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Question for you ladies who've had a hysterectomy

(105 Posts)
MaggieTulliver Sun 05-Aug-18 08:29:19

I'm nearly 61 and am considering having one. I have recurrent postmenopausal bleeding and am fed up with having to be investigated for possible uterine cancer every time I have a bleed - the stress is horrendous and I want to be done with it.

I know it's major surgery and not a decision to be taken lightly and I've read about long-term problems such as increased risk of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. It would be very helpful to hear about your experiences and how long ago you had the surgery. Is it a decision you're happy you made or do you regret it?

Humbertbear Sun 05-Aug-18 08:39:31

I had a hysterectomy 25 years ago by keyhole surgery (ovaries as well) and never, ever regretted it. I’ve not noticed any side effects. What does your consultant say about it?

MaggieTulliver Sun 05-Aug-18 08:43:06

I'm glad to hear that you've been side-effect free Humber. Do you mind me asking how old you are now? I'm seeing my consultant in a couple of weeks so it hasn't been discussed yet.

Marydoll Sun 05-Aug-18 08:50:21

I had a vaginal hysterectomy and pelvic floor repair, with a spinal block, a number of years ago. It improved my quality of life so much, that I wished I had had it sooner.
However, my recovery did take a bit longer than some, due to my underlying health conditions and an allergic reaction to the antibiotics they give you in theatre.
I had a fair bit of discussion with my consultant gynecologist and a consultant anaesthetists, as I was high ris, before they would agree to go ahead..
Good luck with whatever you decide, but don't rush into it, without lots of dialogue.

mcem Sun 05-Aug-18 08:55:01

It's over 20 years since I had a hysterectomy with not a single problem or regret since then.
The op was done vaginally so no scars to heal. Ovaries were left so no 'instant menopause'.
Ask lots of questions but if you do go ahead be very kind to yourself afterwards. I fe!t so much better very quickly and was 'raring to go' but had to remind myself that several weeks of rest are really necessary.

MaggieTulliver Sun 05-Aug-18 09:09:19

No, I'm certainly not going to rush into it and I have no real idea at this stage whether I'd even be able to have one. It's just that they don't seem to know how to best manage women like me with recurrent PMB....Ultimately it's a question of do I want to constantly be reminded that I might have uterine cancer or do I want to go through a hysterectomy and not have to worry about it anymore but have to deal with the possible repurcusions of having a hysterectomy.

It's good to have more positive stories though...thank you so much.

Joelsnan Sun 05-Aug-18 09:12:54

Its ten years since my hysterectomy and daft as it sounds it was the best thing i had done and wished i could have done it in my 30s, it really changed my lfe.
I had no issues following the surgery and in fact the tightening of the muscles in that area brought an 'added bonus'. The best way to recover is just get on with life asap
Good Luck

Luckygirl Sun 05-Aug-18 09:17:57

I had mine done 36 years ago via the abdominal route. The scar vanished into the jungle very quickly.grin

It did take a while to fully recover; but it transformed my life.

In the last couple of years my bladder has become a bit unreliable, but not in a big way, and not necessarily related to the hysterectomy all those years ago.

How trying for you to have this constant PMB. I hope you have a useful consultation.

Pippa000 Sun 05-Aug-18 09:23:43

I had my hysterectomy when I was 29 due to very heavy bleeding each month and then it was the only way they treated that. I have never regretted the decision, I had two very young children at the time and it was a nightmare each month. So far, and I am 70 now, I have had no problems and apart from the usual aged related aches and pains nothing else has fallen apart.

merlotgran Sun 05-Aug-18 09:35:36

I had a total hysterectomy 25yrs ago and it transformed my life. I did struggle with weight gain for a few years so ditched HRT in my early fifties which then led to successful weight loss.

MaggieTulliver Sun 05-Aug-18 09:56:55

It's very useful to hear nothing but positive stories, especially from you ladies who had them many years ago and have had no problems since. I'm really beginning to think that the pros outweigh the cons. Am prepared for quite a few weeks to recover but might try to look on it as an enforced relaxation period! (I'm a typical type A personality, always running around etc).

I'm also looking into the benefits of keeping my ovaries as the PMB would only necessitate removal of the uterus. Obviously no ovaries means no worry about ovarian cancer but I'm not high risk for that. On the other hand, I'm a worry wort.....

MaggieTulliver Sun 05-Aug-18 09:57:53

Haha Lucky, I have a jungle too so nothing to worry about there!

ninathenana Sun 05-Aug-18 10:07:43

Pippa my DD is 30 and asked for a hysterectomy for the same reasons you had yours. Her periods disrupt her life. They told her she is too young. Opinions change.

downtoearth Sun 05-Aug-18 10:13:11

25 years ago for me also at 41 due to fibroids abd endometriosis and adhesions from two previous c.sections,my problems where more of the emotional loss,my MIL at 71 also felt a loss,physically with a young family to care for and two elderly mums meant recovery time was limited but returned to full time work after 3months.I had the abdominal surgery scar for previous c.sections used,very neat and healed very well ,advice will be given re post operative care,these days you are discharged from hospital quite quickly so its important not to lift etc,I was in for 10 days so a bit further along the recovery route ...good luck I have never regreted having it done

Nanabilly Sun 05-Aug-18 10:15:30

I had a total hysterectomy many many years ago and it's the best thing I ever demanded a doctor do for me , yes I demanded it . Acted decades of horrific periods and lots of "scrapes"for heavy bleeding I sat in the cubicle at gynae clinic and said to the young doctor "i want a hysterectomy" he fetched us senior doctor in and it was agreed they would do it in the next few weeks and they did and I've never regretted it and they certainly did not regret it either as the outside of my womb was covered in fibroids which never showed u on any scans. doctor said her never seen anything like it and it was like a boat covered in barnacles.
I had hormonal implant in but it caused problems so went on patches which ended up on the husband in a morning!
Hairy chin is my only problem since then!

Purpledaffodil Sun 05-Aug-18 10:18:58

I had “It all taken away” because of a massive ovarian cyst 18 years ago when I was 51. Because of the cyst (4 pints!) it had to be with a big incision, but I understand other methods do not necessitate such a long recovery time. Never had any side effects and found HRT implant after was excellent. Sadly was not allowed a further one. Go for it Maggie

Anannymous Sun 05-Aug-18 10:47:54

I had my hysterectomy about 24 years ago. I also opted to have my ovaries removed (which proved to be a good decision as I was diagnosed with breast cancer 8 years later). I never once regretted having the procedure and wished I had pushed for it to be done sooner.

Nandalot Sun 05-Aug-18 10:50:53

Mine was 28 years ago after putting up for ten years with excessive, sudden bleeding which was making work almost impossible. I also suffered from quite severe anaemia. Although I had a general anaesthetic, our ward was being trialled with an epidural which was kept in for a few days afterwards. I can honestly say I had no pain to speak of. Unlike the jungle camouflage some gnetters have mentioned, my scar is hidden by an overhang! I have never regretted it.

MaggieTulliver Sun 05-Aug-18 11:01:08

Nanabilly I have a hairy chin already, oh dear! I do feel for those of you who had it done relatively young and had to deal with the sense of emotional loss. I'm fortunate in that it won't be an issue for me because of my age.

Anan, I hope you made a full recovery from your breast Ca.

Doodle Sun 05-Aug-18 12:23:30

maggie I had one when 58 as I had horrendous bleeding and fibroids. I would never assume to tell others what to do but feel I must pass on advice from a doctor friend to me at the time "make sure they take the ovaries too". I had the full works. No regrets. Do pelvic floor exercises after (the type recommended for post hysterectomy). My scar is tiny not really noticeable. So glad I had it done.

MaggieTulliver Sun 05-Aug-18 13:19:56

Useful advice about the ovaries - thanks Doodle, glad you're glad! Think my mind is made up - I'll push for one so I have peace of mind. Also the only surefire way to make sure I don't have cancer is to do a hysterectomy - they've never managed to get enough tissue from my womb (because lining is very thin) to do a biopsy.

cavewoman Sun 05-Aug-18 13:30:51

Same as Doodle .(Word for word)
Absolute life changer.
I feel better now than I have done in 30 years!

stella1949 Sun 05-Aug-18 15:47:27

I had mine at 35 due to horrendous bleeding every month which was ruining my life. Best decision I ever made - life improved instantly and I've never regretted it.

Mine was done vaginally and I was out of bed in a couple of days and home soon after. I went back to work exactly 4 weeks later. Vaginal is the way to go if you have a choice , since there is no abdominal incision and so there is very little damage to your muscles and you recover very quickly.

kathsue Sun 05-Aug-18 16:51:40

I had mine 26 years ago aged 41 due to fibroids which caused excessive bleeding and severe anaemia. I felt like I'd got my life back afterwards. So no regrets.

sodapop Sun 05-Aug-18 17:40:42

Another positive story here, I had a hysterectomy 25 years ago due to heavy bleeding and fibroids. It was the abdominal route no keyhole surgery then. I had a slow but uneventful recovery and never looked back. My life was so improved I can't tell you,
Good luck,