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Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy? Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

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Unread 08-10-2005, 08:34 AM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

First, thank you to everyone who responds so willingly, quickly and helpfully to people's questions. It is such a comfort to have this resource of women who understand my concerns, have had similar experiences and who give their time and perspectives so generously - THANKS!

My surgeon is recommending I take a depo-lupron shot one month prior to my surgery date to reduce the size of my fibroids (grapefruit and lemon sized), to reduce bleeding and, therefore, ease recovery.

I have already opted not to take depo-provera for the four months pre op because I felt the possible side effects outweighed the benefits. In addition to being rather neurotic about fitness and weight management, I am also a self-employed (home based) consultant, live alone and have no family in the city where I live. For me, I couldn't risk side effects like depression, anxiety, nervousness, etc. in a situation where I (and my brain and faculties) are the only source of income I have.

My concern with Depo-Lupron is that I just don't know what to expect from the shot. I know I will go into menopause but I don't understand how severe it will be, how to manage it, how quickly the symptoms occur after getting the injection.

To complicate my decision, I have a major client engagement in California the week after I'm scheduled for my shot - this client represents about 40% of my annual income and the meeting is with my client (Global VP) and his entire global executive team whom I have never met before. I am concerned that I will not be able to function at a level that meets my (or their) expectations.

Can anyone shed some perspective and insight? Perhaps I'm just being paranoid but I'm just concerned that, for what little benefit the shot will give me (and if I'm missing out on some huge benefits, please inform me) may jeopardize one of my most significant clients, my career, my livelihood, my home ownership ..... ok - that's a bit dramatic, but I'm one woman, one income, alone in the city.

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Unread 08-10-2005, 09:01 AM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

I understand the pressures of doing what you need to do when you are self-employed as I am also. My doctor recommended the shot for me as well and for my situation I opted not to take it. It is a very personal decision. I did not have fibroids that they would be trying to shrink, is your doctor trying to avoid a TAH by trying to shrink the fibroids to be able to perform a vaginal procedure? Therefore eliminating the need for the abdominal scar to recover from? Everyone reacts to the injection differently and I understand your concerns. I am not sure if I have really helped you or not, I can only share with you my decision. Good Luck!
Unread 08-10-2005, 09:07 AM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

Amiee - thank you for your thoughts. The injection is intended to make my surgery easier (for him and me) but to be able to avoid it - my fibroids are too large and growing quickly. The injection won't even give me a vaginal hysterectomy option. (my uterus is currently 18 cm - 4 months pregnancy - and has grown that size in only 6 months)

I guess I'm feeling a bit like I'm choosing money over my health so I'm grappling with the guilt of that. I really appreciate hearing from someone else who is self-employed - I didn't realize how different it is to make these decisions when you don't have a full-time employer with medical benefits and sick leave who will be forgiving of your mood swings, etc.

Again, many thanks for taking the time.
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Unread 08-10-2005, 09:33 AM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

Well, as unfortunate as it is sometimes the money just has to come into play. If you stand to lose 40% of your income on a chance that it will make the surgery easier, I know what I would do. One thing that I just posted about yesterday was my inability to recall simple words due to the sudden menopause. I am a daycare provider and lost a client because I closed my business for a whopping 2 weeks to recover (no, I am NOT bitter!) he was going to leave at the end of summer anyway, he had been with me for 4 1/2 years and I was attached, he lived in a different school dist. so he was going to have to leave anyway the hyst just moved things up by 2 months. ANYWAY, I am now trying to interview for his spot and I can't even recall simple words like bottle, food etc. during interviews with new people. It is really frustrating and I do not feel like my prospective clients understand, the stress and pressure only seem to make things worse! I can't say for certain you would go through this brain fog on the shot but might be something to think of, like you said it is so different to make these decisions when self-employed. I totally understand, you do what you need to and let things fall where they may. How does your doctor feel your recovery would be better if you took the shot if the procedure would be the same? Like I said I didn't have fibroids so I don't fully understand, sorry.
Unread 08-10-2005, 02:27 PM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?


I had those shots for 3 months prior to surgery (1 each month). My Surgeon said it would make the surgery safer for me if my one and only fibroid, which was the size of a melon and growing off my cervix, was smaller.

The shots do put you into an 'artificial' menopause, thus decreasing the blood flow and hormones to the fibroid, which make it grow. Of course, everyone reacts differently. I can't really remember anything much happening in the first month, apart from being sore at the injection site, but in the second month, my periods stopped, my knees and elbows ached endlessly, my skin was dry and I suffered hot flashes. But all of these things can be fixed, eg, painkillers, moisturiser, etc ... it certainly didn't stop me leading a normal life.

The surgery was, according to my Surgeon, a "technical nightmare", even with a shrunken fibroid. It would've been even worse if I'd refused the shots! So, for me, it was the right decision.

I was told it takes at least 2 weeks to "get into the bloodstream" so you should be ok for your important appointment. I was told, however, that at least 3 shots are needed to shrink fibroids ... there wasn't any change in the size of my fibroid after the first shot.

Maybe check again with your Dr?

Best of luck ... let us know what you decide and how everything goes?

Unread 08-10-2005, 02:36 PM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

i would NOT recommend the lupron.i only had 1 & lost all hearing in my left ear until the shot wore off.My dr suggested it after a lap done last may to finish off the endo.,plus i have great insurance & my cost for lupron was $240 per shot.i now have a new dr & have taken the depro shot. it seems much more friendlier to my body.hope this helps.
Unread 08-10-2005, 02:40 PM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

i would NOT recommend the lupron.i only had 1 & lost all hearing in my left ear until the shot wore off.My dr suggested it after a lap done last may to finish off the endo.,plus i have great insurance & my cost for lupron was $240 per shot.i now have a new dr & have taken the depro shot. it seems much more friendlier to my body.hope this helps.
Unread 08-10-2005, 05:08 PM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

Has your gyn discussed an alternative prior to surgery, or have you tried to have the fibroids removed already?

If I was in your position I would definitely be trying other alternatives first. Fibroids are basically caused by excess oestrogen, so it is a hormone imbalance effectively.

Perhaps something to discuss with your gyn is removing the fibroids only and having a Mirena Intra-uterine coil placed in the uterus. The Mirena releases progesteron directly to the uterus and last for approximately 5 years. There has been tremendous success in Europe for many years which has seen the hyst rate drop for Endo and Fibroids. Unfortunately the US and Aust have to catch up a little, some gyns are aware of its benefits but some prefer the surgery for $$$$$.

Unfortunately I educated myself on this after my hyst and it was too late.

Good luck
Unread 08-10-2005, 06:21 PM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

I was just coming online to post about my Lupron shot.
My posts were as frantic as yours before i took the shot. I am now at 3 weeks exactly. I stopped bleeding immediately, had mild 15 minute headaches which could be stress. Today the headache is sharper but good old Advil did it. My stomach feels flatter, could be 'mind games' I did lose 5 pounds. No hot flashes well i live in Florida so its hot--------But i tell you I am meaner than usual. I flicked someone off in traffic at 8 am yesteday......and my son is grounded and that is not like me. I want an ultrasound before my next shot to see if it is worth it. I got the shot free thru their help program where you can make 30K and still qualify. OH yes i have panic disorder and actually have cut down my meds so that didnt bother me either. Again I was scared and it is different with everyone. so this is just my 2 cents. Lastly i think it got into my system about the tenth day.........BEST OF LUCK
Unread 08-11-2005, 08:48 PM
Depo-Lupron pre-hysterectomy?

Ladies, thank you so much for your perspectives.

Aus Chick - I hadn't heard of the intra-uterine device so I did some research and, as is usually the case, it has not been approved for use in Canada (we are usually 3-5 years after the US approval process is complete). However, if I can think of a way to get myself hooked-up with the option in Australia, I'll gladly book the flight.

Pooodle - thank you so much for informing me of the possibility that lupron won't be effective after just one shot .... I'm absolutely doing more digging on that. Quite honestly, the more reading I do about lupron, the less I want to take it.

Aimee - I'm sorry you went through the memory loss, I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been. For me, that kind of side-effect is especially concerning as I'm essentially paid by my clients for my ability to think and pull things together. I may have to consider an extended hiatus or farming out my more 'intellectual' work to someone else to do on my behalf. Thanks again for your ability to understand this facet of my situation.

NiteNurz and Lilboo - you seem to have had very different experiences with Lupron (not uncommon I'm discovering) so thank you for sharing those with me.

Cheers ladies,

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