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Hysterectomy not cure for Endometriosis

I just love this website: http://www.endo-resolved.com/hysterectomy.html ! It has a common-sense approach to many of the questions I have about endometriosis.  Today’s topic: endo and hysterectomy chosen specifically for C’s sister.  Please see below:

“For many women, a total hysterectomy is advised by their doctors if they have severe Endometriosis. These women are hopeful of gaining relief from the pain and symptoms of this disease by having a hysterectomy. This advice is fuelled by the thinking that if you remove the diseased organs then you will remove the disease. This is not the case.

It is known that the implants, and the evidence of Endometriosis can be found all over the pelvic cavity. So removing the uterus and ovaries will very often leave some of the disease behind. Some surgeons will attempt to remove the disease which is scattered around the pelvic cavity, as well as removing the reproductive organs. But even so, this can still leave undetected or microscopic implants behind.

Some women as young as their early 20s are opting for a Hysterectomy as a means to gain relief from Endometriosis. It is doubtful whether these young women are aware of the possibility of a return of the disease. Then there are the problems of dealing with a surgically induced menopause at such a young age. These women will be prescribed synthetic hormones (hormone replacement therapy) for years, only to have to deal with all the side-effects they can bring.

There are many reported cases where a woman has had a total hysterectomy (removal of uterus and ovaries) as treatment for Endometriosis, only to be given hormone replacement therapy. This can encourage the disease to flare up again, because estrogen is part of the hormone replacement therapy, and endometriosis feeds on estrogen. Of course hormone replacement therapy is prescribed to replace the hormones that are lost because of the removal of the ovaries. This begins to turn into a vicious circle. So hysterectomy is not the answer for Endometriosis no matter what stage the disease is at.

Why is this situation allowed to continue? There are many newly qualified gynecologists, surgeons, and doctors who are still taught that the only way to ‘cure’ Endometriosis is either through pregnancy or menopause. So, drugs are prescribed to try and induce a woman’s body into a state similar to pregnancy or menopause, and if that does not work, then cut the disease out.

Firstly the ‘cutting out’ is done by remedial measures to try and cut out the growths, lesions, and implants. As a last resort the whole lot is taken out and women are mistakenly advised to have all their reproductive organs removed with a total hysterectomy.

There is plenty of information that these doctors could use to alter their methods of treatment, but there will be a myriad of reasons why this does not happen.

Endometriosis after Hysterectomy

If you are a woman with Endometriosis which is severe, and have been advised to have a hysterectomy, then please be advised that this may not be the correct path to take. This may not remove the symptoms. It is not a guarantee to remove the disease. It is not a guarantee that Endometriosis will not return. So why go through the agony and risk of such a serious procedure. There are many women who have gone down this path and have had a total hysterectomy to try and be rid of Endometriosis, and many of these women have seen the disease return.

The alternative here is to improve your general health so that you have a better chance to fight this disease. You can keep your body intact, maintain your reproductive function, and retain the natural chemistry and balance of your body.”

As for me, at one point I was so desperate for an end to pain that I begged my gynaecologist for a hysterectomy.  Begged!  I’m grateful now that I was denied.  While I still regularly battle with my symptoms, I’m reasonably healthy and working towards only having a period four to five times a year.  I may have to demand several more surgeries to clean out the worst of the endometrial cysts before I’m through, but at the moment I am in control of my life and my pain.  I try to ensure that I only experience pain on my terms and I have all this while maintaining a fantastic intimate life with my husband.  Unfortunately I will never know what life in a “normal and healthy” body is like but having control over my pain while still feeling like a woman is, I know, the best I can achieve without a cure.

Wishing you all a healthy tomorrow!

Foxy

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Hormones and Moods

I’m shaking.  I’m not very good at dealing with crowds sometimes and when my fuse is short I wind up wanting to shout at the doddering old dears who block the aisles and back into me and bump me with their trolleys.  When my fuse is short I have to keep reminding myself that it’s just my hormones.  However, suffering the irretrievably stupid is difficult sometimes!

 

Mind you, I suspected that I shouldn’t go to the shops today because I was shaking even before I left the flat.  Normally the best thing for me when I’m in this kind of state of mind is just sitting down in front of the TV and not doing anything – not even the dishes – because as soon as I do Helios starts to get underfoot (which is unfair on him as the flat is entirely miniscule and at least he’s drying the dishes which is a great help) and I just want to slap him. 

 

So instead of another Star Trek disc, I’ve decided to bore you with tales of my utter frustration.  Although my upcoming surgery doesn’t have anything to do with my polycystic ovaries, I keep thinking that if I didn’t have ovaries that my hormones (or lack thereof) will be more evenly distributed throughout the month.  However, being on an even keel isn’t so good if the even keel means that I’m still coping with extremely low oestrogen levels.  So which is worse, no ovaries and HRT for as long as I can beg it from my doctors or continuing on as I am and taking The Pill to ensure no unwanted pregnancies together with extremely low oestrogen levels because my ovaries are so crap they may as well be thrown in the bin?  It’s not as though I’m not on HRT and suffering menopausal symptoms already!  I can’t help but think that I would be happier if it was all taken out so that I can start to heal.

 

My largest issue with a full hysterectomy is sex.  This is the subject that leaves me in a terrible quandary.  I’m finally in a relationship where I’m not just emotionally but also physically happy and now I’m contemplating changing my body in a way that may effect my desire and the way that I enjoy sex.  Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to take The Pill anymore?  Won’t it be nice not to get frustrated and short fused for no apparent reason?  But will it effect how I enjoy being physical?  There are no answers.  Oddly, I would be happy to suffer a lot of these symptoms if it means that I still am comfortable in the bedroom.  Being physical means that much to me.

 

Just to be clear, my upcoming surgery isn’t a hysterectomy – I’m actually having a laparoscopy for my endometriosis.  I can’t help but think about a hysterectomy, my frustration with my symptoms has brought me to the subject on my own without help from the doctors.  It’s not as though the doctors (who to be fair have been trying to help) have been terribly successful in treating all my symptoms.  My desperation has led me to the subject and the doctors are now trying to tell me that it’s a drastic solution and, of course, irreversible.  It’s not as though I want children!  I’m so fed up with the symptoms of both PCOS and endometriosis that I would like to scoop it all out.  I’ve had symptoms since I was 12 – that’s 25 years!  Is anyone surprised that I’m nearly at wit’s end?  Luckily, I have had a promise from one of my gynaecologists that she would give me a hysterectomy if this laparoscopy doesn’t help. 

 

But why am I so shaky today?  Is it because I’m worried about the surgery?  No.  I’ve had laparoscopic surgeries before.  I’ve had my pre-assessment at the hospital and I’m relaxed about what I can expect.  I am concerned about what they’ll find.  Or rather what they won’t find.  Sometimes it would be nice to find one problem and they can deal with it rather than finding a number of problems that will need a bit of tinkering to achieve a balance.  For example, I keep wondering if my IBS symptoms are interfering with how I feel about my gynaecological symptoms.  Or perhaps the endometriosis is affecting my bowels and leaving me with IBS symptoms?

 

I’m also frustrated that my vaginal burning is so bad today.  You know, I thought that it would get a little better when I showered this morning but no.  I’ve put my usual cream on but it only helped for about an hour.  Now I feel like I’ve got a red-hot poker there.  I can’t sit or stand or move comfortably.  Why is it that everything is taking so long to sort out?  All these symptoms!  I’m not convinced that the surgery will take care of all my issues. 

 

I’m not normally so downtrodden.  I promise to write something more positive next time.

 

Foxy