About a month ago I found a rather large lump above my belly button. I went to my regular Dr. (that's when I had the cholesterol test some of you might remember). She was unsure of what it was and then I asked could it possibly be a fibroid, since I was diagnosed with them about 20 months prior. She said yes, I made an appointment with my gynecologist, she examined me and said "Yes, it's definitely a fibroid". And my first thought was "I wonder how much that sucker weighs." She said it is not necessarily all that much larger, but with will all of my weightloss it is now starting to bother me. She sent me for a pelvic sonogram and I just got the results. She wants to remove my uterus. Hmmm. She says the fibroid is about the size of an orange. And my uterus is enlarged to the size of a cantalope. At this point I'm dying to ask how much the fibroid AND the uterus weighs. Somehow I restrained myself.
She says I'm 43, I no longer need my uterus. Fibroids grow back, removing just the fibroid could cause major blood loss and it's not worth the risk. She'd be leaving my ovaries. I'd no longer have my period, which is absolutely horrendous beyond belief due to the fibroid. She says leaving the ovaries will provide me with my needed hormones. So how does that effect menapause? I would go into menapause eventually and not know it because I would no longer being having periods. I was just wondering if any of you here are familiar with this or have had similiar situations? If it's not too personal, that is. Any of you know the recovery period and when I could resume exercise again? Just how bad a surgery is it?
I also asked her how soon does it have to come out. Could I possibly wait til I'm through losing all my weight, say up to a year. First she said yes, then she said maybe 3 - 6 months. She says if there are any changes with discomfort or my period I should call her immediately. I won't have all my weight off in 3 - 6 months. I'm just not sure if I should wait till it's all off, or get it over with and do it in maybe 3.
Anyway I'm really not too pleased. The thought of surgery is really scary to me. I've had surgery only once, my oldest daughter was delivered by C-section. It was not pleasant. The thought of me putting my weightloss on hold is horrendous to me at this point. I've built myself up to a nice fitness leveland I am TERRIFIED of losing that. Any input you wise ladies could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
01-31-2007, 03:01 PM
You need to put your health ahead of weight loss. The doctor has given you good advice. You'll be glad you did it once you get it over with. No surgery is pleasant. I'd be more looking at getting relief from your horrendous period. You need to discuss with your surgeon when you could be back to exercise, etc. I wish you well.
01-31-2007, 03:09 PM
I had a myomectomy(removal of a fibroid) in 1986 in between the birth of my two sons. They found a tennis ball size fibroid in my uterus at the time that I had our oldest in 1981. I asked Doc why they did not remove it during the C-section. He said that it is NOT standard procedure because there is already enough blood loss during a C-section. Adding any more with removal of the fibroid would not be safe. Also, often as the estrogen levels go down, so does the fibroid. My fibroid did get smaller.
In 1986 I felt what I THOUGHT was a pregnancy. Doc thought so, too! An ultrasound confirmed however, that I was NOT pregnant but that the original fibroid was back. If I wanted to get pregnant again, I should have it removed. Apparently miscarriage is quite high when a fibroid AND a baby are competing for space in the uterus. I did not want to try to become pregnant a second time KNOWING that the fibroid was in there and COULD cause a baby of mine to die. I agreed to have Doc take it out and was given a 50-50 chance of NOT ending up with a hysterectomy. Things went well, fortunately, and my now softball size fibroid was removed with just one cut. My doctor had said that until you get in there you really never know the shape, size etc. of the fibroid OR if it may be attatched in many different places. Mine was attached to the wall of the uterus by a single stalk.
Two years later I was pregnant with our second child. I was very happy I played the odds and had the surgery, but at the time I went under the knife I did not know whether I would wake up with a uterus or not. VERY SCARY STUFF!
Things were fine after our second son was born in 1988, and for the first time in my life I had periods that were EXACTLY 28 days! That was so weird after having very erratic periods my whole life!
In 2000 my periods became very intense. They got longer with heavier flow. I did some extensive reading on the subject and found that fibroids can and DO usually grow back. I also discovered that if you are close to menopause and can be patient,however, the decreasing estrogen of the process of perimenopause then menopause shrinks the fibroids. After Two C-sections and a Myomectomy in eight years, I was willing to be patient. I did NOT want to have yet another surgery! Also, I have heard that a hysterectomy CAN prevent a woman from feeling an orgasm due to the cutting of certain nerves around that area. That was enough to make me decide that I could put up with changing my pad every 15 minutes and wearing TWO tampons at a time! I also became anemic with a hemocrit of 32. I HAD a hemocrit normally of 40. I began taking SlowIron and a multivitamin and drinking more water and increasing my sodium. All of that brought my iron back up to 40. (I donate blood every other month, so I wanted to still be able to do that!)
I'm in menopause now. My period "Grande Finale" with all the fireworks is finally O-V-E-R!:carrot: It was a LONG four years of heavy bleeding! I STILL have my uterus, AND all my nerves for GREAT orgasms. ;) I once again played the odds and won.
Unless a fibroid is cancerous, and they almost NEVER are, you DO NOT have to have them removed unless you plan on conceiving another child. Menopause WILL shrink them right up! Mine did!
Hope this helps!
01-31-2007, 03:11 PM
Sweetie I do not know what advice to give you but wanted to hug ya! *HUGZ* Definately get a second opinion and your health does come front and center. You can always start losing again after ward!
01-31-2007, 03:15 PM
So sorry you are going through this :hug:
My sister just had a hysterectomy. The recovery period was 6 weeks.
I think you should go ahead and have it done. BUT, tell your doctor your concerns that you will lose the progress you have made with your weightloss, and that you need exercises you can do during the recovery period. Maybe she will need to refer you to a physical therapist. But I would think there must be something you can do while you are recovering.
I don't like surgery either. But I generally lose weight during the recuperation period, if that helps any. :)
01-31-2007, 03:20 PM
Wow Cheryl. That's quite a story. I'm 43 though, it could be 10 or more years til I hit menapause. I actually can see the sucker, I can't imagine how it will be when I lose more weight. You have really, really got me thinking now. I'm more confused then ever. When I was first diagonosed about 20 months ago, that was my first thought, to just hang on til menapause. But since now I'm AWARE of it, meaning I kinda feel it both internally and externally I was thinking it's time to get rid of it. It hasn't grown much since last sonnogram, but I think it's a possibility. And my periods are so bad that sometimes I can't leave me house. I would be real happy to do without the surgery though. I'm just really confused now.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. :hug:
Jasmine thanks for the good wishes, you as well QuilterinVa.
Fiddler we posted at the same time, I'm adding this as an edit. Thank you for sharing your story as well. Six weeks, huh? This is really a hard decision. I almost wish it were more clear cut.
01-31-2007, 03:20 PM
ALWAYS get a second opinion before removing a BIG part of yourself such as your uterus. Doctors are WAY TOO QUICK to want to remove body parts they view as "unncessary" such as our tonsils. Hello! Our tonsils are there for a reason, and our uteruses may be there for more reasons than just for holding little babies (the orgasm example was a good one). Sounds paranoid, but I bet a doc gets a lot more from insurance to remove a uterus than a fibroid. I'd get even a third opinion before proceeding with such a drastic surgery as removing something from my body (unless they're sucking out fat, now that I'd do without any second opinion).
01-31-2007, 03:24 PM
Mami, you made me laugh with your fat sucking sugery comment. :D
That orgasam thing IS more then a bit scary.
Oh gosh, what to do? what to do?
01-31-2007, 04:03 PM
There are other alternative fibroid treatments out there besides hysterectomy.I am no expert but I have seen a lot written about new treatments where you keep your uterus and stop having periods.Do some research and get a second opinion.
01-31-2007, 04:04 PM
01-31-2007, 04:17 PM
Try an IUD for easier periods (and birth control of course, which is why I got it). I got one a few months ago and like the doc said, the first 3 months I had longer and heavier than usual periods but because of the small release of progesterone in the IUD that was implanted (no pain and took 2 seconds), I am literally spotting for a few days as my TOM (a pantyliner rather than pad is all I need now).
01-31-2007, 04:21 PM
Thanks for the link and your opinion fitbyforty. My Dr. said she does not believe in the shrinking method. She says they almost always come back.
I put it to her like this, I said if it were you or your daughter what would you do? And she said she'd have the surgery. I have been doing a little bit of research. After looking some things over, from what I can see there is no rush to get the surgery. I'm going to do a bit more research. Try to find some more people who have been through it. I will be keeping a list of questions I have for my doctor and in few weeks time call her back with my questions.
01-31-2007, 04:23 PM
Mami, I don't believe that would be effective with a fibroid. But I will put it on my list of questions. Some people go on the pill to try to control the bad periods. I am reluctant to do that. I'm 43 and not looking to go back on the pill. I've been off of it for years.
01-31-2007, 04:24 PM
Hi, My Mom has a lagre fibriod, She can also feel it from the outside. Her Doctor Recomended an embolism (the link fit by forty posted talks about this) But she is in her early 50s so she decided to wait till menopuas as the doctor did say it would shrink. Removing the uterus seems drastic without trying some other treatments first.
01-31-2007, 04:26 PM
Good luck, there are some really awesome forums out there, I am having an endometrial Ablation in less than a week, which is a step back from removing the uterus but still leaves me sterile and isn't an in patient operation but rather an outpatient surgery, so far less intrusive. I think that is what fitbyforty is talking about. It is basicly a third degree burn INSIDE your uterus that cauterizes it. I am a bit scared but I need to stop bleeding to get back my blood as I am severely anemic and not getting any better.
It would not remove a fibroid on the outside of your uterus or one that is that large though, so a hysterectomy is a must I think. But a second opinion is always good no matter what. If anything to concrete that your doctor is looking out for your best interest.
But it really is up to you if it is the right thing to do. Alot of women have pain with fibroids expecially large ones. But if your not having pain and your doc ok's waiting then it is ok. Just watch out for what she said. It really can be serious. I would also see if she can do a biopsy first to make sure nothing in cancerous, just to be on the safe side. That really scared me but the chances are slim but you dont want to remove anything without knowing first!
Good luck and read read read, it really helps!!! -Sumi
01-31-2007, 04:31 PM
Robin - you absolutely have to put your health first here. My daughter had to have a hysterectomy at age 26. She never realized how much the fibroids affected how she felt. Once she had the surgery, she could not believe how much better she felt, and it was like immediately. I would get a 2nd opinion (just to make sure) and if the 2nd opinion is the same, get it done asap. Please keep us posted and I will keep you in my prayers.
01-31-2007, 04:49 PM
Thank you Mrs. Quadcrew. I'm sorry your daughter had to go through that. I'm curious, if it's not too personal, in what way did she feel better? I'm assuming you mean other then period wise.
As far as my health I can't help but believe that surgery would be riskier at 199 lbs then say even 150 or so.
01-31-2007, 05:43 PM
I had a friend who had a very large fibroid--something like the size of a 7-mo. old fetus--and it showed. It also caused her a lot of discomfort internally. She didn't like the idea of surgery. Upshot is that after she hit menopause, it disappeared completely.
Keep in mind that doctors always want to do surgery, and they always want to remove women's uteruses. There are way, way too many hysterectomies done in this country. Your dr. says she would have the surgery--but what would you expect her to say? She believes in that kind of medical approach.
It's a tough decision--I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do--but don't let anyone hurry you into a decision either way. This isn't a life-threatening situation. You have plenty of time to gather information and ask people about their experiences. And whatever you decide to do, feel good about your decision--don't try to second guess.
01-31-2007, 09:35 PM
this sounds familiar to what my mom had...probably when she was a bit older than you are now (sometime in her mid-late 40s) and she had a complete hysterectomy, early menopause...the whole shebang. I can't say I know the details, I was very young then (she is almost 60 now) but I know her menopause symptoms were terrible, she had to take hormones and she had a real hard time finding the balance. Her major thing it seems is extreme hot flashes, pretty much all day long. She has also recently had breast cancer and I think the drugs she has to take for that make it worse. Its pretty safe to say it could be -200* and she'd be hot...
I would defiantly say do the research and get a second opinion, if you want I can certainly ask her about what she had and went through...she was also a nurse for 30 years so she's pretty familiar with all of these things... we're cool like that, we had cancer together (I was diagnosed with cervical cancer 2 days after her breast cancer diagnosis) so we're pretty comfortable with the medical questions since her medical history is basically my medical future with all the girlie stuff. let me know and I'll ask her and send you a PM
01-31-2007, 10:32 PM
Regarding doctors being paid more for a TVH/TAH vs. fibroid removal - completely false. In fact, sometimes fibroid removals are more costly due to blood loss issues.
If you're this uncomfortable with the idea of having surgery done, I'd seek a second opinion. You may not hear what you want to hear, or you may hear that surgery is completely unnecessary. Either way, it may make you feel more comfortable about making a decision. I don't blame you for wanting to avoid surgery at all costs. Any surgery has its risks and benefits, so you have to weigh both sides and see which side works best for you.
The chances of being unable to feel an orgasm after having a hysterectomy are fairly low, but it is a risk. Because your doctor feels that leaving your ovaries intact is a good plan, you most likely won't have the hormone issues that women who have an oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) have.
I'm not advocating you have or don't have the surgery because that's a completely personal choice. No matter what you decide, education is the key. Good luck!
02-01-2007, 09:15 AM
I usually post on another board, but i saw your question and thought i may be able to help. I worked for several years with a gynocologist and assisted with surgery so i know a little about this subject.
If your fibroid isnt causing you a major pain problem, i dont know why you couldnt wait to have it removed. I know alot of people who did just that, waited for it to cause a problem, or at a time better for them to have surgery.
As far as hysterectomy vs myomectomy(fiborid removal) that may depend exactly where the fiborid is. if it is attached to the uterus, you could probably have a myomectomy. if its in the inside wall of the uterus, a hysterectomy would probably be safer.
I have two friends in their 30's who recently had hysterectomies. both of them have said its the best thing they ever did. They have no more heavy periods, cramps, backaches from periods. They both said their sex lives have not been affected, but actually better.
i wish you luck in whatever you do. as some others have said, maybe you can seek another opinion.
02-01-2007, 11:51 AM
ACK! Start taking things out and you are risking pelvic prolapse, which really, really sucks. All those organs support each other inside and are interconnected. Take one out and the others move a bit, and can start bulging outwards. I've got a prolapse and it's terrifying at times- and limits what I can do and is generally a most unpleasant thing to have happen!
Please try looking at wholewoman.com, and/or asking questions on their messageboard. The surgical "cure" could be worse than the problem. There are lots of knowledgable people there, and I've seen fibroids talked about before, so you might find someone who could give you some good advice.
And who knows? The fibroids might shrink when you get rid of the extra fat which is making extra estrogen.
02-01-2007, 12:25 PM
Thanks for your advice and thoughts on this matter everyone. The more I look into it, and the more I hear from you guys, I am in NO rush to remove my uterus just yet. I'm already compiling a list of questions for my doctor. The first thing that comes to mind is - so just what would be so bad if we leave the fibroid there and monitor it annually or however often she deems necessary to see how big it's getting. Now granted, I have the most horrible, horrible periods imaginable. But I most certainly can deal with it. Luckily I have not developed anemia because of it yet. I know that if I could just hang on til I get to menapause, that things could improve. I asked my mom last night when she started menapause, she said she was done by 54. Eleven years to go. Of course that doesn't mean that's when I'll go through it, I just wanted an idea. We shall see. I'll keep you posted.
MAria thank you for the website. I will definitely look into it.
02-01-2007, 12:49 PM
Some people go on the pill to try to control the bad periods. I am reluctant to do that. I'm 43 and not looking to go back on the pill. I've been off of it for years.
Let me add this: I am 43 also. I've never given birth. I used to get the most HORRIBLE periods, crazy bleeding, wild mood swings, cramps beyond this world... I've been on & off the pill (different brands) since I was 15 years old, trying to get ahold of this lovely woman crap. I sometimes had the most horrible migraines, which is why I kept getting OFF the pill. I've had several cysts that grow & burst, grow & burst, grow & burst. They have proven to be a pain in the.... uterus. BUT FINALLY - I am seemingly out of that loop. Here's why:
Last year at my annual pap visit, my doctor gave me the oh-so-happy news that I AM OFFICIALLY IN PERIMENOPAUSE. I get hot flashes like the devil. My periods started going wanky... one period for 14 days, then nothing for a couple or three months, then one for 2 days, then one a week later, etc. My sleep patterns were disruptive to say the least. Whether I had a "bleeding" period or not, I was cramping like a banji!!!! - My OB/GYN finally convinced me to try a new birth control pill. It is supposedly special-made for women over 40 -for as you know, they try to discourage us from taking the pill after 40. The pill is called YAZ. I take it for 3 months straight, without the 5-7 white pills, so I only have a period 4 times a year. My cramps have practically disappeared altogether. My skin cleared up! I DON'T get headaches! and I don't have to worry about pregnancy at this age (thank the goddesses!!!) YAZ may not be right for you - but it has really helped me. I haven't had a cyst in a LONG TIME.
Still -I'd get another opinion if I were you - about the surgery. That's just a smart thing, no matter what kind of surgery you're told you need.
Good luck - & please keep us informed on how it all goes.
WOOOOOMAN POWWWWWERRRRRRR!!!!! Heh. :dizzy:
02-01-2007, 01:39 PM
You know you can take Slow Iron even if you haven't TECHNICALLY been diagnosed with anemia. It would make sense to get your iron level first which can be found when you donate blood or at the doctor's office. Signs that your iron is low is if you get tired easily and if you get out of breath easier than before. II experienced both before I started taking the Slow Iron pills. I'd get your level checked now rather than wait to become anemic!
Oh, and thanks so much for introducing me to FitDay! I think I may have figured out what caused my former weight loss stall! I think I was eating way too many carbs in relation to the proteins that I was having per day. Using FitDay I can adjust as I go throughout the day and also monitor my exercise/calories eaten ratio. I also like that I can keep a journal right on the site. That will also help me spot no-nos that I want to avoid.
Don't worry too much about the fibroid, Robin! My first one was inside me for at least five years, and the doctor says with my history of irregular periods, I may have had it growing since puberty! My second one that caused all my latest hubbub would have started growing shortly after I had my second son in 1988. Trouble with the heavy bleeeding didn't begin until 2000. From 2004-2005 I had sporadic periods following those four years of THE RED SEA. Since the end of my periods and being in menopause I have no periods, no discomfort at all, and the fibroid has shrunk. It has been inside me for 18 YEARS! As I said before, fibroids are rarely ever cancerous, and I believe the statistic is 1 in 4 women have them.
02-01-2007, 01:58 PM
I don't really know a lot about fibroids, I do know a LOT about bad bad periods. I control mine with the pill now.. but have looked for NATURAL ways to help rather than taking drugs. Fish oil seems to relieve cramps, it works amazingly!! I get cramps that can keep me bed ridden for days, also calcium seems to help as well.
On that note, have you looked at natural therapies? I'm a firm believer that our bodies can heal themselves with some gentle nudging, I own "Prescription for Nutritional Healing". Its suggesting Laparoscopic Myolysis - which is sometimes used for treatment of larger fibroids. What they do is use a laser or electric current, delivered by special needles, to burn the fibroid and shrink it. It can also be done on an outpatient basis. It really stresses that you should g ive it careful consideration because many hysterectomies are unnecessary.
02-01-2007, 02:00 PM
Robin - I am sorry I took so long responding to your question. Make sure you research your options, and be very careful about the sites you visit for info. some of them are so biased (anti -surgery stuff to the scary point - which is unfortunate) it isn't funny. It is your body, you need to do what is right for YOU. Surgery is a risk, no matter how you look at it, but sometimes it is well worth the risk you take.
In my daughter's case - it was very much worth the risk. She was miserable before having the surgery. It was NOT an option for her. She had terrible periods, horrbile cramping, very heavy bleeding. (and she had this for several years) She also had PMS and another syndrome, which I can't think of the name of right now. So - she was in terrible moods and in pain 3 out of 4 weeks a month. A couple of days after her surgery, she just was in awe at how much better she felt. She (of course) had the pain of the surgery itself still going on, but she said it was so diffilcut for her to explain to me ~ she just FELT so much better. She wished she had the surgery much earlier than she did. She had put it off as long as she possibly could because she wanted to have children. (she never was able to conceive - even with very invasive proceedures) That was the hardest thing for her to deal with - so you see, it was a very difficult decision for her to make.
I truely hope you can get through this without surgery. BUT, I just want you to know also, that surgery is something that is very helpful to some people. You look at all the options and discuss it with your Dr. (and be sure to get that 2nd opinion) and then make the decision that is right for YOU.
02-01-2007, 02:03 PM
you need to put your health first here. you have done so well with your weight loss, you should have the right frame of mind by now to withstand this. i know you can do it! don't let this little bump in the road get in the way of your dreams.
02-01-2007, 02:13 PM
I usually get terrible cramping with my period, but tried extra magnesium supplements this last one-- and the pain diminished by at least 75% It took a lot of magnesium- close to 1500 mg spread throughout the day- but it did the trick. I'm taking increased magnesium for other reasons- but this really, really helped the period. I'd heard magnesium would help that and PMS, and had been taking one pill a day--but decided to try higher dosage after reading a book about it. If you take too much, then you can get diarrhea-- but since I have been chronically constipated for most of my life- I figured that would be a bonus! ;) (didn't happen, by the way!)
Magnesium is used in hundreds of cellular reactions, so if you are deficient- you can have all sorts of things go wrong. When muscle fibers contract, they use calcium. When they release, they use magnesium. If you are short on magnesium- they have trouble unclenching and voila! A muscle cramp.
Magnesium really helps cramping.
02-01-2007, 08:47 PM
Robin- One of the things that I would ask your doc is to do a blood test to determine your current hormone levels. If you are in perimenopause already, losing more weight asap can throw you into menopause. In addition to your ovaries, the only other cells in your body that can produce estrogen are the fat cells in your abdomen. As you go through menopause, those cells try frantically to compensate for the decreasing estrogen levels from your ovaries. That's why women in their 40's and 50's usually put on weight around their middle: "menopause pot".
I was in perimenopause when I lost the large chunk of my weight. At 45, my periods were horrible. By the time I turned 46 and had lost 60 pounds, they were gone (mostly). I'd suffered from endometriosis for 25 years, so this was a huge blessing! A very welcome side effect of weightloss, because my gyno had been urging me to have a complete hysterectomy for a few years because I was in such pain.
If you find that you are already in peri and medically can wait, you may have the same thing happen when your weight get low enough to deplete your estrogen levels.
If you can't wait, ask about vaginal vs. open incision hysterectomies. Healing from a vaginally done one is a lot faster.
Get another opinion, but as another poster mentioned, don't let scare tactics keep you from having a medically necessary procedure if it really is necessary :hug:
02-01-2007, 09:26 PM
robin, I just got to this thread and I wanted to tell you that I know absolutely NOTHING about this stuff but you're in my thoughts and I hope everything works out. I know it will. You're so awesome and we all love you so much -- we're here for you! :hug:
02-01-2007, 10:11 PM
Thank you all for your well informed and considerate responses.
Mel, my Dr. said I would need an abdominal hysterectomy becasue of the large size of the fibroid. You bring up a good point about the hormone test. Perimenapause would certainly be a good thing for me at this point. I will defiitely speak to her about that. My periods have only been so bad the past 2 years or so, which prompted me to go to my doctor in the first place about 21 months ago and that's when we originally found the fibroid. I have seen no improvement with the 88 lb. loss. Fibroids are known to cause heavy, heavy bleeding and heavy cramping. I'm not sure if even continued weightloss alone will help. I really can live with the pain if I'm close to menapause. OMG, I'm actually looking forward to menapause, huh? When I gather up more info my first question will be to her is there any harm in leaving the fibroid alone. I think her biggest fear is that it will get larger. The truth of the matter is if I get much smaller, and yeah that's the plan, that sucker will really be pertruding, just how much remains to be seen. At this point, I am in no rush to go through surgery and remove my uterus, unless of couse it is in my medical best interest. Again, I can deal with a little discomfort, I had been for over 2 years now. What prompted me to go again to the Dr. was the fact that now for the first time I am actually feeling the fibroid. A little bonus from my weightloss. Oh well.
Cheryl, I am not anemic at this point. Thankfully.
BeachPatrol, I'm glad you finally found some relief. Perhaps I will consider the pill, though the Dr. said she is not sure if it will bring me any relief. It's something that I am really not focusing on right now. Maybe in the future.
Swimgirl, my Dr. says shrinking is not a permanent solution, since fibroids tend to grow back. Her approach certainly IS permanent, that's for sure.
Maria, that sounds like an awful lot of magnesium.
Mrs. Quadcrew, I'm glad your daughter found some much needed relief. She was a lot younger then me with menapause no where in sight for her, it really sounds like she had no other option. What a difficult decision that must have been for her. I can't even imagine. :hug:
LisaMarie, thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes. I love you all too. :hug:
I'll keep you all posted. Thanks again. All your comments have been so, so helpful to me.
02-02-2007, 12:20 AM
G'luck, being a guy I don't know much about women's health - but I agree about making sure to do your research carefully (there is just as much misinformation as there is information out there on the Web) and to get a second or maybe third opinion (esp. if insurance covers it.)
02-02-2007, 08:47 AM
Just echoing the good wishes, nothing really to add. And congrats on the weight loss - it always seems to be such a trade.
02-02-2007, 09:13 AM
Wow! What a lot of different opinions! I've had 10 kids and heaving bleeding for 10yr (age 43 to 53) while in menopause but it went away. I felt that a lot of us didn't know what normal was because all of our moms had had hysterectomies. I never had cramps after my first baby so for that I was very thankful!
02-02-2007, 11:38 AM
robin - what about shrinking it as a temporary fix until you hit menopause when fibroids seems to shrink on their own? A hysterectomy just seems SO harsh!
02-03-2007, 12:56 AM
I tend to view this a little differently. I was having severe bleeding- 24/7 periods and very heavy - 2 pads/hr. I just wouldn't stop! He put me on the pill to stop the bleeding ASAP as I was very anemic. I started a new pack every 3 weeks so I wouldn't start again. He also did a D &C - that help for ..let's see...almost 24 hours!!!! I was through having kids and decided to have the hysterectomy several months later when my kids would be on vacation with their dad. He gave me the choice regarding my ovaries - I said take them!!! The way I see it - less chance for ovarian cancer. That one scares me- no real good test for it! There is a lot of cancer in my family. So - I had a full hysterectomy and my bladder tied (that last pregnancy was a doozy!). I started taking the replacment hormones for about 1 year. Then I started to wean myself off of them to see if my body would adjust. I have not taken any in months. I have hot flashes from time to time but that is all I notice. I am 43 years old. However, I do wonder if changes in my body after my hysterectomy increased how easily I gain weight. I was never ths heavy before, however my kids are also now older and I do a lot or running here and there, so probably more fast food. It is a tough decision. Is there any possible way to do the surgery vaginally? Is the fibroid too big? I was only off work for 3 weeks with mine because he did everything vaginally. Good luck with our decision. Don't make the decision though based on your desire to lose weight. Make the choice for the right reason!
02-03-2007, 04:05 AM
Robin, I had an abdominal hysterectomy 6 yrs. ago due to a totally prolapsed uterus. I was having severe bleeding and cramping and was in horrible pain. For me, the hysterectomy was the only reasonable solution. Within a week of surgery,,I felt better than I'd felt in yrs. I was 40 yrs. old at the time. I had them leave my ovaries. As for not being able to tell if you are in menopause, it wasn't hard for me to figure it out. The night sweats hit me like a ton of bricks. Definitely seek a second opinion. Do some soul searching, is the uterus worth keeping if the pain and bleeding are that horrendous? I'm sure you'll be able to make the decision that is right for you.
I will mention that since my OB/GYN Dr. worked at the same facility that I worked at, he let it be known that it was unsafe for me to even attempt to be working with a prolapsed uterus. I pretty much was put on mandatory leave of absence from day 1 and had to wait 3 weeks for the surgery to be scheduled and then the 6 weeks for recovery. Was off work total of 9 weeks.
As far as putting wt. loss on hold, even with surgery you might could still lose weight even in your recovery period. I did. I had a two hernias repaired with lysis of abdominal adhesions (in 10 different places ) done on May 13. Was so afraid that it would stop my wt. loss or cause me to gain in the recovery time. I actually lost 8 lbs. in the 6 week recovery period and was able to meet my goal. Sure, I wasn't able to exercise much for the first few weeks. Started slowly walking 1/2 mile a day at 3 weeks and gradually increased it as tolerated. With the reduced exercise during the recovery period , I was very strict on my eating plan and it all worked out great.
So , if you and your Dr. decide that surgery is best. Don't feel that you can't still meet your goal. Hugs.
BTW, I worked as RN for over 20 yrs. and never in my life have heard of a woman not being able to have an orgasm after a hysterectomy. That's not to say that somewhere out there , there might be one, but I sure never heard of it. I sure don't remember that being on the surgical permit as a risk factor on the one I signed. Or on any permit that I ever had a woman sign for their hysterectomy. (of course I might be wrong, it certainly wouldn't be the first time).
Please keep in mind that I'm not advocating surgery, I'm just trying to relieve your worries of surgery stopping wt. loss (or orgasms for that matter).
02-03-2007, 06:47 AM
Hmm. More stuff to ponder. Real glad to hear that sexual function will not suffer, or at least a REAL good chance of it. Lily my Dr. said she would be leaving my ovaries in. And that this would NOT send me into early menapause. Am I reading it right here that it did indeed send you into immediate menapause? Like I said before I can live with the pain and heavy bleeding. I will be calling my Dr. this week and asking her first and foremost is there any HARM whatsoever of leaving the fibroid/uterus inside. If she says that it is harmful I will of course ask her why. If there is any chance of me being in danger, it's coming out. My weightloss will do what my weightloss will do. As always my health is a priority. I think she's going to tell me the only harm is if it gets much larger and that we will need to monitor it. We shall see. Fatbegone, she said a vaginal hysterectomy is out of the question because of the size. :(
Thank you both for sharing your very personal stories. It has been very helpful to me. I appreciate it. :hug:
02-03-2007, 09:27 AM
Glad to hear that problems with sexual function aren't common with a hysterectomy! I watched a program on Oprah years ago when Christina Ferierre visited. I was in tears as she described her anguish of being unable to have an orgasm following HER hysterectomy. It really got to me and made me EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS of any more surgery-especially a hysterectomy! She said that a number of nerves were cut which caused a numbness in the whole area. :(
02-03-2007, 10:03 AM
Oh Cheryl thank you so very much for sharing that. No, I'm just kidding, I need to hear the good along with the oh so very bad. :(
02-03-2007, 12:37 PM
BeachPatrol, I'm glad you finally found some relief. Perhaps I will consider the pill, though the Dr. said she is not sure if it will bring me any relief. It's something that I am really not focusing on right now. Maybe in the future.
Ask about Mirena - it's an IUD that contains hormones....dunno if it would help but I love mine! No periods for me. :D
Sending you a :hug: - hope it all comes out ok.
02-03-2007, 07:52 PM
You don't go into menopause with a partial hysterectomy which is removing the uterus only. Menopause is caused by the removal or cessation of ovarian function. If Robin still has her ovaries, she'll go through menopause naturally and will not need to immediately go on HRT.
If your friend has testosterone, something else is going on. Menopause do NOT lead to an increase in testosterone, just a decrease in the female hormones.