My doctor wanted to save my left ovary. When they opened me up he found
that the cyst was growing from the right ovary to my left ovary. He tried to
get the ovary to lay right, but it would not cooperate. He
also found that I had recurring cysts on both ovaries. He had to remove everything.

10.)What problems, if any, are you experiencing?

**No big problems. I have arthritis (this runs in the family also). It seemed
to flare up about 7 weeks after my surgery. It has gotten much better. My
muscles seem to get tired more easily.

11.)What if anything has made them better?

**I am still trying to take it somewhat easy. I
provide rest times for myself. My muscles don't
hurt as much if I rest often.

12.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse
that did not treat you with respect in regard to
your difficulties?

**I live in Antioch Tn. My doctor is Jackson Cothron. I don't think I could
have as nice and as caring a gyno as him. He hugged my shoulders at my last
appointment because he knew how much trouble I have had. My surgery was at
Baptist Woman's Pavilion in Nashville. I only had to press my button and the
nurse would be there in five minutes or less. I never had to ask for pain
medicine. I don't care how many times I had to press the button, they never
acted as if I was bothering them.

13.)Are you currently using any form of hormone
replacement therapy? If so what?

**I am taking Premarin 1.25

14.)How are you feeling currently?

**I have been feeling more tired in the past couple of weeks. Of course it has
only been 3 weeks since I have been back to work. I have more energy than I
have ever had. I can finally be intimate with my husband and not cry from
the pain. I actually want to be intimate now. It would be
weeks and weeks at a time before we DARED do anything.

15.)Anything else you need or want to share?

**The only thing that ever bothered me about the surgery was how sore my
stomach was. I hated not driving for two weeks. And not being able to do my
own chores was murder (never thought I would say that).

I was a mean and hateful person before my surgery. I still have my days,
but it is nothing like it was, I had an argument with my customers almost everyday
(I work in customer service). My husband and I still argue but I seem to let
things go quicker than before. I feel like a new person. I am so thankful
that I don't have to worry about having some kind of female surgery anymore.
That is worth more to me than any slight problem I have been having.

If you'd like to leave your email address for other
women to contact you, please do so here:

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?
(endo,fibroids,etc.)

**Endometriosis, 19 years of extreme menstrual pain,
heavy bleeding. Had a D&C and laparoscope last year.

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what
to expect after surgery and what the long term
effects might be on your health by your doctor?

**Definitely. My OB/GYN is the greatest! He informed me that the next step
in my treatment was a hysterectomy and we went over everything. He told
me then he did not want an answer, but to come back when I was ready to
discuss things further and if I decided to have the hysterectomy, he wanted
my partner there with me to talk about the operation and life after wards.

3.)If not your doctor, where did you get your
information on hysterectomy?

**I also obtained information from the internet, books, my mother and
previous discussions with other doctors.

4.)Did you use birth control pills in your lifetime?

**Yes for one year to try to alleviate the menstrual pain/cramps when I
was 31. The doctors refused to try birth control pills prior to this
because I used to have epilepsy and still have severe vascular
migraines. I am 32 now and post-hysterectomy.

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**Both, but mainly tampons since I was 13.

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with
reproductive diseases? If so, what ones and which relatives?

**Mother had ovaries covered with cysts and had hysterectomy when she
was 28. Grandmother and all three of my mom's sisters had the same
problems and a hysterectomy before they were 35.

7.) Are you a DES daughter?

**No(?)

8.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**Two weeks.

9.)Did you have uterus, and both ovaries removed?

**Everything. We decided to take it all now because the ovaries would
eventually have to be taken out. It was a good thing we decided to because
the left ovary was twisted and the tube were firm instead of flexible
(most of my pain was on the left side). The right side had a cyst on it,
which exploded when he was removing the ovary.

10.)What problems, if any, are you experiencing?

**Abdominal discomfort - to be expected. The gas
pains and bowel movements are hell, though!

11.)What if anything has made them better?

**I take Darvocet and/or Motrin 800 for the pain and found that Fleet
laxative suppositories are a blessing to help with the bowel movements.
Gas-X is best to relieve the gas pains.

12.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse
that did not treat you with respect in regard to
your difficulties?

**No.

13.)Are you currently using any form of hormone
replacement therapy? If so what?

**Estradiol patch, once a week.

14.)How are you feeling currently?

**I'm feeling better daily and am looking forward
to pain-free months and no periods after 19 years of hell.

15.)Anything else you need or want to share?

**After reading mostly negative feedback, I am having a positive experience
so far. The pain, discomfort, discouragement, anger and moodiness I
have gone through most of my life wasn't pretty. I'm not sure how things
will be in the future, as none of us are, but I am looking forward to it
much more fully than I was prior to surgery. The biggest thing
is not to expect to be 100% the day after surgery. The body takes time
to heal and needs rest. The lady next to me in the hospital was up and
about a LOT more than me the day after surgery. However, when day
3 came around, she was hurting BAD with cramps, nausea/vomiting,
and lethargy. We all heal differently, but getting the necessary rest can
speed up the process, despite how bored we get doing so!

Thanks for the site

12/02/2001

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?(endo,fibroids,etc.)

**endo, adnomyosis, fibroid tumors

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what to expect after
surgery and what the long term effects might be on your health by your doctor?

**Yes for the most part I feel they did their best. Because we all are
so different in how we deal with things like anastesia, pain and
things like that it is hard for them to predict exactly how we will feel.

3.)If not your doctor, where did you get your
information on hysterectomy?

**I searched the internet only to my surprise only to find all of the
horror stories not very many good ones out there. Only to find that people
that have good luck don't tend to talk about it as
much as those who have had a bad experience.

4.)Did you use birth control pills in your lifetime?

**Yes, at 15 to help control my heavy periods and cramping even then.
I took them off and on over a few years. They
always made me sick and caused me to gain weight.

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**Both

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with reproductive diseases?

**My mothers sister had a hysterectomy at 36 the same age I am now, and
my mother has fibroid tumors but never had a hysterectomy.

7.) Are you a DES daughter?

**No

8.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**2 weeks

9.)Did you have uterus, and both ovaries removed?

**Everything but but my left ovary.

10.)What problems, if any, are you experiencing?

**I feel tender inside and a bit sore when I urinate but other than that,
I feel great. I have never felt more on a even keel than I do right now
and have since two days after surgery. I was a raging maniac before.

11.)What if anything has made them better?

**Getting outside for fresh air and thinking positive has helped me the most

12.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse that did not treat you
with respect in regard to your difficulties?

**Yes many of them for several years before someone would believe me that
I felt as bad as I did. They all kept telling me I was depressed or
a pms sufferer. What a bunch of garbage and I believed them.
Finally thank god someone listened and pursued my problems.

13.)Are you currently using any form of hormone
replacement therapy? If so what?

**No

14.)How are you feeling currently?

**I don't feel like I have any sex drive right now but since I just had
surgery I expect that has alot to do with that.

15.)Anything else you need or want to share?

**I just think that we all are individuals and we need to take all of
the good and bad stories in before you make a decision to do this.
I myself am very happy that I had it done. But I was very scared to do it.

If you'd like to leave your email address for other women
to be able to contact you, please add it here:

Hi,

I am 42 years old and had my surgery on Sept. 14th of 2001. I have to say
that I have recovered very nicely, and am lucky that I did not have to go
on to hormone therapy. My story started in April of last year when I had
an ovarian cyst rupture and from that point on was in constant pain.
I had a second ovarian cyst rupture in May, and in July had laparoscopic
surgery to see what was going on.

They found out that my uterus was boggy and after looking at my family
history and my past menstrual cycle patterns, I decided that the
uterus should come out. My doctor, was very good and even though I was
discouraged and in pain 2-3 weeks out of each month,
she wanted to rule every other possibility out.

I had gone on progesterone for two months, which calmed down my
ovaries. When I had my surgery my doctor suggested that I keep my ovaries
as they showed no signs of any disease or problems and also
to keep my cervix as it looked healthy.

I was out of work for eight weeks even though I felt immediately no pain
after my surgery and that the pathology report showed no signs of any problems
(my doctor feels I had very early signs of adneomysis). I know
I am one of the lucky ones to have such good success. I also, was only
in the hospital for one night and felt I had a good recovery at home. I
used a lot of the suggestions that I had found through your pages as far
as recovery hints. I was allowed to drive after two weeks and was
allowed to go back to my normal routine after six.

To give you some background, I feel this is important for women and young
girls who have irregular menstrual cycles. I started my cycles at the age
of 11 and I could get them every month or I could skip two to three
months and the first three days I was in agony. I would go through
three pads within a fifteen minute period and I have to say, that in
high school this proved to be very embarrassing. I was told that this
is a phase your body is going through (come to find out it could have
been the start of all of my problems).

I went on birth control at 18 to regulate my cycles and at 34 had my
son with no complications. After my son was born, I became very regular
in my cycles. At 39 I had my tubes tied and was warned that my
cycles could become irregular again.

That did not occur until the age of 41, and they were still
not as bad as they had been when I was younger.

My family history: The women in my family do not generally start
menopause until mid to late fifties and both my grandmother and my
aunt had hysterectomies due to the same problems I had. My aunt at age
31 and they did not take her ovaries (which surprised me due to the time
period that she had hers done in). My grandmother had her surgery
mid menopause (60) she had not started until the age of 58. My mother
I was told had problems like mine since her cycles started and never
got any better even with having two children.

I hope this helps some people and please feel free to contact me if you
need additional information. I pray for all those having to go
through this surgery or even who are contemplating this surgery. It is
not an easy decision to make and some times they
don't have the choices I had.

God Bless and Thanks for your help in this area. I know your pages
helped me out a great deal when I was struggling with my decision and
the information I got sure helped me talk with my doctor about my options.

02/17/02

Hi, my name is Freda. I am a 40 (soon to be 41 next month) female.
I just want to tell you about my hysterectomy. I had my surgery
in June 2001. They did it through the vagina. No cutting me.
My ob/gyn. doctor is pretty up front. I have been seeing him
for the past 16 years. He explained to me the procedures
and what to expect afterward. He left my ovaries, took the
uterus and cervix, said there was no reason to take the ovaries,
he didn't want me on medication for the rest of my life.

The reason I had the hysterectomy is I was bleeding all the time,
sometimes heavy, and we tried the d&c, the provera shot,
nothing worked. I was on birth control pills for a total of 12
years. The only time I was off was when I was pregnant
with my son. I used pads and tampons when I had my periods, mostly pads.

So far, I don't have any complaints with my surgery. I can say
I wished I would have had it done sooner. I had my tubes tied
in 1994. I really can't think of any problems I have had from
surgery. It seems like I have gained a few pounds but since I
didn't have my ovaries out I don't know if it is from the surgery.
The sex drive is still there, but I seem a little drier than
I used to. There again I don't know if it has
anything to do with the surgery.

I am just glad to not have to worry about bleeding all the
time now. You can use my story if you want, I just wanted to
share my experience with you, I hate to hear about the other
women that have problems after their surgery.

I forgot to mention my mother had a complete hysterectomy
many years back, around 1980? She is 80 years old now and I
can't think of any problems she had when she had her
surgery. I can't remember why she had her
hysterectomy in the first place.

(**An good example of the difference in the way a
woman feels with intact ovaries. Jeannah)

Though my hysterectomy took place more than 2 years ago, I was
given the lesser options by my doctor (I was at the ER 2 times
because I had lost so much blood, also a D&C, Lupron treatments,
Myomectomy), which we tried and when they showed me no improvement
(heavy bleeding-fibroids) I ended up with the hysterectomy.
I still have my ovaries and so far need no hormone supplements
(I am 41), so, in my case my surgery was a good decision.

09/03/02

For Hysterectomy

1.)What was the reason for your hysterectomy?(endo,fibroids,etc.)

**Multiple fibroids in the uterine wall and also many outside the uterus (the
largest of these was over 7 cm), also polycystic left ovary which was causing
problems (the ovary was completely eclipsed on the
scan) and atypical cervical cells.

2.)Do you feel like you were informed about what to expect after surgery and
what the long term effects might be on your health by your doctor?

**I was not informed about how painful it would be to get my bowel back to
normal (and it was EXCRUCIATING), my gynecologist DID advise me of the
complexity of my operation and the fact that it is a major procedure, and
that she would have a second gynecologist assisting at surgery rather than
a GP. Recuperation was emphasized. I subsequently made an appointment with
my GP and I was more comfortable asking her all the questions I had not
thought to ask before; in general my doctors were sympathetic and
informative. My GP in particular was much more open to the emotional side
of things. I was also lucky because physically my recovery was spectacularly good.

3.)If not your doctor, where did you get your information on hysterectomy?

**From your website, the British Hysterectomy Website, my doctors.
Many of the websites gave me information which made me incredibly anxious
before the operation. There was perhaps too much of the negative, and
not enough of the positive. I vowed, when recuperating, to revisit
and put my own very calm story out there, to add to the positive experiences list.

4.)Did you use birth control pills in your lifetime?

**Yes. For about 10 years from the age of 19.

5.)Did you use tampons or pads during menstruation?

**Tampons.

6.)Do you have female blood relatives with reproductive diseases?
If so, what ones and which relatives?

**None.

7.) Are you a DES daughter?

**Seeing that I don't know what this is, I don't think so!

8.)How long has it been since your surgery?

**Nine weeks.

9.)Did you have uterus, and both ovaries removed?

**Uterus, cervix and left ovary.

10.)What problems, if any, are you experiencing?

**Absolutely none.

11.)What if anything has made them better?

**n/a

12.)Have you ever encountered a doctor or nurse that did not treat you
with respect in regard to your difficulties?

**n/a

13.)Are you currently using any form of hormone replacement therapy? If so what?

**n/a

14.)How are you feeling currently?

**I feel wonderful most of the time. Sometimes I feel a little quiet,
sometimes weepy, but I HAVE lost three immediate family members in
the last 11 months so I am not sure whether it is this or the operation.

15.)Anything else you need or want to share?

**I am 45 and childless, and in a relationship of about 5 years' duration
(so far) with a wonderful, caring, supportive, star-quality man.
I feel quite strongly that my instinct to consult FEMALE doctors
was a good one. My GP is a woman, the gynecologist was a NEW
doctor to me but a woman, her assistant at surgery was a woman, the
radiologist who did my scans is a woman ... I was treated with care
and caring. The only man in the whole medical team was the anesthetist,
who was so very good looking that I forgave him!

If you'd like to leave your email address for other women
to be able to contact you, please add it here:

Jeannah McElroy. 2003

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