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to ovary or not to ovary.... to ovary or not to ovary....

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Unread 01-08-2012, 08:18 AM
to ovary or not to ovary....

I am scheduled for a hysterectomy in February of 2012. My surgeon wants them to go due to significant decrease in cancer risk and b/c of my age. I do NOT relish the thought of instant menopause, especially b/c my periomenopausal symptoms have been light. UGH. In the process of researching my options.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 11:13 AM
Re: to ovary or not to ovary....

There is a study pinned to the top of this board. Lots of good info regarding keeping or removing your ovaries. The study requires that hyster not be caused by cancer diagnosis but it sounds like that is not the case. It sounds like your dr. just generally wants to decrease your chances of it, not that you have it.

I'm 46 but in my family menopause is late. I chose to keep my ovaries because I didn't want to go through menopause. I get sick taking BCP or any other hormone pill and so am delaying problems as long as possible and hope that natural menopause won't do horrible things to me.
Unread 01-08-2012, 12:53 PM
Re: to ovary or not to ovary....

I participated in the same study that Whirlygig did and it was helpful.

Keeping them poses some risks, but removing them creates others. For me, it came down to family history and the fact that, at 47, I haven't entered menopause yet. My doctor told me that between 10-15% of women who keep them return to have them removed.

I'm gambling that my I'm one of the 85-90% who does not return for future removal.

Do your research and don't let your surgeon pressure you into something you don't want.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 12:55 PM
Re: to ovary or not to ovary....

Hello HotinFC,

Please don't feel scared into removing your ovaries! Unless you are at much higher risk of ovarian cancer, there are many more risks associated with losing your ovaries. Everything from heart disease to strokes to osteoporosis to reduced sex drive. That is a pretty big price to pay to eliminate a very minimal risk of ovarian cancer.

Women's reproductive organs are generally considered pretty disposable, especially after menopause. However, they are not. Your ovaries continue to make health-protective hormones throughout your entire life. When you really think about it - would anyone recommend to a guy to get his testicles removed to avoid the possibility of testicular cancer? This comparison is legitimate.

I had a total hysterectomy with both ovaries and tubes removed 2 weeks ago. I did not want my ovaries removed, but the doctor did it anyway. I am now looking at a lifetime of risk, medical appointments, and worry. Please consider this before making your final decision and don't let anyone scare you into your decision.

Much luck to you and many wishes for a speedy recovery!
Unread 01-08-2012, 06:15 PM
Re: to ovary or not to ovary....

The decision on whether or not to keep your ovaries is a very personal one, and one that has to be made by considering all of your unique health history and concerns.

I didn't really have a choice because I had an endometrioma on one ovary the size of a softball, and after watching my sister experience a rupture of an endometrioma and subsequent surgery, I knew my decision was easy. However, I am taking hormone replacement, and that, too is another one of those complicated decisions. In my case, I have none of the risk factors that would make that a concern, and taking estrogen actually addresses some of the issues that were factors for me. I can say that I feel great - no more hot flashes that feel like someone is holding a pillow over my face!

There is no right or wrong answer in this that will fit for everyone. If you are not sure about your doctor's recommendation, then perhaps you should further explore the issue with him/her, or seek a second opinion. Whatever you decide, you need to be OK with your own decision.

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