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Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..! Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..!

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Unread 01-21-2001, 06:29 AM
Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..!

O.K....this may take a while!!
I'm a 31yo married lady in Melbourne, Australia. I have had 8pg, 3 surviving children. I have ALWAYS had painful, heavy limiting periods from the start. I have had 2 exploratories-last one only just done in Dec., which incl hysteroscopy and D&C-found nothing, except a large uterus (not surprising to me, all f/term bubs early and close or over 9pd!).
Dr gave me the choice of either uterine ablation (could be a non-event due to the size of the uterus) or a hysterectomy. I have chosen to be booked in for a hyster.
which does give me time to investigate as it will be close to 6mths before I come up to the top of the list. I want to know AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Both the Pros and Cons of this huge operation.
I won't go onto the pill or depro as both have stuffed me up even worse than what they were before them. (My body NEVER does what is expected!)
My gut instinct is telling me that a hyster is probably my only solution and chance for relief. The Dr has recommended a total abdominal hyster, incl the cervix, but saving the ovaries. After reading thru this site I will be asking about saving the cervix as well, sofar he said the cervix will go so I don't need any more pap smears...is this right??
Can I have a tummy tuck at the same time??
Does the op have a similar pain/recovery rate as a c-sect??
Does anyone know if there is something similar to gas-x out here in Aust??
What is the possibility of menopause problems even with leaving the ovaries in?? I'm scared of poss oesteopiroses as my Mum, 2 of my Aunties and Dad's Mum have it (all started under 50yrs)
I'm still having ligament prob's with my hips due to my preg's, does anyone know if this can be fixed or worsened by hyster??
Of course I'm worried about my sex life, too. My Dh and I have only been married for 2.5yrs...so we still can't keep our hands off each other! So what are the down side on the sex life??
I'm sorry this is SUCH a long post...just soooo full of questions...Please if ANYONE wants to e-mail me, feel free!

Luv and Hugs-Terri xxoo
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Unread 01-21-2001, 07:06 AM
Hi Terri

I can't answer all your questions but here's been my experience. I had TAH on 12/1 and I just turned 40.
My doctor explained that unless I was determined to keep my cervix for a particular reason it would be removed. The time in the O.R. is greatly reduced by removing it and the less time in there, the better. I had heard that leaving the cervix makes for a better sex life after a hyst. When I mentioned this reason to him, he told me there was no proof to that theory either way. I have since found out first hand that not having a cervix in NO WAY made a difference in my sex life. It is just as good now as it was before.
By leaving the ovaries you may still experience PMS - although mine aren't as bad as they were - I got a couple of cramps but nothing as bad as the pain I was in before hyst. My doctor still insists I get a pap smear at my annual checkups.
I have two children - both vaginal - so I have no experience with c-sections although reading this board leads me to beleive recovery is longer from a hyst than c-section.
Tummy Tuck - I have seen this mentioned here a few times but again I have no experience with it. Although I wish I had thought of it prior and investigated it.
oesteopiroses - Make sure your doctor(s) is aware of you have a family history of it. I would guess you need to take calcium supplements if you don't already. Your ovaries will continue to work after your hyst. They don't know your uterus isn't there anymore so HRT most likely will not be necessary. I have seen some posts here of ovaries not kicking in after a hyst in which case I assume HRT is required. Fortunately mine are working just fine. I did go through a few weeks in the beginning where I would cry, lash out at DH & DD for no apparent reason. I assume that's when my ovaries were still sleeping. It wasn't a pleasant time but it passed.
Speaking of passing - I don't know about the gas-x. I just did a lot of walking around the house and drank a ton of water when it bothered me. Another "not fun" time but it passes.
I suggest to you that you keep active with hystersisters. It has helped me tremendously.
Also feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk.

Good luck to you - Terri
Unread 01-21-2001, 07:07 AM
Hey Terri

This is an extremely personal decision. Endometriosis is a rough ride...there are several links over in the hormone jungle and the road less traveled on endo and endo post hyst. Endo may NOT come back after a hyst, but there is a chance. You just have to decide what is right for you (temporary menopause via Lupron, or permanent menopause via hyst (alleviated by hrt)). Know all the risks involved as well. My only advice is to read up on it, decide for yourself, and make peace with your decision either way.

By the way, I have a very good friend who lives in Sydney - she's very active in the Endo Association there, if you'd like her email address, please email me and I'll send it your way. She's well aware of the good docs/procedures in your area. Also check out the endometriosis Association in your area (they have a very good support group and information).

[Edited by Adrite on 01-21-2001]
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Unread 01-21-2001, 04:15 PM
Thanks for your support and info...

Thanks Terri (great name isn't it?!) for your info and experience, it Does help to have this forum to learn from the experiences of the other women...'specially BEFORE such a bit event such as a hyster!
Unread 01-21-2001, 05:20 PM
Alternative to hysterectomy

I agree that your decision is a personal one that can only be made by you. However, I have had an endometrial ablation and it is not a difficult procedure and could be worth a try. Here's why: IF your problem is NOT endometriosis or adenomyosis, then an endometrial ablation could either reduce or eliminate menstruation for you. The tests that you describe in all probability would not diagnose adenomyosis. What would do that is an MRI or POSSIBLY a DEEP biopsy of the endometrium, which is normally not done.

If you would prefer to keep your uterus at this time, you might want to consider seeing if you can determine whether or not your problem is caused by adenomyosis. If it is NOT, then an endometrial ablation could be a solution for you which is not nearly invasive as a hysterectomy.

Regarding the ovaries, usually they continue to work after a hysterectomy but sometimes they do not, or sometimes they fail earlier than they would have otherwise.

You have time, so do inform yourself as much as possible and we'll all be here to answer more questions if you have them.

Unread 01-21-2001, 05:47 PM
Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..!

Dear Arctic,
Thankyou for your ideas...I still don't feel an ablation is an option for me, due to the size of my uterus and my prev history. (I had an ercp for getting a gall stone from the bile duct 1 wk after having an emerg gall bladder removal and woke up with the next morn with pancreatitus!)
I also don't want to put my body thru 2 more ops as I have already been thru over 15 ops since 20yrs old, most of them recent! My gut instinct (which has ALWAYS been right) tells me an ablation would'nt work. I DO appreciate your veiw tho!
Unread 01-21-2001, 08:15 PM
Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..!

Originally posted by AussieGal
After reading thru this site I will be asking about saving the cervix as well, sofar he said the cervix will go so I don't need any more pap smears...is this right??
What is the possibility of menopause problems even with leaving the ovaries in??
Dear Terri,

Yes, you will still need pap smears after hysterectomy. The vagina, cervix & uterine cells are all embryonically similar. There is no dotted line for the surgeons to use, and some cells may be left behind. Annual pelvic exams should continue to be part of your health care.

My doc quoted a 50% chance of ovaries failing within 5 years of hysterectomy. I took my chances and kept my healthy ovaries, since they had served me well (and still do).

Get smart about your symptoms and your options, & make the best choice for YOU. Sending cyberhugs!
[Edited by Twysmilng on 01-23-2001]
Unread 01-21-2001, 09:08 PM
Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..!

Hi, The other sisters have answered most all of your questions. I have had 2 c-sections verticly and horizonally. My incision for my hsyt. was vertically along where I had my 2nd section. I do have to say that as far as recovery time the hysterectomy was worse than the c-sections and you are more sore,etc.. it honestly was worse than the c-sections I had. Not trying to scare you but just wanting you to know what to expect. As far as what sex is like, I don't know yet, I will be 4 weeks post-op on thursday,but I will tell you that I still want to very much, even though I had my ovaries removed and I am not on any hormones right now. It is good that you are doing what you can to get info. on hsyterecomy's it is a big decision and one you should make on your own. As far as me I am glad that I got it done, I was so tired of bleeding so much and being in pain all of the time with endo. I am feeling better and better, but know that I still have to watch what I do and how much I do, if you overdo it your body lets you know by being sore and tired. Good Luck and I hope I was help to you
Unread 01-21-2001, 09:20 PM
Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..!

And I'll just jump in here to let you know that the active ingredient in Gas-X is Simethicone, so you can take a look at the products in your local pharmacy and see what's comparable.
Unread 01-22-2001, 03:41 AM
Hyster or not to Hyster...? THAT is the question..!

Hello aussiegal from another aussie hyster sister. I think most of your questions have been answered, when are you due to have your op? Just want to welcome you and to let you know that this site is the best. One thing though, which twyla has covered and I will just remind you, that you still have to have pap smears even if they take your cervix as you can still get vaginal cancer. ( They are actually called vault smears). I kept both my ovaries and they have kicked in ok with only a few hiccups . any way love to you my aussie hyster sister the first one YAY !!!!

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