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Worried About Hysterectomy After Effects Worried About Hysterectomy After Effects

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Unread 10-24-2010, 03:13 PM
Worried About Hysterectomy After Effects

Hi ...

I have posted a couple of questions before this but as the time gets closer for my hysterectomy I keep finding more to ask.

I am 57 years old, 6-7 years post menopause. I have 4 doctors who all agree I need to have a total hysterectomy (removal of cervix, uterus, tubes & ovaries). My regular gyn is actually concerned there might be malignancy issues & he referred me to a gyn onc & I scheduled a TAH with him on November 4. However, he suggested I might be a candidate for robotic surgery (I'm guessing he means DaVinci) & I will be meeting with a robotic surgeon tomorrow to discuss the possibility of that. My gyn onc already made a robotic surgery appointment for me on October 29. Whichever surgery I decide on, they will just cancel the other one.

A friend told me I should reserach hysterectomies on the Doctor Oz website. I did that just before writing this post. I was very troubled to read an account given by a hysterectomy patient where she talks about it being the biggest mistake of her life. Here are some of the things she says ...

"I think that these body parts, they are really part of who you are and they connect to other organs in your body. Everything is there for a reason."

"I really think it [hysterectomy] is very cruel. I found that the uterus was involved in my sexual response. There was a loss of feeling sexually. It's very damaging surgery and I wasn't told any of these things by my female doctor."

"The vagina is shortened with hysterectomy if you take the cervix. There are nerve endings that connect from these parts that run up the spine to the brain - they affect everything."

These statements are particularly frightening to me because I had a horrible time when I went through menopause, especially sexually. I spent 5 years & countless dollars visiting several different doctors in several different states until I finally found one who was able to help me get my sexuality back. For the past 2 years life has been good in that regard. I am not happy to read that it might now be horrific again because of a hysterectomy.

Part of me thinks this woman is the crackpot of all crackpots. I mean really ... her uterus is the essence of who she is? Hysterectomy is "female snorflation?" But here she is on this "reputable" (?) doctor's website & I don't know what to make of it.

I thought I would post this in the postop section since it has to do with postop results but I was not given permission to post there because my surgery has not taken place yet. If anyone who has had a total hysterectomy can tell me if there is any validity to what this woman says, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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Unread 10-24-2010, 05:04 PM
Re: Worried About Hysterectomy After Effects

I had a TAH all they left was my ovaries, I found no difference sexually. It didn't seem like my vagina was shortened before surgery I would have the big O by means of cervix ( if you know what I mean
I have not had a problem since surgery on that department either. I saw the episode you talk about & I think (this is my opinion) was they intentionally put a woman with bad experiences on. I have had an uneventful recovery and today 4 months later (can't believe its been that long already) I am stronger and healthier then before surgery.

Every womans experience varies but if I had to do it again I would, sex is still as good if not better then before
Unread 10-24-2010, 05:08 PM
Re: Worried About Hysterectomy After Effects

Wow Shirlee! I haven't had my surgery yet, but EVERYONE I have talked with (friends and family) have told me that they are [without a doubt] happy they had it done. I have asked specifically about sexual response and very bluntly, if the hyst had affected their orgasms in any way. They have all told me no. I don't know about this Dr. Oz chick...she may be psychotic, right? I will be curious about the responses you receive.
Many (((hugs))) and Blessings to you...may your upcoming surgery be precise and your recovery swift.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 06:05 PM
Re: Worried About Hysterectomy After Effects

Hi Shirlee!

You're smart to keep asking questions and to research the possible consequences of having a hysterectomy, with or without the oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).

While many women do have a good outcome and report no sexual side effects post-op, that is not the case for everyone. There are many women posting on this site who fall into that category. I was one of them. I assure you I'm not a crackpot and I'm not psychotic, nor are the many women who post over on the Sexual Dysfunction forum of this site. It's important to know that it's possible that you may experience sexual dysfunction as a result of surgery. Of course there's no way to know in advance which group you will be in and that's why we encourage women to ask questions, research, exhaust possible alternatives to surgery and get a second opinion. If you are a candidate to keep your ovaries and your cervix, that may lessen the chance that you'll be affected sexually though there again, it's not a guarantee.

I honestly don't miss my cervix. It was prolapsing along with my uterus prior to surgery and made sex uncomfortable. Some women like having the cervix bumped and miss it being gone. Sometimes it's the partner who misses it post-op. The vagina is shortened very little, if at all, with a hysterectomy. It can still stretch and accommodate as it did pre-op.

I definitely missed not having the hormones my ovaries made. Hormone therapy is a wonderful thing for those of us who can take it but it can be a nightmare to find the right hormone therapy--the right dose, method of delivery and in cases like me, the right combination of hormones. Thankfully my doctor worked with me on this and I finally did hit on the right combination, which in turn gave me back the libido/sex drive that disappeared as a direct result of my hysterectomy/oophorectomy. This is not a mind over matter thing, either. I was 100% in agreement that I needed the hysterectomy and looked forward to having it done. I'm over eight years post-op and my quality of life is still much better than it was pre-op. I don't regret having had the hysterectomy/oophorectomy but no amount of positive thinking or good attitude was a substitute for the hormones my body was missing.

Knowing about possible consequences of having surgery is a good thing. To me there is nothing quite so sad as reading a member's thread in which she says "No one told me this could happen." Please discuss your concerns with your doctor and don't believe anyone who tells you that it is 100% certain you will think it's the best thing you ever did. That isn't something anyone can guarantee but of course we do all hope for the best for each of our (((Sisters))).

I'm sending best wishes!

Unread 10-24-2010, 06:39 PM
Re: Worried About Hysterectomy After Effects

Thank you all for your input. I will talk with my doctor about this. I know that there are sexual side effects with the removal of the whole package, specifically if a person hasn't gone through menopause yet. That's bound to happen when you lose all your hormone-making equipment.

Although this woman's account of the after effects of her surgery sounds like she was dealing with the lack of hormones issue (lack of sexual interest, lack of sexual response, lack of lubrication), that is not my concern because I dealt with all this stuff already. As I said in my original post, it took me 5 years to finally find a dr who had the patience to work with me & find a combination of hormones that works for me & my sex life has been great ever since. My reason for writing this post was the fact that this woman went on & on about how the uterus & cervix are necessary for sexual feeling of any kind & it's necessary to keep them in your body. I don't have a choice ... there may be malignancy involved here.

I'll post tomorrow & let you know what my doctor says.


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