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The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries" The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

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Unread 02-25-2005, 10:33 AM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the Hyster Sisters and as you can see I have that same question. It is consuming my life right now, because I feel like it is such in important decision.

My surgery is scheduled for 2-28-05 for a LVAH and possible BSO, but my doctor recommends the BSO.

I'm 40 yrs old and I'm finished having children. I have had 3 lapraoscopies in my life for ovarion cysts, the last one a year ago which confirmed endo. My periods are very crampy, clotty, and I get a deep pain on my right side (feels like my utereus is being pulled out). My pre-op appt. pelvic exam showed I have marked tenderness on my right ovary but no cyst right now. My Dr. thinks it is the Endo.

I have a history of fibromyalgia, Lymes, or autoimmune (no offfical DX yet, been a circus) but my symptoms are aggravated by my periods. I have been on birth control which helps with everything, but can't handle side effects.

My worries are HRT ( breast CA in family), sex after, ovarion CA, and the list goes on.....I don't want to have to go back for more surgeries and wonder if not having the ovaries and being on a HRT that levels out hormones will help my other problems. What is best HRT to be on? I already have some premenopausel symptoms, and have tried low dose Climara with results.

I thank you so much for this site and appreciate any advice. I will keep you posted on my experience and decisions.

Is it normal to feel like it takes over your life the last days before. I guess it is anxiety.
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Unread 02-25-2005, 11:04 AM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

I think this article is worth reading:Rational for Ovarian Conservation by Donna Shoupe MD

I am not an endo person. But, if the surgeon goes in and your ovaries look healthy would that affect your decision?
Unread 02-25-2005, 11:14 AM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

Hi Blondies,
You are asking the same questions as I am. I have had 2 laps for endo and a hyst back in April 2003 but surgeon decided to keep ovaries and not put me into surgical menopause due to the health (mental :-) and physical) risks associated with that.

Anyways, endo is back - ultrasound shows a nodule on my right ovary with the left "looking" normal at this time. I am also deciding if I should just get both out or keep the other if it is still okay.

I am sorry but I have no answers. My gut feel (no pun intended) is that if I just do the right ovary - it won't be too long before the left will have to be removed. The more surgery, the more scar tissue. Endo can be extremely stubborn. Estrogen feeds endo so surgical menopause without estrogen replacement can be very difficult (varies by person).

I do not have a gyny appointment for another two months so I have all this time to fret !!!

Good luck in your research and decision.
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Unread 02-25-2005, 11:17 AM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

My first decision was to have my ovaries left if they look healthy at that time, but with my history of cysts and the pain I'm feeling on the right side is making me question my decision. I also wonder if it would help my other problems not having the ups and downs of hormones with ovaries versus a steady HRT.

Pearle, how are you doing since your TAH and BSO? Do you have regrets?
Unread 02-25-2005, 12:02 PM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

Hello, this was a difficult decision for me as well. In fact I didn't give my doctor the OK to remove ovaries until I saw him the morning of surgery.

During my pre-op visit, the Dr. and I were involved in a long discussion about the ovaries and HRT therapy. Because of my age (51) he was advising they be removed. He has been in practice for 40 years and his experience has been that a high percentage of women need to return in the future to have 1 or both ovaries removed after hysterectomy. I didn't want a second surgery. He also calmed my concerns about HRT.

My other concern was ovarian cancer since various female cancers run in my family. Although from what I've read having the ovaries removed does not remove your risk 100% from getting it. The ovaries are just tissue and a small amount can always be left behind.

My decision to have ovaries removed was ultimately based on my age at 51 and a gut feeling that I was somehow lessening my risk for cancer and other problems down the road.

BUT - if I were younger and my ovaries were healthy there is NO WAY I'd let them go. I'd take the risk of possibly requiring another surgery and there's also a good chance that would never happen. If your young and your ovaries are working properly why remove a healthy part of your body? Press your doctor on the health of your ovaries and the pros and cons of having to be on long-term hrt. The ovaries produce more than estrogen and just shouldn't be removed unless there is a very good reason. You can't duplicate the real thing with a pill or a patch.

I did keep my cervix at my doctors urging. He felt that little button sized piece of anatomy is very important for pelvic floor support, lessening the chances of incontinence problems down the road, and for sexual stimulation. This was another deciding factor in my surgery. If I was going to lose my ovaries I didn't want to lose my cervix as well. Only wanted to take out what the doctor and I felt was truly necessary. Some doctors seem to want to clean a woman out by taking it all - I chose a more conservative approach and am happy with the results.

If I wasn't on HRT I think the loss of my ovaries would be alot more difficult to deal with, but so far HRT is working for me and I'm almost a year post-op.

Good luck!
Unread 02-25-2005, 12:27 PM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

I understand how you feel I had TAH 1-17-05 and up until the day of surg. was to have overies removed, when the doctor came in to see me just before I was to go in I told her that I wanted to keep my overies if after she got in there and had a look at them if they looked healthy to her then leave them. I was afraid of all the stories I read about surg menapause and did'nt think I could deal with it. I'm 47 so I will be dealing with it in time. My doctor told me that if she took my overies she would put a patch on me before I woke up in recovery so the first thing I did when I woke up was start feeling around to find a patch but never found one my nurse asked me if I was in pain because of all my moving I told her I was feeling for my patch to see if my overies were still with me she laughted and told me it would have been alot easier to have asked.
I think it is best to go by how you feel about it, and letting the doctor do what they feel is best after they look.
Best of luck to you I will keep you in my thoughts

Unread 02-25-2005, 12:33 PM

Thank you for the responses. It is so great to hear other people's decisions and experiences on this. I'm still not sure which way to go.
Unread 02-25-2005, 12:56 PM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

Hi everyone,

This too is my biggest decision - take 'em or leave 'em. I realize its a personal decision but......................
Uterus is going due to huge fibroids, cervix is going due to previous dysplasia. My Dr. is suggesting the ovaries go - I am 47 about to turn 48.
He seems to think HRT is no big deal. Out weighs the risk of OC.
However my family has more of the history on the cardiac/stroke side, which I know can be a concern while on HRT.
He says I can let him know the am of surgery (March 10). So I am going crazy trying to make the "right" decision.
Helps to know most of us are in the same boat.


TAH due to huge fibroids
Unread 02-25-2005, 01:15 PM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

I too am very confused. I am to have a LSH on March 23rd and was planning to have everything removed but the cervix...I am 48 and have a family history of cancer (no ovarian that I know of) and I have had skin cancer...I have had many people say to leave the ovaries if they are OK but two Drs. say to take them since I am done having kids and will be going thru Menopause within a few years.....I have a 16 week uterus w/several fibroids.
So I too am very confused....I just want them out!!! Thanks for the ears.........
Unread 02-25-2005, 01:23 PM
The Dilemma " ovaries or no ovaries"

My personal experience has taught me to be conservative. You can always go back in and take something out, you can't put it back in! Ovaries can be removed laprascopically if need be later. I would not take out healthy ovaries just because someone thought I was close to menopause. I would keep my ovaries as long as I could. They are very valuable and what they do cannot be completely replaced.

Of the women who have hysterectomies only 5% go back to have ovaries removed. That is hardly a huge number.

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