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Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question... Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

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Unread 02-23-2002, 11:31 AM
Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

My doctor seemed quite certain that removing my ovaries would be the best approach...even though I have no history of ovarian cancer in my family...because identifying ovarian cancer is so hard to do. However, I just read an article saying that there is a new test to detect ovarian cancer...so now I am wondering if a BSO is necessary....especially as I have Factor V Leiden Mutation which is a genetic tendency to develop blood clots and in young women precludes the use of birth control pills. I have been cleared by my hematologist to take HRT...Estroderm patch for 3 days, then Premarin .625...but I am now wondering if I should fight to keep my ovaries and let them find their own way through menopause, rather than being jumpstarted into it. I am also on .112 Levoxyl for hypothyroidism having been treated with radioactive iodine in 1993 for Graves' Disease, hyperthyroidism. I went hypothyroid in less than a month and had a shocking reaction to the lowest level of thyroid hormone replacement. It took 7 years to get my thyroid hormone levels regulated. So I am wondering how I will do on the Premarin....especially in concert with the Levoxyl...might be better to just keep my own estrogen supply going....

Anyway, my questions are: Anyone wish she had gotten rid of her ovaries instead of keeping them??? Is anyone who kept them now sorry she did so????

My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, February 27th so I would be grateful for any and all responses that would give me time to fully consider my options. Thanks so much.

enbeejay :
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Unread 02-23-2002, 12:46 PM
Ovaries boy do they get discussed.

I let my DR decide on taking my ovaries. When she got in the left one was in a mess with adhesions and the right had a walnut size fibroid. So to be honest I can't help you because I really would have liked to have kept at least one but wasn't able to. Sometimes it helps to ask these questions with your DR. There are a lot of discussions on keep ovaries or not so use the search and start reading. God bless.
Unread 02-23-2002, 01:35 PM
Thank you, kittencuddles

I appreciate your response....I just talked to my daughter and she said that none of her friends' mothers who had hysterectomies kept their ovaries...and I do feel as though my doctor is coming from a place of concern and interest in my well-being...so the trust-level is there. Thanks again. I realize I am just beginning to get the pre-op jitters...so many things are coming into my head and heart just now. Thanks for the support.

enbeejay :
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Unread 02-23-2002, 01:37 PM
Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

Hi There!

This is an oh, so important question! I think you are very smart to consider all that you have considered regarding this issue for you.

I did not have a choice and was not able to keep my ovaries, but if I were to have had a choice, I would have kept them.

You are all too aware of the struggle to get that balance. Most women do fine keeping their ovaries. There are some who end up having to have them removed later.

It's a very tough, but personal decision. I applaud your taking a good second look at it so that you make the best decision for you.

Unread 02-23-2002, 01:52 PM
Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

I was so stupid I didn't even question it although my TAH BSO
was for fibroids, I had a D&C for bleeding and fibroid discomfort in March, the following Sept it started all over again, I went in
and the Dr said " we could try some medications" I said " No, I want this to end" He said okay, we'll schedule it, I want to take everything. I said okay, my insurance had approved it before I left his office and it was scheduled for 2 weeks from then,
then they had a cancellation and it was done a week earlier.
It never occurred to me to keep my ovaries, I still don't know why, I don't really regret it but I guess I just thought might as well take it all as I had just had a good friend's sister die from ovarian cancer, I was 50, maybe if I was younger I'd have questioned it. I guess I thought it was the norm.
Unread 02-23-2002, 02:53 PM
Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

This was the toughest decision for me - the decision for the hyst was easy after other options failed. I was 49 at the time, and went back and forth in my mind as to what to do. My Mom's 78 year old cousin was battling ovarian cancer at the time, and that kind of made the decision for me. I have been lucky and have done very well on Premarin .625.

Good luck to you in whatever you decide.
Unread 02-23-2002, 03:36 PM
Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

Enbeejay, we are surgery sisters!

Hubby and I decided to talk it over and think about it. Our first instinct when the surgeon was talking to us about what I need to decide on was to keep them. Unless they are diseased, then I sign a paper to tell them to take them out.

What gets me is, I will not know until I awaken. Even hubby will know and will call everyone on the list and tell them, but I won't know!

I'm getting really uncomfortable sitting...I cannot wait for the wait to be over!

I was on Prempro for peri-menopausal symptoms, until a few days ago. I figure I better get off of them before the surgery!

You can email me or IM me if you want...would be nice to talk to someone with the same surgery date!

Unread 02-23-2002, 04:24 PM
Ovaries...To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

Hi enbeejay,
It's great that you're really taking the decision as to whether to keep your ovaries or not so seriously. Each of us is different and therefore have different circumstances to consider.

Here's my story. I had a LSH in early Dec for huge fibroids. I had hoped to keep my ovaries as there is no cancer in my family and I wanted my natural hormones to take their natural course. I'm 46 and hadn't had any significant signs of menopause.

My Dr. ended up taking my right ovary as it had adhered to my largest fibroid. My left ovary never kicked in after surgery. (I had 2 injections of Lupron prior to surgery the last being in early Nov.)
After waiting patiently . . .not really. . .for a couple months for the Lupron to wear off and my natural hormones to kick in, I was a basket case with all the menopausal symptoms only getting worse.

I just started HRT (.1mg Vivelle patch) last Tues and already feel quite a bit better. I guess my point is that I never realized how much those natural hormones affected my life and my body. And I'm sure that our bodies are much better at regulating our hormones than trying to do it synthetically.

The other point to keep in mind is that even if you keep your ovaries, there is a 50% chance of ovarian failure within the first 5 years after surgery. By removing the uterus the blood flow to the ovaries may be compromised as well.

So lots to think about. Good luck with your decision making. We women have some really hard ones to make, don't we?

Best wishes,
Unread 02-23-2002, 06:49 PM
What wonderful friends you all are....

Thank you so much for the thoughtful and generous responses you have made....I have so much more information, insight, and awareness now...I have great faith in my doctor so that also gives me a comfortable feeling, even with details, thoughts, more considerations, lots going through my brain just now.

So nice to find a surgery sister, too!!

I cannot be more grateful for the Hyster Sisters and all that the original sisters did for all of us. I would never have expressed or asked so many questions....I talk a lot...but when I am facing a challenge, I tend to hold myself together as much as possible...so as not to unsettle the fragile balance between losing it and getting through it OK. I am already feeling more OK at each step of the way...

God Bless,
enbeejay :
Unread 02-26-2002, 05:23 AM
understanding how you feel

Good morning enbeejay, I also am facing my surgery this week, Thursday is my big day, I was also faced with the decision to remove or keep my ovaries, I was helped along a little when my doctor found yet another cyst on my already (full of small cysts) ovary. He explained to me that I would be visiting him quite often as usual for cystic ovaries. I opted to go through with removal of both ovaries, and think I am making the right decision. I think keeping the ovaries is the best thing if you are not having problems with them, if you are, and have a past history of problems concerning them, then it can be a difficult decision. I will keep you in my prayers and I wish you the best.


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