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Unread 06-07-2002, 01:23 AM

almost 5 weeks post op TAH (Ovaries left in because Im 30). Radiotherapy booked for next week but am informed now that of course radiotherapy will completely ZAP my ovaries and thier function. 2 options: either i have another operation to stitch my ovaries to something out of the way for the radiotherapy so they may continue to function normally (downside is that I'll have to wait 3 weeks for surgery then a month after that for the radiotherapy to begin - doctors concerned at delay for radio' to begin) or I have the radio' as planned and they zap the ovaries and I have HRT. I have read so many bad things about HRT (as well as good) and was left with the lasting impression after surgery "phew - thank God they left them in, maybe I can function normally for a few years before having to do HRT!". Now I have to make a choice quite quickly and feel very uninformed about HRT. The doctors suggest nasal spray or patches of estrogen - anyone out there that can offer some advise or allay my fears?
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Unread 06-07-2002, 04:14 AM

Hi Scarlette,

I am 44 and just had a TAH/BSO. I started on HRT on Monday. I was having insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings for the last week. I began using the vivelle patch and so far it seems to be doing the trick. except with the insomnia. I finally called yesterday and asked for sleeping pills. I slept wonderful last night. I woke up once about two hours after going to bed, then went right back to sleep and slept til morning. I did not wake once with a hot flash! My moods seem to be leveling off and I think I may even feel a little better than before.

Good luck with your decision. What a huge one that will be to make. I think I saw that you mentioned cancer? Where was it? Did your Dr.s discuss removing your ovaries to prevent ovarian cancer?

Please keep in touch. Let us know how you are doing. You might also wander through the hormone jungle, but I warn you it can be scarey. Most of the posts there are by ladies who have or are having problems regulating their hormones. But boy do they have LOTS of great info and answers to questions!

Unread 06-07-2002, 03:40 PM

s Scarlette

I think the hormone jungle may be just the place for you to visit. Having had ovarian cancer I opted for no HRT. I've been fortunate in that I found my sudden menopause doable.
Ask your doctor how long ovaries continue to function after a hysterectomy. Then decide if the surgery to move the ovaries and the delay in treatment is worth it for you.
I know this time of indecision is hard.
Best wishes.

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Unread 06-07-2002, 04:30 PM

Hi Scarlet, I had radiation for vaginal cancer and my ovaries were 'killed' because of it.

At first , I opted for no HRT because I am anti taking chemical unless absolutely needed. But after a week of hot flushes and severe depression, I gave the Dr a call and said " GIVE ME THOSE PILLS " and I havent looked back. I feel fairly normal ( some would dispute that ) . I also use vagifem pessaries.

This is a decision only you can make but if you ever need me , I am quite happy for you to email me :

[email protected]

Best of luck with it all.
Unread 06-07-2002, 06:03 PM

Hi Scarlet,

Although I had ovarian cancer, my physician Oked HRT for me. He did ask that I use the minimum dose required to keep my bones strong and my hot flashes down. Since I was not even perimenopausal at surgery (43 - but women in my family hit menopause fairly late) my HRT dose was very high to start. It is now down at a level that both my doc and I are comfortable with. I did not have a bad time, but I post a lot in the hormone jungle and some women do have a hard time finding balance. There are many options, and most women do well perhaps after a few weeks or months of adjustment, but there are some who really do do strruggle, and you have no way of knowing until the surgery.

It is also common for ovaries to fail after a hyst - sometimes the operation interferes with the blood supply. Sometimes this failure reverses itself, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it comes and goes.

The estrogen patches are an excellent choice for HRT; they are a bio-identical hormone and there is a slow release of the hormone which is thought to be more like what your ovaries do naturally. Some women, especially young ones like yourself, end up needing a bit of testosterone or progesterone too. And many of us need vaginal estrogen (vagifem or a cream) to keep those tissues in good health.

Visit us in the Hormone Jungle anytime!

Unread 06-07-2002, 09:27 PM
Hi Scarlett

I too am wondering where your cancer was found and how advanced it is. Was it not possible to move your ovaries during your hysterectomy. Perhaps they didn't know the radiotherapy would be required. I am just curious as the ability to move ovaries to protect them during radiation is something I have just learned of.
The other women have said it all very well. There is just no way to know how your ovaries will do long term. It is not an easy call.
I am using the Vivelle Dot patch and am doing very well on it. I have just started some testosterone cream today so to soon to tell. I am 51.
Wishing you all the best in your decision and recovery.

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