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Unread 05-11-2002, 03:43 AM
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Hi everyone,
I'm new here and have so many questions. I have to tell you that I don't know for sure whether I need a hysterectomy or not. I am 45 years old and for the past year I have had very erratic periods and heavy bleeding. A few months, I had my period twice and my doctor sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound. It showed an ovarian cyst, which has since 'popped' but it also showed a couple of fibroids.

I have always had heavy cycles, but it's terrible now. I can wear two pads and a tampon and in an hour it's overflowing. I'm sorry if this is too graphic, I just don't know what to do. I finally posted because this morning my period started a week early. I don't know if it's menopause starting or perimenopause or if the fibroids are bigger. I just get so weak and almost faint about the third day of my cycle because the bleeding is just too much. I am already on iron pills (have been for years) and my doctor had said that it's all to be expected at my age but it's too hard to function. I have to work and so much else is going on, it feels my life revolves around my period.

Should I ask for a hysterectomy or is it best I just suffer through it? Thanks for any advice.

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Unread 05-11-2002, 04:45 AM
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Hi Kate,
I had my TAH for bleeding problems, too. I've never had any pain with my period - even the cramps were very mild. So no pain. But last February, I had an episode of heavy bleeding (really bad, with HUGE clots) that came on in day 10 of my period. I thought it would never stop and was scared to death. I knew that was odd but figured I'd wait until the following month and see if it happened again. Well, in March, it did happen again, so bad that it landed me in the ER. I think I knew right then what was coming. I was severely anemic and the doctor in the ER told me that hematologically speaking, I was half the person I should be. That shocked me. When I saw my doctor (and by the way, my other doctor had left her practice so I had to have a new one and to do it at this time was very unsettling. The hospital referred me to someone close to my home and he's great), he told me that I had two choices - one was to remove just the fibroids (which could grow back later) or a hysterectomy. I was done having children and there was no way I was going to go through this major surgery to come out and still face a period LOL. No way! When he said to me, you do NOT have to live like this, it was such a freeing statement. We women are so strong and tolerate so much! I knew this was what I wanted to do and I am SO glad I had it done. After my surgery, whenever I had to think of doing something or going somewhere, my first instinct was to check the calendar because this bleeding had ruled my life for so long. It had always been heavy. I remember talking with two friends once who couldn't believe I got up numerous times during the night to deal with the bleeding for the first few days of my period. They told me they NEVER had to get up. For me, I had been doing it so long that I never even realized it wasn't right. Anyway, I couldn't believe that I no longer had to be ruled by that calendar. The feeling of freedom and relief is just incredible and when I walk by the feminine hygeine aisle at the stores, I feel like dancing for joy LOL. I guess my point is that it's amazing how much we women tolerate. I love us all! We try so hard to do it all. But then something sometimes forces us to realize that it doesn't have to be this way. That's what happened for me. And although at the time, I was angry over all this, I'm glad it happened because having a TAH gave me back my life
Unread 05-11-2002, 05:09 AM
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Did your dr. offer you options since you have so much bleeding? I know sometimes it takes what you told us (being graphic about how much you are going through and how it is affecting your life) for our dr's to understand us and it sounds like this is to much for you to just suffer through. The average age for menopause is 53 from what I've heard but I know some that have not finished completely till 59. You can also check out the hysterectomy alternatives and options page at this link. Good luck. I was 29 when I had mine and didn't see the point waiting another 20 years or so being tied to a bathroom and on narcotic pain killers every month. I'm loving life now.
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Unread 05-11-2002, 05:13 AM
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hi kate,
i ahd a radical tah bso almost a year ago do to uterine cancer.
i also had heavy periods and irregular bleeding. this started after i turned 45. one of my periods lasted almost a week longer than usual so my dr did an endometrial biopsy. he didnt think we'd find anything wrong but it turned out to be uterine cancer. i'm surprised your dr didnt do this test. i had it done a few times because of the heavy bleeding. i'm glad my dr was as cautious as he was. u probably dont have the same thing but i would check it out to be on the safe side. i am fine now and glad i had the surgery done. no more having to wear 2 overnite pads wrapped around me so that i wouldnt leak thru to my clothes.!!i wish u the best of luck and let me know how you make out.
Unread 05-11-2002, 05:32 AM
thanks so much

My doctor just thinks it's associated with my age. I don't bleed all the time and there is only pain for 3 days or so but it's just getting so strange. One morning I was about to leave for work, I went to the bathroom and I bled like I was urinating for about 2 - 3 minutes. There was absolutely no control. It scared me to death. I stayed home and lay around and it didn't happen again. The clots are getting bigger and bigger, it's so erratic now, early then late, 2 in one month and I still don't know if I have enough problems to just tell my doctor I want to go to a gyno. She said she'd send me if my hemoglobin count was low. I'm on iron pills so how can you tell? I know that when I bleed heavily like that I almost pass out and feel so dizzy and lightheaded and as though I don't have an ounce of strength in my body. I'm just so confused and frustrated.

I also have one question which probably seems trivial. Do they always remove the cervix?? If they do, what about sex afterward? Are things different?

Thanks again
Unread 05-11-2002, 06:47 AM
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Hi Kate. I just wanted to add that what you just described - the bleeding like you're urinating - is EXACTLY what I experienced. And you're right - there is no control. For me, it was different than it had been in the past. Although my periods had always been heavy, I did feel like I had some muscle control over it while I got into the bathroom. This was just as you said - no control. And the bleeding will make you feel dizzy/lightheaded. I remember feeling that way before I headed to the ER. As for the cervix, mine was removed, but I did keep my ovaries. I feel just as I did before so I don't notice any difference.
Unread 05-11-2002, 07:04 AM
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Hi Kate,

I think I'd go see a gyn. They are specialists in women's health issues. A gyn would be better able to advise you about your options and alternatives. Even if it is "just your age", there are all kinds of treatments available, not necessarily a hyst. In this day and age there is no need to suffer.

The cervix doesn't alway have to be removed. A partial hyst can be done. But 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.

I am 13-1/2 weeks post and sex is the same as it was before surgery.

Good luck, and please see a gyn.
Unread 05-11-2002, 07:23 AM
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Hi Kate,
I am 45 and for about 3 years had heavy periods,very large clots ( the size of my hand). The odd thing was ,not much pain but they lasted 9-10 days. I also had constant pain in my right ureter, ( found out it had a kink in it). I went to a urologist and he wrote a letter to my primary doctor and to my gynocologist. Went through all the tests, ultra sound ect. My gyn had retired so they sent me to another one within their group. She didn't want to do the hyst so I went home and 2 weeks later woke up with blood clear to my neck and up the back. My dh said, "enough is enough." I started asking friends who they saw and was amazed at all these woman who saw the same doctor. Some were older woman and some younger who had just had babies. I made an appointment and had my records transferred, ( after 24 years to the same gyno. practice). He had reviewed all my tests, looked at my history and talked to my urologist before I even got there. He sat down,took my hand, looked me straight in the eye and said," It is my opinion and Dr.(urologist) that you have no choice. They found 7 fibroids the size of tennis balls(3 showed up on ultra sound), did bladder repair and small intestine repair that needed to be done when they got in there. The moral of my story is, A second opinion never hurts, and I think you should see a gynocologist. You may not need surgery but until ALL the tests are run you don't know. Another thing that got my attention about your post is that you are questioning this and know something is either different about your body or not right or you wouldn't be looking for information. That tells me you need the peace of mind only a DR. you are comfortable with can give you. Keep reading all you can in this site and please see a gynocolosist. Let us know... Karlene
Unread 05-11-2002, 07:30 AM
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A question to consider in making your decision...
Would going through with the surgery be worth it to you to have a better quality of life?

I know how miserable unpredictable & heavy periods can be. Not only did mine cause weakness & pain, but also robbed me of enjoying everyday life with my family and friends. Personally, I'm very happy not to have that worry anymore.

Good luck with your decision and keep us posted on what you decide.

Unread 05-11-2002, 08:20 AM
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Hi Kate,

Welcome to Hystersisters!

I'm glad that you found us and that you posted.

I had many of your symptoms several years ago, when I was just beginning to go into menopause. I would bleed very heavily, it was painful and very erratic.

My gyn tried birth control pills for awhile, to regulate and control my periods. That worked for awhile, but after a couple of years I began to have hot flashes and night sweats, so then I went on PremPro which, in my case, stopped my periods totally and my hormones leveled back off.

I ended up having my hyst because of prolapses of the uterus, bladder and bowel, not because of the bleeding. (I'm 56 now and had surgery last August)

You may not need a hysterectomy yet - it is major surgery - there may be other, less invasive, alternatives for you. Please make an appointment to see a gynecologist soon to discuss all your options.

Please let us know what you find out.



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