I'm 46 and have been having lower left pelvic pain since January. It started after I was treated for a UTI, but the bladder problem was cleared up and the pain on the lower left never has (I thought it was my ovary, but it looks clear from tests they've done). I also suffer from terrible PMS, heavy menstrual bleeding, painful cramping, and 2-3 migraines monthly with my period. I've had all the menstrual problems for 10 years and dealt with them the best I could, but I can't take this daily pelvic pain anymore.
I've had ultrasounds, CT scan, and intrauterine/endometrial biopsy. My OB/GYN says the next step is to perform a laparoscopy to look for endometriosis and/or adhesions from my C-section scar. I have a consultation scheduled for Nov. 3.
I understand if endometriosis is found, they can laser it away, but chances are good it will grow back. My question is, at my age, and considering I'm done having children, should I consider having a hysterectomy? I've always joked about wanting one, but the reality is, I don't know what I'd be getting myself into. I'm getting somewhat depressed about being in constant pain and I'd really appreciate any input or support. Thanks.
I have Endo. I was diagnosed last June. I have a lot of pain even after having a myomectomy. I had all the Endo and other junk lasered and taken out. My doctor told me I could start ttc and I have been for 3 months now. I asked him my last dr apt if after I get pg and have the baby if taking my uterus (I want to keep my ovaries) out would take my pain away. He said there is not guarantee. I did some reach and found that the info he gave me is true. Endo can come back and grow on other organs. And the pain can remain. I hate living with the pain, but would be even more unhappy knowing I had my uterus taken for nothing. Has your doctor tried pain management? I'm not totally sure but I believe when you reach menopause the symptoms of Endo go away. You could also have a myomectomy to have the scare tissue and other stuff removed and keep your organs. Most woman have pain relief after the surgery. I was just such a serve case along with other problems. Good luck to you!
Endometriosis gets worse over time. If you do indeed have endometriosis it will only get worse. You are a candidate for a hysterectomy at 46. My mom is 49 and just had a hysterectomy yesterday due to endometriosis. She was suffering with severe cramping every day and 3 periods a month. It took her awhile to convince the doctor it was bad enough to get the surgery and it all went smoothly and as of today she is recovering well. Good luck.
If I have my ovaries removed along with my uterus, wouldn't that stop the endo from growing back? I thought the hormones produced by the ovaries were responsible for the growth of the endometrial tissue, and if they are gone with the uterus, then that tissue wouldn't return...am I right?
Thanks for the responses. Aquatilly..I'm glad your mom is feeling better. Her story gives me hope.
FairyMagick...I have been taking pain meds, but I'm building a tolerance to them and I think I need to fix this rather than become totally drug dependant. Thanks for your well wishes.
i have read so many conflicting stories about whether endo will or wont come back that I am not sure what to believe. All I can tell you is that my gyno said it was really important to get all the endo out but it can sometimes be difficult as it can grown in many hard to reach places especially in the abdomen including colon. I opted to have my cervix removed also as i did not want to run the risk of mini-periods (I kept my ovaries). In the end they found traces of endo on my cervix too so I ws glad to get rid. I also had adenomyosis (endometreosis interna) which was probably the cause of most of my pain as it made my uterus spasm similar to childbirth.
I am now 6 months since surgery and feeling good. In fact it is amazing how quickly you forget about how much pain you had every day. I cannot believe i put up with it for so many years. And now, no pain ....... fantastic.
There must be some benefit to keeping the ovaries. Can someone tell my why I should keep my ovaries? I certainly don't want mini-periods either if I am going to go to all this trouble, I'll definitely ask about removing the cervix. How does all of this affect your sex life? I'm really hoping to improve mine...it's been difficult to be "in the mood" when I'm in pain all the time and intercourse has been somewhat painful for even longer than I've had this pelvic pain.
Thanks for your response ktee...I'm so glad to hear your pain is gone.
Well, I can't tell you why you should keep YOUR ovaries, but I can tell you why I was told NOT to keep mine. I went to a hormone specialist before my surgery (outside of my doctor) and also read in a book that many women will lose the function of their ovaries after hysterectomy because you've just cut off the main blood supply to them by removing the uterus. I guess it makes sense when you look at it that way huh? For me, the ovaries were removed ( i am only 30) because I had periodic cysts and also major pms symptoms. I would bloat, and that would cause aggravation to my back and leg problems. So for me, if I could take something natural (i am on the estradiol patch) I didn't want to suffer through the pain, mood swings, cravings, and bloating. So far, my only problem is keeping the thing on my skin for an entire week as I tend to have oily skin. But someone suggested to clean the area with rubbing alcohol first and that seems to be helping.
I can't say whether or not you should keep your ovaries. Are you ready to go through instant menopause? If not, you can still take hormones to help with that. You can choose to keep your ovaries, but if they shut down on their own from loss of blood supply, you'll have menopause anyway. Also, some women's ovaries will continue to function, but not at their normal rate. Its important for you to get a hormone 'workup' before your surgery so that you have something to compare it to afterwards. Just ask your doc for a saliva test (its the only one that 100% accurate). If they don't do saliva tests, ask them if they can recommend a place that does. If they dont' know, call your pharmacy and ask them to tell you who does them in your area. If you still cant' find someone, then a blood test will have to do. It's certainly better than nothing. Also, can I recommend a book for you to flip through? I didnt read it in its entirety since I only needed to know a few things. The chapters are labeled clearly. Its called, "From hormone hell to hormone well"....i got mine offline, but you may be able to get it at the library.
Its loaded with info on all the things i just mentioned. Good luck to you!
The benefits to keeping your ovaries would be not losing bone mass, and you wont go threw a surgical menopause. Menopause will happen naturally. My Mother had her uterus taken out, not because of Endo but for something else and she never had to take hormone replacements and she didn't go into menopause right after surgery. My Aunt had a complete hysterectomy and had a really hard time after. Endo does get worst over time for some woman not all, and I hate to say this but doctors are always quick to do a hysterectomy. My doctor informed me that there is no guarantee that the Endo wont come back. It can grow on your bladder and other organs. I have never heard of blood lose to ovaries after having a uterus removed. I would suggest researching options, it might put your mind at ease with what ever you choose. Good luck to you!
I'm already in a lot of terrible discomfort monthly. If I could trade that for instant menopause, it might be worth it. Not knowing about what menopause would be like, it's hard to say. I've had a few hot flashes, but those are nothing compared to menstrual migraines, cramps, PMS and overall pain related to my cycle. I don't want to lose bone mass, but I figure I'm getting pretty close to menopause anyway. I guess I'll have to trust my doctor's opinion on this decision. I'll keep you posted.
Sadly, MOST women who have had hysterectomies have never heard of the possible loss of function of their ovaries. It's one of the causes of many after surgery problems like weight gain, non cancerous lumps in the breasts, loss of libido, etc. Doctors don't often do a hormone workup before surgery so what will they compare the results with after surgery if you start having hormonal problems? They are very stuck on what they learned in med school and yet there are many many new studies and things that are being learned. It really helped me alot to see the lady that deals only with women's hormone issues. And reading the book i mentioned before. My best friend had a hysterectomy a few months ago due to severe adenomyosis and prolapsed uterus...she never had a work up, and she kept her ovaries. NOW, she is having trouble with her sex drive, moodiness, forgetfulness, dryness, etc,etc. ALL symptoms of menopause and things she didn't have before the surgery. It's been 8 months since her surgery and now she is going to a specialist to get a hormone check because she can FEEL something is wrong hormonally. I am curious to find out what happens with her results.
It makes logical sense though. The main blood vessel that supplies blood to the uterus is lost after hysterectomy. The is one of two of the main vessels that supply blood to the ovaries. It makes perfect sense that in some cases, too much of the supply to the ovaries is compromised and they either can't function at all or not at thier normal state.
Its sad, but true, that most women don't know this.
Lil'Pea: Thanks for your time and recommendations. I'll certainly get that book and talk over my hormonal situation before surgery. My OB/GYN has already told me that I have a huge hormonal imbalance (I figured that it was because of perimenopause), so maybe she already has done the workup and I just didn't understand the significance. Now that you've told me, I'll ask more questions.