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Why Am I Having Endometriosis Symptoms Years after a Hysterectomy?

From the Endometriosis Articles List

Endometriosis after hysterectomyI was diagnosed with endometriosis and had a TAH/BSO over 10 years ago. I used HRT for the first two year before quitting. Suddenly, I have symptoms that lead me to believe that endometriosis is back. Can endometriosis be an issue this many years after a hysterectomy and oophorectomy?

The BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published Laparoscopic Excision of Endometriosis: The Treatment of Choice? which stated, "Endometriosis is an extra-uterine disease, and the aim of treatment should be to remove all the extra-uterine disease while retaining all the healthy tissue including the uterus and ovaries." Endometriosis surgeon Dr. Tamer Seckin further comments, "Patients are sometimes misled to believe that the only long-term solution is removal of all female reproductive organs - a myth. Endometriosis is not cured by removal of the reproductive organs. This dangerous misconception in the medical field is responsible for countless, needless hysterectomies performed each year."

Removing the uterus and ovaries does not cure endometriosis. If all of the endometriosis is thoroughly and meticulously excised by a skilled endometriosis specialist, recurrence of endometriosis is low with or without removing the reproductive organs. However, when incomplete removal of the implants occurs, recurrence is higher. One of the areas were endometriosis can be missed is the peritoneal surfaces where it may go undetected and thus untreated.

What some women and doctors do not realize is endometriosis can create its own supply of estrogen. Thus, even if you have had a hysterectomy with oophorectomy and you have chosen not to use HRT, you could still have issues with endometriosis. It can be self sustaining. Over time, the implants can increase to the point where they begin to cause symptoms, and/or the implants allow for the creation of adhesions which may lead to symptoms.

Some of your symptoms may also be related to no or low estrogen. Women who choose not to use HRT in an attempt to prevent endometriosis recurrence can inadvertently open the door for new health issues.

Women with endometriosis also have a higher rate of some co-existing health issues including autoimmune disorders, thyroid issues, allergies, Interstitial Cystitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and more. These health issues can cause symptoms that may be mistaken for endometriosis and symptoms of some of them may be exorbitant from a lack of estrogen.

To help you and your medical team determine if your issues are endometriosis, it can be helpful for you to keep a detailed symptom diary. You may also need to undergo various tests to rule out other conditions as causes for your symptoms. Try not to be discouraged or panic, but do seek medical attention for symptoms that are indicative of endometriosis post hysterectomy.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

03-11-2013 - 10:31 AM


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