THere is a big thread on this somewhere in the archives... I'm pretty much where you're at... and even posted it in another response... my question is: is it more or less invasive to put something in your body, that releases continuous HRT, basically for the next 15 YEARS OR MORE, to suppress the symptoms of a diseased organ, or just remove the diseased organ, no matter how invasive?
Really, like you, these are the only two options left for me. I think it might stay in place even with an enlarged uterus, because it is also "boggy" so it would kind of... forgive me... slosh all over the apparatus?
I'd be afraid of it geting stuck in my cervix while being expelled in a huge contraction with a big clot.
Yet my gyno insists that she has seen it help people like me... but I don't think she gets the degree of "like me"...
If this is the case, and I'm not trying to have more children, why would I risk all those possible side effects AND the possible side effects of the hyster too? Why not just have the hysterectomy now?
There are more, bigger, and riskier complications possible with a hysterectomy. Thus, it can be better to try the less invasive, less risky options first in case they allow you to lead a productive life without the major risks of a hysterectomy.
If removing the uterus was simple, it would be a much easier decision. However, it is not that simple or cut and dry. Yes, the uterus is a reproductive organ associate with caring a child. Thus, many feel that if child bearing years are over, why not remove it. The problem with that scenario is that without the fertility aspect, the uterus is still an organ in your body and there can be negative consequences to removing it.
A hysterectomy may be the right the choice for you and your situation. I honestly don't know. I am not in your shoes nor do I know your entire medical history. What I do know is that I have had a hysterectomy and mine was not a happily ever after experience. Surgical complications are not pretty and they affect a person in so many ways--physically, emotionally, financially, etc.
I would suggest learning all you can about the Mirena Coil IUD and make a list of all the pros and cons for you. Then, learn all you can about a hysterectomy and, again, make a list of all the pros and cons for you. If you really want to know all the possible risks for a hystrerectomy, dig up some consent forums for the surgery and see what all they say! Those can be rather eye opening! You can also read through the Sexual Dysfunction, Road Less Traveled, Pelvic Floor and Bladder Matters, Hormone Jungle, and other forums on the site where ladies post about the long term effects of their hysterectomy.
Once you have your lists, sit down and talk to a doctor you trust. I go back to my GP for things like this. She isn't going to provide the services for me but can help me work through my questions with regard to my overall health. She can also refer me to additional specialists if we feel there are issues not being addressed by the ones I already have or if we feel we want additional ideas from other experts.
Whatever you do, don't make a rash decision! And I don't think you are! Asking questions and doing research will help you determine what is best for you!
Once you make your decision, do so with the knowledge that you have weighed the pros and cons and sought a variety of medical opinions. Be aware of the worst that could happen but hope for the best!
I had the mirena and have had a hysterectomy too the insertion hurts alot but the hysterectomy was worse. I had the hysterectomy because of stage 4 ovarian cancer, just make sure the two are not related I was told no but I am still not sure.
I don't mind sharing at all! You can find my story (or pieces of it) all over the site and in my Hostess Bio if you are interested in reading those, too.
In a nutshell (and then you can ask more questions if you want): I was young and healthy and my hysterectomy should have been simple and my recovery smooth. And it started out that way! However, the day I was to be discharged (a Thursday, two days after surgery), I woke up with a large swelling on the right side of my abdomen/pelvic area. One look and my doctor declared I not only was not going home, but I was only getting out of bed to use the bathroom. I had internal bleeding. From there, things went downhill. My blood pressure shot up, my pulse was through the roof, my hemoglobin dropped, I ran a fever for several days, I had no appetite and had a very hard time trying to eat, and besides a lot of other little things (blurry vision, hives from head to toe), I started blacking out whenever I did get up to use the bathroom. So on Sunday, I was given two pints of blood to see if my symptoms were from my hemoglobin being around 7.5 from the bleeding. None of my symptoms changed after the transfusion except my hemoglobin going up to 11. On Wednesday, I had an EKG--right in my bed--and a cardiologist was brought in. He checked me over and also ordered CT scans. Those didn't turn up anything significant so I was put on a heart monitor for the night. That didn't help much either. Later I had to wear a Holter monitor for a few weeks and it also didn't help much.
I was only released from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day to see if I would improve at home since I wasn't improving much in the hospital. I was sent home with a pulse of about 120. My blood pressure was down but not normal and my fever had broke. My doctor did tell me and my DH that I had to have an adult with me 24/7. I was not allowed to so much as get up to go to the bathroom on my own. He gave me his unlisted, home number and called me himself several times that first weekend.
I saw a doctor and/or had a test every week for the next three months. During that time I was not allowed to drive, II was exhausted all the time, I bled a lot including clots (my body didn't absorb the internal bleeding like it should have), I saw two different cardiologist, I was assigned to a neurologist, I had to see a Dietitian several times, and I can't even remember all the tests I had to recite them off the top of my head (though they included blood work galore, head table tilt up test, echo cardiogram, ekg's, MRI, CTs, glucose test ). Remember, I said I couldn't drive? My DH had to take off work repeatedly to drive me to my appointments. And he had to go because with all my exhaustion and poor health, I couldn't remember everything from doctor to doctor and test to test.
No one ever figured out what all went wrong. It is guessed that dry heaving the day after surgery started the internal bleeding. But did the dry heaving bust a capillary? Loosen a blood clot? Something else entirely?
The consensus is that all the complications built on each other leaving me in such a low state of health that my body could no longer function normally and allowed any and all little things in my body that weren't perfect to escalate. Thus, my allergies went crazy. I had horrific headaches. I found out I was hypoglycemic. I caught seemingly ever little bug as my body couldn't fight it off. I had a fever a lot.
And because I have endometriosis, my hysterectomy wasn't even a cure for my GYN issues and I have had to have subsequent surgery. (I traveled to a specialist for a variety of reasons but my own GYN NEVER EVER wants to do surgery on me again because of all that occurred!)
My MIL had to step in and help us in so many ways during that time. It was weeks and weeks before I could cook and clean my house. It was three months before I could drive. My GYN didn't even release me until I had reached six months post op. If I had been employed outside the home, I would not have been able to keep my job.
My health has never been the same sense. The complications weakened my system for years.
Thankfully, my situation is not the norm! My mom had done great! Even my grandmother's actual surgery experience had been fine! (HRT for her was a completely different story! ) But things didn't go well for me at all and the whole episode impacted not only me but my entire family. It was also quite expensive!
I don't want to scare anyone when I share my story. And I haven't even had some of the serious complications others have had. I just know that had I not weigh the pros and cons and had I not been 100% sure I had made the best decision for me, it would have been that much worse when my health crashed on me.
I know it can be rough trying to figure out just what to do that is going to give your life back! If we could only see into the future and know what our outcome would be with each choice, it would make things easier!
I do wish you all the very best as you work through this decision process to determine what is going to be right for you!
A hysterecomy in the absence of a cancer diagnosis is considered elective. Although Adenomyosis can be suspected it can not be diagnosed prior to pathology examination. There is also no cure the ultimate treatment is a hysterectomy but conservative treatment should be attempted first. (medication ect). The doctor would be doing a disservice to you if they did not offer non-surgical alternatives for treatment.
The insertion of Mirena is less invasive than the removal of a uterus. I do not know if Mirena has been show to be effective in controlling the symptoms of Adenomyosis nor do I know the risks. Before a decision can be made regarding whether it may be right for you the overall risk vs. benefits has to be explored.
I remember your previous posts about the visit to this doctor. I know you were disappointed in the overall experience and you said the doctor spent virtually no time with you. I've been there and it is very aggravating. You also mentioned she had some wrong information but I do not remember the specifics. Is it possible she had you completely confused with another patient? I've worked in the medical field and sometimes the staff screws up the charts and the doctor doesn't catch it. They may be calling you the correct name (from their schedule) but have a different record in front of them. The thought of this kind of mistake is frightening but we are all human and capable of mistakes. Did you discuss any discrepancies with the doctor during the visit?
I'm sorry you have to go through this but it is good to see that you're researching and trying to move forward. Good luck - I hope some of this helps a bit - I'll be watching for your updates.