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Unread 01-01-2012, 08:04 AM
pre-op questions about post-op life

My hyster is scheduled for five weeks. I am 43 and have a fibroid and polyps, extra long periods with some intense heavy bleeding part of the time. I've got anemia as a result, so a hyster sounds like a good idea for me right now. My questions are increasing and I would love answers or guidance to answers.

Here are some of my questions:

With my ovaries still intact, what will happen with the normal hormone levels they produce? I mean, will I still get monthly mood swings? Or is the mood swing part more related to uterus changes? Will something else have hormone issues without a uterus?

Also, I just read on somebody else's post that they learned having a hyster will cause me to age faster and increase my odds for heart disease and osteoperosis. Is that true? I have a four year old and hope to adopt another baby (yes, even at my age). I'd like to think I can keep myself young and healthy.

I think that's it. FYI, the reason I opted for hyster instead of just trying D&C for polyp removal is because I just want to STOP BLEEDING, and my doc says ablations aren't always successful for that. If D&C may not solve the heavy/long period problem, I'd have to get a hyster anyway, so I'm just skipping a step.

hoping for answers . . . !!
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Unread 01-01-2012, 08:33 AM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

The only thing I can tell you is that my mom had serious mood swings while going through menopause (after hysterectomy, ovaries intact). So, yes, I think the mood swings will still be a part of it, even with the hysterectomy. The rest I can't answer. I haven't had my surgery yet.

I never heard of a hysterectomy aging you. I could see it if the ovaries were taken without hormone replacement.

Interested in seeing other answers!
Unread 01-01-2012, 09:00 AM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

Ok, I just googled, and now I'm a little freaked out too. I was told just the other day that I looked like I was in my late 20s (I'm 41). I feel incredibly lucky to look young, and would like to keep that going a little bit longer if possible (though it's not like I can avoid aging).

Unfortunately, most of the people who respond don't mention whether the ovaries were kept or not, and I would think that having the ovaries might make a difference. But maybe I'm wrong...?
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Unread 01-01-2012, 09:11 AM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

Hey Spunkyd,

Thanks for your responses! I just did a super quick google search, after reading that you did, and it looks like the aging probs ARE when ovaries are removed. I hope so! Yikes! I am going to be 57 when my boy graduates from HS and I don't want to look like his GRANDMOTHER.

Re: your Mom, I figure there will be mood issues with menopause. I just don't want them before then! On the same search, one woman with ovaries mentioned she still had some mild mood swings. Darn.

Your surgery is a few weeks before mine. Good luck! I will look for your posts about recovery!
Unread 01-01-2012, 09:16 AM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

Me too!

I'll keep you posted about my recovery. I'm still hoping to make it to the Bruce Hornsby concert 19 day post-op.
Unread 01-01-2012, 10:47 AM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

Awesome! Just don't jump up and down too much!
Unread 01-01-2012, 11:07 AM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

If I'd had the option of doing something else I would have tried it first. This is major surgery and full recovery regardless of the type of surgery is 6 months to 1 year. I would ask your dr. whether there are alternatives to a hyst and whether s/he believes it will work for you.

In my case, my body has never tolerated hormones well so I couldn't use hormonal therapy. In fact, they put me on progesterone to try to control my bleeding until surgery and it made me so sick I stopped after 5 days. I was not a candidate for ablation because my fibroids were so deeply embedded in my uterine wall there was a high risk of perforation to remove them. So ablation would have to be attempted over numerous fibroids. The odds of being able to complete the ablation much less the success of it were poor. Because I had an uncountable number of fibroids, UFE wasn't a good option. So I had 2 choices, live with the fibroids for another 10 or more years and take a lot of iron and pain killers or get a hyst.

If you are questioning whether your should keep your ovaries there is a study pinned at the top. They have you watch a video about ovaries and ask you questions. They are working on presenting info about pros and cons of keeping ovaries and it was very informative.

I'm only 3 weeks out from surgery. I should have ovulated once but didn't notice it if I did (normally I'm cranky). My period would have been due in a few days. So far, none of my usual PMS symptoms. I have had no symptoms of sleepy ovaries but maybe the shock to my body kept me from ovulating this month. I also suspect that some of my PMS was caused by extreme pain from cramping.

From reading other women's posts, some continue to have PMS, some don't, some get better, few seem to get worse. From women I know in real life, keeping the ovaries doesn't seem to cause aging, losing them may but it's hard to know what would have happened.

I know that my constant anemia and bleeding made me feel about 100 so I look forward to having more energy and becoming young again. Still very tired and a little sore but it gets better every day.
Unread 01-01-2012, 02:22 PM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

Well, Whirlygig did a great job explaining everything.

I would add that I had the option of keeping mine or having them removed, as long as they appeared healthy at the time of surgery. At 47, I my doctor considered I was close enough to menopause that it would be fine with her whatever I chose. She indicated that if I had been much younger she would have recommended keeping them.

For me - because of family health history - the pros of keeping them outweighed the cons of losing them. In my family, heart disease and osteoporosis are very common, ovarian and breast cancer are not. That, and the option for natural, gradual menopause prompted me to keep them.

Menopause causes changes to the body, but I also believe much of aging is in lifestyle and attitude. I've see young women look old and post-menopausal women look younger than their years. I would urge you consider your health and family history when making this decision.

I recommend volunteering for the study Whirlygig mentioned. I did. I felt it answered a lot of questions and helped me make my decision.

All the best, no matter what you decide.
Unread 01-01-2012, 11:08 PM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

I am 31, and right at 3 week post op... My ovaries are intact, and they are def working... I am ovulating now... You def have the same symptoms as before, but no mother flo to follow... My husband even noticed it... Some people have a problem with their ovarys "not waking up" for a while... It is different with everyone...
Unread 01-02-2012, 09:40 AM
Re: pre-op questions about post-op life

Remember, many of the things that make you look like a grandma are controllable -- you can keep a "young" hairstyle, you don't have to dress like a grandma, you can keep exercising and staying mobile and in shape and taking care of your skin and hair, you can still sit on the floor and eat candy and stuff.

I had my surgery in April. I'm going to be 45 this year. I did get my ovaries removed, and I'm on HRT. I look FANTASTIC. Seriously, I get hit on by guys in their 20s all the time.

My best advice is to NOT read the internet. It's just going to needlessly scare you. There are no rules, here. Some small percentage of women may have post-surgical issues and those are the ones who tend to post things online. The majority of women recover from their surgery just fine and return to their normal life and don't really post anything anymore because they have nothing really to say.

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