Re: Prolapsed bladder and hysterectomy
Sorry this is so long but it reflects the lengthy list of vital (non-reproductive) functions of the female sex organs.
Since they have to suspend your bladder (versus remove it), why not do the same with your uterus? Although we're led to believe it's only useful for childbearing, that's a fallacy. There's a women's journal I've seen in doctor's offices that has an ad by a gynecologist that you don't need a hysterectomy for uterine prolapse. (Yet, I know women who've had hysterectomies done by him for prolapse. This is a type of "bait and switch" tactic.)
Another option is to use a pessary and not have any surgery (although that doesn't close the door to surgery down the road if you decide that's what you want). The mesh used in prolapse surgery has been shown to cause many problems as seen on TV commercials for class action lawsuits. And that mesh is almost impossible to remove if it causes problems because tissue grows around it. I can't speak from experience on this because I didn't have prolapse / suspension surgery.
I had a hysterectomy with ovary removal at age 49 and regret it daily. All my gynecologist should have done was remove an ovarian cyst or one ovary but instead removed everything. I hadn't gone through menopause either but that doesn't matter because the ovaries of an intact woman produce hormones into her 80's. I've done a lot of research since my surgery and now know that hysterectomy is the most overused surgery after c-section. Even ACOG says that 76% don't meet their criteria. And healthy ovaries are more often than not removed at the time of hysterectomy despite a woman's lifetime risk of ovarian cancer being less than 2%.
Ovary removal (or ovarian failure after hysterectomy) increases risk for many health problems and loss of quality of life. HRT cannot adequately replace the functions of the ovaries. And the removal of these endocrine glands wreaks havoc on the endocrine system.
Hysterectomy with ovary preservation also has increased health risks including heart disease (the #1 killer of women), thyroid cancer, and kidney cancer as well as the internal and external anatomical changes.
I became a person I don't even recognize physically or emotionally and live with angst about what else will "crop up" as more years go by (such as surgeries to address bladder and bowel prolapse and worsening of back and hip pain). And the hormonal effects have been devastating.
Frankly, I miss my uterus just as much (maybe more) than my ovaries. Hormones partially compensate for the loss of my ovaries (although they haven't reversed the RAPID AGING that happened quickly post-op). But there's no fix for the internal and external changes to my anatomy from the loss of my uterus and it's role in pelvic integrity and sexuality. I don't even have the same feelings of closeness to my husband and children. And libido and "nether region" sensation are pretty much gone. No hormone cocktail has restored them.
If I had it to do all over again, first and foremost, I would have trusted my inner voice versus my doctor and women who told me I'd be ok. These were women who withheld how hysterectomy changed them prior to my surgery but "fessed up" afterwards. However, my observations of some of them was telling but I pushed those aside in favor of trusting my long-time gynecologist.