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Old 06-15-2013, 07:07 AM   #1
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Does removing ovaries help?

I have tried medication, injections and 2 surgeries to remove endometriosis but it's as bad as ever again. Has anybody here had just their ovaries removed and did it help or cure endometriosis?

If possible I don't want to have a full hysterectomy that may not even work.

I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

 
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:58 AM   #2
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Re: Does removing ovaries help?

I'm sorry you have endo - that's a really tough disease.

You may already know this - Sex organ removal (uterus or ovaries or all of them) is not a cure for endometriosis. Endo implants can oftentimes be found throughout the pelvis (including in the bowels) and it's difficult to remove them all. So even if you get some relief, it's usually temporary. And medical studies have shown that ovary removal is associated with many health risks and reduced quality of life. Granted, women with endo already have a lower quality of life but just be sure to weigh the trade-offs and understand that it's unlikely to give you long-term relief.

Did you have excision surgery by an endo specialist versus laser? Excision is supposed to be the gold standard for removing endo.

I don't have endo but I did have a full hysterectomy (uterus, ovaries, tubes) and it's caused many issues for me. I was close to menopause at the time of my surgery. I suspect you're a bit younger.

 
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Does removing ovaries help?

Thanks for your reply STLouisgal. What kind of issues did your hysterectomy cause you?

Would removal of the cause of the endo (estrogen in the ovaries) not help stop the pain? What are the main health risks with removal of the ovaries? I do seem to have it on my bowel also. I'm not certain if it was laser or excision, I'll check.

I had 3 C-sections so I really don't want to have another abdominal surgery as I feel it would cause more problems, that's why I'd like to keep with laprascopy and just remove ovaries and maybe my fibroids too.I'm actually not too far off menopause, I'm 46.

 
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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Re: Does removing ovaries help?

There's no guarantee that removing your ovaries would resolve your pain. Most women have endo elsewhere in their pelvis (not just on their reproductive organs). If all the endo isn't excised, it's likely the pain will continue. An endo specialist who has good excision skills can oftentimes get most or all the implants without removing your organs. This generally gives better results than removing organs and leaving implants behind. It sounds like you may have used Lupron. Removing your ovaries would be somewhat similar to permanent Lupron yet they recommend that Lupron not be used for more than 6 months or a year due to the adverse effects.

Life can be pretty miserable if you have your ovaries removed and don't take estrogen. Yet estrogen can stimulate any remaining endo putting you back at square one.

You can read studies about the medically documented health and quality of life risks of ovary removal. Just search for something like "pubmed oophorectomy health risks." There may also be some studies about endo recurrence after oophorectomy or hysterectomy.

Since you're 46, menopause may not be too far off at which time it seems your symptoms should improve.

I've suffered many of the physical, emotional, mental, and sexual adverse effects of having my organs removed. I've listed the ones related to the hormonal changes first followed by the ones related to the loss of my uterus and my pelvic integrity. Of course, some of these probably overlap since the uterus and ovaries work together. But there are also important anatomical, skeletal, and sexual functions of the uterus and its ligaments.
  • Hair changes (lost over half my hair and it became finer and lost its shine)
  • Skin aging (lost a lot of skin collagen causing sagging and visible veins)
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Disrupted sleep (being too hot woke me up every 2-3 hours)
  • Feeling overwhelmed by everything
  • Very irritable
  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Horrible memory loss (thought I was getting dementia)
  • Inability to concentrate (as if I'd developed severe ADD)
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of motivation
  • Need for more sleep (close to 9 hours versus the 7 I'd previously needed)
  • Loss of taste buds and appetite
  • No response to alcohol (I can't even get tipsy any more)
  • Loss of romantic and maternal feelings
  • Bowel changes (go from too loose to being constipated)
  • Bladder changes (go through periods where it won't empty all the way)
  • Pelvic pain (seems to be caused by repositioning of bladder and bowels)
  • Total loss of libido and loss of sensation and response
  • Changes to my figure caused by the severing of pelvic ligaments/supports
  • Back and rib cage pain from the anatomical changes
  • Tingling in legs and feet

Estrogen "replacement" has helped the hormonal deficiency symptoms but it's not the same as the body's own hormones. And there's no fix for the anatomical and skeletal changes. I just hope I don't have to have prolapse surgery down the road and hope the back pain doesn't get too unbearable.

I hope you can find something to better manage your symptoms.

 
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