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should my ovaries be removed along with uterus
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should my ovaries be removed along with uterus

I am 44 years old & due to have a hysterectomy on January 6, 2011 due to a large fibroid & my doctor asked if i also wanted my ovaries removed.  She said  she usually recommends women who are 45 or older to have the ovaries removed because of the time frame of being close to menopause but its totally up to me.  has anyone else had this done...had your ovaries removed along with your uterus & how did you handle the surgical menopause.  So far everything i have read about having your ovaries removed has not been favorable except for the fact that there would be no ovarian cancer.  Any response from someone who has been through this is greatly appreciated.  I really don't know what to do.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Sherri,

I don't have an answer for you except to say that I'm 48 (perimenopausal) and also going to have a hysterectomy on Jan. 12th - fibroids and also a cyst on an ovary.  I asked my dr. the same thing.  Her answer was different from your dr.'s.  She said that over 45, she recommends the uterus out, but not the ovaries if she can help it.  I said what about for future ovarian cancer.  She said studies show that ovaries help keep us healthy, even after menopause.  

Good luck and I hope someone else will answer your question who knows more than I do.

Debbie
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I had a total hysterectomy at 48 and it was recommended to me that the ovaries be removed for the same reason your doctor stated.  The only problem I had was the morning after my surgery I was very emotional, but this passed within the day.  I chose to not due the HRT due to all the negative results from studies done on it.  There is no test or exam for ovarian cancer and I would not leave my ovaries in.  You go thru menopuse because your ovaries are no longer producing hormones, so they will be of no use except to become cancerous.  Symptoms of ovarian cancer are very vague and women tend to think the symptoms are a normal part of being a female, and dismiss them until it's too late.  In a younger person it is recommended that the ovaries remain because they are producing the needed hormones.  But once they are not producing the hormones...you are going thru menopause and I wouldn't keep them.  You're very close to menopause, so they are probably already slowing down. Besides myself, I have several friends who all had their ovaries removed during their hysterectomy. A few did HRT, most didn't and I had no problems except a few hot flashes which I would have had anyway.  My friends say this was their only issue as well.  It's a big decision, but at your age, I say let them go, one less thing to worry about! Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your input.  I have my surgery this coming Thursday on January 6, 2011 and that was the only thing about the surgery that was really concerning me but from talking to people on here and reading more about having your ovaries removed at my age or older i am having them removed and will just deal with whatever comes.   As far as the HRT...i'm not real sure what i'm going to do.  I may just give it a few weeks and see how I handle everything and talk to my doctor at that point.  Thanks for answering my question.  I really appreciate talking to people who have gone through this.  At least I have something to compare it too.  
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106886_tn?1281295172
Hi Sherri,

I am sure that everyone would agree that knowledge is power, and so it is with that mantra that I highly (Strongly) recommend you start researching as much as you can about the many different options out there regarding HRT... I would say this even if you had decided to keep your ovaries.

There is a strong belief in the medical community (from what I've read) that even if you keep your ovaries after having the Uterus removed, you will most likely have problems with the ovaries not producing an adequate amount of the  hormones you need to function normally`since there is a concern that the blood supply that typically keeps the ovaries functioning properly is cut off during the surgery. I've heard that sometimes this doesn't happen immediately, but that it usually happens within about three years. The ovaries tend to atrophy around that time. I have also heard that this can happen within a year...

I lost my ovaries in 2000 and it's been quite a journey first of all getting correct information and secondly, finding the right combination of hormones that help me function day to day. Estradiol (supplied by ovaries and plentiful in our 20's and 30's) is responsible for over 400 functions in the body alone. Testosterone levels affect mood, chemical sensitivities, sexual desire, etc... and the main source is from the ovaries.

My oncologist started me on the Vivelle Patch (a bioidentical estradiol) the day after surgery, but I had to do the research on my own to find out what levels I would need later on to feel normal... also had to figure out that I needed a little bit of testosterone.

I had no idea how much the ovaries affected females until I didn't have mine any longer. There is good supplementation out there and there are doctors who understand this complicated issue, but please arm yourself with as much information as possible. The study that was abruptly stopped in (about) 2001 stating that all hormones were dangerous did a huge disservice to women... a flawed study to begin with ... and they used synthetic hormones that did pose a risk.. then somehow all brands and types of hormones got lumped into that study along with other frightening generalizations.

Sending best wishes to you for a very smooth transition of course... but since I am someone who believes that I wish I knew then what I know now... I couldn't let this post pass without a comment.

Check out my profile (click on my name) to see what I recommend as far as books that have helped me the most. I am sure this journey affects everyone differently but I have so many friends suffering from inadequate hormonal balance... and it's not a subject that is talked about very often... and it's also shocking to find out just what functions in the body are affected by our hormones.

Take care...

Mary
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for answering my question!  You have given me alot to think about and put my mind at ease with my decision. I have decided to have my ovaries removed, but didn't really decide that until i had started talking to some wonderful people on this forum.  I'm just not sure what to expect with being thrown right into surgical menopause and that concerned me but I am ready to tackle whatever comes along.  Thank you so much, again, for addressing my question posted.
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