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hysterectomy to cure pmdd hysterectomy to cure pmdd

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Unread 08-07-2001, 01:05 PM
hysterectomy to cure pmdd

Hello everybody. I live in London, UK and am new to this site. I'm not sure I'm posting my message in the right section but here goes.
I have had severe pms depression for 17 years now. I have attempted suicide on a number of occasions and have spent years in an out of a psychiatric hospital. It has taken me years to convince the doctors that pms/pmdd is the problem. After a period I am back to normal for a few weeks but I don;t think they think it can be that severe. Anyway I am now 37 and despite not having children I'm not sure I can put up with it anymore. I have tried absolutely everything but nothing seems to help so I am considering having my ovaries and uterus removed .

I wondered if there was anyone out there who had had surgery for the same reason and whether it was the magic cure or not?

Any help would be really appreciated.
Best wishes to everybody.
Sue Steer
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Unread 08-07-2001, 01:15 PM
hysterectomy to cure pmdd

Hi Sue!

I really can't answer your question, but I can certainly sympathize with the PMDD depression! My doc left my ovaries and said I will still have PMS, but hopefully not so severe.

I just want you to know the next time you're going crazy with the depression that I'm here, thinking about you. It's so hard to care at that stage, though, isn't it.

Have they tried using hormone therapies for you? They gave my sister an estrogen patch, and it helped her a lot. What about birth control pills? Can you get the ones you don't take a break from for six months ... or whatever ... would that help!

Hang tough. I hope you can find a solution!!!!! I feel for you!!!
Unread 08-07-2001, 01:28 PM
I feel for you

Boy, Do I feel for you!! I have horrific PMS as well and have tried everything. I am hoping my surgery for prolapse will help with this as well. I have read that some women's PMS symptons disappear gradually after the surgery - even when the ovaries are left!! Everyone is different it seems. Maybe ladies who have had their ovaries removed can offer more insight. My heart goes out to you as I know what hell it is to live like this. You feel good for a few weeks and then the PMS rears its ugly head.
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Unread 08-07-2001, 01:30 PM
hysterectomy to cure pmdd

Dear Sue,

First, welcome to HysterSisters! I'm very glad you found us!

I would think very long and hard about having a hysterectomy for the reason of PMS/PMDD. When I say this, believe me, I am in NO way negating your experience with depression over the years...I'm sure it's quite real and severe as well.

You need to know that if you went through with this, you could well be exchanging one set of problems for another. For openers: If you lose your ovaries at your relatively young age, you will be thrown into instant surgical menopause, and you will be faced with finding a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that is right for you. Some women find their HRT without much of a problem, but for many, it's not that simple.

Our Hormone Jungle message board is full of ladies that are struggling in this area, and have been struggling for a long time. If you cannot find hormonal balance through HRT, you may be faced with yet more depression, in addition to all the physical issues that accompany this very major surgery.

Before I had my surgery, I thought that it entailed having your uterus neatly "scooped out", with not much potential for physical complications. Though I'm doing well one year later, I've learned so much from this site about what can happen, such as long-term bladder trouble, loss of libido, adhesions, etc. The severing of uterine ligaments and their reattachment to other parts of you create a new internal structure that takes up to a year to heal completely.

I know that many women have an awful time with PMS. Please let me know if you have tried the drug Aldactone. There was a time (in my 30s, actually) where I felt I would surely claw someone's eyes out when I had PMS. I was not feeling in control of myself. I told my Dr. this and he put me on this drug, which you must take during ovulation. It did wonders for me.

I'm hoping someone else here will have added insights for you. I wish you all the best as you journey to the right solution to your problem.

My very best to you...

Unread 08-07-2001, 03:20 PM
hysterectomy to cure pmdd

Welcome Sue, and I'm sorry you find yourself in this horrid position, having suffered the way you have. I got fairly mild PMS before my hyst but afterwards they thought I had it very severely, having kept ovaries. Turns out my ovarian blood supply was compromised due to surgery, I also developed an adhesion of ovary after surgery (which didn't help either). But I was also suffering severe menopausal symptoms, so I wasn't completely convinced about the original PMS diagnosis. After 18 months of research, seeing different docs/specialists and pursuing answers we have DEFINITELY established a few things. 1. My ovaries were indeed failing and had been doing so since the birth of my second child, 14 years ago. 2. I am now going through menopause at 43(no fun but HRT helps - it's not perfect mind you), 3. The whole endocrine system works in sync, so PMS is not always JUST an ovarian problem - sure some ladies have ovaries removed and do better, some don't. 4. Thyroid problems and estrogen problems can go hand in hand - a complete thyroid workup is a very good idea before deciding that your ovaries are the only culprit here. Especially as thyroid problems can present as depression - I know yours is only in that second half of cycle - but as I said estrogen levels affect thyroid levels. 5. They actually think I have an auto-immune problem (possibly lupus) that was causing my ovaries to malfunction - hence the mild PMS and the exacerbation and ovarian failure after major surgery. My body when put under the stress of surgery started producing an increased amount of antibodies which helped things along.
So you see that there can be a myriad of problems contributing to your severe PMS, and it may not be just an ovarian consideration here. I'm inclined to agree with Linda . It's something you really need to investigate thoroughly before making a decision that could ultimately improve your life or on the other hand could actually add to your problems. PMS is such a complex issue, and even the docs cannot define any ONE cause for it. Hence all the different treatments available, what works for some doesn't work for others. I know in theory that taking ovaries sounds like a good idea but if they are not the whole problem then there's no putting them back.
You don't mention which hormonal or other treatments they have offered you? There is a myriad of things you could try. But I think that if you haven't already you could consider seeing a reproductive endocrine specialist who deals specifically with this sort of thing. The fact that your PMDD is extremely severe would also lead me to believe that they haven't investigated other endocrine/auto-immune possibilities. Sometimes, especially with depression they hone in on that and forget to treat you as a whole person, as you have discovered.
I was lucky enough that my GP found a Professor of RE who finally unravelled some of the mystery, mainly because he sees it so often and me not fitting 'the mould' completely got him wondering if there was not another problem. You need to make a complete medical history (even of things you do not consider are related) because often they will put a picture together which is totally different to what you expect. They are used to detective work, if you find a good one.
I'm not saying don't do it, just consider every other option first. This is major surgery and the Hormone Jungle is not a nice place for the small proportion of women who end up there. I'd hate to see you trade one set of problems for another.

Unread 08-07-2001, 04:38 PM
hysterectomy to cure pmdd

Hello from the Hormone Jungle,
If you have not already tried this...you might want to look into using some natural/bio-identical progesterone the second half of your cycle. You can read about this is Dr. John Lee's book called "What your doctor did not tell you about perimenopause. There is also information available on his website www.johnleemd.com This therapy has given some women significant relief from PMS symptoms. If you do try it please let us know how it works.

Becky in OHIO

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