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    Hystorectomy at 32
    jessicaguerrero22 posted:

    I am 32 years old and have lived with extremely painful periods, irregular bleeding, and heavy bleeding since I was 12/13 years old. I am the single Mom of two children. I have been on 15/16 different birth controls, two IUD's, the shot, Nuvaring, etc. in order to try and regulate my periods, lessen the flow, and control the cramping. Nothing has worked. I am living in misery and pain, bleeding more often than not. My doctor has said it is time to proceed with the hystorectomy. I am also set in doing it but can't help but feel a bit sad. I cried when she told me it was time(she didn't pressure me at all). I have already had a tubal ligation so for sure I do not want any more children, but I am still having a hard time coming to grips with it all. I also should mention that both my maternal grandmother and aunt were uterine and cervical cancer survivors at 35 and 36 years of age.
    What should I expect after this surgery? Do you feel the same minus all the pain and bleeding? If they leave your ovaries do you have to take hormones? So many questions!!

    Thank you!
    georgiagail responded:
    This is a serious surgery in someone so young and you will likely find at least one person on this list who will strongly encourage you not to do this. But it certainly sounds as if you have tried many things to control these symptoms. There are other treatments prior to a hysterectomy that can be considered (i.e., endometrial ablation, for example) that you might wish to read up on.

    I had my hysterectomy (I was much older than you; 47 years old at that time) and quite honestly, I don't miss that puppy one bit). MANY women who have undergone the suffering you have experienced and gone on to have a hysterectomy question why they didn't do this sooner, especially in light of your very strong family history of both early uterine and cervical cancer.

    I did not have my ovaries taken out (they were perfectly healthy) and it sounds as if you do not need to have these removed. If not removed, there is absolutely no need to take hormones until you would enter menopause naturally years down the road.

    I hope this answers some of your questions and brings you some comfort regarding this surgery.

    rhondamay responded:

    Jessica, I want to reinforce what Gail said. I was close to your age when I had a hysterectomy for the same reasons as you are contemplating. I don't miss the pain. I have had no regrets. I would do again in a heartbeat. Lake Gail, my ovaries were healthy and are still intact. I am now 58. I hit menopause at 52 which is close to average. Don't let the scare stories concern you.

    I wish you the best,


    Anon_6061 responded:
    Your gyn history does sound miserable! Do you maybe have endometriosis (endo)? It's my understanding that the only sure way to diagnose it is via laparoscopic surgery and pathology of the tissue. Many gynecologists aren't very knowledgeable or experienced when it comes to endo so seeking out an endo specialist may be worthwhile if you haven't already done that.

    Have you been checked for an endocrine problem such as thyroid or pituitary or a clotting disorder? These can cause a lot of gynecological problems. Your primary care physician or an endocrinologist could run the appropriate tests and then treat the underlying problem.

    If you have endo, a hysterectomy isn't a cure. Of course, it would end the bleeding but there's no guarantee it would end the pain. Endo can be found throughout the pelvis, not just in/on the reproductive organs.

    The ovaries can fail after hysterectomy (about a 40% chance). If they continue to function, you'll likely go through menopause 4 years earlier. If one ovary is removed and the other continues to function, you'll likely go through menopause even earlier. Check PubMed for studies.

    The uterus and the ligaments that support it also have anatomical (internal and external) and sexual functions. My figure has changed since my hysterectomy even though I haven't had weight gain that seems to be a common complaint. My bladder and bowels have shifted causing issues. My sex life has also suffered.

    Only you can decide if the trade-offs are worth it. Of course, it's important to get a definitive diagnosis (the cause of these problems) before deciding on the appropriate treatment. I hope whatever you decide works out for you.
    Anon_6061 responded:
    I forgot to mention that I don't think there's a big genetic factor involved in endometrial or cervical cancer but I could be wrong. That's something you may want to research. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) increases risk of endometrial cancer and PCOS does tend to run in families but that's the extent of my knowledge on this link. Women with PCOS tend to have the opposite problem of you though - missed periods (less bleeding) not more.

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