Hysterectomy Community
Regretting Hysterectomy
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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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Regretting Hysterectomy

I had a hysterectomy Dec.2010 due to fibroids and heavy bleeding.  I am 48 years old and sadly, didn't research things as much as I should have.  Due to the economy, my husband had to take a job out of state and I work full-time and also raise my developmentally disabled adult daughter.  I was afraid of having another bad bleeding "incident" and was extremely anemic.  I thought a partial hysterectomy was just my uterus, leaving the ovaries intact and just found out that my doctor took my cervix also.  She never once told me that she was going to do that.  She in fact, pushed to take the ovaries, but I told her no.  Now I'm afraid I will never enjoy sex again because of my dryness and I feel cheated out of a decision that I thought I made with all the knowledge and research that I did do.  I don't know how to handle this.  Are there any women who feel the way I feel?  I feel castrated.
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106886_tn?1281295172
Hi,

It's late here in Minneapolis, but I just saw these posts and wanted to respond, and I hope I sound coherent since I am off to bed very soon. But, frankly, I am outraged for you, Aquarius... I cannot believe the doctor took your cervix without discussing this first. You still have your ovaries if I read that correctly.

I am not normally terribly skeptical but, gee... maybe you should check to make sure the ovaries were not taken either especially since the doctor was pushing so hard to take them. I have a few theories as to why you are experiencing dryness. If you still have your ovaries you should have hormones to help with the dryness, however, your body has been through trauma just by virtue of having the hysterectomy and any type of disruption in your life can cause your hormones to go out of whack. Plus, given your age and remembering that ovarian hormone decline can start as early as the mid-thirtes. Remember, too, that the uterus, and if I remember correctly, the cervix, too, give off a certain amount of hormones which could also affect the lining of the
vagina.

Ovaries in general will keep producing estradiol, E2, (the estrogen produced by the ovaries) although in a much smaller amount even after menopause up until around age 72 or so... and they also produce a small amount of testosterone after menopause up until around age 80. If they are removed during surgery you are in instant menopause. If they are left during a hysterectomy there is a chance the ovaries can atrophy within about three years since they no longer have a blood supply to the uterus since there is no uterus any longer.

During menopause the body wants more estrogen so it produces a type of estrogen called estrone (E3) and it is produced from the fat cells in the body...and yet there is not enough to really do the job that estrogen is supposed to do, so the body produces more fat cells to make more estrone. Typically the fat the body makes is around the middle so that it is easily accessible to the body since women's bodies crave estrogen. Estrone, according to some studies is a harsher type of estrogen and is suspect in endometrial and breast cancer, whereas Estradiol is considered to be safer. Women who use the Vivelle patch or Climara patch are using estradiol supplementation.... Estrace is also Estradiol and it is a bioidentical form of the estradiol so that it mimics completely the Estradiol that the body used to make in abundance during the reproductive years.

There is a cream called Estrace that is used for vaginal dryness that is not systemic so even if you are supplementing with a bioidentical type of estradiol the vaginal estrace should not in any way increase your overall amount of estradiol that the body is using.... (I have never used a synthetic like Premarin and don't recommend it based on readings over the past ten years). My estradiol level is finally high enough now since I've been following one particular protocol with a doctor who understands, but when I experience vaginal dryness, I also experience bladder problems and a unique type of leaking.... but when the vaginal area is not dry and is functioning well, my bladder problems go away. But, on occasion (like for a few months at a time) I have had very good results using Estrace cream along with the bioidentical Estradiol and Testosterone I use. Without these two supplemental hormones, I would not be able to string a sentence together... I would not be able to sleep... I would not be able to function without joint pain, etc....

I had a complete Hysterectomy 11 years ago and I totally understand the questions that are asked in these posts. Take a look at my profile by clicking on my name and in my journal entries (except for the one on surgical adhesions) I mention the book that I use to guide me now after years of a roller coaster trying to figure out this crazy Post-hysterectomy world.

To both Opie and Aquarius, I will reassure you that provided you have as close to normal funtion hormonally either naturally or by use of supplemental hormones, sexual health should not be an on-going problem. Even with the cervix gone, trust me... other areas of the body take up the slack (weird way to put that, I guess!!!).... but in some cases things are even better in that area than before, but I do have to watch my hormone levels because both the Estradiol and the little bit of Testosterone I have to take affect this area of my life more than I could have imagined.

I hope in some way this helps....

Take care,

Mary

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13 Comments Post a Comment
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721523_tn?1331585402
I am about to have a hystorectomy with just my uterus and cervix.  I did not realize that it would make things dry if they took your cervex.  I was under the impression that as long as your overies were making hormones that it would not dry out.  I hope somebody else will answer this.  Now I need to know.
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Avatar_f_tn
I thought the same thing too, except I don't remember her telling me that she would take my cervix also.  I am very dry and I thought as long as I had my ovaries, I would also be ok.  I am hoping that someone can answer both our questions.  Just because I'm having that reaction, doesn't mean you'll have it too.  Also, I've heard that when the uterus is taken, we do keep producing eggs and our bodies just absorb the egg but there is a chance that we will produce less eggs sooner because there is no where for the eggs to go and our bodies will adjust to that meaning, we'll still go through menopause sooner.
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721523_tn?1331585402
I have a feeling that your cervex was taken because you can still have bleeding like a period if it is left.  You said that you had the procedure do to heavy bleeding?  Maybe that was why, but that is no excuse for not beeing fully informed.
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106886_tn?1281295172
Hi,

It's late here in Minneapolis, but I just saw these posts and wanted to respond, and I hope I sound coherent since I am off to bed very soon. But, frankly, I am outraged for you, Aquarius... I cannot believe the doctor took your cervix without discussing this first. You still have your ovaries if I read that correctly.

I am not normally terribly skeptical but, gee... maybe you should check to make sure the ovaries were not taken either especially since the doctor was pushing so hard to take them. I have a few theories as to why you are experiencing dryness. If you still have your ovaries you should have hormones to help with the dryness, however, your body has been through trauma just by virtue of having the hysterectomy and any type of disruption in your life can cause your hormones to go out of whack. Plus, given your age and remembering that ovarian hormone decline can start as early as the mid-thirtes. Remember, too, that the uterus, and if I remember correctly, the cervix, too, give off a certain amount of hormones which could also affect the lining of the
vagina.

Ovaries in general will keep producing estradiol, E2, (the estrogen produced by the ovaries) although in a much smaller amount even after menopause up until around age 72 or so... and they also produce a small amount of testosterone after menopause up until around age 80. If they are removed during surgery you are in instant menopause. If they are left during a hysterectomy there is a chance the ovaries can atrophy within about three years since they no longer have a blood supply to the uterus since there is no uterus any longer.

During menopause the body wants more estrogen so it produces a type of estrogen called estrone (E3) and it is produced from the fat cells in the body...and yet there is not enough to really do the job that estrogen is supposed to do, so the body produces more fat cells to make more estrone. Typically the fat the body makes is around the middle so that it is easily accessible to the body since women's bodies crave estrogen. Estrone, according to some studies is a harsher type of estrogen and is suspect in endometrial and breast cancer, whereas Estradiol is considered to be safer. Women who use the Vivelle patch or Climara patch are using estradiol supplementation.... Estrace is also Estradiol and it is a bioidentical form of the estradiol so that it mimics completely the Estradiol that the body used to make in abundance during the reproductive years.

There is a cream called Estrace that is used for vaginal dryness that is not systemic so even if you are supplementing with a bioidentical type of estradiol the vaginal estrace should not in any way increase your overall amount of estradiol that the body is using.... (I have never used a synthetic like Premarin and don't recommend it based on readings over the past ten years). My estradiol level is finally high enough now since I've been following one particular protocol with a doctor who understands, but when I experience vaginal dryness, I also experience bladder problems and a unique type of leaking.... but when the vaginal area is not dry and is functioning well, my bladder problems go away. But, on occasion (like for a few months at a time) I have had very good results using Estrace cream along with the bioidentical Estradiol and Testosterone I use. Without these two supplemental hormones, I would not be able to string a sentence together... I would not be able to sleep... I would not be able to function without joint pain, etc....

I had a complete Hysterectomy 11 years ago and I totally understand the questions that are asked in these posts. Take a look at my profile by clicking on my name and in my journal entries (except for the one on surgical adhesions) I mention the book that I use to guide me now after years of a roller coaster trying to figure out this crazy Post-hysterectomy world.

To both Opie and Aquarius, I will reassure you that provided you have as close to normal funtion hormonally either naturally or by use of supplemental hormones, sexual health should not be an on-going problem. Even with the cervix gone, trust me... other areas of the body take up the slack (weird way to put that, I guess!!!).... but in some cases things are even better in that area than before, but I do have to watch my hormone levels because both the Estradiol and the little bit of Testosterone I have to take affect this area of my life more than I could have imagined.

I hope in some way this helps....

Take care,

Mary

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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your answer.  I feel much better and can hopefully forgive myself for not being more questioning.  I hope I can find a doctor that can understand me post-hysterectomy too.  You made me feel so much better.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just came across this post. I just had a complete hysterectomy in June 2011. I have had endometriosis for years. I went in to have my annual check and my uterus was in larged as if I was 11 weeks pregnant. So they did a ultrasound and found a cyst on my left ovary and a bunch of clusters. So my doctor recommended a full hysterectomy. He said I would finally be relieved of all my pain. The pain that I learned to live with and knew how to deal with. I was so not ready for the aftermath of this surgery. I had begged him to keep one ovary but he said that would be a mistake. So naturally when I woke up both were gone:( now my reality has hit me straight on. I am 37 years old and I have to take hormones for the rest of my life. I've been very depressed since my surgery. I don't even like to take Tylenol. I have never taken any type of pill besides vitamins. My doctor has me on cenestin. I asked for the most natural less side effects hormone.,I have heard hrt cause cancer and sorts of other issues if you use for long term. Which I obviously will. I'm a bit apprehensive to go to a compounding pharmacy because they are so controversial. I read your post and you seem to be very knowledgable. Do you have any pointers for me? I was on the vivelle when I first came out of surgery but I switched because I thought the patch was the worse case scenario. I am obviously being misinformed and my doctor doesn't listen to me. If he actually listened to me in the first place he would of known how I was going to freak out having to take hormones and not of done this surgery! I totally regret it and would love to go back in time and keep my endo. Atleast then I knew what was going on. Now I am so extremely tired, sad, forgetting things and craving sweets constantly:( Please help shine some light in the right direction.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi ,just came across this site, funny I just came from drs apt, 2 apts, for consultations and 2my apts for results, complete hormone blood test started in june saliva test and urine tests, im 46 now,worse had cervix uterus and right overy removed in july of 08. Due to super heavy periods.dr told me id be sooo happy and free after hysterectomy. Ha,,,,,,,  it was great for a few months, now I could care less about making love with my husband!!!!  And have hot flashes,all the time, no short term memory, ,,life just *****,,,, and after of literally thousands of out of pockets test, was told today all my results, ,this new female family practioner, and hormone specialist, said even with one overy left, it threw me into menapause!!!  All my hormones were low or off the chart low(depleted) used to be 130 lbs at 5'7" now 214. Been on synthroid since 1998. And was hospitalized for a month septand oct 07,for blood clot in left lung.so guess what girls!!!  I am told all my problems would be relieved with hormone replacement. BUT Im Not a candidate cause I had a blood clot, ,,, dr had NO suggestions!!!!  Anyone here have any. ???? I tell u ,I should have listened to my first ob?gyn that kept telling me to just live with the inconvenience of staying home for 8a days of week and lots of washing and changing clothes!  Worse mistake of life having hysterectomy!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sorry to hear that you have endured so many problems!  

I guess I am blessed that even though my cervix, uterus and 1 ovary were removed, I have no problem in the dryness area.  I will see my Gynecologist later this month and I will ask to have a full panel of labs drawn to make sure I am still okay with just one ovary.
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489228_tn?1291535054
This is scaring me... I am scheduled for a hysterectomy the end of the month. Honestly because well, I am divorced, planning to remarry and am afraid of pregnancy. I have to take some medications that could effect a baby and I have kids close to 30 plus. MY cycles ahve also been heaving and coming almost every 2 weeks in the last couple months. Theya re telling me they won't take the ovaries just the uterus. Ok I am concerned and I know this sounds silly but what parts make lubrication for a woman?

Shelly
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721523_tn?1331585402
I am now 5 months post surgery and sex is better than ever!  Try not to worry.  I have noticed that the moisture/dryness pattern are still the same as before the surgery.  when I ovulate, i am WET.  When It is the time that I would normally have a period, I am a little more dry, but nothing that  little KY can't help.
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489228_tn?1291535054
Thanks so much for your post and the encouragement!

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Avatar_f_tn
I completely agree with opie74. Before my surgery my biggest fear was the worry of sex after; would it feel different for me or my husband, would it hurt, would my bladder fall out, would it be too dry?  I had my hysterectomy in March 2011 and I too think the sex is better than ever. Have not had any problems with pain or dryness. In fact, things are so much better because I have no worries or pain!! My husband agrees! Try not to stress yourself out by worrying, just focus on taking care of yourself and healing! Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Couldnt agree with you more!!!  Total hysterectomy recommended by gyno for same reasons as you.  Regret it ... worst thing I ever did.
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