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keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~ keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

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Unread 04-27-2002, 11:15 AM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

HI you lovely angels!

I've been 'lurking' around for awhile - now it's my turn, I guess.

I'm 34 & have scheduled an abdominal hysterectomy on June 4th. I have a large fibroid in the left side of my uterus which is laying on my bladder & another large, complex, septated growth was found on my right ovary. As I was born with a dermoid cyst which was removed when I was two, this gyn-specialist feels this may be a recurrence.....though there is still the fear of ovarian cancer (shudder~).

Here's my question, doc is going to remove the uterus, the right ovary & the left ovary IF there are any growths on it or the growth on the right ovary proves to be cancerous. I'm not a viable candidate for the vaginal version of this procedure 'because of that ovary'.

We were agreed on this issue. However, he TOTALLY disagreed with my opinion of keeping my cervix.

I have researched extensively, & as I have no history of any kind of cervical abnormalities, & get my Pap regularly..... I think we should leave it alone. I have read where sometimes the removal of the cervix can leave painful scar tissue &/or shorten the vagina - both which can be painful during sex. Doctor says that's a bunch of hooey & I should have it taken out as well.

Opinions? Advice?

Oh, my beloved general physician referred me to this guy, & overall I liked him....but there were a couple things that bothered me. I will be getting a second opinion ASAP.

Much love & strength to you all!!!

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Unread 04-27-2002, 11:36 AM
Hi Robin

We're glad you decided to post. Here is your official welcome

I'm glad you have done alot of researching already. That is great, keep it up. You have probably found that there are lot's of different opinions on whether or not to try and keep the cervix.

Certainly if the doc finds any cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions during surgery I would think you would want it to go. You would not want to risk any atypical cells being left behind and causing any future problems.

I don't believe the vagina would be shortened unless you have a supracervical hysterectomy which is usually done when cervical cancer is present. In that case if it is necessary the upper portion of the vagina would need to be removed. Otherwise the vagina is closed off where the cervix used to be.

I don't know about painful scar tissue being left behind. I have not heard of this happening. Doesn't mean it hasn't but I think it would be unusual.

You will probably see many posts from women who had everything removed and post that sex is as good or sometimes better. There is a poll on that subject in the Polling Place forum.

Keep reading and posting.

Unread 04-27-2002, 11:41 AM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

This is a decision everyone has to make for themselves, unless you are having a vaginal hyst, then the cervix has to go. This is the way my DR explained it to me: the cervix is not a separate organ; it is part of the uterus, basically just the opening to the uterus. Once the uterus is gone it no longer has a function. It is about the size of a coat button. It serves no function in supporting other organs. During surgery the vagina is attached to other structures in the abdomen. Keeping the cervix there is still a risk for cervical cancer, and if you keep one or both ovaries there is also a chance of “mini periods”. The bladder has its own ligaments for support.

If you trust your DR's judgement and he recommends its removal there is no reason to keep it. I'm 11-1/2 weeks post op and have had no problem with any scar tissue from the removal of the whole uterus or with sex.
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Unread 04-27-2002, 11:44 AM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

I can't tell you what to do, but I can share my thoughts & experiences with you...

Usually, I agree that if something is healthy, leave it alone. Like with the ovaries if they're healthy and there's no family history of ovarian cancer because the ovaries make natural hormones. However, the cervix does not. Actually, it is just another part to the uterus and it's function is to keep the uterus closed from the vagina and open to give birth or for releasing the blood during a period. Since you won't have either after a hyst, there's really no purpose for it.

I had my cervix removed and 4 years ago, when I was your age, I had never had an abnormal pap smear. At 35, I began having severe endocervical dysplasia that recurred two more times within 3 years. Imagine if I'd had my hyst at 34 and then had to go through all this and wind up with more surgery to remove it? I'm glad...and relieved...that it's gone and don't have to worry about cervical cancer.

I have had no problems without my pain during intercourse or otherwise. And dh seems perfectly happy too. He hasn't said that it feels any shorter to him. Actually, the vaginal wall is stretchy tissue and unless the part of the vagina is removed, it shouldn't make too much difference lengthwise.

Another consideration is that some who've kept their cervixes have reported still having some bleeding each month when it would be time for their period. (Remember what I pointed out about the cervix being part of the uterus.)

Good luck with your decision & let us know what you decide.
Unread 04-27-2002, 12:45 PM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

I went through the same debate. Ended up having mine removed.

I had my LAVH primarily because of chronic bad menstrual cramps. My doc recommended removing my cervix to be sure we didn't "incompletely treat the problem," which made sense to me. Plus that mini-period thing worried me -- I wanted the no muss, no fuss advantage of hysterectomy.

I guess it depends on why you're having the hyst. For me it made sense to remove the cervix. Sex-wise, I'm glad it's gone -- it got in the way sometimes & could be uncomfortable. Now, my vagina almost seems longer, because there's no knob in the middle.

Good luck.

Unread 04-27-2002, 01:29 PM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

Ahhh.. I KNEW you were angels the first time I 'stopped' by!


You've given me lots of great to think about. I didn't know about the mini-period 'thing'. The ONLY reason the doc gave me for having it removed was 'no more worry of cervical cancer' & me being me.....that just wasn't enough.

Here's some of the links where I found my info:


LissaLee, I'm having the hyst because of scar tussue, the large growth, thickened uterine lining all causing severe flooding for 3 days a month....

My main doc & I discussed other options to the uterine problem...but when the growth reared its ugly head on the sonogram - we were playing a whole new ballgame.

I'm still fearful of ovarian cancer - but as one poster said - 'why waste a good panic'?

THANK YOU, ~all~ for taking the time to post. I WILL let you know what I finally decide.

Unread 04-27-2002, 01:29 PM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

I kept my cervix, I had fibroids and dormid cysts on my ovaries my Dr. was able to save my right ovary.

The mini periods are very rare. The Dr closes off the cervix at the top so this does not happen.

A Supracervical hyst or Sub-total are the same thing and it is not performed for cervical cancer but to retain the cervix.

I does serve a function their are nerve ending in the cervix that help with the potenial for loss capacity for orgasm during intercourse.

It as helps support the bladder to reduce urinary syptoms the bladder is moved around less when the cervix is not cut away.

Read as much as you can do searches on subtotal or supracervical hyst.

I found the book very helpful to me before my hyst

Hysterctomy: Before & After by Winnifred B. Cutler, PhD
bought it a Books-a Million

email me if you like

[email protected]

Unread 04-27-2002, 01:58 PM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

HI Jocelin!

Thanks for the book tip....I'm going to see if my library can order it in for me................& I'm doing more searches right now.

Unread 04-27-2002, 03:47 PM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

I kept my cervix because I had no abnormal paps and I don't regret it. In my opinion if it is healthly keep it, but you will have to decide what is right for you. You will only have the risk of mini periods if you keep an ovary and then it is very rare. I am happy to say it has been six months and I have NEVER bleed (not even after surgery). Good luck with your decision and keep on researching.
Unread 04-27-2002, 03:58 PM
keep it...remove it....the cervix, that is~

I have also been lurking here for a while. Last week I saw my doctor and we discussed a TAH/BSO, I will probably go ahead with it sooner rather than later. Long story.....but my reason for replying to this thread is to urge you to go ahead and get a second opinion if you are not totally comfortable with this doctor. You should be comfortable and able to trust what is being done for you.

My doctor explained to me that the cervix used to be left in because it was thought it helped with 'support'. Now, there are better surgical techniques and the vagina is supported well by attaching ligaments to it or something like that.

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