Are you considering getting a hysterectomy? I’ve had one, and it was the worst experience of my life. My goal here is to help you to understand what I went through before and after having a total abdominal hysterectomy.
Please note that I am not a physician or a surgeon, but I am a casualty of hysterectomy, and this is my attempt at helping you to not become a casualty as well.
Many- SO many surgeons will not tell you the real stuff – and so, here goes!
First, I’ll let you know what was going on with my case, and how I came to be the person that I am today – due to the adverse effects of hysterectomy.
I had been fighting endometriosis and fibroids for years. My gynecologist said that a hysterectomy would solve all of my problems. Instead, my entire life has changed for the worst in every way imaginable!
The excitement of not having painful, heavy periods was incredible! What I did not know was that endometriosis can still grow outside of your uterus, so please do your homework if you are seriously considering having this life-ruining surgery done. Continue reading for my personal experience. It has been 15 years, and the nightmare is STILL ongoing. These things could likely happen to you.
1. Swollen from head to toe. My belly hurt terribly, and I looked like I was 8 months pregnant. They give you something to wear around your belly to help the swelling go down, and you are told that, “everything will be back to normal in about 6 months.” Um, nope, didn’t happen.
2. It’s almost impossible to walk upright for 2- 3 months. I couldn’t pass urine without begging some picture on my wall to let the fountain flow- for what seemed to be forever. (I don’t think that the picture answered, for which I am actually grateful.)
Now, if you just LOVE having immediate, intense hot flashes, horrific insomnia, depression, and anxiety.. then by all means – have the surgery! Do you love it when your hair falls out in extreme proportions even after the, “Oh, it’s just from the shock of surgery” phase? Then yep, go for it. My hair is now at 1/4 the amount that I previously had… and people have commented. Humiliating to say the least.
3. For so many women: No matter how well you eat, or how much you exercise, the weight does not come off. What they fail to tell you is that your uterus holds all of your other organs and bones (ribs) in place. When you no longer have a uterus, your organs drop until your ribs are sitting directly on top of your hips. No more waistline! I do not know many women who would like to gain 50 lbs.
4. You may end up wearing a catheter due to urinary retention. Imagine the fun of having urine sloshing around in an odd bag strapped to your leg. Be sure to wear baggy pants at work. Ah, yes, it’s a super fun time.
5. If you figure out the right bio-identical hormones, your insurance will usually not pay for them. I tried the oral pills which were covered, but didn’t do any good. So, the next step was creams that are compounded. Usually a month’s worth is hundreds of dollars. The creams have helped with the hot flashes and insomnia a bit, but I’ll never have my body back. I’m still anxious a lot of the time… boy do I wish I had someone to tell me about all of this! NOTHING replaces the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone like your own body. Sadly, they left one ovary in because it would, “wake up and produce the hormones as if you never had a hysterectomy.” Mine never woke up, and for an even more fun experience, the ovary became riddled with endometriosis..it appeared “strange” and needed a biopsy which means another invasive surgery. They had to take the entire ovary. I went to sleep believing that I had “possible bowel and ovarian” cancer, and woke up to,
“Good news! You do not have cancer, but your organs were stuck to your pelvic wall, and some other organs. We found adhesions everywhere! So, the surgery took much longer than we had originally thought.”
Adhesions is a fancy medical word for scar tissue – which coincidentally was caused from hysterectomy. The bigger problem is that the scar tissue had to be dissected to free my organs. This leads to even further scar tissue..and so on.
Now, the hormone problem is even worse. I recently paid a whopping $2,000. for a “bio-identical hormone specialist” which was supposed to cover “free office visits for a year!” He overdosed me on progesterone, caused the fun weight gain to become worse, and conveniently did not return calls since he had my money.
6. Get ready for a diminished, or non-existent sex drive, and a painfully dry vagina; devastating to say the least. For a select few (if ovaries are not removed), this is not a problem. Is it worth trying though? If you are a gambler of your life and body… well, nevermind, just say NO!
Please, please, do not get a hysterectomy unless you have cancer, and/or there is an absolute threat to your life, and there are no alternatives left.
Hysterectomy, and Oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) will ruin your life! It’s not just me, there are numerous women with which I have spoken that regret having a hysterectomy. There is no way to “Put it back.” Please do not go through what so many women have – just because your Doctor says so. Research everything that you can. Get a second and third, and fourth opinion. Women have committed suicide due to the consequences of having a hysterectomy!
If I had it to do over again, I would seriously never, ever even think of it as an option. I would go in to have other less-invasive surgeries many times over. Hysterectomy is a serious surgery. Please do your homework. Yes, I am begging. Do not be deceived – Hysterectomy is FEMALE CASTRATION!