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worried I will regret either ovary decision worried I will regret either ovary decision

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Unread 01-15-2012, 06:27 AM
worried I will regret either ovary decision

Ok here's the deal, i have endometriosis and PCOS. The reason I decided with my Dr to have the hyster is because nothing is helping with prolonged bleeding and pain. I want a answer now! So as we discussed he asked me if i wanted to keep my ovaries and i wasn't sure. So it kinds left with, if they look too bad take em. But he also told me that if i keep them i will still get ovarian cycts. Ugh, the sudden assault of a bursting cyct! But taking em means hormones treatment. Menopause. I had two cycts burst this month alone. I no longer call the Dr when it happens, the ultrasoind always shows the assault of the bursting cyct. I have a pre-op appt on the 23rd. Now I'm thinking if he left one! Would that still mean menopause? That would be half less cycts. I worry i will regret no matter what i choose. :/

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Unread 01-15-2012, 06:57 AM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

I had read various reasons to keep ovaries and asked my (female) doctor what she preferred. Since she had a minor but real concern about cancer, she said she wanted them out, so that is what we did. I do not regret it.

I don't know your age (I am mid 50's but was still ovulating). I figured that in my case, menopause was overdue anyway so why not just go for it?

I am getting hot flashes now, but that is the only change I notice at 5 weeks. I read here that even if I'd kept both ovaries, there would probably be some physical reaction that would feel like onset of menopause, till the ovaries started working normally again.

On the 'keep 'em' side is the feeling that it is much easier to remove an ovary later, if necessary. On the 'lose 'em' side is the likelihood that there WILL be a reason to remove them soon anyway, so why not now?

Don't know if this helps but after I stepped back and considered the data I'd accumulated, it wasn't hard for me to go for the whole enchilada. Good luck!
Unread 01-15-2012, 03:32 PM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

I kept my ovaries after my TAH in October, 2011. Mr Dr. said he would take them if they were in poor condition. I was 43 at the time. I experienced hot flashes for a while and my Dr. perscribed Premarin. After that I was fine and stayed on it for a year. I went to a new Gyno recently and she said I should not have been on it so long because I had my ovaries. It should have been used as a temporary solution. I would say keep them if they are in good condition. Good luck!
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Unread 01-15-2012, 03:46 PM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

Keeping my ovaries was a very easy decision for me.

1. I am only 41
2. Family history of breast cancer (mom) her tumors were estrogen fed from hormones.... At least thats what oncologist told her.
3. I didn't want to take HRT if I could avoid it.

Do lots of research and ask ?? My gyno even said she could get ultrasound of ovaries to ck them later on. I certainly don't want to scare you with my decisions but since you have had issues with cysts it might be good to take them. It's always a tough call however I know if I were older I would have had them removed.

Good luck to you and what you decide. It took me almost a year to make my decision bc I did every options before I had the surgery. I am glad so far that I did.
Unread 01-15-2012, 04:05 PM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

I decided to lose my ovaries because of PCOS. There's an increased risk of ovarian cancer when you have it. I was told that ovarian cancer is usually caught in the later stages. More surgery later, possible chemo/radiation, and even death if I kept my ovaries wasn't something I wanted to chance.

I am almost 3 weeks post of and don't regret it at all.....at least not yet. So far I have experienced very little menopause symptoms. The ones I have noticed are very mild at best. It could be because of the imbalances I had from PCOS causing less of a menopause for me. I have not started HRT and probably won't if the symptoms stay mild.
Unread 01-15-2012, 06:22 PM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

Even if you keep one or both of your ovaries, there are no guarantees that they will continue working, so you may still experience menopause AND have the ovarian cysts. I have endometriosis, and all of the gyns I saw told me that my ovaries would have to go in order to manage the spread of the endo. This needs to be something you talk over with your doctor. If your ovaries are removed, then you would have to discuss HRT as well. There are risk factors for taking HRT, but there are also some conditions in which the risks are lower if you do take HRT (I am in that category, so my decision was easy - lose the ovaries and start HRT - and I feel GREAT!). However, everyone has a unique medical history that needs to be considered when making the decisions, and only you and your doctor can figure out what is right for you. Good luck with the whole thing!
Unread 01-15-2012, 11:40 PM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

Keeping or not keeping your ovaries can be a difficult decision. There are many factors to consider along with your own specific medical history and your family medical history.

The first two things you should know is that an oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) will not cure PCOS or endometriosis. PCOS is a disorder of the entire endocrine system and it can depend on your exact situation as to how your body will respond without ovaries. HRT could be very complex. So before you make the decision based on your PCOS, talk to your endocrinologist. Having cysts is only one aspect of PCOS.

No ovaries also does not mean no endometriosis. Some doctors do believe that no ovaries means no estrogen which must mean no endometriosis. However, that isn't exactly true. For one, endometriosis can create its own supply of estrogen. Thus, it could thrive from its own estrogen supply yet your overall body could suffer as it doesn't have enough estrogen. The key for treating endometriosis is the careful excision of the endometriosis implants themselves. As long as there is endometriosis, there is potential for continued issues no matter what you decide regarding ovaries or even HRT.

To specifically answer your question, keeping one ovary should not equal menopause. There are actually many women with only one ovary for one reason or another. One ovary can take over the job of both. Even when one has both ovaries, only one cycles each month so when there is only one it simply does the job each month. Thus, if you have one ovary that is more cystic than the other, it could make sense to have the ovary removed solely to address the cyst issue.

I would strongly suggest you get a second opinion about the hysterectomy, seeing an endometriosis specialist if at all possible, and also speak to your entire medical team about a possible oophorectomy. Once you remove your ovaries (and uterus), there is no going back. Not all women find it tolerable to be without HRT (as some try with an endometriosis diagnosis with mixed results both hormonal and endometriosis wise) and many cannot find the right dose of HRT to allow them to feel well and prevent additional health concerns. Some women find their pain does not change having the uterus removed as the endometriosis was not addressed adequately and/or the pain didn't actually stem from the uterus after all. So you want to be very sure about both surgeries before heading into OR.

This is not a simple decision so take some time to research, talk to your medical professionals, get the second opinions, and weigh your own pros and cons.

Unread 01-16-2012, 07:32 AM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

Thank you for all the replies. I am just as uncertian than ever, but i so appreciate all your responses and personal experience you have shared!

Unread 01-16-2012, 08:38 AM
Re: worried I will regret either ovary decision

Weiser's response is right on. It's a very complex decision. The endometriosis specialist I saw said the reason most doctors believe removing ovaries is a valid treatment for endometriosis is because of a study done in the 90's that showed a lower recurrance of endometriosis if the ovaries were removed. That being said, they are having similar or better success rates with complete excision of endometriosis without the complications of low estrogen from removing ovaries. Unfortunately, I have no experience with PCOS so I can't really help you from that angle.

I do think age plays a big part in the decision. The younger you are when your ovaries are removed the more risk you are at for cardiovascular problems and bone loss, even if estrogen is taken. My gynecologist was going to remove my ovaries but I am only 31 so long-term problems were a huge concern. If you're in your mid to late 40's or 50's this wouldn't be as much of a concern. If you do remove your ovaries I would highly recommend monitoring your bone density regularly. A friend of mine had a hysterectomy and one ovary removed when she was 36. Within a year the other ovary stopped working. Her doctors never checked her bone density, they just put her on estrogen. Now, at 49, she has osteoporosis in both hips. She said if she'd known she was at risk she would have made the doctors monitor her bone density and they could have caught the problem much earlier.

In the end, I went to an endometriosis specialist and kept both ovaries. It's a tough decision. Best of luck to you!

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