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removal of ovaries
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removal of ovaries

I have been diagnosed with a cyst in one ovary. I am 54 yrs of age and have already had my uterus and cervix removed due to fibroids and a long history of endo.  They now want to take both ovaries! One has a 6 cm cyst and my hormone levels are ' through the roof '.  The gynie feels that as both are ' not working ' I would be better off having them both removed. If I go along with this does this mean I will be on HRT for the rest of my life.  I had been on a low dose of Premarin (no hist of breast cancer in the family) Or what?  Please advise>
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332074_tn?1229564125
If they are not working now and you are doing fine then I would guess that you may not need hrts. If I were you, if they are taking one they might as well take both. But it is truely up to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
What I want to know is..........if you are thru menopause how much do we really need ovaries?  
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Avatar_f_tn
The ovaries are what produces the estrogen which helps keep our bones strong. There are other reasons for estrogen - can't think of it right now, but estrogen is important for health in women, BUT estrogen isn't good when someone, like me has endometriosis or it's not good for ovarian, breast cancer etc. Gosh, we can't win can we?! After I have my hysterectomy I am not going to take any HRT - hopefully that will go ok.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes I know all about the hormones and ovaries. I also know that it continues to put out small amounts after menopause, but I would like to know just how much good they do us.....when we are past menopause....I mean hey.I already have osteoporosis so which is worse more less dense bones or the possiblity that the cysts I have turn into cancer.....I know the doctors don't want to offer any advice  to help us with these decisions....my point was.....just how much do they really help us after menopause....I should have said that...thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
OH! Now I know what you were asking! Good question. I'd like to know that as well :-)
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332074_tn?1229564125
What my doctor told me was that once you go through menepause, they have no other benefits to your body. But remember that is only one doctors opinion. I was still young enough that mine were still working but it just was not something I wanted to have to deal with at a later date, so I went for the total. I am currently taking an hrt but only plan to be on it for a year or two while my body adjust.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have read that the ovaries continue to drip a small amount  of hormones even until the age 80 or so.......what I don't know is if that is of any great benefit to weigh against possible cancer later?
Does it help bone density to any appreciative benefit and aid the heart or is it really a moot point.  
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106886_tn?1281295172
Madge..and all,

Great questions and I appreciate the open attitude and also the frustration of trying to find answers to these questions. I mean, if a doctor tells you one thing and you trust the doctor, why would you hunt out four or five other opinions? At age 54 I have come to terms with the fact that not all doctors have all the answers and that we must do much of the research. I am not anti-doctor, there are doctors in my family and I come from a family of nurses but even they will tell me that you must be your own advocate and if  you are not feeling well....or if you are unsure of some things, keep looking for answers.  But then time/confusion/money issues all come about. Frustrating.

I took a half day today and I must get ready for work...but I will check in later. If you care to, check out some of my old posts in my profile. There are a ton of them though, so it means sifting a bit, but I have researched this hormone thing since 2001 and it took time, but I am at a pretty good place and have been for some time regarding hormones. But, I can tell immediately if I am out of balance. I use the bioidentical hormones.

Read what you can by Christianne Northrup, MD and Erika Schwartz, MD....both are great. One of Schwartz's books has a wonderful explanation about why and how the hormone situation has gripped us and confused us and how illness can be caused by imbalances but that there are so many benefits to being balanced. Then there is family history...number of children you have had, lifestyle....it is a huge topic.

Off to work.

Mary
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106886_tn?1281295172
One more thing,

Take a close look at the role of natural or bioidentical progesterone and also testosterone. When you lose your ovaries you have pretty much run out of these two hormones in particular. Adrenal glands produces a bit, but my husband at age 61 makes more progesterone in his system than I do (expect of course, I supplement)....

Mary
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Avatar_f_tn
Personally I would have them remove both ovaries, when you read the statistics on ovarian cancer survival, I wouldn't want to take a chance with that cancer. It's rare but those cysts can become cancerous and if you have a history of cysts they can form even in the good ovary.

I also read somewhere that estrogen is stored in body fat. So it seems that yes, adrenal glands put out a small amount of estrogen even after menopause but also you have more estrogen if you have more body fat. (Maybe this explains why I don't get hot flashes! )
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106886_tn?1281295172
I had no choice in 2000....malignant cells were discovered in a cyst that I'd had for six months. But, after the surgery, both the Oncologist and my regular OB/GYN apologized saying essentially they used  "the Sledge Hammer" approach on me and that if they'd known that no more cancer was to be found they would not have been as aggressive.

Well, it is what it is....and, I guess I would not have delved into all this research if I had not been through what I went through...and have since then. Surgical menopause is rough for most women, but as I said in my previous post, it can also be a very individual thing. And, there really is help. Not all hormones are created equal, but you have to do the research on this.

Ovaries make cysts. That is what they do. And when there is a stubborn cyst that does not resolve, even then 99 % are benign. Unfortunately Pre menopausal women are not frequently checked aggressively for problems regarding stubborn cysts since again, this is not all that abnormal. I am grateful mine was checked or I might not be writing this tonight...I am very grateful. Historically I should not have had problems...My Mom had tons of cysts and went 11 years without children because of this...then my brother and I came along after they had resolved and she had one ovary removed.

Testosterone is lost when the ovaries are removed. And, the main source of estrogen is lost...but, estrogen comes from a by-product made from the fat in our system in the post menopausal years. The big loss if the loss of Progesterone. When ovulation stops or is at best sporatic...this starts perimenpause. It was not until I supplemented with Bioidentical Progesterone that I started to feel well again...Although at the time I was using a bio estrogen patch. Add the testosterone and I started to feel quite good but I can tell when I am not in balance.

The body craves estrogen, thus it will make fat for estrogen if not supplemented. I am going to triple check on this when I go for my hormone check up in a few weeks...so, if the body is not supplemented with estrogen...will it make the fat for the estrogen, thus using supplemental estrogen, even just a little, will this help keep the fat level down?

Estrogen protects us from bone loss, but now even this is being questioned...but Progesterone builds bone. Testosterone has this effect, too.

THe biggest thing as I mentioned in my other post is to make sure the estrogen is opposed by Progesterone. Advocate for yourself and read as much as you can on this. This is a huge topic and if often brushed off by the medical community ....I look at taking the bioidenticals as a form of illness prevention knowing what I know now whereas I think of HRT as taking drugs to mask the menopausal symptoms. There are choices out there...

Some women get by with other supplementation, but you need to read up on this too.

I listed some authors in my profile. And, without going into all the gorey details as if this is not long enuf :)  I will say that Christianne Northrup in many ways (her books...her information) is one of the main reasons I am alive today. I know that sounds dramatic...but, I learned to advocate for myself and I knew what to ask for and what to look for thanks to her work.

Take care,

Mary
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a history of cysts.  I want to know what ovarian cancer pain feels like because I am having much more pain than ever before, and I am getting a little concerned about this now. No one will say what it feels like, so maybe no one knows?
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Avatar_f_tn
I JUST HAD  MY OVARIES TAKEN OUT THIS PAST MONDAY AND I HEARD THAT WOMEN AFTER HAVING THEM TAKEN OUT DONT WANT TO HAVE SEX ANYMORE SO IS THERE ANY MED I CAN TAKE I WOULD RATHER TAKE A NATURAL MED TO HELP ME OUT WHEN I GET TO THAT POINT ....I LOVE SEX N I CANT SEE MYSELF NOT WANTING IT ANYMORE IM ONLY 37...
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a total hyterectomy about 5 years ago. I had gone through the menopause and not had a period for 3 years prior to my operation. Is it possible that I need hormone replacement, I do not have any hot flushes or other symtoms (symptoms) associated with the menopause but maybe I need something. Who knows!!!!!!!! No one has discussed it with me  
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st. louis, MO