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Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not? Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not?

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  #1  
Unread 10-17-2020, 02:15 AM
Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not?

Hi ladies!

I’m so pleased to find this resource in these times. I’m due to have a radical hysterectomy and lymph nodes removal next week, I have cervical cancer 1B2. I’ve also been advised to have my ovaries removed and I’m concerned about the effects of early menopause, I’m 41. I have read that the risk of ovary failure after surgery within five years is high, and so I’m of the opinion (at the moment!) that removing the ovaries and going into HRT gives me more control over the menopause.

I’d love to hear from those of you that have had your ovaries removed and have gone straight into HRT. What was your experience? How are you feeling?

Warmest wishes,

Ash
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  #2  
Unread 10-17-2020, 02:41 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not?

Hi AshCloud to HysterSisters!

I am so glad you found this site.

I want to start off by saying I do not have cancer. Your diagnosis may or may not change your options, as well as your ability to take HRT. So please talk to your doctor.

I lost everything - uterus, cervix, tubes and ovaries - no choice for me. So, I was dumped into surgical menopause at age 46. For me, it was MISERABLE. I went to my GP at the time and said HELP. She put me on oral bio-identical estrogen and it gave me my life back. But, it is not the same as my own hormones. If I could have, I would have kept one or both ovaries. Even in menopause, your ovaries provide small amounts of protective hormones.

Here are articles that may provide information:
25 Health Risks Related to Oophorectomy and Surgical Menopause
Should I Keep My Ovaries if I Am Near Menopause?
Natural Menopause vs. Surgical Menopause
5 Interesting Facts about Surgical Menopause
6 Tips to Help You Prepare for Surgical Menopause
7 Tips for Managing Surgical Menopause Without HRT
Do This - Not That: Managing Surgical Menopause
HRT, Heart Disease, and Surgical Menopause


Do research, talk to your doctor and make the best decision for you.

  #3  
Unread 10-17-2020, 04:55 PM
Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not?

Hi there!

Thanks so much for your insights and links to further information. That’s super helpful. Im sorry to read you had issues following surgical menopause, great to hear the oestrogen worked for you. My consultant says the cancer risk of keeping my ovaries is low (approx 1-2% and definitely no more than 5%) but still advises removal. I guess because it gets rid of all risk and because I have a rarer form of cancer. I voiced concerns about the after effects but he thinks I will be fine on replacement oestrogen, but as you say, there are other hormones at play here and I don’t want to lose myself and regret the decision when it’s too late. Out of interest, you mentioned oestrogen saved your life but you would still chose to keep one or both ovaries given the choice. Were you having further issues? How were you feeling?

I will check out the links, thank you so much! Such a tricky decision to make.

Warmest wishes,

Ash
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  #4  
Unread 10-17-2020, 06:10 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not?

I don’t where you got the info but I have a few ladies mentioning going to menopause within 5 years when keeping ovaries...

I do believe this to be a true statement.

Personally had my hysterectomy at 40, now 47 and still not in menopause.

You can search this forum, the question is often brought up. Many of us who had a hysterectomy would recommend to keep your ovaries unless medically necessary.

Many have great success with HRT and others struggle to find the correct adjustment/balance. It’s not one thing fits all
  #5  
Unread 10-17-2020, 07:43 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by AshCloud View Post
Hi there!

Thanks so much for your insights and links to further information. That’s super helpful. Im sorry to read you had issues following surgical menopause, great to hear the oestrogen worked for you. My consultant says the cancer risk of keeping my ovaries is low (approx 1-2% and definitely no more than 5%) but still advises removal. I guess because it gets rid of all risk and because I have a rarer form of cancer. I voiced concerns about the after effects but he thinks I will be fine on replacement oestrogen, but as you say, there are other hormones at play here and I don’t want to lose myself and regret the decision when it’s too late. Out of interest, you mentioned oestrogen saved your life but you would still chose to keep one or both ovaries given the choice. Were you having further issues? How were you feeling?

I will check out the links, thank you so much! Such a tricky decision to make.

Warmest wishes,

Ash
When I say the phrase estrogen "gave me my life back" I mean that it helped me feel closer to normal. My surgical menopause symptoms were so bad that my quality suffered. I was having hot flashes maybe 30+ times a day, horrible night sweats, many sleep disturbances to where I could not sleep real well, and horrid brain fog which really caused problems with my scientific job. Once I started taking oral estrogen, those symptoms largely went away.

Due to medical reasons, I could not keep my ovaries so they were gone with everything else. What I am saying, is that if I had the option, I would have kept my ovaries. I did not, so I could not.

BUT, having said all of that, I do not feel as good as I did before the surgery. I am at a "new normal". I did not want this surgery, but it was the best solution given my condition. Before my surgery, I felt fine. I was totally asymptomatic. My surgery was for a very large complex ovarian cyst (12x9x11 cm) and numerous uterine fibroids. I did have a cancer concern, and so my surgeon was a gyn onc. All was tested in the OR and all was benign.

I know this can be a tricky decision to make....

  #6  
Unread 10-17-2020, 09:32 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy 10/26: Removal of ovaries or not?



I'm very sorry you're facing all of this but am glad you found us. Generally speaking, cervical cancer ladies are able to retain their ovaries, since it isn't a hormonally driven cancer as is the case with uterine cancers. The ovaries are not usually a primary site for recurrence, either (although it can happen). This would go for any cell type (adenocarcinoma, etc.). In my case, we did go ahead and remove mine, primarily due to the fact that I'd had a previous cancer diagnosis (melanoma). If the concern is for possible ovarian cancer, an alternative to removal of the ovaries is removal of the fallopian tubes as it's believed many ovarian cancers actually begin there. Either way, you should be able to do hormone replacement therapy, and there are lots of other possible treatments available for any menopausal symptoms you might experience.

For any issues specific to your diagnosis, we do have a Cancer Concerns forum you're welcome to check out, if you'd like. There's lots of good information, as well as experienced ladies to share the journey. I know this all seems overwhelming and like the ground has been pulled out from under you, but you absolutely CAN do this. Just keep taking those deep breaths and one step at a time. Sending hugs and every good thought your way!

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