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3dsmom posted:
When I went for my check up my doctor told me I need to have a hysterectomy since last year tests showed my ovaries were not working and this past year I started having more periods and she was concerned it could be cancer. When they ran some tests on me every thing came back fine. Her physicians assistant called me and said if I'm still having periods by the age of 54, I'm 52 then definitely I need a hysterectomy. I'm really confused and concerned. Why am I having periods and why am I getting two different responses from the doctors? Has anyone else experienced this?
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear 3dsmom,
Don't worry, I'm confused too! Seriously, there are women who do have very variable function in their ovaries; indeed occasionally we see women who have no periods for a year, they seem to be fully menopausal, and their ovaries start working again; it's unusual, but it does happen. If you are having any weird bleeding, it is totally reasonable to do a full D and C, to make sure there is nothing weird in the lining of the uterus. But presuming you have normal appearing ovaries on an ultrasound and a negative D and C, I cannot think of any good reason to tell you that you need a hysterectomy. So if they are pushing towards a hyst, having had a normal evaluation of the lining of your uterus, you should seek another opinion.
Good luck,
Mary Jane
Anon_6061 responded:
Huh?? This doesn't make sense if I'm understanding you correctly. Your periods never stopped for a full year, right? The AVERAGE age of menopause is about 52. But there are plenty of women who still have periods at age 54.

Your ovaries are doing exactly what they should be doing at this point - transitioning to their menopausal functions. Once in menopause, they'll produce less estrogen but continue to produce testosterone that your body converts into estrogen. But leading up to that, hormones are "all over the place" resulting in irregular cycles.

This "waxing and waning" of ovarian hormones causes the menstrual cycle to go "wacko" which can include more or less frequent periods, heavier, lighter, anything goes! Along with this craziness can be a build up of the uterine lining. But it's usually nothing serious and goes down to normal thickness once you go into menopause.

Did you know that hysterectomy is the most overused surgery after c-section? ACOG says 76% do not meet their criteria. You can find this study in PubMed. Only about 2% are done for cancer. As a health care consumer, you need to educate yourself so you can act in the best interests of your short and long-term health. Frankly, if it were me, I'd be switching doctors.
3dsmom replied to Anon_6061's response:
Correct, I have not gone a full year without a period. In 2011 I went 8 months without a period and this past year I have had more periods but still very irregular. They did a pelvic ultrasound, blood test for cancer and another test where they went in to get a specimen from inside my uterus. Everything is normal. So yes I believe I will be switching doctors.
Anon_6061 replied to 3dsmom's response:
I know of quite a few women who've gone many months (even close to a year) without a period only to have them start back up. And all this time without one can cause them to be extra heavy and prolonged.

And interestingly, just the other day, I read that even post-menopausal bleeding (which doesn't apply to you - yet anyway) has an 80% chance of being nothing serious. (The majority of the other 20% aren't cancer and can generally be treated conservatively, no organ removal needed.) So you can rest assured that your sex organs have a low risk of being "diseased" to the point of having to be removed. Here's a list of causes of post-menopausal bleeding (if you happen to have that once you've gone a FULL YEAR without a period) -

BTW - The only blood test for cancer of which I'm aware is the CA-125 for ovarian cancer (OC). And it's not considered an accurate test for diagnosing OC. The other test you had must have been an endometrial biopsy which is sometimes done if a u/s shows an abnormally thick lining.

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