Hysterectomy Community
Keep or remove ovaries
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to hysterectomy, such as: abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy, Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, LAVH, menopause, Oopherectomy, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, radical hysterectomy, subtotal hysterectomy, supracervical or partial hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, and vaginal hysterectomy.

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Keep or remove ovaries

I turned 50 and was told that I have fibroid tumors. Doctor told me one is the size of an orange and the other 2 are the size of  lemons. So He wants me to have a hysterectomy, which I agreed to do. My question is; should I keep my ovaries or ovary (becasue He stated that one was very small) or should I have them removed? The Doctor said that I would be going through menopause more then likely in a couple of years anyway and it would be safer to have them removed due to the chances of ovarian cancer. But I understand that if you keep them you do not need to go on hormone replacement. I am not sure what I should do? I know what my doctor thinks I should do!
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599170_tn?1300977493
I had exactly the same dilema, please go to my home page and read :My Historectomy Story" it explains in detail what I choose and why., I can tell you many women are tremendously sorry to have both ovaries removed, Full blown menopause, Others agree/fear ovain cancer risk, you need to consider family history and risk factors such as are you a smoker.Big decision, I sometimes wish I had kept one ovary but I also feared how would they find cancer if I got it..Read, resurch , skim around on this forum lots of different experiences and stories,,,when you and your doctor make your decision m I will be happy to give you any futher advice, such as hormones etc,,,,Cherie
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Thanks Cherie, and I read your page on "My Historectomy Story" I don't think that anyone in my family has had any problems outside of having fibroid tumors. My mother is 78 and has had a gland removed under her arm for cancer but has no other problem. However, I never grew up with my family.We have all come together now for sometime. I have two older sisters and I knew that they had hysterectomies. So I ask them, one said take all the plumbing while the other was not so sure because of the problems she had with the hormone replacement. I realize that everyone is different and we must make our own decision, but so many choices and to know which will be the right one for you?Thank you for sharing your story and I will look into hormone replacement options too. The one that you have or are using now , would you recommend? And how did you decide on that one?  Thanks, Dynamaire
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great question , about how I decided I read Mary53 a member here who is a nurse, she has an excellent page on hrt, I choose to try the least amt possible at first some women need testosterone. I did not. I did need estrogen...I use Vivelle patch for the ease of use, and accuracy in dosage, some hrt is cremes or sprays dont see how one would be sure of dose, the patch is very small about 1/2 square inch just apply 2 times per week( 3 for some) and thats it....Premain is not a bioidentical hormone,,its one of the oldest avalable , I would recomend not using it, the product is made from horses urine,.,anyways I know Mary has good information on her home page,,she doesnt post much anymore as she is teaching and very busy. Her informationis excellent. recommend reading it.
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For those not interested in reading this whole passage, I did want to say that although I come from a family of nurses, I am not a nurse. But, I have become a 'medical researcher' if you will. Thanks for the compliment, though, Cherie. My sister is a nurse and taught nursing for years... and, she had a hysterectomy 15 yrs ago and has used the bioidentical hormones for years... I work as a theapist/teacher now and in my spare time, when not walking the dog, or playing with said dog (sweet, lovely, needy dog :)) I research what has become a reality for me... also known as "the hormone jungle."
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Cherie and Dynamarie,

I wish you could see my face, Cherie... I am smiling. What a nice response you gave to Dynamarie ... and, I thank you for sending people to my home page, although, since, as you know, I too, still have my struggles with this crazy menopause (yes... that is a judgment call. I am at that point).

Eight years out from surgical menopause and you'd think I'd have it all figured out. I actually do FINALLY think that I am there, but what a journey. And, from what I have learned and experienced, Menopause never really ends. We have to 'manage' it.

I have come to strongly believe that our bodies do need estrogen (specifically estradiol, which is what we use, Cherie, by virtue of using the Vivelle, although estradiol can be used in cream form and in a pill, but I am not familiar with the pill form). One local doctor says that our bodies 'Crave' estrogen.

Our bodies will make estrogen from the fat in our bodies if the ovaries are not there.. or are not producing enough to meet the demands our body requires. There are over 400 bodily functions that require estrogen. When not produced by the ovaries, estrogen is a produced by fat. And, when this is happening it is called "Estrone." That's why Estrone is called 'the Menopause Estrogen." But it does not always meet our needs and if the body is sensing that it needs more then it will make more by making more fat.

Now, having said that, lifestyle and healthy living habits all play into this, but I will say that my weight struggles become astronomical when I am not using Estradiol. I don't want my body adding more fat to itself in order to make estrone. And, this is the fat that concentrates in the midsection (it is more readily available to our system that way). It is so complicated... I know.

There is trial and error to all of this and there is the need for patience, research, and questioning. I am convinced that many (not all) of the hormone 'experts' are well-intended but as confused as the rest of us. There are so many symptoms of menopause that flare up that are not recognized by the medical community. I have story after story of my own experiences.... Bladder issues that have been corrected once estradiol was added systemically and vaginally (via the patch as well as Estrace, a bio estradiol used in the vagina only), chemical sensitivities and clumsiness and mood and more bladder issues that cleared up (somewhat) thanks to the use of not one, but two testosterone creams (one used on inner thigh and one on genital area).

I am thrilled to report that my latest crises (and to me, as you can imagine, it was a crises) is finally being resolved. My feet (and legs) started to give me problems over a year ago (heel issues, metatarsal issues, numbness in toes, as well as cramps, big-time, in my legs). Things were VERY bad this past summer... At age 55 I felt like I was crippled. I have spent over $700.00 on shoes (orthopedic) just to get some relief. After walking the dog, she'd be happy and I would be in tears.

Foot doctors gave me pads for my feet... the hormone doctor wanted to continue raising my already-high dose of bio progesterone and lower my estradiol. That is when I really started to dig into Dr. Elizabeth Vliet's work, which I discovered just over a year ago, but was not convinced her protocol would be something I would want to follow. I know I have mentioned her work again and again. Based upon her recommendation, I decided to drop the progesterone (upon further research, it seems she is fine with a smallll amount of progesterone if needed, but only rarely does she suggest this, but for some, the pill form helps with sleep since a byproduct of the pill Prometrium acts as a sleep agent for most) but on the high, high dose such as what I was on, well, it was causing all sorts of problems.

The doctor's attempts to balance me out Estrogen/progesterone-wise, based on the work of Dr. John Lee (which lately has come under great scrutiny) were backfiring on me big-time. So, does Estrogen dominance really create a problem? or is it the decline in estradiol and the rise in Progesterone that causes all the problems when we our ovaries were functioning???? OK... so, we may never have all the answers in my lifetime, but I am going to do all that I can to have a quality of life that does not have me in tears every time I have to take a step.... Or try to think clearly, or cry over lost libido and continuous dryness, leaky bladder issues, dry skin, painful joints, fuzzy thinking, etc.

I just realized that I have turned this into more of a cleansing-of-my-soul response. Geeeezzzz... sorry. I think I will post part of this on my 'bioidentical hormone journal' page....so, you will see some repetition if you go there.

OK. Where am I going with this? Well... I guess the message never changes. Advocate for yourself. Get all the answers and learn how to sort through the research. When someone tells me they've had problems with Hormonal therapy, I want to know what they were on, the delivery system they used, how long they tried it, did they have ovaries or not, were levels of estradiol and testosterone checked at least two times per year, were thyroid issues considered (thyroid issues and menopause go hand in hand, it seems). Keep a diary of your symptoms and find out what works. Don't take just one person's word for anything (although I do admit that once you do find something that works for you, you will tend to be biased toward that school of thought).

Dynamarie, if you keep your ovaries, you should still produce a trickle of estradiol and testosterone, but there is also evidence that the blood supply to the ovaries is thwarted after removal of the uterus. I do wish I did not have to lose my ovaries, but even if I still had them, would they be producing the amount of hormones that would be enough for my body to function optimally? So, the chances of you considering HRT or what we like to call BHRT (for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) would probably be there even if you did keep your ovaries.

More in a moment

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Part Two:


Good for you, Dynamarie, to be researching this subject now, though, because surgically induced menopause is abrupt and life-changing. I am grateful that my doctor put me on the Vivelle patch the day after surgery. I had to figure out all the rest of this on my own. I added testosterone three months after surgery after feeling dead (sorry... it is the only description that fits) sexually. A few months after that, I added the bio progesterone, which did help me, but in retrospect, I probably needed a higher dose of the Vivelle along with Estrace for bladder and dryness issues.

In the past two weeks I have increased my dose (slightly) of the Vivelle, but now I have to use two patches. BUT... I have had such great relief in my feet/toes/cramping of legs that I am so very relieved. It took a bit of persuading the doctor who I now see regarding hormones, but she agreed to this and I suggested I get tested for blood levels in two months, which she thought was a good idea. I have an 'optimal' safe range that I want to reach/maintain for both Estradiol and testosterone and so far, the closer I get to that range, the better I feel. Thank Goodness.

Thanks again, Cherie, for all you do for this forum. I will stop by when I can. I don't like it that my schedule is so crazy lately... and, I know we are all so busy, but, yes, my time on the forums lately has been drastically reduced. I feel at times that I have been through so much and learned so much... I want to share all that I can, but then all my other chores (and job) go by the way side. I wish I could just do this full-time. Sometimes people ask questions relating to hormone issues and I look at the questions and I just know that if I answer, I will feel a need to throw in all of the research and experiences and if's, and's and but's....

OK. Enough. Take care everyone.

Mary



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599170_tn?1300977493
Thanks for the responce, I for sure thought you were a nurse, I bet you'd be a great one. Thanks for helping Dynamarie, and all the others including me that you have helped over the years, I would love to get some health care pages up but I like you am crazy busy. I try to cover the what ifs and so on in each thread but you never know everyone thinks a bit different...I wish I could do this full time also,,,Have a great week Mary....C
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much Mary and Cherie for sharing with me. I will read Mary's info this evening when I get in from work and I so appreciate this site. You ladies are a blessing. I will be back I sure with more questions or your thoughts on things. Till then have a blessed day.  Dynamarie.
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Avatar_f_tn
i had a total hysterectomy when i was 43yrs old and was told i didnt need my ovaries.  I was told i could get cancer or endrometrios if i took progesterone and was put on estrodial inplants.  Now i hear that i should be taking progesterone as well?? Can someone please help me here.  What hormones DO i need.
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