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Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries

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Unread 04-10-2002, 03:09 PM
Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries

Hello, Sisters.
I am 48. Have had problems with menorraghia due to fibroids for approx. 3 years. Was recently in ER because I was delivering blood clots that were approx. 6-7" long and 3-4"wide with extremely heavy cramping. ER doc said my cervix was dilated to 2 because clots were coming fast & heavy. Had to use a forceps to pull them out and then my doc had to repeat on the next day. That's when I decided to agree to the vaginal hyst. My doc told me to think long and hard about having my ovaries removed because of my age. I'm in pretty good shape if you don't consider the fibroids or the fact that I'm hypothyroid (doing better since I asked my primary doc to change my med to Thyrolar from Synthroid) and have already about 20 extra pounds to lose.

I'm going to read two more books this weekend. My surgery is scheduled for April 19th. I only recently stumbled on this website and have found it invaluable.

No family history of ovarian cancer, but lots of other cancers in my family. Parents died at 65, cancer. Almost all my paternal aunts and uncles died from colon cancer in mid to late 60s. Pretty young. I have read that there is a link between the predilection for developing colon cancer and one's risk for developing ovarian cancer. I also drink soda (though I'm trying to cut down/eliminate it) which contains caffeine and there is a connection between caffeine consumption and ovarian cancer risk. I've also been anemic from chronic blood loss and take iron (ferrous fumerate, much gentler on my gi tract) and a teasp of black strap molasses. Other than these health challenges, I'm healthy. I've never smoked and have an occasional glass of wine.

I wish someone could just tell me what to do, but I know that's just wishful thinking. Any advice would be gratefully received.

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Unread 04-10-2002, 03:26 PM
Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries

I was 46 when I had my TAH/BSO for adeno. My doc said if he was going to do the hyster, I would have to have everything out. I asked about the ovaries. He said at my age he takes everything. He said he did not want to go in again a year later and take them out. I guess with all his experience this was a common thing. I went home to think and read about that. I read everything for a month. (I teach reading!) I also went on this website. I made myself sick over it. Finally, I decided took take his advice. My ovaries were failing anyway because of hot flashes, etc. so I guess it was the right choice. I will never know. I feel really good, not perfect, but who is? So...conclusion...we all decide in our own way and time. Thought you'd get a good straight answer? I did too! One woman on this site a year ago said she would let God make the decision once her doc got in there during surgery. That kind of worked for me. I really did not make the decision. Someone else did: a guy with 30 years experience. Good luck! Do your research and talk to your doc.
Unread 04-10-2002, 03:32 PM
Ovaries or Not

I just had a supracervical hyst (kept ovaries and cervix)...I am 47 and since my mother finished menopause at 57, I am predicting I also will have a late one...so the fact that the ovaries can continue to give natural hormones before menopause, and even after menopause give androgen, the hormone that stimulates sex drive ...I decided to keep ovaries. No history of cancer at all in my family...so for me it was a pretty easy decision. Kept cervix because again no history of cancer and I read it provided a good base for other organs...my Dr didn't agree but he respected my right to keep it. I am very glad I did even though I will still have to have pap smears. Hope this helps.
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Unread 04-10-2002, 03:41 PM
Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries

Hi Cynthia!
You have already said it....this is going to be a choice you need to make. When I had my surgery at 45, my doctor recommended removal of the ovaries for no other reason than my age. Like you, I also have a family history of cancers (not ovarian) and made the choice to keep mine for two main reasons. I did not like the idea of removing healthy organs and while I may enter menopause in a few years, the ovaries do not completely shut down. I wanted as many years possible benefitting from my natural hormones. Of course, we don't know if the 'what ifs' and worries of today may eventually rear their ugly heads, but that is a bridge i will cross if I come to it. You are doing the right thing, but getting as informed as possible and asking questions. You might also try a search here in the HS site to see if you can find some more facts on the subject. Bottom line? Read, discuss with your doctor, seek and make the choice that works for you. All the best to you!
Unread 04-10-2002, 04:20 PM

I am 46 and had my TAH/BSO just over 3 weeks ago. I debated the ovary issue right up to surgery day. While my doctor favored removing them, she left the decision totally up to me. The more I read about this, the more confused I got. Some women strongly believe in keeping them since they do produce small but useful amounts of hormones even after menopause. Some women feel that removing two potential cancer sites far out weigh any benefit of keeping them. I had already been on HRT for over a year and when I read that in 50 percent of hysterectomys, the change in blood flow to the ovaries causes them to shut down, I decided to let them go. I did notice a slight dip during week 2 post-op, but now I seem to feel fine on the same HRT that I was on pre-op. Doc says I can add some testosterone later if I feel the need. I am happy with my choice - good luck to you.
Unread 04-10-2002, 05:46 PM
Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries

I certainly understand your confusion. Been there done that! And like everyone said, it is a decision that every woman has to make for themselves. I read everything I could find on the subject. I read every note I could find here about leaving or removing ovaries. My Dr. said he would prefer to remove them, but it was 100% up to me (unless he found a problem with them when he got in there).

I am 44 and have had lots of symptoms of menopause. I have an unknown cancer in a grandmother that died when my mother was young. And lots of breast cancer in my family. I have decided that in my case, I would prefer to have them removed. I have lost several friends in the past two years to ovarian cancer, and emotionally it is a concern for me. Unfortunatly ovarian cancer has almost no symptoms and is rarely discovered until it is too late. I have chosen to remove that risk. It is certainly not the decision for everyone, but in my case I believe it is the right one. Keep reading, you will find what decision is right for you.

Good luck and welcome!

Unread 04-10-2002, 05:50 PM
Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries

I'm 46 and I had both ovaries removed. I had a history of cysts on them, and my DR said that after surgery if I was lucky I might get 4 or 5 more years out of them.

My sister had to have one ovary removed, a year later a hyst, and then the next year had to have the other ovary removed. I didn't want to risk the possibility of having to have another surgery.

I have been on Estrace 1mg/day since two weeks post op and had no hot flashes or other symptoms. I am now 9 weeks post.

Good luck!
Unread 04-11-2002, 06:53 AM

I appreciate all your responses and feel part of a true sisterhood.
Unread 04-11-2002, 07:21 AM
Removed my ovaries

I am 47 and had my Tah/BSO 6 weeks ago. My Doctor also recommended that I remove my ovaries, but the final decision was mine. I know before surgery that I had Endo and that I had cysts on my right one. I also have Breast cancer in my family (my Mom's brother). I am also a DES daughter. So for me the decision to eliminate any chance of cancer was easy for me.

As it turned out, the ovaries had endo on them and would have to come out anyway.

I am currently on Climara .1mg and seem to be doing well with it.

Good luck in you decision.
Unread 04-11-2002, 01:06 PM
Quick, But Informed Decision Needed About Keeping Ovaries

s While I'm not as old as you, I still had to decide...I kept mine as there is no cancer in my family at all. I would think in your shoes, long and hard about the decision. It's a hard decision, girl, and only you can make it. Be informed...do research. Type in ovarian cancer in a search engine and read. Then, you will be able to make your decision...make sure to update us on it too!


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