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New member w/ Questions + PCOS New member w/ Questions + PCOS

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  #1  
Unread 01-10-2006, 12:51 PM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

Hi everyone,
My name is Casey and I am new here. I am scheduled for my hysterectomy - I'm also getting my ovaries removed - on Feb. 7th. (Just changed this morning from Jan. 18th to Feb. 7th, due to my last minute questions about bladder issues. Now my dr. is telling me I should really wait and have them taken care of together; hence the new date.) They're planning for a laparoscopy, but will be ready to do an abdominal if things look particularly bad when they get in there.
I am 39 yo with PCOS with very heavy bleeding on day 1-2 of my periods and bleeding in bm's during my period only. The bleeding in bm's has been ongoing for about 2 years now, and with no help from my previous dr., I finally switched, and that's how I found out about the endo. I had a colonoscopy done a few weeks back, and there was no endo in the rectum, and the polyp they removed was benign (I have my follow-up consult this Wed.-tomorrow).
My cysts are enlarged, but not overly, and they are symmetrical, from what I understand. I think they're a 4 cm. That's still kind of normal, right?
I have a couple questions I was wondering if some of you might help me with.
1. What does the HRT do? If I take it, does that curb cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, in addition to helping with mood swings? I have several friends who don't take the HRT, all under 40, and they're reportedly fine. I'm wondering if there are reasons to take it that might not be readily apparent. I believe I'm already somewhat disadvantaged cardiovascularly from the PCOS, and I'm worried how the hysterectomy will impact that.
3. Am I pretty much guaranteed I will gain weight since I am having both ovaries removed? (I already struggle with my weight due to the PCOS.)
4. Does anyone know of anyone who had a hysterectomy who lived to be very old? I read in my pamphlet the dr. gave me, that "These days, women can expect to live a third of their lives past menopause." A THIRD?! Yikes! I'm not even 40 yet!
5. For those of you with PCOS, did you find your symptoms went away or lessened after your hysterectomy, even though hysterectomies don't technically cure PCOS?
I guess that's it really.
Thanks everyone! For ALL your help and advice! I'm so glad I found this group.
Casey
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  #2  
Unread 01-10-2006, 01:23 PM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

Hi Casey,
I have had PCOS since I was 12, am now 35. My hyst is due to endometrial hyperplasia with pre- cancerous cells. Which the dr. said she believes was caused by PCOS. Poly Cycstic Ovarian Syndrome I would think would no longer be an issue if the ovaries are gone. That is just a guess. My Dr. isn't taking mine unless there is severe damage because they are making some estrogen and she doesn't want me to go into surgical menopause. Ask your dr. also. I am pretty sure there will be lots of sisters to tell their story to help you. And welcome!! This place is awesome!!

Rebecca
  #3  
Unread 01-10-2006, 01:43 PM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

Hi! I'm a little over a week out and had everything taken, I haven't gotten my path report yet, but was told my body was acting (along with all the other problems) too much like PCOS. I'm waiting to hear if it was true once things were removed. I have started HRT as I too am 39 and so far so good. Mine is soy based, so who knows. My ovaries were producing but causing such pain, he said it was better to take them now than have to go back in later. My surgery was mostly for my large uterus, heavy bleeding, 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, fibroids and possibly endo. Ended up my uterus was attached to the bladder so there was more than they expected. I'm feeling much better now, but I too have looked up and if the ovaries are gone, so should the pcos. I pray thats the case. My weight has gone up so much the past 3 years and no matter what I did nothing mattered. Don't worry about HRT as so far it seems to be going okay. I guess I look at it as even though I've got nothing left, the HRT prolongs complete menopause as I feel the same. I know alot of older women who had hysterectomies and they did HRT for years and they all said it was the best thing they ever did. Hopefully it will be the same for all of us!

Stacy/doll doc TAH BSO path report coming up!
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  #4  
Unread 01-10-2006, 02:16 PM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

(((Casey))),

You can have polycystic ovaries with out having PCOS. However, if you truly have PCOS then an oopherectomy will not cure it. I have PCOS and while all of my ovarian symptoms are gone (for obvious reasons) I still have the other symptoms.

Your testosterone levels can be lowered by up to 60 % with ovary removal. That is enough for some women. However, it was not enough for me, I am still taking spironalactone for that.

You are right to be concerned about your cardiovascular health also. Excessive Insulin can wreak havoc with your blood vessels. I take metformin to control it. I also use bio-identical compounded estrogen and progesterone.

Surgical menopause is much more drastic than regular menopause. After natural menopause, ovaries still continue to produce hormones, just in smaller amounts.
With surgical menopause, there is a more severe reduction. Most women find it extremely difficult. I am 50, and plan to use my bio-identical hormones at the lowest needed level for a very long time. At the proper dose they can add protection to your cardiovascular system. It is the synthetic progestins mixed with the estrogen which was used in the studies that you may have heard about. Here is a link to more information about that: HRT and Heart Disease

I am sorry you have PCOS. I am very glad to see you asking questions though. Research as much as you can so you can make the best decisions for your health.

If you look at the little purple tabs at the top of the page you will see one that is labeled "Hormone Jungle" there are several good links in there to articles about estrogen. There is also one labeled "Pre-Op" You will find tons of information there.

S,
Kay
  #5  
Unread 01-10-2006, 10:00 PM
New member w/questions + PCOS

Kay, Stacy, and Rebecca,

Thank you!
Rebecca, good luck on Thursday. :-)
Kay, thank you for suggesting the Hormone Jungle. I spent the better part of today looking through there, and I got a lot of good information, I think. So if you have PCOS, do you have the hirsuitism issue? I am REALLY hoping my hair goes away!!! I can exercise my fat, but that hair is vicious!! lol
Stacy, is your HRT a bio-identical version? I'd like to hear how that keeps working out for you. I think that because of my age I am probably going to try some form of HRT/Progersterone combo, along with supplements, and exercise. I've been getting healthier with my food these past couple of years; maybe in preparation for this moment, who knows? :-) I am hoping this combination will help with my cardiovascular worries.
Again, thank you for welcoming me and taking the time to help with these questions. I am feeling better already.
If my dr. said the surgery would be video-taped, does that mean I'm going to have a group of drs. watching my surgery, like on the shows on TV?? Yikes! :-)

Casey
  #6  
Unread 01-11-2006, 08:27 AM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

Hi Casey,

Videotaping your surgery. Maybe they will use it as a teaching tool. I wouldn't worry about it. It is your Drs performance that will be on display.

Regarding the hair, I am finally seeing an improvement. I just had my surgery in Feb of this year, so I am still watching and waiting myself to see what will happen. You know how hair cycles itself? (grows, falls out, grows, etc) As new hair is coming in on my arms, I notice it is not dark like it was,but much lighter.( I am a natural blonde) However, I am not noticing any less of it.

My Doc says that it depends on how long you have had the excess hair. The longer you have had it, the less likely that it will completely reverse. But there should be some definite improvement. I am also taking spironalactone.

S,
Kay
  #7  
Unread 01-11-2006, 10:50 AM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

Hi! I am on climara, it seems to be working good, no hot flashes (had them earlier on another HRT trying to fend off the inevitalbe surgery), minor mood swings, I do laugh easier and it feels so good! My doctor likes to use soy based hormones which I think sounds good nowdays. I too am watching the hair issue. For the last year my poor sink has clogged every other day and my floor is covered in my hair from my head. (funny though the silver and gray hairs stay attached too well!). I have been growing it on my hands, feet, chin but also losing it on my eyelashes, makes you feel so feminine!! UGH!

I did notice when I finally shaved my legs after the surgery a week later that the hair is coming in much lighter and softer. Could be I finally am getting the right hormones??

I also noticed last night that there was the first time I felt like I had not had any surgery. Only when I went to get up from a seated postition did my incision remind me. I'm looking forward to more and more of those feelings!

Stacy
  #8  
Unread 01-11-2006, 01:48 PM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

Well, I've had this hair since I was a little kid! (I'm 39 now.) I really, really would like to see it disappear. Years and years ago I was put on Effexor (anti-depressant) and I can still remember showing my sister my legs: WAAAAAY less hair!! It was truly a miracle! Then, I went off the Effexor and not one single dr. since could ever tell me a connection (I don't think any really believed me, to be honest.)
Is Climara an estrogen Stacy? If it's soy, can it be bio-identical?
I saw another post of yours Kay (I think it was yours) saying that an oopherectomy will make PCOS worse, but yet easier to treat. Sigh ....
Thanks for your help ladies. I am going to post another question when I am done here about laparoscopy vs. vaginal hysterectomies.

Casey :-)
  #9  
Unread 01-11-2006, 02:55 PM
New member w/ Questions + PCOS

I have to be honest with you though. I feel better and more balanced than I have ever felt in my life. I don't even think I felt this good in my teens. Getting rid of all the extra androgens has given me a calmness that I noticed immediately after surgery and has stayed with me. It is amazing. So even though the endocrine system does get more out of balance, it is easier to treat because now i don't cycle anymore. My hormones stay pretty level and I have finally found a good balance.

Climara is a bio-identical patch. It is what I was started on. My Doc put one on my hip immediately after surgery. I have since switched to the creams because they can be tweaked much easier.

Keep reading . There is a ton of information here. If you haven't found it yet, you will also want to look at
"Checkpoints" to help you get prepared for your surgery.

You can ask that new question anytime. Just make sure you start a new thread so it will get good replies

S,
Kay
  #10  
Unread 01-14-2006, 11:25 AM
New Member w/Questions + PCOS

I guess I'm hoping for similar results to what you've seen Kay. I want to be calmcer, laugh more like Stacy, and just feel "good." I don't think it would be hard to feel even better than I did in my teens! lol
I am going to ask my dr. about Climara. It sounds like one worth trying. What is the name of the cream you use, though? Is it soy-based like Climara? And it's an estrogen, not just a progesterone?

Casey
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