I wonder if so many women would “choose” hysterectomy if they knew how it would affect their figure and internal anatomy. I know I would have told my once respected gynecologist “no way” and left never to return if I’d known just a smidgen of what I now know. Here are some of the anatomical and skeletal changes that occur post hysterectomy.
Ligament and Skeletal Changes Post Hysterectomy
An intact woman’s figure has space between the rib cage and the hip bones commonly known as the waist. The waist gives her the curve in her lower back, the natural sway in her hips, her “elongated” torso that’s proportionate to her extremities. This all changes after hysterectomy.
Four sets of ligaments hold the uterus in place. These ligaments are the “scaffolding” or support structures for the core (midsection). When the ligaments are severed to remove the uterus, the spine compresses causing the rib cage to gradually fall toward the hip bones and the hip bones to widen. This causes a shortened, thickened midsection, protruding belly, and loss of the curve in the lower back, giving the appearance of a flat derriere. In some women, these changes cause those hated rolls of fat (weight gain or not). In others, it looks more like a pregnant belly. This can be particularly distressing for women whose hysterectomies denied them the chance to have (more) children.
As if an unattractive figure isn’t devastating enough, these skeletal changes lead to chronic back, hip, and rib cage pain as well as tingling and loss of sensation in legs and feet. It also explains why, even absent osteoporosis, hysterectomized women lose height. With all these changes to the skeletal structure, I wonder if hysterectomy can also cause spinal stenosis. It would certainly seem plausible.
Evidence of my spine compressing started 12 to 18 months post-op. A crease started forming about two inches above my navel. It gradually lengthened over the next 6 months to a year until it became visible all across my midsection. I’ve always been thin (underweight) with flat, toned abs and prominent hip bones. And contrary to what most women experience after hysterectomy, I lost weight. As my spine compressed, my flat abs became “fat” and flabby. My hip bones became less prominent in the front (as my belly pooched out) and more prominent in the back since my rib cage had fallen onto my hip bones. And I now have intermittent back, hip, and rib cage pain as well as tingling in feet. My sacrum / tailbone has also looked bruised since not long after my hysterectomy.
Internal Organs Post Hysterectomy
And how does the body change on the inside? Well for one, it affects the bladder and bowel. The uterus separates the bladder and bowel and holds them in their rightful positions. Removal of the uterus causes these organs to fall impeding function. When the bladder or bowel is full, there can be a feeling of discomfort or even outright pain (exactly what I’m feeling at this moment – constant pain that increases by just walking). Complete emptying can be problematic as can incontinence. Bowels may alternate between constipation and diarrhea. Adhesions can further hamper bowel function even to the point of a life threatening obstruction. I’ve had serious bowel problems ever since my surgery 7 years ago. Chances of bladder, bowel, and vaginal prolapse and fistula also increase leading to more loss of quality of life and future risky surgeries. Hysterectomy has even been shown to increase risk of renal cell (kidney) cancer likely caused by damage to ureters. I have to wonder if functions of other organs may also be affected as our organs don’t work in isolation and may be further affected by the anatomical changes.
Nerves and Sex Post Hysterectomy
And what about sensation after all those nerves and blood vessels are severed? What’s it like having a shortened vagina that’s not connected to anything? Well, it’s no wonder sex isn’t the same! How can it be? And if you enjoyed uterine orgasms, those are obviously a pleasure of the past. Even nipple sensation can be lost because nerve endings are found all along the spine. The severing of nerves as well as scar tissue formation can cause a problem worse than loss of sensation – nerve entrapment which can be quite painful.
I’m not sure which is worse – the hormonal adverse effects or the anatomical and skeletal adverse effects. There’s no doubt though that my body has been drastically altered since the unwarranted removal of my vital female organs.
The adverse effects to a woman’s figure, as well as the many other adverse effects of female organ removal, are detailed in the video “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs.” Priceless!
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Hi everyone, I was about to have a hysterectomy but delayed it as I was not sure. I am grateful to come across your website to enlighten us on many important things I never knew. Would you please help me decide what to do and what treatments are better long term?
My doc suggested hysterectomy right away as I do not plan on having kids. am 43yrs. OBGYN says hysterectomy will take care of all fibroids future problems. and that he will remove my uterus, Cervix, fallopian tubes, may be one ovary (IF they see anything wrong). They demand I get biopsy before surgery. They said uterus if no good if you don’t want kids. until I read your forum, I didn’t know the truth.
My uterus on ultrasound showed 17cm but MRI pelvis shows 15.5 cmx12.2 x12.4. I have 3 big fibroids. One Intramural uterine fundus 9.4cm, one submucosal intramural 8cm and one Subserosal on right measuring 4.2cm.
My left ovary is 22cm with involuting physiological cyst.
Fluid filled both adnexa suggesting BILATERAL HYDROSALPINGES and small volume of pelvic ASCITES.
vERY SMALL, UMBILICAL HERNIA.
mild disc denergartion with posterior bulge. small SCLEROTIC LESIONS.
please help me chose a right treatment. thank you.
Is there a website where patients or women seeking surgery can see how many hysterectomies or myomectomies a surgeon has performed in his career? Is there a way to know how many were successful or how many deaths occurred under this surgeon or hospital?
I am scheduled for a hysterectomy and out of curiosity asked the surgeons assistant if I qualify for myomectomy for fibroids. The assistant got annoyed and said this surgeon only one on type of surgery and that is hysterectomy. I asked her twice again, if the surgeon does only hysterectomies? and she said yes..and then later changed and said he also does other surgeries. Her response was unsettling.
hi, is this website still active?
Was wondering if anybody can advise. What are the chances of having a hysterectomy AFTER getting an open myomectomy?
Please respond. thanks.
Aren’t most of these symptoms the same as the majority of menopause symptoms (aside from the physical) I mean lack of sexual desire and insomnia, short term memory and depression all exist in women after menopause anyways. Hard to blame it on the hysterectomy entirely.
I remember reading this article 8 years ago and it scaring the crap out of me. I went on to get a TAH due to large fibroids. I’m now 50 and I can say that I didn’t experience ANY of the results that this article claimed. I actually started experiencing orgasms for the first time AFTER the surgery. Also my torso did not shorten. This actually made me disappointed because I always had a long torso and would not have mind having it shorten some. My butt 8 years later is still just as big as it was before. (Against my wishes). The only symptom I can say may be related is the incontinence which happened a year later. But I have many friends my same age that had no hysterectomy and they all are experiencing incontinence so I’m not sure if it’s even related.
Please don’t let this article scare you like it did me. I was so scared to have a hysterectomy after reading it because I didn’t want to ruin sex with my husband. But surgery actually improved it. And 8 years later there is no noticible change to my shape. If it did change, it’s not noticible so who cares???
I really appreciate your response to this. I thought this article was really fear-mongering and I didn’t appreciate it with 1 1/2 weeks til my hysterectomy. I’m glad things worked out for you and I hope the same for myself. ♡
Thannnyoi for this comment! I just had a hysterectomy and this post really scared me. I’m hoping not to experience what’s listed, although like you I wouldn’t mind a shorter torso.
It’s been almost two weeks since surgery and even though I still feel some discomfort I feel a lot better than I did with a uterus filled with fibroids that caused severe pain and blood loss, making me both depressed and anemic in addition to the physical ailments.
I’m actually experiencing the loss of my back side & significant weight loss. The weight loss is good but losing my butt & the stomach things is truly discouraging. Reading this article helped me understand what is going on. I’m almost a year out from my hysterectomy. Hopefully exercising will help me
Thank you for this article, I have had a total hysterectomy 5 weeks ago at 45 years old, and I am still feeling very sore and delicate internally and wanted to know if it’s normal. This video scare the hell out of me! So thanks for the re-assurance !
I had a full hysterectomy and bilateral oophrectomy at 44 and it’s been life changing for the better. My body feels infinitely better and the hormonal mood swings that I’ve struggled with my whole life are gone. It’s by far the best decision I’ve ever made!
This article is ridiculous. It makes it seem like we all turn into Jabba the Hut afterwards, which is complete horsesh@t. Best decision I ever made! I had one premenopausal due to fibroids at the age of 48. I feel better, I look better, no more screwed up vacations from bleeding that comes out of nowhere and my mood is not only NOT depressed, it is elevated without the huge estrogen swings I was having along with constant issues from fibroids. I’m a member of a women’s group and most of us have had a hysterectomy with ovary removal. We (15 of us) vary in age from 40-65. We discussed this article at our last group outing and found it hysterical. To relate this to castration of a man’s balls as relayed in one of the responses, really had us rolling. If you have to have one and it ends your chances for a baby, my heart does go out to you. If you are this lady who wrote the article, my heart also goes out to you. However, you are the exception, not the rule. To write this fear mongering article is very irresponsible. Feel better ladies and relish the need to buy feminine products! Hysterectomies all around!!
I dont believe these ladies. The first article is more realistic. No one talks about true effect of radical hysterectomy surgery. The gut and bowel may be fine but YOU AGE massively compared to intact friends, the body shape changes DO occur and you are a eunuch forever.There is no help for us ladies who have had the full surgery. Working memory is so bad 7yrs on i cant keep going in my career but im 15yrs from retiring age dont know what im going to do.
I feel you, Rosie! For those whose ovaries were removed or are severely compromised from loss of blood flow, the effects (including rapid aging) can be a nightmare as I also experienced.
But even if the ovaries continue producing significant amounts of hormones, the effects to a woman’s figure (from the severing of ligaments) can be life-shattering. Of course, for women who had large fibroids, the first few years of a “flatter” belly will be welcome. But then that “flatter” belly slowly gives way to the hysterectomy belly / midsection.
I have to wonder why women who are happy they had a hysterectomy are searching for articles on hysterectomy.
I second this! The lady in this article is the exception, not the rule.
Ladies think about your own situation and issues and see the sense of relief gained taking this step.
I had a hysterectomy at 33 after 1 high risk pregnancy,
1 miscarriage, years of horrible endometriosis, painful periods, D&C’s, roller ball?, early surgery prior for vaginal septum, clear fallopian tubes. I had had enough, yes it was a young age but stopping the pain and surgeries I had already been through by then plus fibromyalgia warranted it. I could not take it anymore. There was a complication in surgery, but corrected. To get rid of the periods and endometriosis since high school was worth it. I was super fit. Running, walking, hiking, cycling, skiing, swimming playing with my boy. Not on the couch or hospital or emergency away from him. Had some adhesion issues to take care for a bit, it eventually settled by 40. I am 63. I could not imagine dealing with fibromyalgia plus pre hysterectomy time, my son, professional career travel, courses all these years with that kind of pain and down time. Proper diet and exercise kept up my figure. Self help, counseling, new skill like dancing, retired early for pain etc but that was my road. I couldn’t predict the future health issues but did my best to manage my lifestyle and mind on the way. Sometimes you find there were slight defects in the manufacturing process that come up throughout your life. I was so fortunate to have a child Period. The equipment to do it with were a marvel of genius and exception to the norm. Oh darn. So it had to be temporary and that gave me life where I forgot what abdomen cramping was all about. Live life. Be thankful of relief you can take and quit scaring women out of it. Each has their own starting point and no one is sure of the journey. Mine was freedom, a painfull weight off. Unbelievably less to juggle.
Maybe it’s the effects of having it at an earlier age. If someone had more thoroughly disgust it with me prior I would not have chosen a fool hysterectomy! I had mine at 32 and I feel like the article tells my story 100% as I am having another surgery on Friday for pelvic and abdominal adhesions because the pain is unbearable! I turned 40 in January and felt like I was 80. In April had my breast implants removed and it solved a lot of issues, but the stomach, back, and hip pain are horrible along with the nausea, depression, etc.
Tamie – I’m so sorry you are also suffering post-hysterectomy. So many women who refute hysterectomy’s negatives aren’t very far out from surgery so haven’t yet experienced the effects that take longer to manifest. I hope you can find some relief for your issues.
Thanks for your response I was getting scared reading this article but you have made me feel at ease as I’m in hospital about to do a hysterectomy.
I don’t know if this is read since it’s been a while, but I’d like to find a gyno who I can trust not to do anything unnecessary. I’m about to do a D&C for hyperplasia and want to be fully apprised of what might be my options. My fear is that this would be hard to find. I’m in the US in the tri state area. N NJ in particular. How would one go about finding such a gynecologist? Thanks and great article!
Hi. I just happened to be checking for recent comments. If you are still searching for a surgeon, the HERS Foundation may be able to give you some guidance. You can contact them via phone or the contact form on their website. Best of luck to you.
Thanks so much. I just saw this. I did contact them and had a consult. She’s very knowledgable. One of the people whose name she gave me was an office that didn’t seem that together not knowing if they took my medicare secondary insurance saying it was Medicaid and they didn’t take Medicaid. It’s not Medicaid. We pay the big bucks for it. So if I went to see this person and had anything done in a surgical setting, I might be on the hook for many 1000s of dollars bc they said they wouldn’t know until it got billed. Feeling tired and overwhelmed right now
I’m sorry to hear that. It seems you should be able to easily find a gyn to do a D&C to treat the hyperplasia. I assume medication (Megace) wasn’t tried or a good option?
Can Obgyn do a uterine biopsy without you knowing or consent?She must speculum in and I was in pain as my cervix was tight. I feel worse after seeing my Obgyn because she pushed her hand inside and kind of twisted my uterus and pushed it aside bcoz I was in so much pain but she continued pushing her hand inside and was there feeling for almost a minute. She said I need to get hysterectomy to get rid of fibroids. I feel like I has heaviness in abdomen before but after seeing Obgyn I feel other symptoms. is that normal?
Thank you so much for this information. I have just received my appointment for TAH – I am now seriously considering whether I will proceed. I am in the UK. I have fibroids – but have received no other treatment options. There has been absolutely no discussion about the possible negative impacts of having a hysterectomy – I was simply told that everything would be taken out and that this would bring the added advantage of removing the need for any future cervical smears! How can I pretend to be giving my ‘informed consent’? My son is a medical student – when I told him about the operation, he said that a female gynaecologist had told him that every woman should have the opportunity to have a hysterectomy, once she is past child-bearing age – gets rid of unnecessary stuff and removes the future risk of cancer!
This is a scary post, as are many of the comments. While I don’t doubt the experiences shared here—and I also feel a lot of empathy for these women—I think it’s important to take this as only one piece of information. These issues do not seem to affect everyone post hysterectomy. They haven’t affected me. Before I got my surgery I spoke with a number of women who’d had hysterectomies (even years earlier) who said the same thing I’d say now: I feel much better. My body hasn’t changed any more drastically than having to work a little harder at staying in shape than I did in my 20s, 30s, 40s—which is also typical for my friends who still have their uteruses. Before surgery, I was having so much trouble with pain, bleeding, anemia, and that was dragging me down emotionally and also making it harder to work and exercise. Ever since surgery, I feel back to normal. I feel great, actually. Sex is better! A lot of women have had the surgery. Before mine, I started asking around and a bunch of women I had no idea had it were really open and talked to me. I’m sure you could find the same—women you know or somewhat know. Not strangers online who may have had rare very bad experiences or even possibly other issues you don’t know about. Just my two cents.
Thanks for your post. It somewhat calmed my fears. I’m scheduled for a tah on April.8th. Reading this caused anxiety but reading your post was a relief. Thanks for sharing your experience, and reminding me that it will not affect everyone equally
I just had total hysterectomy for stage 1 uterine cancer. this article is just trash, iike anti vaxxers. Should i dy instead?? Dont believe they should be trying to stop other women 😤 from lifesaving operation
Thank you for this post. I am 35 and am three weeks post-op from my total hysterectomy and have been very sad about what it’ll be like when I am recovered. This helped eased some of my worries.
I had my hysterectomy 07/29/22 and I have been experiencing the absolute worst pain ever in my back and hips I also deal with extreme sadness and tingling in my hands and feet…I was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer 01/24/22 and since then had 5 biopsies with no numbing or pain meds…I absolutely have had the worst experience in my life…I spent my 40th birthday in the hospital because my kidneys were starting to fail…I also had tumors and cyst that were very uncomfortable before surgery very bad anemia and high blood pressure…before surgery I tested positive for CoVid 2 days prior they still insisted I have the hysterectomy done with all my blood work being elevated such as CoVid, blood pressure, severe anemia, high cholesterol, very high glucose and that’s just to name a few…I even tried to back out of my surgery and my oncologist and his staff went behind my back and contacted my insurance company and pressed for me to have the surgery then basically talked with my mother (mind u I said I’m 40) and told her I would die if I didn’t get the procedure…I just felt I truly didn’t have a choice and a say with my own body…now I’m experiencing different pains and I can’t walk longer than 10 minutes I can’t sit longer than 10 minutes and everyone is telling me it’s because my surgery is only 10 weeks old when I know in my heart something isn’t right with my body…it’s to the point I’m very scared to speak up for myself because people are trying to make me believe I’m crazy or losing my mind…and the kicker of it all is everything was taken out BUT my ovaries…so I don’t understand how I had uterine and ovarian cancer and my ovaries are still here…when I first started my journey I was told I was in stage 3 and then and had doctors appointments every single day then rafter my insurance company gave the doctor the go on surgery I was told I was in the first stage and it must have been a miracle…I’m just completely lost…I can say I was very very sick before surgery back and forth in hospital now I just deal with extreme back and hip pain tingling in hands and feet and ALOT of emotional problems…I feel like I lost myself…I absolutely don’t feel the same at ALL…I pray other women stories are better than mine but if I could do it again I would go for a 3rd opinion…I had 2…but I probably would’ve checked with at least 3-4 more doctors on something that I could never reverse or get back. Just my take on my experience with the hysterectomy
I had a complete abdominal hysterectomy in 1998 just two years after giving birth to my second child . I had uterine and cervical cancer and although I had wanted to have a third child first I understood the risk of not having complete hysterectomy to be quite high especially as my dear grandmother had died of ovarian cancer at only 64. I have had no physical issues related to the hysterectomy whatsoever only emotional distress occasionally regarding not being able to have a third child. I am now in the medical field and completely understand the importance of removing ovaries for women at higher risk of ovarian cancer .
You are stringing together a lot of different things that arent really related! Would i chose to die 🤔 instead of living?? Doctors were right to save your ungrateful silly self..Cancer doesn’t just go away !! Nonsense!
This IS terrifying! After going to the gyno for years unbearable period pain I was subjected to a torturous impromptu uterine biopsy in the exam room that changed my life in ways I can hardly articulate at this point. Since making such a foolish, naive mistake as to trust my “health care professionals” my life, mind & body have transformed in the most unimaginable ways without a single answer as to why or how, and especially without a shred of compassion. Instead, after over 5 years at the practice where my primary was also affiliated I was abruptly discharged, discarded abandoned & disposed of with the most insulting false accusations (proven to be an error on their end, admittedly). You’d think they’d act moral, ethical, professional & apologize with humility or even just offering any twinge of accountability allowing me the decency of medical care since I had not a single incident of anything other than that of a compliant patient. They had mistakenly viewed & even charted + billed my medical encounters, visits with another mystery patient as though they (we) were interchangeable, I presume. That much I suspected long before the diabolical discard based on odd remarks at various times that would cause me to look at the MA or the Doctor with a confused look on my face as I expressed that wasn’t me or the absence of their knowledge with regards to complaints symptoms etc that I’d historically verbalized over the years yet they’d scroll through my chart & have no idea what I was referring to & finally the nonexistent EOB’s since I can only speculate were billed to my doctors office doppelgänger debacle. I’m guessing the same patient had an issue with drug abuse since the primary yet vague and only real answer I got for being exiled was a “failed drug test” that again was admittedly a mistake on their end without further action or explanation & only acknowledged due to it being 2019 at the time and my last drug test being in 2017. None the less I can’t help but wonder if what felt like organ harvesting followed by bleeding out & being completely bedridden for a week after the uterine biopsy all contributed. Whatever they did while they were “up in there” was excruciating to the point of them calling for assistance to help hold me down while 2 others performed to experiment. Oh and before I forget my results came back “patient is pregnant.” I had my tubes tied 13 years prior so when I called in a panic they said it was just an entry error. I visited the lab several times over the next 2 years to retrieve said results only to find the results still showed “patient is pregnant” along with inconclusive or negative due to a lack of specimen which has never been relayed to me -not at the time or ever. Were they so concerned with their incompetence or not administering a pregnancy test prior to the torture biopsy that they’d lie to me & carry on while I suffered, deteriorated? Apparently so. I have countless emails between myself & multiple departments associated with my former primary. They don’t care. Whatsoever. I was even scolded by an administrator for my failed drug test prior to pointing out their inexplicable error for her to chew on with her feet but it only caused a personality conflict and her dismay toward me. Professional stuff & now I’m wondering if their lack of education and or experience caused or contributed to my uterus spine ribs torso posture changes to bake a few of the life changing damages that don’t make sense.
I agreed. This post is pretty much saying that my life will end after hysterectomy. I just have to find a grave and die. But your comment gave me hope that nothing is that bad. Thank you
I generally do not comment on things on the internet but feel compelled to due to the reaction this article gave me! I recently had a hysterectomy to avoid cervical cancer. I told myself not to do a bunch of online research because of the anxiety it was sure to cause. I left my surgery feeling good about my decision and after a few days decided to begin a little research for help in healing and what sort of timeline to expect. I stumbled across this post and felt sudden anxiety and fear that i had ended my life as a woman!! I spiraled into days of gloom and breaking into tears over nothing. Certain that i had forever ruined any joy from sex that I used to have and to be doomed to watch my feminine figure crumple into a soggy mess! I brought up this article to my Dr. She said absolutely not! She explained to me how there are load bearing walls such as our back and our core. And then interior walls such as the uterus and cervix. These can and are safely removed in routine practices so frequently.. i started to feel less depressed instantly! And not to over share but just to make a point. Nine days post op my husband was able to stimulate me without any entry enough to enjoy an orgasm! Ladies this is not the death sentence this article states. I am not saying that there are no risks as with any procedure of course there are! But think of all the women you know.. family friends co workers. And these women are enjoying life and many will tell you it was the best thing they could have done for themselves at that place in their lives!! Do your own research and openly ask the difficult questions of your medical professionals!! If you feel you’re not being heard then move to another Dr. But do not let one scary source allow you to panic like I did!! Good luck to anyone facing this decision.
Thank you for your comment. I am literally 6 hours out of surgery and decided to google the healing process. This article gave me anxiety but your comment helped ease me.
Thank you so much Jenny. I was sitting here crying. I have endometrial cancer and they want to do a full hysterectomy to save my life. I’m terrified as is and feel so alone. This article made me feel hopeless like my life was over. Thank God I kept reading the comments. Maybe I need to get off the web as well and start talking to women that have had this done instead. Your response to this article gave me hope and clarity thank you.
Christina I also had endometrial cancer and needed a hysterectomy. It was 8 years ago and all is well here. Do some reading so you know what questions to ask and then remember that your doctors went to school for eons to be the best they could. This is where you should get most of your advice. Sending you healing thoughts
I hope women who read this article realize this is just one person’s experience and not all experiences are alike. I had a hysterectomy over 8 years ago and it was the best decision of my life. I had cancer so it saved my life but not only that, sex is way better, I don’t have to worry about periods and overall my happiness has increased in almost every area of my life. You can prevent a lot of issues with diet and exercise. I am a thin fit woman and if I didn’t keep fit maybe I would end up with the spinal belly problems in this article but I like to take care of myself and make sure I know what I’m getting into. You can’t expect your body to just take care of itself. Strong core muscles are very important for any size woman.
Thank you Candice!
I had my total (ovaries, uterus, cervix) hysterectomy 7 years ago. I joined HysterSisters for support.
Everyone’s hysterectomy is different.
I have yet (except on this site) to hear of someone whose lower ribs have fallen down to their hip bones.
Most HysterSisters know of this site and I don’t know why it’s still up. It has done a great disservice to ladies whose lives have been vastly improved by hysterectomies. Please keep an open mind.
🦋 HysterSister Hugs🦋
I bought DermalMD Vaginal Tightening Serum less than a month ago and I can tell a major difference already. Prior to using this product, I struggled to feel my partner. This has never happened before, therefore, I thought he had issues. To my surprise, I needed something to help me snap back. After using this product, I feel like I am in love again. This product tightened me enough to feel all the sensation needed to change my mind about this young man.
I was hesitant about going to male OB/GYNs (they should be illegal, IMO) due to a previous issue (6 male obstetricians didn’t notice my IUD sticking out of my cervix, even when they did pap smears! It was the 1st female OB/GYN I went to that pointed it out and removed it) many many years ago.
I then went 18 years without health insurance. And I felt inside and realized I had prolapse.
Luckily I was able to get married to get insurance (pretty pathetic that we don’t have Single Payer here in the U.S. and we have to debase ourselves like this). And I went to a female gynocologist for treatment.
At first, she seemed to be interested ONLY in what I wanted to do to help with the situation. I told her flat out that I want the least-invasive treatment possible and go from there.
I had read up on the mesh and it’s various forms. I read up on the horridness of hysterectomy by HERS (Nora Coffey’s experience). So I decided the docs’ll be tearing out my uterus over my cold dead body.
My recent FEMALE gyno tried a pessary for me. It seemed to be OK at first, but later I had a lot of leakage due to increased water intake (trying to live healthier and have easy bowl movements due to rectal prolapse). SO I went back to the doc to try a different pessary.
THAT’S when she started pushing the hysterectomy. And THAT’S when I decided female gynos can be as money-motivated as male gynos.
Did I mention that she’s pushing all sorts of unnecessary procedures because I had superb health insurance that covered pretty much everything?
And she told me that the hysterectomy would cure prolapse. I know that’s a total lie. And she didn’t tell me any of the negatives concerning the surgery, only the positives.
And when I asked her about other noninvasive treatments for prolapse (like the dildo treatment and laser treatment), she said she had no experience in that sort of treatment. She didn’t even do the mesh!!! The only thing she was trained in was castration!!!!!! What kind of gynecologist has no education or training in prolapse treatment?!?!?!?!?!?
So now I got to try to find another gyno that will do what I want and not do some major procedure that will totally mess up my life.
Hysterectomy destroyed my gramma’s life. It’s destroyed the lives of many people I know. I won’t allow it to destroy mine. I have clear instructions with my partner that if I was ever to go in the hospital for any surgery around the pelvic area, he’s to be there with me to make sure they don’t remove any of my female parts or other parts (I’ve heard other people getting their body parts involuntarily removed while they were ‘out’ in surgery).
And the nonsense that castration affects men worse than women!?!?!?!? That’s a common conception among the commoners.
Thank you for listening to my disgust. I’m disappointed in my doctor. I’m disappointed she’s done the bait-&-switch with me.
And I’m disappointed that people are allowed to get license for OB/GYN without having education in numerous treatments for prolapse.
The biggest disappointment is those who have had a hysterectomy not admitting how it messed up their lives. A friend of mine denies any negative effects of the surgery, even though I clearly see them myself. It completely shattered her life. And yet she’s still trying to promote the surgery for me after I complained that my doc told me the castration would solve my prolapse.
You are so right. I was pushed through a hystetectomy for the horrible fibroids and all other issues that follow. Please do not let any doc tell you that a hystetectomy will be the only solution to you gynecologic problems unless it’s a cancer. I had a hystetectomy 6 months ago and it negatively affecting me. I don’t have the menstrual pain anymore, but I have other issues, I m so unhappy. I don’t feel like myself anymore. My beauty is gone, I look like a different person, more like a man. The deformation of the bone structure is so real. I’m shorter than before, no cuves, I used to have a nice shape with a big back, and curve all that is gone, most of my pants tend to fall when I ware them because the part of the body that holds the pants is gone. My womanhood is gone, it’s not only in the mind, you can see it , so visible, my jaw has become larger, I m experiencing issues to concentrate and study , something that I used to do easily. Please do your best to find any other alternative to a hystetectomy, my skin looks now like a 60 years old woman while I’m in my late 40 s. My joy of living is gone. Hysterectomy is bad, they won’t tell you but be careful when you’re making your decision
I was hesitant to make this decision but none of the 5 ob/gyn that i saw wanted to remove just the fibroids, they all wanted me to do hystetectomy. I never wanted to get this surgery reason why I had to see 5 different doctors, some of them were mad when said no and pushed me through the embolization which doesn’t really work. On the day of my surgery I was crying because I knew it wasn’t the right decision, but I had no choice.Stay away from a hystetectomy, unless it’s a cancer.
I just now saw your response.
Now my family physician’s trying to get me to get a hysterectomy!
She’s saying she got one (and I believe her. She got no waistline) 20 years ago and she recovered GREAT! No problems! Not having any issues!
Horse manure! I know a hysterectomy lowers one’s sex drive, causes the body to look a lot different, increases body hair, etc.
Now I have to quit going to that doc!!!!!! Is there any doc in the country that will listen to what *I* want? That health insurance costs us $800 per month!
I’m sorry to hear of your experience. I think iwhat you’re going through is the norm.
Sad thing is that many women don’t realize these are the effects of hysterectomy or they don’t want to admit it. I hear some women don’t want to admit they’d been duped.
Are you feeling any better? I hear a lot of women get some sort of emotional apathy from hysterectomy (at least, that the results of the polls listed on the HERS website). That’s my biggest fear.
My gramma use to be physically active, interesting, full of energy, an artist (painting and drawing) and very active in her grandkid’s life.
Then she got the hysterectomy. She became lazy, full of pain, disinterested in all hobbies, and fat. No longer was she the fun gramma we were use to. Her hair started falling out, her teeth deteriorated, and she got osteoporosis and arthritis. And her heart started failing her.
It was hard for her to get motivated to do anything. Whereas before, she was up and eager for a new adventure, she subsequently stayed indoors and hid herself away.
Another fear of mine is losing my sex drive. I know it’s going to be on the decrease as I age. But I hear that most women lose all or most of it after hysterectomy.
Sex is such an important part of my life, I want to hang onto it as long as possible.
What I abhor is the ‘we’ll put you on HRT if you encounter any issues’. I’ve talked to women who use HRT and most told me that it did absolutely nothing for their issues. A few said it did very little. No one said it reversed anything.
And the side effect is increased risk of cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But hey, we have health insurance! They’ll just use that to remove whatever else they can from our body.
Ugh! It’s SO disgusting that they all push this surgery that’s SO destructive. I know you are familiar with HERS. Have you contacted them for some guidance and possibly doctor referrals? Persevere in remaining intact!
I have superb health insurance, so I can see just about anyone in my state. The insurance costs an arm & leg, though.
My friend’s gyno was trying to push her into a hysterectomy, so she’s trying a different doc. I’m going to be asking her if the new doc is better. I’ll go to that one if it is.
I had a total hysterectomy 17 years ago due to cancer. I didn’t lose my sex drive or ability to orgasm. My body didn’t change drastically, still have a waist at 58, and no increased hair. I will say my vagina feels shorter during sex, and I have to tell my husband to not be too enthusiastic so he doesn’t bump the spot too hard which causes discomfort. That is the only thing that bothers me a little. I had an oopherectomy 3 years after the hysterectomy though, and that did a number on me. Terrible hot flashes, vaginal atrophy, drier skin etc.
You are wrong so wrong about my post sex life. Freedom from endometriosis painful periods hell. 33 I made decision. Each lady has their own reason and path. I had had enough pain and surgeries. I am 63 and sex drive and with multi orgasms has not changed one iota. I have never required lubrication. And doubt I will. My figure is fantastic. Lifestyle and so is my attitude kept it that way. Surgery costs me nothing in my country, so no Dr forcrd me, no insurance compancy is taking advantage of me. I did it for my health and welfare. Ias life went on, the burden of that pain would have limited my freedom and raising my child. My morals values family health happiness professional career and any way I could influence my pain free days I was doing it.
You are so right. I had a radical hysterectomy 5 years ago at age 40. It’s destroyed my life. My physical structures have changed, I have so much lower back and hip pain. And the castration has been most devastating. My dr had said oh we’ll just give you HRT and you’ll be great. Nope. Not great. HRT does not replicate the functions of the ovaries. I’ve had my first broken bone and have bone and joint pain. I regret my surgery every day.
DermalMD Vaginal Tightening Serum is absolutely amazing! A lot goes a long way and my husband could immediately tell the difference!!! It but only tightens but lubricates as well! I’ll definitely be buying again!!!
Just wanted to chime in about the double standard of men’s and women’s reproductive care. I have been pushed by doctors three times in two years to have a hysterectomy because something “might” be precancerous, because of heavy bleeding two days a month, and because “you’re not having more children, so you don’t need your uterus.”
I would like doctors to put the same exact fear tactics and pressure on men with prostate problems. They could even use similar reasons: you’re not having more kids; it will alleviate your urinary issues, you don’t need it to have an orgasm. I bet most men, given a choice (and they’re given more choices than us, even in cases of cancer), would rather not dry ejaculate for the rest of their days, nor deal with slight urinary incontinence.
Bringing this up to my own husband and doctor halted their rallies of hysterectomy being no big deal! I like what a previous poster said about having the right to choose. I’ll say that next time. Like it or not, hysterectomies are big business ($2b annually, reported in an older medical journal), and any surgery can be a commodity.
Please advocate for an educate yourself more than you would to buy a car. Negotiating procedures is not unlike negotiating terms in the finance office at a dealership (I’m here to get a myomectomy. “We have a great add on for you today, this handy bladder mesh that will….” No, thanks, just the simple myomectomy. “Well if you upgrade to a hysterectomy, you can ride in comfort for the next decade, and we can sweeten the deal with hormone replacement. Plus it’s cheaper than what you want done anyway!”)
Maybe you would be better off with a hysterectomy, maybe you’ve suffered horrendously without it and want one now, but remember there are no take backs, so be sure and informed.
All good points, Lisa. I have been on many hysterectomy forums trying to educate women but so many of them listen to their doctors and the “cheerleader” women telling them they’ll be fine. Of course, most of those women are in the “honeymoon” phase or usually no more than a year or two post-op. And now, so many of these sites ban those of us who post negative experiences and medically documented harms. So it’s hard to get the word out.
It is long past time that gynecologists be held accountable for harming so many women and not providing informed consent.
I am here because I am a little over 1 1/2 years post op.I was searching for something to explain if hysterectomies cause the stomach to protrude or does the uterus hold the organs in place?I feel that after I eat no matter what it is,my stomach now protrudes.I always had a flatter stomach and I am thin.I have pain whenever I use the bathroom to urinate or have a bowel movement.Never happened before:( I agree anytime you try to educate someone those groups don’t allow it!
Melanie, I’m so sorry you are suffering these effects. The uterus separates the bladder and bowel and holds them in their proper positions. Removal of the uterus causes these organs to fall which can impede function. When the bladder or bowel is full, there can be a feeling of discomfort or even outright pain (which I get sometimes). If you aren’t emptying your bowels regularly, that can cause a distended stomach. Something like Metamucil may help. Also, it would seem that the displacement of organs can also cause a distended belly (in addition to the severing of the ligaments /pelvic support structures).
It really is disgusting that so many forums cancel women who are truthful about the negative effects.
I don’t agree with your description of post hysterectomy experiences. My experience has been just the opposite. I am thankful daily for the decision to have a TAH
Karen – I’m glad you are happy with your decision. Granted, there are some women who are okay with the trade-offs (although many aren’t aware / informed by their doctors of all of them). Of course, those with a cancer diagnosis don’t have much choice but they are a small percentage.
Have you noticed the gradual changes to your body hence the reason for posting here?
Karen, how long have you been with hysterectomy? I started seeing effects 10 years after. Hope you are young enough and wish you well, hope with age you won’t see what i see here with me. Sometimes I cannot even walk. Duke Hospital did not give me options, my doctor said it could be cancer, I was scared, now I know it was just $$$, I regret having it, I am 50 and in constant pain.
I hope people are still reading and commenting! Bleeding slightly for two months (soon after my COVID vaccine March, 2021, it may or not be related). No other symptoms like cramping etc. Younger women are commenting, I’m 76 years old. Would this make a difference? I’m waiting for results of my hysteroscopy and D&C, with a polyp removed, 6 days ago. Except for lots of surgeries due to arthritis damage (spine especially), I am otherwise extremely (too) healthy, small, and still look good in clothes. I will possibly live past 100 and I have more arthritis pain and surgeries in my future. My family doctor told me today, if there was a problem, OBGYN would probably do a simply do surgery to remove the uterus. After reading these posts I’m scared. I don’t want to live worse off than I am already. I would rather risk doing nothing, at least I wouldn’t have to worry about my greatest fear in the world, which is being someone’s pet while rotting away in a nursing home someday. I don’t have a death wish, just a wish not to prolong dying, which is what people are usually forced to do.
There are certainly reports by women of irregular bleeding after the COVID vaccine. Being 76, you must have been pretty shocked to experience that. Regardless of the cause of your bleeding, I hope it’s nothing serious and no further treatment is needed. If you don’t mind, please reply and let us know your results.
Donna, Did you get your results? (I hope they were negative.)
Many thanks for the info in this website and video.
Too late now for me. I had my TAH in 1994.I was 53(?). I saw 4 doctors. 2 were against the surgery. the other 2 were for the surgery (… and the money…) and .. one of these last, was a female doctor. I had a benign orange size tumore, they said. I had pieces of blood (clots?) coming down at any time, interfering with my outings, hikings, etc.
Today, September 2020, NOBODY, NO DOCTOR, has had the decency and professionalism to talk to me about my present problems to relate them to that surgery!! Shame on them!!
Next Wednesday, 09/23/20, I go for an MRI due to my first fall at 76 years of age. I think, this time I damaged my left floating ribs and, as the video talks about, my guess is that I will continue fracturing my vertebrae (4 so far, T11, T12, L1 and L4) as my ribcage continue going down into my pelvic area (thanks again for your video).
Now, your video also brings me news about my incontinency. And ALL this time I was waiting for my hump in my upper back! My dear mother, who kept ALL her inner parts ( except for the gall bladder) was killed 2 years ago, by doctors (2018) who sent her to an hospice. She was 101 and 1/2 years old, her bones where in better shape than mine, of course, but her left breast was looking bad and with no biopsy, they decided to kill her in 2 weeks with the cocktail of dead, morphine ( for pain that she never expressed it!) and ativan (to relax her ….even though she was most of the time quiet, non speaking, and sleepy!). I hope, this will help to those that still want to have a total hysterectomy.
Kilhefner, I’m sorry your spine has deteriorated so much since your hysterectomy. I fear for what’s in store for me too in all aspects of my health. It is shameful that gynecologists destroy so many women’s and families’ lives.
If you have not told your hysterectomy story (via video or letter) here is a link to do that – https://www.hersfoundation.org/in-my-own-voice/.
You can probably tell your story here on Hormones Matter too. Just click on the link to write for them here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/.
Scariest bit I’ve read on post-hysterectomies. I had a super hysterectomy, open abdominal, along with removal of my ovaries and omentum and a bowel resection. I had a large ovarian tumor. Obviously, I had no choice as the tumor was pressing in my ureter and not allowing my bladder to evacuate. My kidneys were a mess and I got a stent in my ureter before my tumor removal/hysterectomy.
Obviously, I’m not looking forward to seeing my bones and organs shift, but was more concerned about your mentioning possible renal cancer to look forward to. Though my tumor was initially thought to be cancer from the imaging, it turned out not to be. I had a messy case of endometriosis that was just a big organ tangle of old blood and pus. Gross.
My question is, what do I do now? What questions do I ask? I had my surgery 8 months ago.
Sherri, I am sorry this happened to you. I also had an ovarian mass / tumor / complex cyst which looked somewhat suspicious but was benign. The frozen section even showed it was benign but my surgeon removed the rest of my organs anyway. I can only suggest that you read up on the increased health risks and ways to mitigate those risks. And if you are struggling with the aftermath, counseling may be helpful. I wish you the best.
This article is fear mongering. I had a hysterectomy at 37, my mom had hers when she was 49 and my grandma had hers in her 40s as well…. and all 3 of us still look the same as before. Neither my mom or grandmother had skeletal changes or body shape shifting. If anything, my mom’s body 6 months after she healed, looked even better than before the surgery, and she still has the waistline of her younger self even though she is in her 60s. So this article is just to scare the crap of of women, which is incredibly evil, seeing how getting a hysterectomy IS NOT something that we wanted. I had a 14cm tumor attached to my uterus making it hard to even pee and it made me look 6 months pregnant. After they removed it, my stomach went down, and is much flatter, not to mention I still have the curve in my lower back and no, my butt isn’t flat from it either. Whoever wrote this article must have had other physical issues going on with their bodies, cause every woman is waaay different from the author here. Tumors and huge fibroid have run through my family for years, and no one has had any of the problems listed here. I feel sorry for the author, but take their words with a grain of salt cause this hasn’t happened to anyone I know and it hasn’t happened to me (I had Fallopian tubes, uterus and cervix removed with no problems)
Stephanie, Of course the stomach will be flatter after large fibroids are removed. But the collapse of the torso will still gradually occur after hysterectomy. So the midsection will be shorter and thicker than it would have been prior to the presence of large fibroids. The figure changes are not always obvious to others and some women aren’t even that aware of how their own bodies have changed.
Stephanie, thank you for this. As I sit in the hospital at 45 years old, post-hysterectomy to remove cancer and prevent recurrence I could not have read anything more discouraging and depressing as this piece. Your encouragement helped immediately. First of all, this piece makes it sound as if every hysterectomy is a choice and that it’s made joyfully and willingly by all. Of course major surgery to remove a major organ is not ideal for anyone and I don’t know anyone who would jump at the chance to have it done. This article may as well have been entitled “congratulations on throwing your life, your femininity, and your identity along with your uterus.” It was hard enough to surrender myself to a surgeon to ensure I live to raise my children and enjoy my husband without reading this fear-mongering editorial that makes it seem like it wasn’t a worthwhile (non)decision.
Jody, I’m sorry you had cancer. No doubt, you were dealt a crappy hand. I wish you a long healthy and happy life!
It’s important to know that very few hysterectomies are necessary and women are not provided with informed consent. According to this Mayo Clinic “Reassessing Hysterectomy” article – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3804006/ – only 8% of hysterectomies are done for cancer. Yet 45% of U.S. women end up having a hysterectomy. Also alarming is our oophorectomy rate that is 73% of the hysterectomy rate despite the rarity of ovarian cancer. Our ovaries are akin to a man’s testicles and they do not remove testicles unless there is CONFIRMED cancer. Do women deserve less than men?
You said “Of course major surgery to remove a major organ is not ideal for anyone and I don’t know anyone who would jump at the chance to have it done.” I have been on so many forums and connected with so many women since my organs were removed 14 years ago. I am shocked and appalled how many women end up wanting and getting a hysterectomy just to be done with the nuisance of periods or for the purpose of foolproof sterilization. They think that the uterus is only needed for having babies (the medical profession is largely to blame for this flawed belief).
Again, I am sorry you had cancer and needed a hysterectomy. I wish you the best moving forward.
Right. I’m four weeks
Post and I had to large fibroids and the large one was pressing on my ureters. I worked yesterday and today and I was In pain so I googled pain after hysterectomy and wasn’t happy to read this. I know many women that have had hysterectomies and are just fine and all of them say it was the best thing they ever did so this is a very rare occurrence
I agree with you Stephanie this article was made to scare the crap out of someone it is nice to be aware of physical and internal changes however this may not happen to everyone that was a hysterectomy. I advise anyone to research before having a major medical procedure the ultimate goal is being healthy not so much vanity.
A HYSTERECTOMY RUINED MT LIFE WITH THESE EXACT PROBLEMS. RUINED MY SEX LIFE. THE AUTHOR IS 100% SPOT ON.
I agree with Cathy. This article is spot on. Just because it hasn’t happened to all of you doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to a lot of us. Many people choose to sit in silence with their pain…what is anyone going to do about it anyway!? The damage is done. I am 5 months post op and in chronic pain. If I knew “fixing” one problem was going to cause SO MANY new problems, I would have never gone through with the surgery
Julie – I’m so sorry your surgery has left you in chronic pain. It is disgusting that gynecologists destroy so many women’s lives. And then we are silenced when we try to warn other women on hysterectomy “support” forums. Most of them are basically cheerleaders for hysterectomy.
The physical conditions after a hysterectomy depends much on the health of the individual, in my opinion. I just had a laproscopic total hysterectomy and was released on the same day, feeling relatively well. I have been faithfully taking a long list of vitamins for many years and believe it has paid off. Of course time will tell more. This video is informative, but I’ll watch and listen to my own body and treat it accordingly.
I absolutely agree with you. I had mine at 45 with ovaries, uterus and cervix removed. I was in a shocking state before my surgery, incontinent with 2 enormous fibroids which caused me to bleed for 7 months constantly. I was anaemic and breathless, I am an active person so it was really difficult. My surgery was the best thing I ever had done, I’ve had absolutely no problems whatsoever. In fact, my waist is tiny now! I do think that it is a very individual result, and some people may experience negative symptoms and weight gain etc but I can honestly say that for me, it’s changed my life, and my mum’s, for the better
Stephanie, sounds like you kept your ovaries…you won’t have half the problems the restore us have because you still have natural hormones in your body. My ob said there’s a 71 percent chance 9f 9varian cancer if you keep them mine were removed.
CB, With that high of a risk, it sounds like you are BRCA1 positive? According to the National Cancer Institute (https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/genetics/brca-fact-sheet#how-much-does-an-inherited-harmful-variant-in-brca1-or-brca2-increase-a-womans-risk-of-breast-and-ovarian-cancer):
“About 1.2% of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer sometime during their lives (1). By contrast, 39%–44% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 variant and 11%–17% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 variant will develop ovarian cancer by 70–80 years of age (2–4).”
I don’t know if it’s fear mongering, I had my hysterectomy 7 years ago and have been good till now. Now my belly is bloated out and look 6 months pregnant which is shocking since I am normally super skinny. I’ve been reading up on pelvic tilt because looking in the mirror it is definitely not right and my body hurts. Legs and feet tingle sometimes so I’m glad I found this article so I’m not alone and feel crazy. Just because something didn’t happen to you or someone you know doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to someone else but that being said it doesn’t mean it will happen either. It’s a warning that it could. I’m starting core strengthening exercises, hopefully that will help.
Sherri, All what you read here may be scary but … it is too late NOW to ask questions!!
Prepare yourself for what will be coming, Something doctors never talk about. If you really saw your tumor, you are lucky. At least you know it existed. I did not have that chance. If they did not cut ligaments that they should not cut ( as the video says) you may be lucky. I did tell my story today, Sept 2020, so you know what you can expect in around 2 or 3 years. If you have not yet had a Dexa bone density, have it done every 2 years or less!! Also, keep track of your Calcium and Vit D3 levels. For Vit D3 take never less than 2 or 3K UI. It is up to you to try Prolia, Boniva, etc and damage other parts of your body ( as it happened to me with Fosamax) Keep googling for legal cases of those prescriptions taken to court. Never abuse of your body by lifting up excess of weight!! It is really scary to HEAR the crushing/crunching(? like potato chips) of your vertebrae with excessive lifting weigths. Good luck. Kilhefner
Your site is the best I’ve come across…thank you! I am 63 and it’s been 8 years since my last period. I am slim and active with no ailments other than a prolapsed uterus. It happened quite suddenly while I was laying a hardwood floor (lots of squatting and exertion wrestling planks into place). My uterus actually protruded from my vagina about the size of an apple. I was horrified, pushed it back in and went to the doctor. I was referred to an Ob/Gyn who said I would need a hysterectomy which I definitely don’t want. I’ve since done research and will try to use a pessary short term, but would like your opinion for long term. Is there a sling or mesh procedure that is strong enough to hold up the weight of a uterus? Does the mesh cause pain and/or scar tissue build up? Any input would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
Hi Marion – From what I have read, any prolapse surgery is risky. For one, it seems they tend to fail after several years and the mesh has all kinds of serious problems. Although hysterectomy is oftentimes recommended for prolapse, it increases risk of bladder and bowel prolapse along with many other negatives so it’s good you ruled that out! Pelvic floor therapy may be worthwhile. Here is a helpful link from the HERS Foundation – https://www.hersfoundation.org/symptoms-and-conditions/prolapse-of-the-uterus-bladder-bowel-or-rectum/. They do consultations too if you are interested. The information on the Whole Woman website may be helpful too.
I’m 25 years old and 34 weeks pregnant I’m about to get a hysterectomy because I have a placenta accreta also my uterus is growing over my cervix it is july 31 2020 today and I have to have my 34 week old baby in the next 8 day by August 9 2020 this is all new and scary to me I never thought I’d be having to get this type of surgery done so young and reading about all this a doing research make me wanna say no way but what about woman like me that have no choice and actually have to have it done because of life and death situations I dont even know if I can go through with it but what can I do.
Ashley – I am so sorry you are faced with this. Have you gotten other opinions from OB’s who specialize in high risk pregnancies? I assume you have done a bit of research on the subject. Here is one article I came across – https://brighamhealthhub.org/treatment/five-myths-and-facts-about-placenta-accreta. The HERS foundation – hersfoundation.org – may be of help.
I wish you the best.
I have uterine fibroids. My iron levels have caused me to be hospitalized for 2 blood transfusions.
Of course they have recommended a Hysterectomy. I have put it off for 2 years. After reading this, I can’t do it.
Something in my spirit keeps stopping me.
Can you give me some options for removal?
Lannette – Do you think you are close to menopause and can wait it out? A surgeon skilled in myomectomy can remove most fibroids allowing you to keep your uterus and its many lifelong functions. Unfortunately though myomectomy is not a part of medical training in the U.S. whereas residents must do AT LEAST 85 hysterectomies so it can be hard to find a surgeon with myomectomy skills. There is a “newer” procedure called MRI guided focused ultrasound for fibroids but I don’t know much about it (effectiveness or risks). I suggest you contact the HERS Foundation as they can guide you in finding a doctor who does organ-sparing treatments if you decide you can’t wait it out.
In the meantime, I hope you are getting lots of iron with vitamin C to enhance absorption. Blackstrap molasses is supposed to be a good source but don’t know how it compares to iron supplements.
Please post back and let us know how this plays out.
I hope I am not too late for you. I am 53 years old. I have fibroids, ovarian cysts, and have had pain and heavy periods since I started menstruating. Last year, I had severe anemia and bleed for two weeks. My gynecologist gave me a little time to bring my iron levels up and prescribed hormones to stop the bleeding. She said if my levels didn’t go up soon, I would need a blood transfusion and possibly would still need one during surgery. Thankfully, I did not need one. I was given the option of endometrial ablation or hysterectomy. I chose the ablation. Immediately, after the surgery, I had bloating and abdominal swelling, which may be normal, but it lasted longer than normal. Then, in February, I started getting pain under my right rib. After having a horrible reaction to the IV contrast from the CT Scan, I found out that my uterus was pushed up into my ureter and is causing ureter swelling and back flow of urine. Of course, after I had my uterus mutilated, I find all this horrible information about the procedure and what these poor women have gone through. In addition, my cancer antigen markers were over 100 and now over 80. The norm is about 30 or 35. The new gynecologist suggested total hysterectomy prior to the CT Scan and is still recommending because my large uterus is causing the ureter swelling. I never had any of these problems prior. A hysterectomy may or may not help with this new problem. But for you and any others who are being told to have an ablation or hysterectomy just to stop bleeding or pain, if you have the option, for example, it is not life threatening or cancer or something else that requires urgency, gather as much information and get a second opinion and seek alternative modalities. Unfortunately, for me, I talked to a friend too late. I found out she was also bleeding profusely, but she went to an Accupuncturist for 2 treatments, a few months apart and has not had a period for almost 3 years!! She was also peri menopausal, so this is a big difference. The needle or needles were placed in her big toe and was painful but alleviated the need for mutilation, major surgery and all the risks. Not to mention after ablation it is hard to detect uterine cancer. Good luck and take care
Samantha, It sounds like you may have post ablation syndrome. I’m sorry you were subjected to this harmful procedure. I hope you can avoid a hysterectomy since it will cause a whole new set of problems.
Lanette, I had UFE / UAE at 51 years for a 9cm intramural fibroid and this changed my life. It was an easy procedure performed by an Interventional Radiologist. My bleeding immediately stopped and fibroid slowly begins to shrink. Mine had shrunk by over 90% at last check. Go to an Interventional Radiologist not an ob/GYN who will only focus on its failures and pain. In truth, 90% of women are candidates and the procedure has an 85% success rate. No hysterectomy for me as my fibroid problem was resolved when I went outside the speciality.
UFE is an option. This is performed outside the ob/ GYN speciality by an Interventional Radiologist. I had heavy bleeding that was immediately resolved after the procedure. My 9 cm fibroid shrank by 90%, slowly over time. This procedure is uterine sparring. I never expected it to work so well.
I see a lot of women’s rights groups fight about the choice to have or not have abortions, but THIS should be a women’s right. To know the full truth, the 85 surgery requirement, what can actually happen after a hysterectomy, ALL available options, and why there aren’t more options.
We should be protesting about this! Make physicians accountable!
JL, There is an effort underway to add a myomectomy (fibroid removal) surgical minimum requirement with a commensurate hysterectomy minimum reduction to Graduate Medical Education / residency surgical requirements.
I wish I knew more of the side effects after taking my uterus out it was double size grown it’s been two years I have tremendous lower back ,hip pain and my buttocks underneath omg the pain ,I have numbness on my hands my legs I cant lie on my tummy no more than 5 min it’s an awful pain and sex well not the same due to my back the drs dont say anything about all of these complications after .I think maybe a different method I would’ve used I do regret it .It was suppose to help me get better I’m very worse now I cant sit or stand too long cant even pick up dirty laundry basket because of my back i have lost my mobility to get up from bed several times my back locks in I’m 43 years old scares me when I become much older how will I do it will I be able to walk care for myself it’s just alot to handle at this point ?
Araceli, I am so sorry that you are suffering so horrifically! It is well past time that gynecologists be held accountable for all the harm they have done to almost half of U.S. women via hysterectomy without informed consent.
I had a robotic hysterectomy in April of 2018. I lost 15 pounds in the months after my surgery due to the horrible anxiety I was experiencing. I have since normaled my weight but I have noticed changes in my body since the surgery. I went for my 1 year post op and the surgeon said that I was fine and everything is normal. After reading these post I realize I am just one of the many women who are having issues. I also noticed a change in my stomach. The left side pooch is bigger than the right, I have nerve damage across the left side. It’s numb or sometimes painful to lightly touch. These are just a few just a few of the issues. The worst part is after surgery, the problem that I had been diagnosed with was not there. I had a normal uterus and probably did not need the surgery. I wish I had been more informed before I made the decision.
I am sorry that you also had an unwarranted hysterectomy and was not informed of its harms. I was shocked to learn that ~90% are unnecessary and that gynecologists use all kinds of tactics to get women into the operating room. I also have a large bulge on the left side of my abdomen and have had bowel problems ever since surgery. And in “greedy gyn” fashion, my gyn / surgeon who I’d seen for 20 years abandoned me post-op. I wish you the best moving forward!
I had an open partial hysterectomy due to a watermelon sized fibroid, endo and andenomyosis caused by my previous myomectomy. Originally thought skeletal changes were internet propaganda until after my secondary emergency surgery to stop an artery hemorrhage one week after my hysterectomy. Scary numbness down my right leg. Got a soft tissue MRI and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, bulging disc at L5 and a very mild scoliosis. I think this miserable surgery caused it! I’m only 41 and feel like a 90 year old. Not sure what I was supposed to do…gotta live with this new me.
Hi, I posted a couple of times here last year I believe. I just returned to check in. I also wanted to add that I am now believing that my posture and my lower abdomen drastically changed for the worse after the hysterectomy. I had what I thought was the ‘swelly belly’ right after surgery (in 2016). At my post op follow up exam it was still there so I asked the doctor. He said that that flabby unsightly poochy thing is all me. I just thought it was true although I didn’t get how it could be as I wasn’t even eating much.
Well, as three years now have passed and I still have this awful protruding thing which makes me look pretty much like I did prior to the hysterectomy. I can’t even wear the same size jeans because of the protrusion. Had to get a larger waist size. Of course, back then it was the fibroids causing the lower abdomen to stick out. Even my husband keeps telling me it’s as if the surgery wasn’t done since I look about the same way. And for myself it’s really defeating as I was able to lose belly fat prior to surgery. For sure though I realize I hit menopause last year after I began having hot flashes and crying spells. My doctor did a FSH test and it came out as 48 which confirmed menopause. And I understand that menopause does put on weight around one’s middle, but not on the lower abdomen area. So really I think it could be the way my doctor did the surgery that resulted in this really ugly extended lower abdomen.
CL – I am sorry you are dealing with this nasty after effect that is not acknowledged by gynecologists. Although the torso collapses due to the severing of the ligaments which are pelvic support structures, it seems there can also be other factors at play that cause the protruding lower abdomen. My whole midsection gradually shortened and thickened especially in the first five years or so. My lower abdomen protrudes quite a bit. My abs used to be flat, so flat my hip bones were prominent. For me, the bulge is larger on the left side. I suspect this has something to do with the surgical technique / incompetence of the surgeon. My surgery was done at a teaching hospital and I am almost certain the 4th year resident did my surgery even though the operative report is initialed by my gynecologist / attending physician. Thankfully, I have not gained weight like so many women do after hysterectomy. In fact, I weigh a little less than I did pre=op.
Hi WS, thanks for the reply. My surgery was done by a very well-respected gyno surgeon and not by a resident thank God. Of course, as you said, the after effect of my protruding lower abdomen could also be due to age/menopause. I will never know if it’s a combination effect or a direct effect of the hysterectomy. Anyway, I live with this ugly protrusion and am aware of it all of the time. Not to mention the pain from my spinal stenosis & arthritic knee diagnoses. I understand that with menopause and loss of estrogen come a slew of bad symptoms including pain. My pain is worse than before. I suppose, however, these are all minor issues in comparison to others.
CL – Joint pain seems very common when we lose hormones which of course is much worse with surgical or induced “menopause.” Are you or have you used estrogen? It is a personal choice but my whole physical and mental state were in shambles without it.
WS, I kept my ovaries so I didn’t go into sudden menopause. My menopause took 2 years to show up. The only estrogen (Estradiol) I use is the cream type.
WS. I would have to agree with you that if I had the hindsight of what I am learning now. I too would have not have agreed on a full hysterectomy!! I can see that it is a cash cow and its been performed way too often as Ceaserans are for birth! When we are usually face with health concerns or health scares. We usually choose out of uncertainty. As we certainly cannot see what’s truly going or what may happen if we don’t make a choice. These surgeons are not as caring or thorough as they use to be. Everything is fast paced and surgeries are not done by robotics assisted!! We take the side of error and hope that we made the right choice. To just cut the root! So nothing abnormal will be able to take root with no reproductive organs there. But..other side effects may come about as we the women that went through this surgery are learning. I’m not saying that for each of us thus choice may have been the best choice. I’m on the fence as Im 4 weeks post surgery. I trying to gather as much info as its already done and I want to do and take all precautions or alternative measures that I may feel is best suited for me in the future. I want to live my life with the changes within my body and do my best to facillate a long, prosperous, joyful, and healthy body worth living to the fullest. God is my source! Fyi.. On my recent checkup the result of the cyst was a hormonal type and supposedly is termed a possibly cancer. So oncologist said it was best to do the surgery. Right! ??Moving forward its done. He also mentioned chemo oral ?? If I choose.. I quickly said Not for me!! Im. Cleared! The con lusions to me from the test results were inconclusive!! So as far, as Im concern, nothing was found that truly deemed I needed an hysterectomy! So I’m certainly not going to take anything for inconclusive results! Im done!! I told him I will continue to follow up for post surgery care. , concerns and hormone test levels as needed. I’m asking God to heal me throughout with no complications ever!
Hi it’s been 6 years since my total hysterectomy. I’m 64 years old. I had suffered for years with the pain of fibroids on my uterus that were also pushing down on my bladder. The recommendations were to have the hysterectomy. I did not need to remove my ovaries but it was also recommended that I do that too due to my age possible future ovarian cancer. So I did! Well I went from 120 lbs to 150 in past few years. I’ve tried to watch what I eat and the most I’ve lost is 10 lbs. I have a large stomach, no waist or shape. I’m not in pain with this but always feel bloated and uncomfortable with this stomach. I do experience lowrr back pain. It has affected my activity level. Ive always been a very active woman. Knowing what I know mow, I might would have looked into the laser removal of fibroids so I could have kept my uterus. I was past child bearing but my uterus would have helped keep my internal body structure in tact. It wasn’t explained to me how my body would change so much! That’s disappointing! But I believe in God and that has helped me cope with all this and find joy in other aspects of life. I hope this helps someone
So sorry, Deborah, that you were also misinformed about the importance of the uterus and ovaries and are now suffering the effects of their removal. It is shameful that gynecologists continue to disregard medical evidence and harm so many women with these incredibly destructive surgeries.
Thank you. Your comments are just what I was thinking. I have large fibroids. I feel like I’m about 3 months pregnant. I’m taking progesterone or I’d be bleeding too heavy. My dr recommends a hysterectomy and said keeping ovaries is a personal choice. Removing them makes menopause happen faster but can be managed with estrogen and it avoids ovarian cancer risk. Keeping them allows the body to gradually go into menopause. I’m concerned about taking out my cervix and uterus. It sounds so unnatural and dangerous. I want to get the fibroids removed or just be patient to see if they’ll go away on their own but I am also having sudden bladder issues and arthritis. I wonder if they’re all being caused by my hormones out of whack. I am thinking of taking hormone therapy. Does anyone know if that calms down fibroids?
Have you considered Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Robin – If you think menopause isn’t too far off, you could just wait it out as the fibroids should shrink after menopause. If you want to get rid of the fibroids, find a surgeon who does lots of myomectomies. That seems to be better and safer than embolization since those little balls can migrate to other parts of the body including the lungs. Check out the HERS Foundation’s website. Best of luck to you.
Wow! I just came upon this site as I was looking for info about internal organs changing or shifting after hysterectomy. As I unfortunately, signed off on one out of uncertainty of an having an enlarged cyst on right ovary, along with bleeding and bloating that happened within 1 month and going to Er. After,ultra sounds and cat scan plus bloodwork all doctors came back with it looks like you will need an hysterectomy for all these symptoms of a 54 yr old post-menopause woman. At first the oncologist I seen said I think you would only need to remove the cyst & right ovary. A biopsy of cervix was taken no cancer cells. Sounds good right!? Well, things changed quickly as I woke up to excruciating gas like pain and went to Er the cyst had doubled in size etc. I got scheduled for surgery within the next week and with all of these changes I signed off on full hysterectomy which the oncologist now said that would be best ad you don’t want to have to go back in after testing is done on the cyst which was bleeding. I do believe that I didn’t really NEED to have a full hysterectomy. I cannot change it so as I am still recovering from the surgery performed August 2, 2019. I already had 3 ceasearean and this feels someone worse as all my reproductive organs or no more! Thank the Lord, I have 3 daughters and grandchildren. But.. Still I believe that having these organs intact even if you are on or past menopause they still serve our body by skeletal support and even waning hormones from aging ovaries. I try to read as much info to prepare my body to compensate for the loss. I pray that I will heal well and take the necessary precautions, exercise,joint supplements,plant hormones (if needed) etc. I never would have thought I would have gone through this.. But…I’m praying and I hope for all of the many women who have or will have to go through this needed or not will be able to live our lives the best we can. I’m hoping for good outcomes inspire of this unforeseen circumstance.
I too had the hysterectomy and like most women here, it’s a long story and was actually, no doubt un-needed. There were actually severe complications with my surgery and I nearly died and spent a month in the hospital and a long protracted recovery at home. I won’t go into it, as with all the women who have written in, the end results have been the same. I have struggled with all the after effects for years now and the doctors look at you like “it’s all in your head” or that it’s just part of the aging process…”quit whining!”
Thank you for your article, it validated a lot of things I had thought but had no way of confirming. But now that we are in this fix, is there any help?
I am currently taking HRT in an attempt to offset the depression, lack of motivation and sex drive, etc. When they tested me for my levels of hormones, they found that some were so low they they almost didn’t register on their scale. I am now on Thyroid medication, progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. My body stopped making anything when they removed my ovaries. Of course although there is an improvement in my mental health, my migraines and my sex drive has improved I am certainly not the person I was. And of course there is the onset of adolescent acne now at the age 53 that’s disconcerting.
Additionally I had an entire year of constant bladder infections NO MATTER WHAT I DID until the HRT and that has helped. I will still get an infection occasionally. But the constant bowel problems along with the hips, back pain and of course, the ever present weight gain are still a on-going struggle. Has anyone found anything to improve these problems? Do you have any articles for assistance and survival of the after effects of this terrible affront to our bodies?
Annette, I am so sorry that you too became a victim of this health scam. How horrific that you almost died and spent a month in the hospital! I cannot imagine the trauma of that!
It would seem that the acne would be from the testosterone although progesterone can also have some androgen effects (at least from what I’ve read). Is the testosterone a fairly recent addition? Or have you been taking it for awhile and it may be building up? Hopefully, you are having your total and free T blood levels checked periodically since you don’t want to get too much.
I feel your “pain” re: bowel problems! I have had them since surgery 13 years ago. I still don’t know what they did wrong but it is NOT normal to have diarrhea for over a year post-op and then abnormal (loose) bowels with fat malabsorption ongoing! And a GI doctor I saw 10 months or so post-op had the gall to tell me that it was not caused by the surgery! I can only surmise that he did not want to incriminate a fellow surgeon (white coat of silence).
I wish I had suggestions for the hip and back problems and pain but I don’t have much to offer. I have fairly recently started having what appears to be loss of circulation to my hips which causes pain especially at night. For this, it seems staying active / moving is best. I am deathly afraid of needing hip replacement. Back exercises may help with the back pain and flexibility.
I am lucky to not have gained weight but I don’t have as much of an appetite either so that helps. I know it can be especially hard to maintain a healthy weight after hysterectomy. And lack of motivation and love of previous activities only adds to the problem. HRT has definitely helped me be more engaged in life but, like you, I am still not the “old me.”
I wish the best for you as you continue to move forward from this assault on your body and health. Thank you for posting and sharing your story.
Hormones Matter would love for you to share your hysterectomy story. We need to educate the public about this grossly overused destructive surgery. You should be able to remain anonymous as I did. Here is the link to contact them if you are interested – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/.
I would like to also add that in this puritanical world of doctors as gate keepers and fake enforcers of “concern” – it is almost impossible to get opiate pain relief.
It has reached new heights of lunacy. If you ask for any pain management, you are treated as a criminal. Advil is their standard reply, and we all know that this type of pain scoffs at OTC meds.
Due to endometriosis, fibroids and an ovarian mass, my sadist gynecologist prescribed Orlissa. Orlissa costs $1200 PER MONTH without insurance and the #1 side effect is suicidal thoughts and clinical depression. You can fall down a rabbit hole reading about women who took Orlissa who chopped their hair off or are now on a handful of antidepressants.
Unknown to my sadist gynecologist, my BF receives a large number of pain killers each month due to a back injury. (AND AS A MAN, IS NEVER QUESTIONED). If I take one a day, just one, it takes care of most pain. It is super cheap, effective and easy.
The sadist said, and I quote: “No. We are not prescribed any narcotics” with a self righteous tone. Isn’t that funny….after he had just bragged about making his own margaritas at his beach house. He would rather place me on a drug that cost more than a mortgage each month, and destroys your brain.
And when I told him I will not take Orlissa, you know what he did next- sent me to a oncologist and he has ordered a full hysterectomy for August 30- in 2 days.
When I finish this post, I am canceling the surgery.
Nope. Nope. Nope. I am not removing 6 organs and believing it will have no effect on systems of my body.
I lost my arch in my back as well and have the ugly pooch even after exercising and I’m still partially numb in my abdomen where I was cut I’m not on hormones and I had my surgery last year at age 37. it sent me into menopause immediately. I also had lots of complications which led to a lengthy hospital stay and I still suffer from some complications which unfortunately cannot be reversed and though some times makes me feel like less of a woman I am glad I had the surgery because it definitely beats bleeding through to three maxi pads attached together in an hour band feeling dirty nasty and disgusting every day and bleeding non stop for over a year and having month long periods. I have always had issues with my reproductive system and I am told that I am lucky to have had a baby let alone two (they are 22: and 18 now). in fact having them saved my life in more ways than one. just to make sure you are aware everything is fine except part of my cervix which had cancer in 2002 and they sliced part of it always. it was not removed because it fused to my bladder and I need my bladder. I know j shared a lot but I just wanted to tell my story. thank you for reading and letting me know I am not the only lady who has experienced. God bless you all.
I had a hysterectomy on April 24, 2019. I am struggling with bad hip, shoulder, knee, and back pain, sometimes even in my hands. I have never had anything like this before the surgery, Do you have any suggestions as to what it may be caused from? I am 54, not on any hormone therapy, do I need something? I am feeling horrible. I am taking black cohosh and maca root. Any direction would be so appreciated.
Tina, I am sorry I did not respond earlier. If your surgery was laparoscopic, the gas used to inflate your abdomen can cause pain. However, it seems that all should have resolved by the 2 month mark. Surgical positioning can cause these types of injuries. What surgical method was used – robotic, abdominal, laparoscopic w/o robotic assistance? Of course, the loss of hormones (due to ovary removal or post-hysterectomy ovarian failure) can cause joint pain. I know if I don’t get enough estrogen my knees and shins hurt. The ovaries of intact women produce hormones her whole life that affect every cell in her body. Although pharmaceutical hormones cannot replace our bodies own hormones, some women have a hard time functioning without them. It is an individual decision.
I wish you the best in getting relief from this pain.
I am almost three years post hysterectomy and I did not consent to it. I had a baby by c section and the doctor cut me during the procedure. I knew something was wrong because as they were joking around about their Thanksgiving plans I felt a tight pull on my shoulders like a whiplash feeling the doctor blamed it on being on the table too long. I was sent to recovery where my stomach began to swell and they couldn’t get my uterus to go down I remember screaming in pain and they held my Foley bag up and it was orange because it was filled with my blood which the dr came in and saw and said it was no nig deal he left me to slowly bleed to death for almost 8 hours came back after the nurse called him and said my stats were dropping. By this time I was so out of it my husband said he did an ultrasound found nothing and left again for four more hours I bleed out and was going in and out of consciousness which is what happens when you bleed out. My husband ask the nurse if it was normal for me to be so pale? She said he could leave to go see my kids and with in five minutes of him leaving I coded all I really remember is wanting to sleep and my dr came in and I think he said we have to take u back. I thought he meant to have tests done he didnt the last thing I remember is him looking at me with an evil smile like almost satanic and some rude horrible nurse wheeling me in a room with lights and metal putting a mask over my face saying night night! I was to weak to fight it and had no idea what was going on so I couldn’t say no stop. When I woke up on Thanksgiving morning my mom and husband were at the foot of my bed in which I looked at them still in pain with a massive headache and said I almost didnt I? They cried and my husband said I have to tell you something they had to do a total hysterectomy I was still bleeding and in shock and really didnt know what he said or have time to process it because I was still weak and in pain and drugged up. I fell asleep and when I woke up was I the ICU because apparently my stats dropped again so they wanted to watch me and my dr came in next day saying I could go to recovery to be with my baby but a hematologist said no because I had 4 units of blood and plasma another thing they didnt get my consent to give me and I was still bleeding out my Foley bag. So once again I was rushed back for another procedure where you usually are asleep but because of my condition they kept me awake and they ended up doing an angiogram and cauterizing my uterine artery and other spots that were bleeding. I spent two days In icu then was sent to be with my baby where i was still clueless on what had happened and the dr. Told me nothing he only tried to blame me asking If I had cancer or bleeding disorders they tested me for everything and even had an infectious disease specialist and found nothing wrong. A nurse told me in the hospital they knew the dr. Screwed up that he cut me. The nurses pushed me to do things against my will and forced me to eat food despite me being miserable and feeling nauseous all the time and they even forced laxatives and enemas to make me potty so they could send me home and when they took my drain plug out the nurse had never done it and she yanked it the dr made it seem like it was no big deal as I screamed in pain. He then proceeded to say to his midwife that he had to do damage control that I had to come in so they could take the stitches out. After going home I had to go in his office I made a scene because they said I didnt have an apt. I didnt want to be there I wanted to scream out to everyone there RUN he will kill you. A few days after getting home I wanted to stop the pain meds because it was causing constipation so I did then the excruciating pain started that I still have to this day. My right side where my leg and stomach muscles connect is in constant pain all the time I cant now or push a vaccum or even exercise with out swelling and pain. Dont get me started on the poping issue and the constant need to pee. I called my dr. a few weeks after and told them about my pooping pain they said it’s not thier problem that I need to see a different dr. So I did and they did a ct scan thought I might have a hernia causing all my left side pain nope nothing. Now two almost three years later I still have a diastis recti even after trying to fix it I have the spine compression because there is a huge crease tight und er r my ribs I have a butt p
Stomach I call it and no butt my hips are wider and despite strict diet and as much exercise as I can I still have flabby cellulite legs my hair has been cracking and falling out and sex hurts so bad sometimes I cry. My husband considered leaving me because of the combination ptsd hormones change and lack of sex drive. I haven’t set foot in any dr. Office since 2018 and cant bring myself to. My boobs sag horribly and I just feel tired and old all the time not to mention I am worried about my thyroid. Plus the constant sense of loss and anger and jealousy toward anyone who is pregnant or even has a period. I want my story out there I tired to fight it with a lawyer but he told me even though it looked like they fudged the records which they did! They cant help because apparently I consented. I did not! I didn’t even know what had happened wasnt given detailed explanations on what to expect didnt know anything until I got my medical records. I had to google most of the things on there. I am only 35 and have lost so much and now because of the hysterectomy sorry about breast cancer ovarian cancer because I still have my ovaries but am too scared and scared to see a dr.
Crystal – I am so sorry this happened to you. So sad and disgusting! Gynecologists need to be held accountable for all the harm they do to women without informed consent.
I heard that there are some side effects occurs after Hysterectomy. Is it true? and I have a doubt that can periods happen without a uterus?
swcic, Yes, there are quite a few side effects of hysterectomy. Some would consider the end of periods to be a plus. But there are many more negatives besides the anatomical and skeletal effects explained in this article. Please read all my articles here to truly understand how a woman can be negatively affected by having her uterus removed – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/. There are VERY FEW situations where hysterectomy is necessary. The large majority (over 90%) of hysterectomies are unnecessary. I hope this helps.
I have my surgery scheduled in three weeks for a supracervical. I am worried now. I have a fast growing fibroid that’s now 7 cm and my uterus is too big. My problem is my bladder is so squashed and is being irritated by all of this. Also during my periods I have cramps so bad and colon pains so bad now. My stomach is swollen from all of this. I am 41 so it has to come out. I looked into a myo but the fibroid is attached in the muscle and along the entire front side of the uterus so I don’t know how that would do. I hate to possibly have to have more surgeries in the future with more fibroids growing. I kind of don’t know what to do at this point.
Lana – It may be worth consulting with the HERS Foundation. It certainly would seem that a myomectomy could be done but only if you have a surgeon with those skills as well as willing to do this less profitable surgery. From what I have read, hysterectomy is a quicker surgery so the surgeon is paid more “per hour”. Hysterectomy is the “cash cow” of gynecology which is why each resident must do at least 85 (recently increased from 70) but there is no requirement for myomectomy. That is why it can take some shopping around to find a myomectomy surgeon. It is also why there is a risk for going into the operating room for a myomectomy and waking up with a hysterectomy. This should be able to be avoided if you make sure the surgical consent form clearly states your wishes of what can and cannot be removed and is signed off by the surgeon.
Looking for advice.
I see so many different stories and experiences regarding a hysterectomy. Some have positive stories while others have negative. I am facing having to make this choice.
My history, I have stage IV endo which was diagnosed from a previous surgery. For my first surgery, I was rushed into emergency surgery because my ovary was very enlarged and the doctor feared cancer and was prepared to take the ovary. Thankfully, once he had me opened up he saw that it was a cyst and that I had endo everywhere. He drained the cysts and cleaned up as much of the endo as he could and left everything in place and closed me up. I did a year of luperon therapy which did shrink my ovary a little but it still remained enlarged.
Fast forward 2 years of not being able to get pregnant (I have one daughter 5 years before my first surgery) and it just wasn’t happening. One test I had done was an HSG test and it came back that my tubes were blocked and there is a fluid in my uterus that is not harmful to me but to a baby it would be. They don’t know what cause the tubes to get blocked.
Since my first surgery my pain has improved greatly; however it is starting to come back during cycle time and I have bowel issues. I’ve gone into a highly recommended obgyn. He has done a vaginal ultrasound and ultrasound of my entire pelvic area.
He has found that my cycst on my right ovary has returned, its 6.5 cm. Both of my tubes are enlarged with an unknown fluid, he knows its not blood. My right tube is 2.5 cm and my left tube is 1.2cm. He also suspects that I have adenomyosis; however he can’t officially confirm without a lab sample. I also have a 3m fibroid in my uterus and my uterus is retroverted. There is also a nodule on my bowel. He is recommending that my right ovary be removed, both tubes be removed, uterus be removed, and having a bowel surgeron present for a possible shaving, resegment, or resection as they just do not know what is going with it until they can see it.
My doctor has told me if I want to try to preserve fertility he can leave my uterus in but with what I have going on I will most likely want it removed in 3-4 years and chances of pregnancy are very low.
I am not concerned about fertility. I am 36 and have 1 daughter, I do not really want to be caring for a newborn this late in life although if I got pregnant naturally I would have no problems with this, just not a goal that we are working on. I do not have daily pain. I do get cramps on my cycle; however ibephrone has been working great for it. I do spot for about 1-2 weeks after my cycle a brown color stuff. During sex there is not a lot of pain; however some positions such as doggy are too painful so we just do not do those. Afterwards, sometimes I will very lightly bleed but not for long and not often and sometimes I will cramp up a little but I can sleep through it and I am fine the next day. Basically, my pain is not interfering with my daily life. My main concern and why I went to the obgyn was for my bowel issues. Every time around cycle time I have my cycle blood wrapped around my stool and sometimes cycle blood actually comes out of my rectum, sorry if this is too much TMI.
I have a great sex life and I am very afraid of what it will be like afterwards if I go through with this. I have deep orgasms and I love them. My husband and I have many years to still enjoy each other. I stumbled across this article and no I am worried about the weight gain, hip pain, back pain, and all the other side effects. I am still young and do not want this to happen.
I have already decided if I do this that I want to keep my cervix. I have not yet decided if I want him to take the uterus or just try to clean up what he can and leave it in place, but I am leaning towards that when I look at my daily functions. The ovary I am not sure about because that cyst does keep coming back and getting bigger every time which can cause pain to my right side every now and then.
I know I will always have endo for the rest of my life and I am aware that it can grow onto other organs even when a hysterectomy is performed. I am concerned about how adenomyosis and fibroids will affect me if I leave my uterues as even if he can effectively clean me up they can come back and come back much worse.
I am also terrified if I go through with this surgery stating I want to keep my uterus and cervix or just my cervix that I am going to wake up with nothing because things may be so stuck that he might not have a choice. How do I prevent this happening?
What should I do? Every women is different and it seems some are very positive while others are not. Its very scary! No risk of cancer as far as both me and my doctor know of currently and I’ve never had an abnormal pap either.
Amanda – Hysterectomy is destructive in so many ways. If you have not read all my articles here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/ – you may want to do that. Not to make light of your problems but, in my opinion, they seem minor in comparison to the permanent and progressive fallout of hysterectomy even IF one or both ovaries are not removed. I personally would not want a gynecologist operating on me if it was not absolutely necessary and then ONLY if I felt 100% sure that he / she was not going to remove ANY of my parts but just the “growth” whether that be an ovarian cyst, a uterine fibroid or polyp, etc.). Your fibroid is small and doesn’t sound like it is causing any problems. The cyst you have seems to come and go so chances are it will resolve on its own. If it does not and needs surgery, I would find a gyn who would do a cystectomy (cyst removal) so you can keep your ovary that is so critical to good health and well-being. If you do go into an operating room, be sure you have made it clear on the surgical consent form what can and cannot be removed and under what conditions. Make sure the surgeon signs off on your revisions. Even that is not 100% protection.
Be aware that removal of the uterus will forever end the “tsunami” orgasms that result from contractions of the uterus. All other orgasms pale in comparison. You will likely lose a lot of sensation in your genitalia and nipples making sex disappointing to say the least.
This decision to have a hysterectomy is forever; there is no going back. Gynecologists can be very pushy because these surgeries are lucrative. I hope this helps.
Hi WS, Please advise. I was about to have a hysterectomy but delayed it as I was not sure. I am grateful to come across your website to enlighten us on many important things I never knew. Would you please help me decide what to do and what treatments are better long term? My doc suggested hysterectomy right away as I do not plan on having kids. am 43yrs.
My uterus on ultrasound showed 17cm but MRI pelvis shows 15.5 cmx12.2 x12.4. I have 3 big fibroids. One Intramural uterine fundus 9.4cm, one submucosal intramural 8cm and one Subserosal on right measuring 4.2cm.
My left ovary is 22cm with involuting physiological cyst.
Fluid filled both adnexa suggesting BILATERAL HYDROSALPINGES and small volume of pelvic ASCITES.
vERY SMALL, UMBILICAL HERNIA.
mild disc denergartion with posterior bulge. small SCLEROTIC LESIONS.
please help me chose a right treatment.
I am in a similar situation as you Amanda! I have stage 3 endo with bowel involvement, and my excision surgeon also diagnosed me with adenomyosis based on my ultrasound, however, I have pain through out my cycle at this point. He is recommending a hysterectomy, but it is ultimately my choice.
Everything hurts in my pelvis and I’m sure my uterus is a source of pain. I don’t have the crazy flooding periods that some women seem to get, but I do have lots of very painful spotting for about a week before my actual period. Sex is mediocre right now. I can’t have deep orgasms because everything is too stuck together (I can feel it pulling, trying to move but it won’t) and sometimes having an orgasm, or even becoming aroused, hurts so badly and can cause me to have pain for a day or two afterwards. I’m having more and more digestive symptoms every month and often find I get nauseated when I eat now. I can’t eat much, even if I’m starving, before I feel sick. Cool.
I used to run, but haven’t for the past two years cause it hurts too much. I want to be more active. I don’t want my life to revolve around my periods. So what do I do? I’ve tried so many options, gone to naturopaths, done super restrictive diets (even more social isolation than just living with chronic illness, great!), acupuncture, pelvic floor physio, yoga (even this is too much exercise for me), progesterone, tons of vitamins and supplements etc etc
So what’s a girl to do? I’m scared I’ll be trading one set of horrible symptoms for another with a hyst, but I really don’t see many options being offered. Suffer through for another 10-15 years until menopause? Cool. Sounds like a great way to spend the prime years of my life.
JRS, I’m curious what you ended up doing? i had a hysterectomy with one ovary removed a year ago due to endo and adnomyosis. I have not had ANY of these negative side affects this site talks about. Sex is BETTER due to decreased pain, I have great orgasms, I don’t have any structural issues. This site is very absolute and false. Not everyone who has a hysterectomy will experience these side affects!!
Thank you so much for saying this
Thank you for your post. I just had a hysterectomy with both ovaries removed. I was in tears dreading what was to come.
TRG, how are you doing now? Are you experiencing any issues? I am considering a hysterectomy, in my case my GYN is saying it isn’t necessary, but I want the pain and other issues to go away.
Thank you! I just had an hysterectomy 2 weeks ago and U was starting crying until I read you
I wonder if they could give you hormones to shrink the cyst. If I had it to do over I would never do it!
Thank you for this site because I feel it sheds light on things many people wonder about and deal with. I have a situation I have questions about despite doing my own research. In a nutshell, I have had two (previous to 6 months ago, slowly growing) fibroids since I was probably about 12 but without being diagnosed until in my 20’s. I got the Essure permanent birth control coils robotically placed in my fallopians about 5 ago with no issues as far as I can tell. Due to some situations of major stress and deviation from my usually obsessively healthy diet and lifestyle which caused endocrine imbalances, they have grown to where my uterus is the size of a 6-7 month pregnancy. I’ve been callously recommended hysterectomy and told by two doctors that myomectomy is not an option due to the fibroids being grown within the walls of the uterus. I intuitively know already that I do NOT want a hysterectomy no matter what. I would honestly rather die than lose my orgasms/sexuality/sanity/heart, bladder or bowel health (I am blessed with a very well functioning digestive system in general) or my waist which yes, is being also threatened by the tumors. I realize that everyone’s situation/outcome varies wildly but judging by the physical shapes, mental health and sensitivities of my female relatives who underwent hysterectomies I feel in my bones that it would not go well for me so I am simply not willing to risk it unless I were MAYBE bleeding to death and dealing with something the size of a watermelon. I have a lot of pain during my cycle, contraction like, in fact, but no irregular bleeding, no endo or adeno as far as I know. I just started taking high doses of a supplement called Fibrenza which contains proteolytic enzymes such as serrapeptase and protease etc to start hopefully dissolving the fibroid.
I have heard of something called the Acessa procedure which uses radio ablation and not sure if this is the same as other types of ablation which I am reading here can be damaging, but I am not a candidate for it unless I have the Essure coils removed.
Sorry this is long but my questions here are:(knowing no one here can give legal medical advice but just out of off-the-record curiosity)…
1. Can Essure coils (which have caused me no previous issues or allergies) be successfully removed without hysterectomy totally destroying the fallopians? Also why are the fallopians important to someone who wants permanent birth control Forever? (I understand why the ovaries and uterus are important)
2. Should I focus on the enzyme therapy and leave well enough alone and leave the Essure coils in unless they were to show signs of migration etc OR should I be afraid and assume there would be complications in the future?
3. If I had the coils removed and tubes ligated would ligation destroy the function of the ovaries? (Main thing I’m trying to understand)
Not been able to get clear answers on these questions and would appreciate any helpful insight. BTW I don’t consider anything on this site as fear mongering and WS, I agree with you and feel often mislead by the medical industry and am VERY careful not to make hasty decisions based on this. I feel that a woman’s body/sex life/endocrine system and figure etc are far more important to quality of life than simply “procreating” and being there to raise other people up regardless of your own enjoyment. I’m on team me and I feel that being childless by choice is often looked down upon and those women seen as vain or foolish when they simply have a sense of self preservation. Thanks for letting me express my feelings and concerns here.
Yes, it is perplexing that some women accuse me of fear-mongering when it is the gynecologists who are instilling fear to push hysterectomy. Of course, it doesn’t help that information on most mainstream websites indicate that the uterus is only useful for childbearing despite medical literature having proven otherwise.
Of course, my opinion cannot be construed as medical advice. As far as the Accessa procedure, I have heard of it but don’t know if it is different from other ablation procedures. Although it says it destroys just the fibroids and does not affect surrounding tissue, I personally would not count on that. And I believe it is a “newer” device / procedure so there would not be any long-term studies. Although the long-term study that showed harm from ablation was for first-generation device(s), I know of women who had ablations done with a later generation device, Novasure, who also ended up with chronic pelvic pain.
I personally would not want to undergo Essure coil removal surgery since they don’t seem to be causing you problems. According to a study (albeit a small sample), salpingectomy (tube removal) caused a significant increase in FSH that was not seen in the tubal division group – https://www.omicsonline.org/ovarian-performance-after-laparoscopic-salpingectomy-or-proximal-tubal-division-for-hydrosalpinx-2161-0932.1000124.pdf.
You said your uterus is the size of a 6-7 month pregnancy. Do you have an ultrasound report that states the sizes of the fibroids? Do you possibly have a bunch of little ones versus a few large ones? That might influence your decision to monitor them versus treat them with a procedure. Have you considered myomectomy to remove just the fibroids (no ablation, no coil removal)? The main problem with myomectomy is that it may be difficult to find a surgeon with those skills since hysterectomy is THE procedure of Graduate Medical Education (each resident must do 85, recently increased from 70). There is no requirement for myomectomy (what a crock, huh??). AND, one has to be careful because it seems typical for gynecologists to say they will do myomectomy but then women end up coming out of surgery with hysterectomy. So you must “protect” yourself as much as possible by clearly stating it on the surgical consent form and having the surgeon sign off on your revisions.
You may want to contact the HERS Foundation for a consultation. They are the only organization of which I am aware that is dedicated to educating women about the lifelong functions of the female organs and gynecologic procedures.
Please write back and let us know what you decide and how it all goes.
I think people get up in arms when their decisions are questioned is the issue. Honestly, unlike doctors, you’re not selling anything and have no personal agenda here other than to offer knowlege, dialogue and support and as someone who hasn’t been butchered yet, I appreciate your advice from the bottom of my heart…err uterus I guess, lol, same thing. I think its important to be our own advocates and constantly question a medical profession which has been barbaric in the not to distant past, namely toward women’s bodies and minds. That’s not to say that the opposite isn’t also true. But I think the number of doctors in it strictly for care and concern may be not as many as we would hope.
I will read what you linked, thank you and yes I will consult HERS. And yes I have definitely considered myomectomy but was flat out told that was not an option due to how the tumor has grown within my uterus, and this was the first gyno (From Sutter Gould) who found them in their smaller stage who told me this, so I can only assume they’ve grown more within the tissue of the walls of the uterus since then. And yes I’ve read most of the comments on this thread and am shocked and appalled that doctors are required a 70 or so hysterectomies during residency. That’s insane and a total motive to treadmill women into unneeded surgeries like guinea pigs. That practice should not be done with ANY procedure, as no arbitrary number can match relevancy of needed procedures. That’s akin to causing cancers just to be able to try to medically treat it! (Something that is also done in the medical industry unfortunately). And I do agree that even if that behavior were a good idea they should at least do the same with requiring a certain amount of myomectomies as well, because at least that would preserve the uterus. But honestly I am so nervous about the competency/risk of mistake with any surgeon. They are just a human and I hear so many horror stories of knicked arteries, chart and consent form mistakes, ending up with hysterectomies when only a myomectomy was authorized etc. So, even the possibility of coil removal is not something I would take lightly. I appreciate your opinion on leaving well enough alone, though I am afraid of a future issue with migration. The Essure coil was sold to me in a convincing manner by a nurse I was complaining to after trying iral birth control methods, then I got a depoprovera shot and bled for 4 months straight, 24/7, so in my crazy stressed out state, any permanent birth control option without an incision sounded a great option at the time and I’m frankly an idiot for not having taken more than a week to research the potential issues with the coils, which are now off the market, and that terrifies me. I won’t be making a hasty decision like that ever again.
So I used to have great insurance and that’s how the fibroids were located. At that time (5 years ago, right before the Essure coils were placed) I was told by the female gynecologist that I have two fibroids; one the size of a large lemon, the other the size of a walnut, which was confirmed via ultrasound. I went back after the coils were placed a couple times to see that the tubes were indeed occluded and in place (i have a tilted uterus as well so the coils do sit in a sort of odd position inside me comparitibe to others, i was told). I subsequently quit the job i had had and lost that insurance, then went without healthcare for the following 4 or so years, opting (possibly foolishly) not to buy my own insurance privately and doing what I could to shrink the fibroids with diet/lifestyle. In this last 6 months they grew fast anduch larger and I decided I needed to get in to someone quickly even before I finish my schooling I’m doing and get good insurance again. I applied for federally funded healthcare and saw a joke of a gynecologist (also female, which surprises me with how she constantly interrupted me, did not listen and would not do a hormone test that I requested to see where my estrogen and progesterone levels are). Without batting an eye she said I should get my uterus taken out, that its useless etc. She palpated the area which even i can feel is this hard large mass that is now protruding up into my upper organs now and i was recently in a very bad car wreck where the ER personnel noted the fibroid as being “very large and pressing against a main artery” after the MRI and xrays. Anyway the gynecologist ordered an ultrasound but I am not going back to her, given her terrible bedside manner. I told her I was interested in going to find a specialist to talk to about the Access a procedure but that I’d need the coils removed first and She interrupted me to tell me its impossible to remove the coils. I immediately pulled up on my phone to show her all sorts of info about people having them removed in emergency situations (albeit with often dangerous consequences, yes, but still that was an outright lie and I wanted her to know I wasn’t going to be easily cowed). Needless to say, she and I do not see eye to eye and I am about to gain employment soon in the field I’ve been schooling for and am going to seek out better insurance, such as Kaiser. I had Sutter with the gyno that found the tumors and this Medi-cal has been a (thankfully short-lived) three ring circus and I refuse to let the affiliated staff “treat” me any further. So I bought a huge bottle of those enzymes and I’m reading what I can in the meantime.
I am a little nervous about the enzymes possibly destroying the scar tissue I have developed in my fallopians where the coils are located but I called the company and after a disclaimer I was told that patients with cardiovascular stents successfully use this enzyme supplement to dissolve masses without it dissolving the intentionally created scar tissue around the stent, so that gave me hope. Otherwise I’d be damned either way. But things I read online about serrapeptase unblocking fallopian tubes (what I DONT want), makes me nervous.
Again, thank you for reading and responding, I SO appreciate any further advice you or anhone else has and will weigh it all carefully.
It is no wonder you won’t return to that female gyn. Surely there are better ones out there although I don’t know how you go about finding them. And they aren’t always what they appear to be. But you know to be on your guard! I’ve heard of serrapeptase but don’t know anything about how it works. Will be watching for an update.
I recently had a hysterectomy in October ’18. Years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS and would have bouts of pain when stretching even being on meds to help the PCOS. Fast forward to fall 2018 and I met with my gyn and demanded more tests because my pain would be off the charts right around ovulation time and would continue all the way through menstruation. There would literally be 1 week of the month that I wasn’t having bouts of pain. I was also having major bowel issues in the form of constipation. Ultrasound showed not many cysts in my ovaries and we were able to rule out PCOS as the cause of the pain. So after more tests and procedures, it was found that I had adenomyosis. I made the choice to have my uterus and cervix removed. It has been 4 months since my surgery and I have no more pain and my bowels are SO much happier!!! When the lab results came back, it showed my uterus was double the weight of what it was supposed to be.
Same situation, hoping for similar outcome, even with fibromyalgia. It’s a difficult decision for sure but I’ve had 36 years of adeno and I just can’t deal anymore I’m so anemic and no quality of life as endometriosis has caused an ahesion of my right ovary to the back of my uterus I am so distended
I had a radical hysterectomy and replaced hormones with estradiol and estarylla. My body looks better than before and my sex drive hasn’t changed. Sex is still amazing and I don’t have any of the deformities described in this article. I had ovarian cancer so my hysterectomy saved my life. Chemo wasn’t a party but I got through it. I look and feel 100x better than before my hysterectomy. My only side effect is occasionally night sweats/hot flashes which isn’t a big deal. I’m thankful I had/have a good surgeon and I’m very poor so I feel very lucky and thankful.
Shari, I’m sorry you had cancer. I, like most women who have had their uterus and/or ovaries removed, did not but was treated as if I did.
I can not tell you how much this angers me and saddens me!!!! Mine was June ‘18. I’ve been suffering ever since. Depression, insomnia, tummy/GI problems (major stomach bloat since), my tummy is now protruding out, so much weight (cellulite) gain. I don’t even recognize my body anymore! I wAs an athlete. I’m so angry at what I lost (and how I now look and can’t get back).
Sorry to all of you who are experiencing this negativity as well
Sheri, I am sorry that you too were a victim of the hysterectomy industry. ? It is long past time that gynecologists be held accountable for all the women they have harmed. Please consider sharing your story via a video or written account here to try to end this abuse of women – https://www.hersfoundation.org/in-my-own-voice/. Thank you.
Hello- I just had hysterectomy Dec 5th.. I felt great from day 4/5 on..and trying at this point to take it easy(which I was never good at!) Mine was a Prolapse condition which made me feel horrible so now feeling way better. I did have severe scoliosis as a kid and was operated on in 2006 to correct bottom curve. now I did notice I havenerve pain in the buttocks but with the back condition hard to tell if related to latest operation. Kinda of curious is the scoilosis had anythg to do with this prolapse. The nerve pain has just been the last two days….hopefully w subside! other then that I felt good and no pain from op — Lynne in Jersey
Hysterectomy about 50 means removal of all. Consequences: pain in botomms, problems with urine, with bladder, with hips, no sexual interest, fastening eldering, large bum and stomach. My body is not longer nice it is disgusting. I would prefer death to those changes.
Anna – I am sorry you are also suffering the negative effects of hysterectomy.
Hi I have had so much trouble with my body since a histerectomy 20 years ago. I used to have a flat stomach very slim etc. Now I have a huge belly put on loads of weight can’t bend walk or do anything like I used to be able to do. Had loads of tests etc nothing. I have to get on with it. So I sympathise with you.
Libby – I am sorry that you too were a victim of the hysterectomy industry. 🙁 Please consider sharing your story via a video or written account here to try to end this abuse of women – https://www.hersfoundation.org/in-my-own-voice/. Thank you.
Hi Libby, not sure if you’re seeing these comments. I am looking for a lady who has the same name and her hysterectomy was done by Emeka Okaro. This lady complained about him and she had her surgery in 2012. He did a medican gross error on me too and did an unnecessary surgery on me too and i’ve been very sick since the surgery. Both his hospital and him are refusing to take any responsiblity. I’m trying to get justice and I’d like to get in touch with you. Can you let me know please? Thank you
I’m so sorry you’ve been through the wringer after your surgery. I had all of my lower reproductive organs removed by a very competent surgeon. I went through several surgeons before finding one who (very importantly) listened to me and did not seem to have a god complex. In the end, I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian (Fallopian tube) cancer. It is 19 months post surgery (13 months post chemo) and I have to say, all my remaining parts work as they should. I have two issues between the chemo and the surgery- weight gain and I have chemo constipation. Considering the alternative, I’ll live with those issues. I’m one of the lucky ones. Prayers that you and every other woman still suffering after surgery can find a way to heal.
Celynia – I am sorry you were one of the small percentage of women who get ovarian cancer. I am glad you are doing well and wish you the best going forward.
What I find lacking at least here in the U.S. is true informed consent. Whenever I get a prescription, the pharmacist tells me the side effects. Shouldn’t informed consent include information about side effects of a hysterectomy and bso? And shouldn’t informed consent include ALL options, not just surgical?
I had endo cancer 1a, grade 2. Very early stages. After the surgery, I found that there were other non-surgical options. And the D&C which found the cancer had taken care it. So this operation was unnecessary. To me that’s like taking off the face for a spot of skin cancer.
Second,shouldn’t it be a requirement that all hysterectomies have follow-up for years, so that we have data on the effects of hysterectomies on women? Studies in Sweden have found that hysterectomies and ovary removal do decrease a woman’s life span. I’m sure someone will scoff at that study because it’s Sweden, but they do follow the health of their people from womb to tomb. Why don’t we?
Lastly, I find it disturbing (and I’ve read many of the hysterectomy support sites), that gyns prescribe anti-depressants for HRT. Many women admit to taking them for HRT and even suggest other women take them for the side effects due to this operation. To me that is just a way to shut women down. Give them a pill that makes them not care about the bowel problems, the sleep issues, pain in pelvic, hips and back, etc.
I advocate that we have true informed consent, and a comprehensive study of the effects of a hysterectomy and ovary removal on women. Your gyns and the medical community is going us a great disservice otherwise.
Vicki – I am sorry that you too were not provided with all your treatment options and the many lifelong functions of the female organs. I don’t know of a single woman who was. You are “dead on” on all points! The Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) is the closest thing we have, as far as I am aware, to Sweden’s patient data bank and studies. The Mayo Clinic has produced a number of studies, including some on hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy (castration), based on the REP. Here is a link to the REP’s 2018 studies – http://rochesterproject.org/in-the-news/. As you can see, one relates to hysterectomy and one to ovary removal. You can navigate by year using the left side bar. I am still disappointed and angry that all or most studies imply that hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy is “acceptable” after a woman reaches a certain age.
The HERS Foundation is giving a voice to women who are suffering the damaging effects of hysterectomy through their project “In My Own Voice”. It would be great if you could share your experience via video although audio and written forms are also accepted. You can remain anonymous. Here is the link – https://www.hersfoundation.org/in-my-own-voice/.
I had my total hysterectomy this past Tuesday. I had no pain or issues just diagnosed with BRCA1 gene and it’s a recommendation to avoid ovarian cancer. I also had a bilateral mastectomy in August . I’m not sure this knowledge would change my mind because the family history and deaths caused by breast and ovarian cancer is so prevalent, but I’m dreading what will happen to me in the future as a result. I guess I need to be proactive and do exercises for my core and posture and also do kegels to help scathe off some of this issues if possible,
Debbie K – I feel for you and all women who are BRCA1+ (or BRCA2+) and having to choose whether or not to undergo mastectomy and/or oophorectomy or salpingectomy. It seems that many women are told to have their uterus, ovaries and tubes removed while others keep their uterus. I wish you the best going forward.
A hysterectomy removes only the uterus or the uterus and cervix. It’s important to understand the role of the ovaries in menopause. Additionally all women are different in how they experience their sex lives. Having a hysterectomy doesn’t have to mean a drastic change in your relationship.I think if a hysterectomy is performed along with resection of endometriosis, and all endometrial implants are removed, patients will have a higher chance of success in eliminating the symptoms caused by endometriosis.
Hysterectomy (with or without ovary removal / castration) is NOT a cure for endometriosis. Hysterectomy causes a whole new set of problems even when the ovaries are left in place (regardless of the reason for the surgery) since the uterus has lifelong functions – https://www.hersfoundation.org/female-anatomy/. Yes, it IS important to understand the role of the ovaries in menopause. They are critical to good health a woman’s whole life. And they do not function properly (if at all) if the uterus is removed (along with many other problems that ensue without a uterus). Removal of ANY part of the “reproductive” system at any point in a woman’s life is harmful. Please get your facts straight. Trying to drum up plastic surgery business by promoting hysterectomy since it destroys a woman’s figure? Just curious about the connection.
Hi WS. I’m wondering what your medical training is and where your information comes from.
Sara – My information comes from medical literature. My articles – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/ – include medical citations.
Wish I’d read all this before my op too 18 months post op and around 15months of scans, to find the cause of my pain, bulging discs, bursitis, hip and groin pain, nerve pain from irratation ,which affects my legs also my knee joints the list is endless, amd now to top it off, my kidney function is now low and blood is in my urne so Im waiting for bladder and kidney scans. It certainly helps reading that Im not alone , but why Im getting no mention from my consultants that is could be hysterectomy related is beyond me 🙁
Shirley – I am so sorry for all these adverse effects. With the low kidney function and blood in your urine, I have to wonder if your ureters were damaged. It isn’t all that uncommon.
It is not surprising that consultants are mum on the cause of all these problems being hysterectomy. The primary reason seems to be that medical professionals do not want to incriminate their peers (for the harm they have caused). To a lesser degree, inexperience and ignorance may be partly to blame.
I had a full hysterectomy 16 months ago. Havent been the same since. Recently I can not tolerate ANY milk products and I become ill after consuming any type of diary. Has this happened to anyone else?
Christine – I’m sorry you’re suffering since your hysterectomy. I have not had food intolerances but my bowels have been a mess ever since surgery along with many other after effects. 🙁
Im 29, and I had a total hysterectomy (uterus and cervix) and bilateral salpingectomy, along with appendectomy and excision of endometriosis at the CEC in Dec 2017. I had stage 3-4 Endo and confirmed adenomyosis (pathology confirmed after it was suspected based on many symptoms). Removing my uterus was the best thing I have ever done. It gave me back my quality of life. I used to be in horrible pain every day, menstruation was absolutely unbearable with heavy bleeding and clotting for weeks and contraction like cramping.
I do have a bit of swelling belly still, but honestly, I could care less because I’m not in constant pain every day. Funny thing is I have an extremely short torso already, so if my spine “drops” as stated above there isn’t really anywhere for it to go. There are very valid medical reasons for hysterectomy, it saddens me that there is no mention of adenomyosis in this article, because I would hate for someone with adeno to read this and decide to not get treatment just because they’re afraid of a bunch of things that may not even happen to them.
Amen to valid reasons for hysterectomy! I had adenomyosis which caused severe period bleeding for several years prior to my hysterectomy. To the point where I was bleeding two weeks on with large clots, to two weeks off. Neither hormone nor nutritional therapy worked to alleviate this. After landing in the hospital for blood transfusions — twice over the course of a weekend — I sent up the white flag to my gyn doc to go ahead with hysterectomy. I haven’t looked back. I’ve gotten my life back!
WS, I am very sorry for the difficulties you’ve experienced since your hysterectomy. It’s unfortunate that your procedure wasn’t done well, or, according to your previous posts, with sufficient diagnostic evidence to support it (perhaps hindsight 20/20 on a second or third opinion?). HOWEVER, while it’s obvious this blog is therapeutic for you, you’re doing a disservice to women reading it. For some women, hysterectomy is a necessary solution to recover health and quality of life. They should NOT be made to feel that they are destroying their bodies. Nor should they be made to feel guilty for having it done.
Marlene – I’m sorry to hear you had adenomyosis. I have read that there are gynecologists who can remove just the adeno but I suspect there aren’t many since hysterectomy is easier and more profitable. I had a second opinion with a gynecologic oncologist and he underhandedly enabled the unnecessary removal of my organs.
With about 90% of hysterectomies being unnecessary, this blog is not doing a disservice to women. It is giving them the facts about the lifelong functions of the uterus and ovaries and the adverse effects of their removal. There is no doubt, it is disheartening to hear! My intent is only to educate, not to make women feel guilty. Why should they feel guilty when their surgeons did not provide them with these necessary facts prior to signing the surgical consent form?
Christina – It’s good to hear that you no longer have the pain of endometriosis or adenomyosis. Hopefully, the endo doesn’t cause a return of pain in the future. I too have a short torso so it looks even shorter now. And I get pain in my midsection / ribs since my rib cage has dropped and is now sitting on my hip bones.
I completely agree! I have had a hysterectomy and everything is better for me. My mood is better, extreme cramps/heavy periods gone, increased sex drive, etc. It has been a great decision for me and has not caused any issues. I feel that everyone is different and every woman’s doctor should gave gone through the risks and benefits. For me, the benefits outweighed the risks. I’m happy to have my life back.
Jo – I am glad you feel you made a good decision. Some women feel that way especially in the short-term. It is the problems that ensue in the longer term that cause many women to regret having had the surgery. I don’t know of any woman who was told the many functions of the female organs that would be requisite for informed consent.
Thank you for understanding the extreme difficulty of having to face 36 years with diffuse advance adenomyosis
I was diagnosed with uterine cancer in Feb of this year having surgery on March 1st. I ended up bleeding pit and passed put. They had to give me three haunts of blood, when I came to, the nurses told me I gave them quite a scare. Lovely. I could not get liquids down that day, finally got to have a liquid diet. Graduating to scrambled eggs. I was told to try a sandwich, it got stuck next to the hernia on my ledt side and would not digest. It took 8 days. I could actually feel it slowly move through. Back to liquid diet. The whole ordeal was a nightmare. There was a surgical team in the hospital and the team that did my surgery. I was getting conflicting orders for tests, they were not communicating. Eat and drink, don’t eat or drink. Have this test, get to the testing room, procedure was changed. Unbelievable. I only saw my surgeon once in the 6 days I was in the hospital. I had a hernia full of bl[d, air and contrast dye. Nothing would be done,, they wanted my body to get rid of it by itself. In the meantime I could not sit up, the pain across between the hernia and blood sac was so painful you couldn’t even touch it, but they sure liked to press on it. One night someone came in, I’m guessing a resident over stepping his bounds, didn’t turn on a light, no nurse present, woke me up actually it was late at night. Preceded to push where the her is was down as far as he could and just let go. I said what are you doing, screaming in pain. His answer? I just wanted to see how it popped. Seriously? Never got his name and he left quite quickly. I asked the nurse later, had no clue who he was or that he had been in my room. Great. In the meantime earlier, the blood sac let lose and I was bleeding all over the place soaking 4 gowns. After 6 days of this nightmare I was transferred to rehab for another 6 days….on a walker!! Horrible place. Had a new night nurse who was going solo for the first time who overmedicated me one night causing horrible nightmares. Another 6 days there, still could not sit up. Now its been 8 days since I had a bowel movement, part of the hernia, so they tell me, broke loose which need up with 25 bowel movements, no lie, in 3 days, the last never made it out of the bed. They released me a few hours later. Seriously? It’s been 5 months now, still have digestive problems, back pain, rib cage discomfort bloating, and still dealing with the hernia. The only good outcome is I am cancer dress I am cancer free so far. Thank God for that.
What a nightmare! I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through! Since you were at a teaching hospital, chances are that your surgery was done or at least partly done by a resident. I didn’t even know I was at a teaching hospital until I was in pre-op. I’m almost positive the 4th year resident did my surgery and my bowels have been a mess ever since. And shockingly, they removed all my parts for a benign ovarian cyst after my gyn used ovarian cancer scare tactics… a doctor I had trusted for 20 years.
I’ll be turning 42 in Feb, I had a full hysterectomy when I was only 37. My life changed for the worse. I’m in constant pain and doctors have no idea why. I’m so happy I found this article. It makes sense about what’s happening. Can anything be done to fix the problems we’re having??? I have 6 boys and I feel like I’m no good to them anymore. I cant be the mom is use to be. I cant walk for long or stand up the pain is so unreal. No amount of pain meds work. So I took myself off the meds and now using cbd oil. Thanks so much for this article it helped so much and I’m gonna be sending it to my doctor to read.
Ruth – I’m so sorry you too are suffering the after effects of hysterectomy. I hope you can get relief for the pain.
Thank you for all this info. Good discussion. I too went through hysterectomy in Jan and am having some hip/join pain. May I ask how old are you now? Do you have “before and after” pics to share that shows the skeletal changes you mentioned? It would help me visualize and watch for them as time goes on. Thank you!
My surgery was 12 years ago shortly before I turned 50. I don’t have before pics and can’t really post pics here anyway. But between the 1st and 2nd year post-op, it was obvious that my spine was collapsing and my hips were widening. The crease that developed above my navel was the first sign. And as my rib cage dropped further, it became apparent from the back as indentations on either side where my rib cage met my hip bones. I no longer had the space between them known as the waist. And these skeletal changes caused a “fat” / protruding lower abdomen. I also developed what my doctor said must be bursitis (inflamed bursa sac) in my one hip but it resolved on its own. Now I have occasional back and hip pain and fear it will worsen as time goes one since it’s not natural for the rib cage to sit on the hip bones. The HERS Foundation’s female anatomy video may talk about this.
I am confused. I’ve got many fibroids (largest 9cm). Gyn/onc wants to do full hysterectomy as removing and doing biopsy is the only way to guarantee there is no cancer. I’m 57 and not quite 12 months period free, so not officially post-meno. Fibroid has doubled in size over the last 4 years, no bleeding but bloating/pain hence ovarian cancer was suggested.. I’m scared of ovarian cancer so feel if I’m going to have major surgery they should take the ovaries out as well but now don’t know what to do.
Jwolfe – Fibroids are benign. Uterine leiomyosarcoma (cancer) occurs in approximately 1 to 5 out of every 1,000 women so it’s very rare. It’s not surprising that your fibroids doubled over the last 4 years. They typically have a growth spurt in the years prior to menopause. But they shrink after menopause. I would think that bloating/pain would be a reasonable symptom with many fibroids, some of them large. Being that you’re 57, you should be near menopause when your symptoms should begin improving.
Unfortunately, ~90% of hysterectomies are unnecessary. ACOG says that 70% are unnecessary and 76% are recommended inappropriately so second opinions are usually worthless. Also, myomectomy to remove fibroids is a more delicate and time consuming surgery and doesn’t pay any better so it can be difficult finding a surgeon with the skills and willingness to get paid less for their time. The HERS Foundation has some info on fibroids on their website and also does consultations. I hope this helps!
Thank you so much for your swift response. I am very grateful for coming across this article it has certainly made me re-think. I too was reading hypersisters and didn’t realise there was some assoc with Da Vinci with the owner of the site. All I read was how wonderful everyone felt and how they didn’t regret the op.
Yes, hystersisters is not to be trusted. The owner is associated with Intuitive Surgical and allows pharmaceutical and medical advertising on her site. I was blocked, in a sneaky way I might add. (I know of others who were also blocked.) I could see my comments but no one else could. I realized this once when I was browsing but wasn’t logged in. None of my comments were there. I have been blocked from a couple other hysterectomy “support” sites for speaking out about medically documented harms of hysterectomy and oophorectomy. It’s shocking that the medical community has stacked the cards against women discovering and revealing the harms of female organ removal. I couldn’t get an answer from my insurance company either as to why they authorized a hysterectomy / what my doctor submitted to authorize the surgery (for an ovarian cyst that ended up being benign). I’ve read so many women’s stories of unwarranted hysterectomies and oophorectomies and how much they’ve suffered ever since. You can read my story here on Hormones Matter, along with all my other articles – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/. It’s eye-opening reading women’s (and even some men’s) comments too.
My fibroid wasn’t benign. I suffered for years trying to get someone to help. I was always told that too, they are benign. The cancer that I had in the fibroid was rare, one in a million, but I am the one in a million. I had normal biopsies of my uterus. It was only found because my uterus became so big, fibroid became bigger and weird things were happening and was having month long, crime scene period, and I had a partial hysterectomy…and it was found. So, even if it’s rare, it can happen. Had to have another surgery after that, was permanently injured, and can never take HRT and am in surgical menopause. Cancer free. But it’s been hell.
Pln – I’m sorry you were one of the small percentage of women who needed a hysterectomy for cancer. I’m sorry to hear too that you were permanently injured from a follow-up surgery. Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish you the best.
I’m glad that you are cancer free. That’s the thing, ra rely, fibroids are cancerous, but rare doesn’t mean impossible. Furthermore, depending on how large they are, they block imaging where you can’t really tell if they are cancerous. In some cases, removal to sustain life in necessary.
Your story sounds similar to mine. My paps have always returned normal, even with the fibroids. However, I kept having weird pains; they were sudden and painful. My period was no longer predictable, etc. I brushed it off on age (44), but the pains were worsening. A friend recommended getting a transvaginal ultrasound along with my pap. That’s when they found well over 12 fibroids (largest being 10 cm) along with a granulosa cancer cell on my left ovary. Long story short, I had a hysterectomy, keeping only my right ovary and am under observation at the cancer center because of the granulosa cell. I was told for years my fibroids were benign as well. I’m almost 3 months post op. Even with one ovary, I am going through menopause. This has been journey. Wishing you the best!!!!
Not all doctors misinform you. I had fibroids and my doctor gave all options to me and ample time to make a decision. I choose the hysterectomy and I don’t regret it. My quality of life has improved. I was treated very excellent in the hospital after the surgery. Each person’s experience is going to be different. In my case the hysterectomy worked best.
Cs – There is more to informed consent than providing all the options. Did your doctor tell you the many lifelong functions of the uterus (as well as the ovaries which usually malfunction after hysterectomy)? Were you told that hysterectomy increases heart disease risk? Were you told that hysterectomy destroys a woman’s figure since the pelvic support structures (uterine ligaments) are severed causing a collapse of the torso? Were the sexual functions of the uterus and cervix discussed? Many women are devastated by the loss of libido and sexual response. And some men have reported that sex is less satisfying (due to the anatomical changes – the parts no longer “fit” together). This information is requisite for informed consent which every patient deserves.
Have the surgery! I had a hysterectomy for a huge fibroid bc it HAD to be done. I had none of the problems that the author wrote about. Go to hystersisters.com its wonderful and you will get support that you need! Huge hugs to you!!!
Hystersisters is not trustworthy. They censor posts to ensure that the public is not informed about the lifelong functions of the female organs. I know quite a few women who have been blocked from posting and others whose posts were edited. The owner has spoken on behalf of Intuitive Surgical and her site generates revenue from the medical/pharma industry.
3yrs post op none of these issues. Feel better than I ever have.
Follow your heart. Your health is first and foremost. Everyone’s different, so depending on who’s doing the procedure, would be how your post procedure will go. Not all cases are created equal. Especially when it comes to cancer or potential cancer risk. If you have cancer and or at risk, getting a removal of some sort is key to sustaining life.
I am another victim of the unnecessary hysterectomy. I had mine done 16 months ago. I now have bad painin the hips, lower back, and shoulders! I feel weaker, have no sex drive and pain in groin area all the time. I have bladder prolapse too. I am so sad. I feel 25 years older. What can be done. I used to be very active and strong. Now I feel ancient. Is there anything that can be done? Jane
Jane – I’m sorry you too were victimized by a gynecologist and are suffering the awful effects. Some women find that estrogen helps even if they still have their ovaries (which can fail after hysterectomy). I hope you can find something that helps. The HERS Foundation is working on a project for women to share their experiences after hysterectomy if you are interested in participating.
I was given the Hister sister pamphlet in 2012!!!
I had large amount of cysts and fibroid matter attached to everywhere, it took the surgeon 3 times longer to do my so called routine surgery! It was a mess, complications galore, antibiotics anyone?
Chronic abdo pain had bothered me for years, once in 1994 I had an emergency surgery for severe abdominal pain for possible appendix issues, they woke me up looking disappointed that all I had was “blood in the cavity which was not normal…” but provided no explanation and sent me home. I felt like a fraud…fussy woman…pathetic. I doubled up in pain on and off for years. When at 38 I suddenly had vaginal bleeding that was flooding in nature, all over the floor everywhere, they put me on the pill for 30 days only!!!And told me to go away again. Silly stupid woman???! I wondered. I experienced more than one terrible almost abusive pelvic exams by male doctors in my hope of finding out why I had this problem of sudden pelvic pain that would stop me in my tracks then just go away. I thought I had cancer, or felt I was ‘exploding’ literally on the inside, which looking back was likely actually happening when one of those nasty cysts exploded! Then caused scar tissue! Looking back the male medical staff that treated me should have been fired, jailed or slapped! How dare they treat me that way, even if there was not much treatment back then.
IF ANY YOUNG WOMAN/PRE MENOPAUSAL IS READING THIS THEN PLEASE PLEASE JUST STAY ON THE PILL FOREVER, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT SCAR TISSUE, CYSTS AND FIBROID S. I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS, BUT WANTED TO BE A ‘NATURAL’ WOMAN!!! CRAP DECISION. DON’T DO IT!!!
SO GOING BACK TO THE LOVELY HISTER SISTERS! They did not mention the skeletal changes and new chronic rib pain I have, flat ass and pop belly even if i lose the weight. OH AND MY BLADDER IS SAD TOO. VERY VERY SAD!!! Hysterectomy only should be performed for life saving reasons only.
ONE DAY YES one DAY, THE FEMALE BODY WILL BE UNDERSTOOD AND TREATED WITH RESPECT.
real cures. real research and real understanding AND real empathy. I can only imagine what it was like in the 1930’s for example to be a woman, I would have died in childbirth. ***Those sisters need an annual day of remembrance.
Women of all ages need to keep standing together in our overly complex lives and get the respect to honor these woman that never made it. These women are my ‘war’ heroes.
Hats off to all woman of all countries who are still suffering in so much terrible cultural silence.
We are strong. We are beginning unification. We are changing culture finally.
Please remember that poor young woman in 1932 that died from a simple UTI or never got to see her baby before she lost consciousness and died, or bled out due to ‘natural’ hormones ‘feeding’ her uterine fibroid…
Stay tuned. Smile. Laugh too.
It seems like there is a no win situation for us women who have had a Hysterctomy. Some people say take hormone replacement, some say dont take it. Should all us women who have had a full hysterectomy go on hormone replacements? What is best for our bodies? No wonder we dont know what we are doing because we get so many answers and dont know what to believe…..so what is it?
Christine – “Hormone replacement” is a misnomer. Nothing can truly replace the hormones that have been lost by ovary removal or ovarian failure post-hysterectomy. However, some women do choose to take hormones to relieve some of their symptoms and make them more functional. It is an individual decision that should be made after researching the risks and benefits for her particular situation.
When I research there are risks if you take hormone replacements and there are risks if you dont take them. That’s what I mean we are in a no win situation. So what are we suppose to do?
I am so thankful I find this article and comment section today! My OB has suggested that I have a total hysterectomy for 1 fibroid on my uterus which is about 8cm. The only issue that I have from the fibroid is bloating on occasion. I have no heavy bleeding or anything else. I told her I did not want to do that but she said since I am done having children at 45yrs of age I don;t need it. I also got a second opinion from a pelvic surgeon and he suggested the same. I asked about all these after effects that I had read about in the comment section and he said that it was not true! I think I have come to the conclusion that I I am not going to do and will look into Uterine Embolization.
Toni, I’m so glad you found my article in time to avoid a hysterectomy. Do you recall what search phrase brought you here? Since the only symptom you’re having is “bloating on occasion” it may be best to let Mother Nature take its course. Fibroids typically shrink after menopause. Uterine Artery Embolization / Uterine Fibroid Embolization has some concerning risks as do many other gynecologic procedures. The non-profit HERS Foundation has a list of gynecologic conditions, treatments and the risks of those treatments on their website. I hope this helps you make an informed decision about treatment or lack thereof.
Thanks WS for your response! I found your article by googling “The purpose of the Uterus”. I will also look more into the risks of UFE procedure as well. Thanks
There are other alternatives to remove fibroids without having a hysterectomy. I can’t think of the name of the procedure right now, but it removes the fibroids while leaving your uterus in tact. Do a little research & you’ll see that you have more options. It’s been said that doctors are quick to recommend hysterectomies never letting you know there are other options. Stay encouraged as you will find what works best for you. Ps. For starters you may need to change your eating habits as certain foods can affect fibroids. I hope this helps. -NL
The name of the procedure to remove fibroids is myomectomy. Sadly, training encourages hysterectomy over myomectomy as each resident is required to do at least 85 (used to be 70) hysterectomies but there are no requirements for myomectomy. Fee-for-service (reimbursements) also favor hysterectomy. That can make it a challenge to find a surgeon with good myomectomy skills and the willingness to do one. But the fight would be WELL WORTH it to keep one’s uterus if the fibroids need surgical intervention due to debilitating symptoms.
I had a hysterectomy in 2015 for cervical carcinoma in situ. I always had a sporty well toned figire. Unfortunately, I have had exactly the same experience as WS. Figure gone, I’m afraid. My only consolation is that I did something active aganst the cancer for my young daughter’s sake (my younger sister died of cancer aged 40 and left 2 devastated young children behind.)
Christine – I’m sorry to hear you had cancer and are suffering the after effects of hysterectomy.
I am being pushed for a total hysterectomy due to a biopsy which found “Complex Hyperplasia with Atypia, bordering on Endometriod Adenocarcinoma”. I was referred to a Gynecologic Oncologist and had surgery scheduled for a week later. I decided I wasn’t mentally prepared for the surgery (and the more I read the more unprepared I feel from an information-gathering standpoint), abd sought a second opinion. I saw another gynecologist that concurred with my previous gyn and the gyn onc. I’m 45 and the only check box I tick for being at risk for Endometriod cancer is that I never had children.
Because of my age, the doctors/surgeons aren’t willing to discuss hormone therapy as an alternative, which is only reserved for younger women who are trying to conceive (from the dr: “the chances of natural pregnancy at your age are miniscule”, even though I am still ovulating regularly). My gyn onc was not happy that I delayed my surgery. The rescheduled hysterectomy date is now less than two weeks away, but I am debating canceling altogether and taking my chances with cancer, as it seems the treatment is worse than the disease. I am scared to talk to my dr. (again, he was very annoyed when I postponed and I fear that if I anger him, he’ll take more than what is necessary if I do have the gutting). When I asked what happens to my body when everything is cut out, the gyn onc said that the area is very small and everything will naturally fall into place. After reading so many accounts online, I now know that to not be true. So, I think I would like to have a few good years left will all my organs and then let cancer take me when it does, rather than completely be miserable for the next couple (?) decades of my life.
I haven’t found anyone in my situation (pre-cancer/cancer at 45) who hasn’t gone through with the hysterectomy, as it is the only accepted protocol.
Michelle, I’m sorry you are in this crappy predicament. Have you gotten or thought about getting a second pathology opinion? You could also consult with the HERS Foundation.
Was medication (e.g. Megace) offered as an option? Is radiation an option? I recall a woman posting about having had radiation therapy versus a hysterectomy but it may have been for cervical instead of endometrial cancer.
I wish you the best in getting restorative treatment.
It’s now October and I was just wondering how you are doing? Did you decide to have the surgery? Your comment got my attention because of your decision to not have the surgery even though you have a threat of cancer. Do they know for sure the cancer is there? Or will it be confirmed only after surgery? . In my late 20s it was suggested that I had endometriosis, but it could only be verified through surgery. I never did well on hormone/birth control. I tend to stay far away from synthetic treatments and pharmaceuticals in general.
2 years ago I was diagnosed with fibroid tumors after I ended up in the hospital hemorrhaging and in severe pain during a period. My Dr suggested ablasion. which failed
When I awoke from the failed surgery she told me my uterus was not my friend and I MUST have a hysterectomy. I was devastated, I could’t stop crying for a week, but I began research, I left that dr.. and found another one, who has never been warm or pleasant with me but at least allowed me to have my time with making a decision. On Sept 24 this year I finally decided to try a UTF Uterine Fibroid Embolism. The MRI indicated that I was not a candidate because I actually did not have fibroids but instead Adenomyosis. They say the only cure is hysterectomy..or menopause. Now, although I’ve been to the emergency room 6 times in the past 2 years room hemorrhaging while mentsruating and my bone marrow has shown signs of conversion due to chronic anemia.. I still can’t bare to make the decision to have the hysterectomy especially knowing what I now know. Sorry to tell you all this because what I really want to say is that i understand your thoughts about living out a decent life even if cancer is in your future. I thought the same thing myself in these past few weeks as I have to come to terms that I will deal with this disease until menopause finally comes. To have the surgery could open up a whole other can of worms, and a lot more suffering, both emotionally, and physically, not to mention how many women have suffered in their intimate relationships. You aren’t alone in your thinking. I have more tests coming to determine why my bone marrow has changed, if it is from chronic anemia or a malignancy. But, even if I find out that it is a cancer, I still think i could not go ahead with the surgery. I wish you the best!
Kfree – I’m sorry for all your suffering! Have you been offered tranexamic acid (name brand Lysteda here in the U.S.) to reduce your bleeding? It seems many gynecologists fail to tell their patients about it probably because It’s not nearly as profitable as hysterectomy.
Gosh, am I the only one who’s ever had a hysterectomy with hardly any issues? Everything was a breeze save for granulation tissue which my doctor simply treated with silver nitrate right in the office. My robotic surgery was done eight months ago in November due to cysts in the ovaries which turned out to be benign. I didn’t experience any of the gas pain in the shoulder that a lot of women experience, my stomach was completely flat and still is. I lost a lot of weight after the surgery as the cysts were large so my weight plunged to below 100 pounds. So quite the opposite, I had to eat more than usual as I didn’t want to look anorexic.
Post op, I really babied myself, just took things easy. The only walking I did was what I would normally do around the house. Went back to work after one month. As for any of the above described skeletal changes, none whatsoever. I don’t know. It might be because my doctor suspended my cuff with the ligaments. My stats are back to normal at 32-24-35 and my weight is now stable between 100 – 105 lbs. It may sound as though I’m underweight at 5’5” but I have a small frame so for me it’s normal. I don’t exercise formally, meaning I don’t go to the gym or go out walking or running but I do spend a few minutes every morning in the privacy of my home stretching and doing some light calisthenics. Calories are what make you gain weight. Sex? I still get orgasms and I think the nerves around that area now overcompensate.
Both my ovaries were removed so I started to sweat at night three days after surgery to which my doctor prescribed a low-dose estrogen patch which immediately stopped the sweating. A few positive things to note, at least for me, I used to have recurrent yeast infections and UTIs and, so far so good, those haven’t happened. Constipation, unlike before, is not a problem. In fact, moving my bowel has never been easier.
As for my doctor and the staff at the hospital, I have nothing but respect and high praise. Everyone was professional yet very caring. Seeing how distressed I was in my first appointment, they did all they could to schedule the surgery within days. I worried a lot before surgery but they assured me I would feel a lot better afterwards, and it’s true. Each month after the surgery, I read sites to compare my recovery with others and realize how fortunate I am.
Call the procedures what you like but it doesn’t make me less of a woman. At 59 and with two grown daughters, I feel feminine as ever. I am female because I have a pair of XX chromosomes in every cell of my being and nothing can change that. I’ve always looked young and people often mistake us as sisters. No, I haven’t had any type of cosmetic surgery. The only surgery I’ve had was the hysterectomy. Maybe it’s just me. I really don’t know. I do use moisturizers every day. I’m assuming the response to my comment would be just wait and see ten years from now. Well, sure. By then I’ll be close to 70. I promise I will circle back and let everyone know if I have any of these so-called skeletal changes. In the meantime, I’m enjoying life being pretty and literally looking like a 20-year old.
Missy9 – At 8 months post-op, skeletal changes aren’t yet apparent to most women. Consider yourself lucky that night sweats were your only (or main?) symptom and the use of a patch stopped them and probably kept other symptoms at bay. It makes me angry that I now have to rely on hormones to function. And I’ve connected with hundreds of women who feel the same way.
Regardless of how the removal of your sex organs has affected you, it’s very troubling that you were de-sexed for benign ovarian cysts when all that should have been removed were the cysts. They would never remove a man’s sex organs (prostate and testicles) for benign cysts so why is it ok to do that to women? What’s important for women to know is that removal of any or all of the female organs (castration) is destructive and gynecologists are not informing women of all the medically documented harms. And almost all hysterectomies and oophorectomies are unnecessary.
Your gynecologist used one of the typical tactics of scheduling you for surgery quickly allowing you little time to research and discover the many adverse effects and increased health risks of organ removal. Overy.org is a good resource for understanding the many harms of ovary removal. It links to a whole list of medical studies which show that removal of ovaries even after menopause does more harm than good since the ovaries produce hormones a woman’s whole life if she has all her parts / is intact. HERS is a good resource for understanding the lifelong functions of the uterus (as well as the ovaries).
Same here. I have not had any skeletal changes, maybe except my pelvis got narrower. I also have less bladder and bowel issues. My hysterectomy was a necessity due to prolonged bleeding that did not respond to conservative treatment. I also lost my ovaries at the same time but only had hot flashes for a short while. I was 30 yrs old at the time.
So glad to hear this! I’m glad you’re feeling well and I hope o can feel as great as you after my surgery!!
I am three weeks out of my total hysterectomy. 75/25 % ofnmy frimds had minimal negative side affects. 25% regret it. Just as any event in life we all experience things differently. I appreciated this video. My drs did review some information this video discussed. I wish everyone the best
I had a TAH almost 7 months ago but it wasnt by choice. I was pregnant with my fifth child and since I had two previous c sections and my previous pregnancy was ruled high risk my dr went ahead and ruled this one high risk. I went into labor the day before my c section was scheduled and my dr refused to let me have the baby naturally well it was right before a hoilday and he had like six other c secions scheduled that day He was not to happy when he had to come in and do mine but the thing is when i go into labor I go fast like six hours or less and baby is out. So even though my c section was scheduled for that afternoon I was in active labor and he was forced to come in early and do my procedure. Well the nurses were making jokes about how I couldn’t wait to have the baby till the afternoon I did not find it amusing. They then during the surgey were too busy kissing the drs. booty to pay attetion to me when I told the nurse next to me I felt something that my neck muscles and my shoulder muscles got really tight all of a sudden like I had pulled them she just said ih your neck is tense from laying on the table and she kissed up to the dor bragging about how she was studying physical theray and she made me turn my head from side to side which only made the pain worse and she didnt listen niether did the dr when I said it hurts. They hurried to sew me up took me to recovery and the nurse noted I was bleeding in my cath the dr said it can happen sometimes maybe they inserted the folly to far. He said dont worry about and he left me they put the baby on and I screamed in pain as they tried to massage my uterus back down but it wouldn’t go. Apprently he had knicked my uterus and the atrey during surgery and that tense feeling I got was when it happened. He left me to bleed out for hours finally after the nurses called him like 3 times he comes in and does an ultrasound finds nothing and leaves. He leaves me for a few more hourse my husband notices i am really pale and blood is just pouring into my folly bag. He leaves and my pressure drops and I can hear the nurses saying she is dying get her husband back here the doc shows up looks at me and says we have to take you back. I was so out of it had no idea what was going on and the next thing i remember is being told go night night and a mask being put over my face and me being too weak to fight it and say no. when I woke up I was told by my husband that he had no choice i was bleeding to death that he had to take my uterus and do a tah. It didn’t register with me at the time because I was still out of it by this time I was in the ICU and they gave me 4 units of blood and plasma and my ob wanted to send me home but the hematologist noticed that my hg levels were still very low so i must still be bleeding. So back in I went this time wide awake and they did an angiogram and it turns out during the tah he knicked an artery in my leg so they cathed it. Anyways one week after my nighmare ceserisn i was sent home. After a week i stopped pain meds becasuse of being a nursing mom and shortly after the bladder and bowel problems started that she was talking about. I was told they would get better so when I went for my 6 week which he did at 4 weeks I tried to tell him about this stabbing pain that I feel when walking or moving it almost feels like a pulling but it happens on my right side and the scar tissie will swell and what ever they connected it to pulls and it doesnt stop the pain is so bad I have to sit. I was an active person before this happened. they said it wasnt there problem and told me to go see a gp I went they said it might be a hernia. They did a ct scan it was normal. they sent me to a surgeon the surgeon found nothing. 7 months after all this I am in constant pain everyday. if i walk or push a vaccum or bend over or do anything physical it swells and hurts to the point of me getting sick. I have lost so much weight and have had every test done known to man and everything is in working order. I do have a little bit of a mommy tummy but I cant work out it hurts too much. Not to mention I cant focus every syptom she described up there I have except add ptsd to all of it. I can’t work becasue the pain is horrible if I am on my feet for more that ten or twenty minutes it starts to hurt and you will see me grabbing my side right by hip bone and rubbing it. its not a normal pain its a stabbing pain and runs sometimes around to my back and down to me knee. Its the worst pain ever. I cant even talk about sex it hurts so I dont so it and now my husband want a divorce I tried everything suggested lotions and everything but during it I feel a stabbing burning pinching pain and then the same area that swells when walking or pushing a buggy yep I cant even do that with out pain will hurt. A lot of times I get sick and vmoit after sex becasue of the pain. So I dont want it at all. This is horrible not to mention he gathered all my skin in my vagina and sweed it together and now I have a hug pooch which when in a swim suit looks like I have a package and even the hernia surgeon commented on how terrible it looks and how the only way that could of happened is if I lost a lot of weight. Well everything I eat makes me sick since the surgery my stomach will burn and yes I got tested for all the food illlness problems I didnt have this before surgery. I cut out dairy and soy and wheat and gluten and any spicy foods and totmatos anything acidic. The ob who did the surgery refuses to see me even though I told him everything going on the nurses just keep saying it has nothing to do with the the surgery. I am at a loss here and I am afraid I might just die someday becasue of the pain leaving my five kids. I wouldnt wish this on anyone I have searched the web trying to find help or answers to my problems but nothing people tell me its in my head but its not. I am not sure what they did to me during suregry the docotors I saw said that the x rays and ct scam only show my body changing due to psot surgery. I didnt ask for this I am only 33 and never wanted a hystorectomy becasue I remember the pain and problems my mom has had since. I am at a loss as to what to do this pain is awful it stabs and burns and throbs and swells and when i lay flat you can see the bulge of the muscle like she was talking about. Peole say it will get better but it seems to be getting worse each day.
Go get a personal injury attorney. Your doctors screwed up. Research up on good PI attorneys, they don’t charge you, they take a percentage if you win your case.
Crystal – I’m so sorry you ended up with a hysterectomy and, as a result, are now suffering with debilitating chronic pain. As mentioned in another reply, you may want to pursue a medical malpractice case.
Get a lawyer!!!!
same here crystal…moan and cry daily…no dr. gives a hoot! becky
Just Wow!! I hope you get a attorney. I had my hysterectomy in May, started with low back pain and next sciatica. Also started hrt I have been so weak and tired. I am now being treat for adrenal fatigue. I am afraid its going to be a long road for recovery. I fear I may never fully recover
I’ve had cysts, ulcers, PMDD, ect for most of my life. Since I was a teen, I use to pass out and my vision would go haywire while on my periods…..the cramping, mood swings, 3 bleeding ulcers at one point, acidity, insomnia, gallbladder problems, and pain were enough for me to consult a docto about a hysterectomy.
First, I want to say….doctors don’t always go over side effects. We have access to the Internet, library, people and books….it is OUR job to do our research and prepare for the worst because ultimately we are the ones who decide if we have the hysterectomy, not the doctor.
While some cases, there are no other options….such as life threatening conditions…often times, the issues we face with our endocrine system can be altered through life changing decisions, such as our diet, exercise, stress levels, ect.
My mother had a hysterectomy at age 30 for the same reasons I wanted one. I am 39, and my symptoms have drastically improved through changing my diet…for life. I have almost no symptoms, I have taken nutrition classes…amd I know that I am gluten amd caseine intolerant. I do not eat sugar like I use to, no flour, sodas, chips, cheese, dairy, ect. If I eat these things, all my symptoms come back full force. Also, it would do some of you some good to check out why you are having endocrine problems from homeothermic….regular doctors are not educated or practice natural therapy opposed to science. Many people have parasitic, fungal, worms, and other lower and upper digestive track problems that affect their endocrine system, psychology, nervous system, and organs. Again, nobody will lead the camel to water, you have to do the research yourselves….amd this should be researched years in advance before you alter your body.
My mom, her diet is poor…she eats cheese, dairy, chocolate, alcohol, soda, chips, donuts, biscuits and gravy, ect….she indulges herself in this unhealthy lifestyle. I chose not to have a hysterectomy, as my promise to God….to not alter the body he gave me unless I exhausted all other resources. While my situation has been uncomfortable, painful, and caused me a lot of stress….I ended up with a permenant lifestyle change….that helped me. No alcohol, cigs, cheese, sugar, flour, ect….amd 70% vegetables…fish, turkey, nuts, ect now consume my diet. I do not have any symptoms, almost none unless I indulge in these foods.
There are so many women who unnecessarily get a hysterectomy, but ultimately it was your choice. Your body deserves your attention, nutrition, exercise, and ALL research before you let any doctor alter it in any way.
Jenn – I’m glad you avoided a hysterectomy. I would have had some of those same thoughts prior to my situation that resulted in a hysterectomy – why didn’t women research versus just following their doctors’ orders. For one, many women are deceived or lied to about their condition. I’ve connected with many women whose doctors used cancer scare tactics as did mine. I was told my complex cyst could be ovarian cancer and I needed to consult with an oncologist and proceed with surgery quickly. In hindsight, he purposely instilled fear. I had trusted him for 20 years so I immediately dismissed the initial thought that something didn’t seem right. And relatives and friends were pressuring me into having surgery ASAP.
Some hysterectomy forums censor posts and users who post negative experiences leading women to believe that hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy are relatively benign surgeries.
Here is my article on the use of cancer scare tactics – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/hysterectomy-c-word/.
Here is my hysterectomy story – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/unnecessary-hysterectomy/
Here are all my articles – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/
I had a total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy two years ago. I had an ablation a year prior to that. The first year, I had menopausal symptoms begin with weight gain. I’ve been trying to battle the weight gain, but realize I have extreme lower back pain when I walk. Bought a Fitbit to track steps and noticed the pain begin within the first 50 steps. I loved walking….this is really putting a damper on that. I believe it is due the surgery, I never had back issues like this before.
Patty – I’m sorry that you too are suffering the effects of hysterectomy, one of the most overused surgeries that’s been shown to do more harm than good. Back pain seems to be fairly common after hysterectomy. Surgical positioning can be one cause but the skeletal changes that occur are a recipe for back problems especially in the long-term. This article says that back pain is the “dirty little secret” of hysterectomy – https://www.wddty.com/magazine/2015/december/hysterectomys-dirty-little-secret-back-pain.html. 🙁
I’m sorry to hear you and so many others have had a bad experience. My hysterectomy was the best decision I ever made. My recovery was excellent and I was back at work in a week. My sex life is amazing now and I don’t have to worry about painful and extremely heavy periods that took over my life. My mood has improved as well as my anxiety. My surgeon was truthful and highly skilled. He told me my recovery would be quick and my life would improve and he was right. It’s been 14 months post op and I’m happier than ever.
Good luck to everyone out there trying to make this decision.
There is no or minimal evidence to support many of these claims particularly in regards to pelvic ligaments providing support to the entire torso, loss of sensation, loss of sexual pleasure, fatigue, joint and ligament pain. There is some risk of nerve damage, but it is very small and does not result in loss of sensation over the whole vulva and vagina. There is a small risk of damage to bowel or bladder, with the ureters at highest risk. The percentages given in the YouTube video are grossly exaggerated, and most have no proven correlation with hysterectomy. The uterosacral ligaments are preserved in supracervical and most laparoscopic hysterectomies. The vast, vast majority of hysterectomies are uncomplicated. Most of the YouTube video is false. The false and misleading information is a disservice to patients. Where is the evidence for these claims?
I disagree that 70-90% of hysterectomies are unnecessary. Source? As alternative treatments become available, hysterectomy rates are falling. I am an OB/Gyn, and certainly do not do unnecessary hysterectomies, especially not for profit! That is a very hurtful, and malicious thing to say. It is not true of any one I know. Certainly someone may be performing unnecessary surgery for profit, but that is highly unethical, and illegal. Not mainstream.
Please look at an anatomy book (like the slides on the YouTube videos). A lot of your claims are physiologically nonsensical. It makes me sad that people have bad outcomes sometimes, but it saddens and frustrates me when patients are given misinformation attributing physical symptoms to a hysterectomy when they are unrelated.
I would be happy to have a dialogue with you about hysterectomy. I’m sure we could both learn from each other.
Yvonne – As a doctor in a specialty (gynecology) whose training and livelihood is entrenched in doing hysterectomies (as well as oophorectomies), it’s natural to deny and defend. I don’t know how much of your misinformation is due to lack of proper medical training (including intentional omission by medical schools) and how much is in defense of your profession and livelihood. But regardless, I will address your points:
1) The severing of the ligaments that run from the uterus to the pelvic wall cause a collapse of the torso. It’s an anatomical fact. To use an analogy – If you cut through bridge supports, the bridge will collapse. A woman can still be “fit” after a hysterectomy but her figure / skeletal structure will be altered. Her midsection will gradually shorten and thicken (even absent weight gain). Women’s comments corroborate this. Further evidence of this can be seen as an indentation at each side of her back (one woman referred to it as a “plane” across her back) where her rib cage is now sitting on her hip bones. Another telltale sign is a crease / line that starts a couple inches above the navel and then gradually lengthens across her midsection as her rib cage drops. I doubt you typically observe patients before their surgeries and a few years after in their underwear to be able to observe these changes. And it seems many women end their relationships with their surgeons. They certainly don’t need birth control or any other reproductive services.
2) Another anatomical fact – The uterus separates and anchors the bladder and bowel. Its removal displaces them increasing risk for dysfunction in the short and long-term including incontinence and prolapse. With so many women having had hysterectomies, it’s no wonder incontinence is so prevalent.
3) Another anatomical fact – A shortened and sutured shut vagina lacks the bundle of nerves at the bottom of the cervix as well as the tip of the cervix that heightens sexual pleasure for both the woman and man.
4) How can you truly believe that severing of nerves and blood vessels, including those running through ligaments that are severed, does not cause loss of sensation and sexual pleasure? It is basic physiology that innervation and blood flow are vital to sensation. Many women even report loss of nipple sensation. And furthermore, uterine orgasms cannot physically happen without a uterus. This is a HUGE loss for many women. And many women who still have ovaries (the lucky ones whose ovaries haven’t “died” due to loss of blood flow and feedback with the uterus) report loss of libido and sexual function. There are PLENTY of women’s stories of shattered lives on the web if you really care to know.
5) Most hysterectomies may be (in your words) uncomplicated (absent the “surgical” errors of ureter, bladder, bowel damage, nerve damage, blood clots, hemorrhage, infection, morcellated / upstaged tumors, anesthesia harms, death). But the after effects are forever (as are the after effects of some complications when they occur). And shockingly, 55% of hysterectomies include removal of ovary(ies) (equivalent of a man’s testicles) despite the average woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer being a measly 1.3%. More ovaries are removed as separate surgeries.
6) According to Obstetrics & Gynecology August 2013, ~50,000 hysterectomies are done for cancer. That is less than 10% of all hysterectomies making over 90% unnecessary. Media reports of declining hysterectomy rates are misleading in that they typically report only inpatient hysterectomies and the large majority are now done outpatient / ambulatory as I’m sure you’re aware. In 2014, 70% of commercially insured hysterectomies were outpatient.
7) I’m concerned that you also fail to inform your patients of the many increased health risks associated with hysterectomy (with ovarian “conservation”) – cardiovascular disease (3-fold), metabolic syndrome, increased Body Mass Index, increased BP, renal cell cancer, colorectal cancer, thyroid cancer. Ovary removal (castration) or post-hysterectomy ovarian failure is also common and is associated with another whole list of health risks such as cardiovascular disease (7-fold), stroke, lung cancer, osteoporosis, hip fracture, dementia, parkinsonism, impaired cognition and memory, mood disorders, adverse ocular and skin changes, sleep disorders, more severe hot flushes. Even unilateral oophorectomy (with or without hysterectomy) is associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment, dementia and parkinsonism.
Needing CME credits? You may have just earned some although you should have already known all of the above since this is your specialty.
Let the women who have had unnecessary hysterectomies (and those who love them) decide who is doing a “disservice to patients.”
Alternatives to hysterectomy are great but some of those also cause permanent harm. Ablation has been shown to increase risk of hysterectomy due to Post Ablation Syndrome. The blood can get trapped in the uterus (behind the scarred lining or due to a stenotic cervix) and/or back up into the tubes causing chronic and debilitating pelvic pain. Although procedures are the money makers, they should only be used as a last resort especially when they can do more harm than good. That applies to any specialty.
You said you “certainly do not do unnecessary hysterectomies, especially not for profit!” You mentioned you’re an ob/gyn so I assume not a gynecologic oncologist. In that case, all hysterectomies you do should be for benign conditions which makes them unnecessary.
If “performing unnecessary surgery for profit” is not “mainstream” then how do you explain the high rate of hysterectomies when less than 10% are done for cancer? And why do residents have to do so many hysterectomies yet ZERO myomectomies when many hysterectomies are done for fibroids? Yes, it’s very unethical but it’s the “standard of care” so it continues.
Do you know why after total hysterectomy I have non stop hot flashes and have to do estrogen injections. Nothing else works and have stopped injections to see if they stopped but they returned. Dr said he has patients well in their 80’s that still have hot flashes. I would like to add I went thru meno with hot flashes and all stopped within 5 months and this was 3 years before the hysterectomy. My body went to pot like they all say and I was a thin person and now have 50 lbs extra and the weight will not come off no matter what I do! Janice
Janice – Unfortunately your gynecologist, like most, failed to inform you that the ovaries do not shut down at menopause. Post-meno ovaries continue to produce hormones (especially androgens) a woman’s whole life which protect her from many health problems. Ovary removal or post-hysterectomy ovarian failure increases risk of heart disease (#1 killer of women), osteoporosis, dementia, parkinsonism, lung cancer, mood disorders, sleep disorders, adverse ocular and skin changes, sexual dysfunction, more severe hot flushes.
As far as weight gain, the HERS Foundation says that women typically gain about 25 lb. in the first year post-op. 🙁
Hello, as I am reading your post I am thinking this is exactly what is going on with me.
What can be done to counteract the physical body changes post hysterectomy?
I am 52, had surgery which included removal of ovaries in Nov 2017 and now am in incredible pain in hips, lower back, my joints and also extreme fatigue. I am walking hunched over with a huge shoulder drop. Also have sciatic pain and numbness in left leg to knee. I cannot stand up straight. I had a pelvic ultrasound done and my pelvic tendons have stretched. Lower back xray shows spinal changes also. The doctor has been great with me and had run almost every test under the sun on me, but nothing seems to show why I am in so much pain.
I don’t know what to do. I started estrogen hrt but think it should have started sooner.
Last summer i was in great condition mentally and physically, this year is another story.
Kelly – How horrific! If this back and hip pain started shortly after surgery, it could be from improper surgical positioning and/or a lengthy surgery. However, the loss of estrogen can cause bone and joint pain so may be partly to blame. But I don’t think it would explain the severe back and hip pain nor the sciatica. The skeletal changes caused by the severing of the uterine ligaments tend to cause back problems more so in the long-term not like you’re experiencing. If you don’t mind sharing, did you have robotic surgery?
Morning to everyone. As I was reading through some of these post, I found it sad that most of these women underwent a painful and traumatic experience. To WS, you obviously have a passion for womens’ health and want to educate us on what plan of action to take, pre-hysterectomy; here’s my story. Prior to my third child being born, I had HEAVY periods and severe cramping that would cause me to miss work sometimes. This also happened in my teen years as well. I would miss at least two days of school, as the pain would have me curled up in a ball or sitting in a hot shower just to try to get some type of relief. The pain would be unbearable! To top that off, I found out that I had three small fibroid cysts on my uterus. I was told not to worry and that they would be montitored. As I said before, I became pregnant with my third child and as my child grew, so did the fibroids. At the end of my first trimester, I had an episode of pain and unexplained bleeding. Not a lot at first, just enough to send me to the emergency room to get checked out. They did their normal routine and then determined that my child was aborting itself. That stupid*** doctor wanted to do a DNC on me!! We protested and wanted to wait on our personal doctor. It was the longest night of my life! The blood loss was crazy! While using the restroom, a large mass of blood and tissue left my body. I thought it was my unborn child. The Nurse was called to check the toilet where all this transpired. She had a long metal rod and carefully examined what I thought was my baby. “PRAISE GOD,” it was nothing more than a huge mass of blood clots. I got an ultrasound and some other tests done. One of the fibroids grew to the size of a golfball. My doctor explained that the large fibroid had filled with some much blood from the pregnancy, that it had no other way to release it self but out. I was so relieved!! About a year 1/2 after my baby was born, I began to experience painful periods, sharp pains in my stomach and momentary dizziness. Went to my gynecologist and after some test, he recommended a partial hysterectomy, due to the golfball size fibroid now was the size of a lemon. This was causing very painful menstrual cramps, sweating etc. I was shocked and disappointed. In fact, I had a second opinion. They too said the same thing. So, I had my uterus and cervix removed. I was 29 years old. I am now 50. I have to say that after doing my research and contemplating on the best way to go, I found that “IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I MADE!!” I didn’t experience any of the symptoms you mentioned. I felt free and brand new.. I will say, I was concerned about the way my husband’s pleasure would be. At the time, he stated that he noticed very little change in the way his pleasure was affected. Unfortunately, we are no longer together, but my new husband of seven years says the same thing. My sex drive is stronger, nipples are very sensitive, and I still have orgasims. My sex drive has always been high, although I didn’t have uterine orgasims, l had them and still have them. You can work around the vaginal dryness with diet and water intake. As far as my ovaries, they are as normal as they will be considering the type of surgery this is. Nature will take it’s course as your get older. I also believe your mental state has a HUGE IMPACT on how you make it through this. I accepted the fact that this is what was best for me at the time and dealt with it accordingly. I also prayed a lot and had the support of my family. While what you’re doing is good with keeping women aware and informed of their bodies, and also of the cons of having a hysterectomy, I also feel that it’s just as important that you give some of the pros. Listen, I get it. I’m for knowledge and being well informed with womens’ health issues. However, in the end, it will be her decision on what will be best for her. There should be an equal amount of encouragement for the women who do decide to have this very serious, sensitive and life changing procedure done as well. While my situation was not typical I guess, all the way from the doctors, to the appointments, to the surgery, and even my doubts, I still had a good experience. I do sympathize with those whose situations were less favorable. I’m not an activist or anything, just someone who was up at 3:00 am reading some of these unfortunate stories. There were a LOT of sad ones. Not enough positive ones. So I wanted to share my story and let women know that there is hope. Be blessed!
Lisa – Thank you for posting. I’m curious what led you to search for hysterectomy information since you had a “good experience” and “didn’t experience any of the symptoms you mentioned.” Some women do feel they made the right decision especially those who experienced intense pain around their menstrual cycle. But it doesn’t always resolve the pain. Thankfully in your case it did. Fibroids can be removed without removing the uterus hence giving a woman the benefits of the uterus’ lifelong non-reproductive functions. But many women are not told about that option. It’s human nature to justify our decisions. People should be outraged that gynecologists hysterectomize close to 1 in 2 women and over half of these women are castrated at the same time. You never hear of men’s testicles being removed because they don’t do it unless they have cancer.
WS. As I stated before, I like to read on women’s health issues and I really don’t think it matters why or how I came across your article. Is this website not for the benefit of those who are wanting to understand, educate themselves and others? I enjoy readying a number of topics to be perfectly honest with you. You gave several statistics and reasons why “Not” to have a hysterectomy. All I’m saying to you, is that I would like your readers, ESPECIALLY those who have to make a decision concerning their heath to be well rounded and do their research. While our bodies are a little bit more complex than a mans’ body I won’t even attempt to dignify that with an answer. I am vibrant, sexy, full of life and I don’t feel cheated or any less than a women because of my hysterectomy. Your mindset is important regardless of any serious health problem one may have. HORMONES do matter, wheather you have all your parts or not. Learn how to use what you have left.. your clitorus, labia and whatever else makes you feel sexy.. Be blessed
Men don’t have a uterus what holds up their spinal columns? What separates a men’s bowel from their bladder? This site is horrible
I understand… it is difficult to comprehend that it can have these awful consequences! But you apparently did not read (or comprehend) the article. “Four sets of ligaments hold the uterus in place. These ligaments are the “scaffolding” or support structures for the core (midsection). When the ligaments are severed to remove the uterus, the spine compresses causing the rib cage to gradually fall toward the hip bones and the hip bones to widen. This causes a shortened, thickened midsection, protruding belly, and loss of the curve in the lower back, giving the appearance of a flat derriere.”
Sure, some women gain weight in the midsection as they age but we certainly don’t need the anatomical / skeletal effects of hysterectomy to be the cause or make it worse and also cause back, hip and rib cage problems. Our bodies were not made to be disassembled.
Thank you, Lisa. I am currently on the hospital recovering from a hysterectomy that I fought for for over 10 years. My periods were much like yours and ended up in the ER 2 years ago needing a blood transfusion and an ablation. Even post ablation, I continued to have periods and anemia.
At 43, with a 23 year old child, I am so happy, despite the pain (oh it certainly hurts!), that my nightmare is finally over.
I encourage women facing this decision to GET educated on ALL aspects of the surgery. No two bodies are the same or will they have the same experience with this surgery.
WS, I also thank you for sharing your experience.
This. Education is important – some people have had awful experiences, some have had great ones. To try to rule out a hysterectomy completely is unfair.
I’m in my early 40’s, and had mine on Sept. 28 (everything but ovaries gone, I had a fibroid the size of a navel orange, and my uterus was enlarged to over 400 grams), so I’m still very much recovering – but in the past 2 weeks, aside from the recovery pains (oh that shoulder pain from the gas was the worst!), I’ve felt better than I have in years. A back issue that couldn’t be figured out even with an MRI is gone. Mood-wise I want to cry I feel so good – better than I have in so, so long. I’m walking as much as I can (my doc was impressed at how well I was doing in the hospital the day after!), resting when I need to, and paying attention to my body.
Obviously, I can’t tell you long term effects. But short term has been really promising.
I eat well (well, not these past few weeks, lol!), I work out, I had been in half-marathon training before my issues suddenly started getting exponentially worse the past few months. I’m somewhat overweight, but that’s why I was working so hard to get healthy, and had in fact lost almost 20 pounds pre-hysterectomy.
I’m optimistic for my own recovery. But, I also did my own research before having my hysterectomy.
Are there horror stories? Yep. Definitely. But there’s also success stories. Do your own research – listen to both sides, talk with your doctor, get a second opinion if you want, and make your own choice.
Ellen – I’m glad your surgical recovery is going well. It does for the majority of women. Like you, most women did research before undergoing hysterectomy. But most sites censor posts so women do not get a complete picture. But the bigger problem is that the surgeons should be providing women with the facts about the lifelong functions of the uterus (and ovaries) and the short and long-term after effects of its (their) removal. And that is not happening.
How about trying Yoga? I started a teacher training in the year I had my surgery, only a partial hysterectomy and I am 10 months post op. I really think the yoga helps with alignment and physical health also lots of nutritional supplements as the body needs so much more than we can get through food now…
I call BS. Before my TAB, I LOVED sex. I loved the rhythmic motion in my uterus & cervix during an orgasm. Now (2 years post) I want to have sex mentally but physically I don’t. It hurts, I don’t have the drive or stamina. It pisses me off like you wouldn’t even believe. My muscles ache every day, feels as if I’m getting weaker every day. My back feels as if it’s curving more & more now days, causing pain when I’m standing & even more when walking. I get uterine cramps like a period & I don’t even have my uterus, fantom pains suck! To say there is no correlation with the hysterectomy, is wrong! I wish I never opted for the hysterectomy. I had one because I kept growing non-functional complex cysts. I had an 8cm complex cyst with multiple septations on my right ovary. Went to a county hospital to have them do a cystectomy, instead they did a unilateral salpingo-oopherectomy. Things seemed fine for a year after that. Then my left side decided it wanted attention & I developed a 26cm cyst that kept getting larger by the weeks. Went to my gyno & he suggested I went to a county hospital to have it removed because he didn’t want to be bothered. I had damn good insurance so it was lost on me as to why he didn’t want to remove it himself. After opting to try to “deal” with it for several more months, it got worse. It was so large that it had my uterus shoved to the far right & my bladder compressed so much that I couldn’t go to the bathroom well enough. So I contacted UTMB & met with a surgeon. We agreed to just remove it all, my cervix because of hpv repeatedly causing abnormal cells to return.
I would have rather dealt with all of that crap than the crap I’ve been dealing with post hysterectomy.
Veronica – I’m sorry you were over-treated by two gynecologists and are suffering with all the after effects. Thank you for having the courage to speak out. Please continue to do so. This has to change.
I had a complete hysterectomy 7 months ago. I had an ovarian cyst. The doctor was sure it was cancer. I had no symptoms other than bloating. During the operation he found it wasn’t cancer and instead of just removing the ovary and cyst he performed a complete hysterectomy. I’m suffering daily. I’m exhausted always. I’m in pain and find myself saying, ow! day and night. I need 3 pillows to sleep. I think doctors are egomaniacal jerks. Not all. Just the ones who won’t listen to their patients. Like the one I had. First do no harm is discarded for, I know best.
Cindy – I’m sorry that you too were intentionally harmed by your gynecologist. I was in the same situation as you. My gyn used ovarian cancer scare tactics to rush me into surgery. And he did not remove my uterus and other ovary and tube until after the frozen section came back benign. So he obviously knew he was removing organs unnecessarily. All he should have removed was the cyst itself (cystectomy), not even the one ovary.
You may want to pursue a medical malpractice case or at least file a complaint with your state’s medical board as well as the hospital or surgical center. However, chances of getting any “justice” via any of those avenues is slim. But we need to call attention to this gross overuse and harm that is done to about half of women.
To Yvonne Treece (gynecologist) – One thing I failed to mention in my previous post – My sacrum has looked bruised ever since my torso started collapsing after my hysterectomy 12 years ago. This is further evidence of the skeletal changes caused by the severing of the ligaments / pelvic support structures that is necessary during hysterectomy.
Gynecologists are supposed to be the experts in these matters. They are failing in their duties to inform women of the many after effects of hysterectomy and are violating their Hippocratic Oath to “first, do no harm.”
Men don’t have a uterus so why don’t they have skeletal changes? A normal uterus is 7-9 cm and weighs 50-60 grams. So your telling me that the uterus supports a women’s entire spinal column? The disappearing waist for women is due to getting older and hormonal changes. As women get closer to menopause fat stores around the waist which contains estrogen and has nothing to do with a hysterectomy. What’s the explanation for women who now have a fuller waist with creases but haven’t had a hysterectomy? There is none! How many women with generalized body aches exercise? I question everything on this site and the responses. I will not return. AWFUL
S / D – As I replied to your other comment –
I understand… it is difficult to comprehend that it can have these awful consequences! But you apparently did not read (or comprehend) the article. “Four sets of ligaments hold the uterus in place. These ligaments are the “scaffolding” or support structures for the core (midsection). When the ligaments are severed to remove the uterus, the spine compresses causing the rib cage to gradually fall toward the hip bones and the hip bones to widen. This causes a shortened, thickened midsection, protruding belly, and loss of the curve in the lower back, giving the appearance of a flat derriere.”
Sure, some women gain weight in the midsection as they age but we certainly don’t need the anatomical / skeletal effects of hysterectomy to be the cause or make it worse and also cause back, hip and rib cage problems. Our bodies were not made to be disassembled.
Thank you. Of course one should examine conservative treatments first, but there are times, like in my case, when those fail and hysterectomy is the only option. I have not regretted having it done, as I probably would have bled to death slowly LOL. I had fibroids and adenomyosis, diagnosed by sonography and confirmed by pathology. Anyway, please continue providing good medical information. Unfortunately too many are misinformed.
My OB did not inform me of what to expect postoperative. I am braca positive, it’s been awful for four years now, and now I have burning that no one can seem to explain. Please provide an answer instead of defending the procedure.
I want to say something positive about having a hysterectomy. I had mine Jan 2017 by keyhole followed by radiotherapy.
OK I have a few whiskers and a few more wrinkles (I cannot take hormone replacements.) but I’m alive… I wouldn’t have been if I had refused the operation. I was informed about all the pros and cons. I can’t praise my surgeon and staff at the Queen Elizabeth hospital Gateshead enough. Perhaps I was just lucky
I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 16. I had two miscarriages – first one 7 wks prego, second time I was 23, four months prego and lost the baby a week before finding out the gender. That was the last of my pregnancies, having 2 miscarriages I figured there was something wrong. At the age of 30 I had a laparoscopy and for 10 yrs my pain subsided. It was wonderful up until I turned 41. I went back for the procedure again (at 42), when the doctor saw what he saw I was diagnosed with severe Stage IV endo. I experienced severe pain everyday, it progressively gotten worse. The months went on and my belly started protruding outward, forming a softball size bump in the center. I knew it was that time. The doctor and I had several discussions and I decided to take everything…I had enough! Really I had no choice. The endo adhered both ovaries to the uterus, couldn’t see the Fallopian tubes, the uterus appeared (in photos) to be connecting to a part of my colon. October 2017 there were two additional specialists- colon and urologist ( for the ureters and mesh sling), almost 7 hrs later surgery was complete (doc had to detach my stomach muscles from my public bone since the endo had made its presence known and then suture them back) . My doctor immediately put me on a 1/wk patch for hormonal therapy. I’m not sure about it but yet I (still) have faith in my doctor and trust his decisions. Im having complications with my bladder but I’m hoping it is because of the mesh sling (going back to surgery 4/27/18 for removal). Internally, I have gone through a lot and the removal of the sling I’m hoping for a new beginning of a pain free life again. I haven’t experienced the rib, back, etc pain. My diet is not good, I need to get back into shape – a healthy lifestyle. My sex life is wonderful! I finally enjoy sex! I have no pain, my nipples respond to the simplest of pleasure! I no longer have to take Zoloft because of the damn PMDD I would experience during menses. Total hysterectomy changed my life for the better. I’m happy I found this site because after reading the posts it has made me want to get back into the gym, start eating better, being kind to my body and providing it the proper nutrition, vitamins and minerals to help it function to its fullest…..When I eat sugar, bread,pasta – carbs carbs carbs! My body responds by bloating itself out- I know not to eat so much carbs. When I use a certain face soap (not saying which one) I break out in pimples as well as using a different face lotion I can get boils on my chin (thicker lotion triggers this awful crap). So I stick to the same brand or something similar in texture, consistency. I’m putting positive energy out there for me and my body to heal and become the support we need for each other. The human body is amazing! What we put in is what it puts out.
I am so very sorry that so many women have had problems with surgery. I was in so much pain for the past 4 years, trying everything from going all natural with food, trying hormone therapy….nothing worked. I’m soooo very happy with my surgery outcome. I had energy, depression and anxiety disappeared instantly! I feel amazing! 3 days after surgery and hardly any pain. My only wish was that I had done this earlier. My quality of life has increased 10 fold. I know surgery isn’t for everyone. And I contemplated doing it for a year. I’m so happy I had the surgery!
Dawn – I’m sorry you were in so much pain for 4 years. What was the cause / diagnosis? Do you have endometriosis? Unfortunately, many of the after effects of hysterectomy don’t happen during the “recovery” period but later on. I wish you the best going forward.
Dawn…the reason I had to have a hysterectomy was that I had Uterine Cancer and I didn’t have a choice…I pray that I don’t have problems that were mentioned in the video…mine was done 9 months ago…I myself didn’t have much pain either, by the fourth day or so I was fine.
Thank you for your post about having a good outcome. When did you have the surgery, because most of the bad things that happen to women are months to years later. Was yours recent? Thank you for any info you can share, I appreciate your time.
Hi Dawn, Would you mind giving an update on how you are doing now?
It’s so interesting reading this article. I had a full hysterectomy in June 2017. I started feeling changes to my body in around October. Tingling through out my whole body, back pains all the time, sore ribs, stressing, depressed and in my stomach it feels like fluttering all the time and I’ve lost about 25 pounds. Weight loss could be from my nerve. I really feel there is something wrong with me but I’ve had almost every blood test there is and my Dr says there’s nothing wrong with me all my blood works is good. My nerves are shot that i asked my dr to give me nerve pills.If this is how women are suppose to feel after a hysterectomy it’s a nightmare
Women shouldn’t have to live like this!! It’s crazy
Christine – I’m sorry you had a hysterectomy and are suffering the consequences. It truly is a nightmare. The effects were so severe and almost immediate for me yet my blood work also looked “normal” except my hormone levels quickly became depleted. I hope you can find something to help with the after effects. It’s criminal that women are not told the truth about hysterectomy and that most of them are totally unnecessary.
I had a complete abdominal hysterectomy in 2012 because of a 31cm Ovarian neoplasm in situ. It was Ovarian Cancer Stage 1C. I would never have chosen a hysterectomy if it wasn’t necessary. Not all hysterectomy procedures are avoidable and in my case it saved my life. Or did it? Surgical menopause, weight gain and retention, fatigue, scar tissue attacks, loss of desire for intimacy, hormonal imbalance, night terrors, anxiety… the list goes on. Ladies, if you aren’t facing cancer or endometriosis just don’t do it. Tubal ligation is preferable if you don’t want kids and birth control pills can stop your period. I wouldn’t wish my posthysterectomy nightmare on anyone.
Deannie – I’m sorry you had ovarian cancer and are now suffering the nightmarish after effects.
I had full hysterectomy in 2008 do to severe endometriosis .Right after body goes to surgical brutal menopause.Had 0 energy , was hard to get out of bad.Then I tried hormone therapy probably all of them on the market.One pill does not fit all .Finally I felt ok with the right hormones.But trust me nothing Compare with your own body producing hormones.So for few years I was some what ok until now osteoporosis do to hysterectomy…I know when we really sick sometimes we have no choice but to go thru with the surgery but for those who do have a choice .Please fight for your body and well being .
Izzy – I’m sorry that you too were not provided with the necessary information to make an informed decision about this incredibly destructive surgery. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully, more women will discover the truth before going into an operating room.
Does dry itchy scalp come with this also. Because this has been happening lately.
Christine – A dry itchy scalp wasn’t a problem for me but very dry skin was and still is to some degree. Although my scalp wasn’t dry, my hair was drastically affected. I lost a lot, it became dry and fine and sections turned gray all within a matter of months post-op. Our ovarian hormones affect every cell in our body our whole lives, even after menopause.
Christine, thanks for your post! I consider our struggles through surgery a type of criminal act. Criminal because we’re charged a huge price (money-wise) with little explanation on the after-math and outcome!
As a Preacher I have Faith that can move many mountains; and though my Faith has not failed (In Jesus’s Name) surgery took me for a loop. It was and presentlyis an experience within itself..
It’s heart-wrenching to see how “some” women are treated medically, not just by men, but by women as well. There should be Lawyers ready to defend the ones of us who feel cheated and mis-treated. But this is where God appears and respond, join me in seeking Him on behalf of women who have had this experience with little or no explanation – it’s worst southbound..
Evangelist – I’m sorry you too were lied to and harmed by the hysterectomy industry.
That is so true I wish you never would have happened it’s been a nightmare
I had my partial hestoretmy last June I was lied to and treated horrible after I cry all the Time server depression my surgeon didn’t even do a follow up he sent his assistant that didn’t even do my surgery didn’t even check me they told to get undressed and assistant said no need to check while I got up to go the doctor was in a room with other man talking he didn’t care about me he just wanted to put the fear of God in me which I had no fear and I wasn’t gonna do it and I was talk into buy others to do it now I regret it more than ever I’m so depressed my legs hurt my bones hurt my insides hurt they told me to go to my gynecologist I will never be the same so lady’s don’t jump into anything till you really need it I didn’t!!! Because some will regret it… God bless all who are struggling now due to this horrible lie of surgry
Lisa & Cindy – I’m sorry you too were not provided with the facts about hysterectomy. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
It is ironic that I stumbled onto this site after searching the web with variations of the question, “Can severed ligaments be repaired after hysterectomy?” About five years ago I underwent surgery for ovarian cancer, the tumor was graded as somewhere between borderline a stage 1/A. The “cure” is so devastating that I have never been able to summon up all the gratitude I am supposed to feel. Right now, I can hear the readers groan, “that stupid woman.” However, I long to reverse time and and enter the experience armed with more knowledge and less fear. The tumor was fully encapsulated and through daily anger and despair, I wonder about plan B, the removal of one ovary only. Would I live every day feeling the specter of cancer, I do not know, but I do know that the castrated and hysterectomized life is full of despair.
Full disclosure should be required, my GYN said something flip like “Do you have hair on your chinny chin chin now–well you will have a little more and talk to the surgeon.” Later, the surgeon entered the room with the announcement, “you have ten minutes to ask your questions.” When she clicked out on her cute little feminine pumps I honestly thought she would consider her “sister in femininity.”
Just as I write four a.m. letters full of despair and rage to the surgeon and GYN and never send them, I often begin early a.m. writing of something which would be titled, The Shrouded Surgeries. Perhaps the sensual, sensitive and introspective suffer the most, after all, Hystersisters out in the internet ether, tell themselves that they are better than ever. M.D.s may bank on many women not noticing. For me the surgery was the ruination of being, brain, beauty and body with incalculable deficits and symptoms. One is thrown into the disease process of rapid aging.
The loss of bodily support produces many things, including as we all know, urinary incontinence and if not full-on fecal incontinence, at least the loss of rectal sphincter tightness, may be that is all about nerve damage but I can’t imagine an M.D. saying that. I developed scoliosis.
Castration is castration and the loss of life force–being–soul–spirit is profound and the English Language does not contain a word to describe it , luckily for the medical profession, or we would all wake screaming it. Remember, opening your eyes on a new day listening for the sound of birds or rain, noticing if the sun shined and felt a welling-up, an engagement with the living world outside the room and the anticipation of engagement with that world? That died for me as my ovaries plopped in the basin. I cried in recovery at the University of Washington Medical Center and an R.N. scoffed at me with disgust and walked from the room. I believe it is mourning that many of us feel, at least many of us have noticed the lessening of excitement and emotion. I try to remember what it felt like to thrill to music and dance and dance. I drug myself to the mirror on about the second day post- surgery to assess what was left; I could not ascertain what was wrong with my eyes but I realized a couple of things, one being the loss of sparkle and life.
I’m sorry, this obviously is the outpouring I have been too weak to do till now. So back to the original question, “Does anyone, anywhere, go back in and reconnect or re-structure the severed ligaments or must we all end up looking like flat backed snowmen? It seems that the demise of our formerly pretty bodies is more piled-on torture. After the excision of organs, it feels that medicine washes its hands of us with the recommendation of the fix all elixir, effexor. After a century or two or however long, of taking out organs, the medical profession should have heard the anguish and cared enough to, at the least, tried to put us together again.
So finally and again I apologize for my wordiness but there is one more thing I wish for; I currently live in rural nowhere, some place where stoicism is a highly prized quality and I don’t make the grade; I wonder if those of us in mourning wouldn’t benefit with meetup groups?
If you have read this far, thank you. I understand that we now live in an angry world and that, with this writing I ask for it, but disdainful scoffers, I can hear you but I can not help my feelings and longing for plan B.
Carmela – You put it so eloquently… spot on! I’m 12 years post-op and my colorful world turned to a sea of gray. I stopped talking and laughing. Like you, nothing moved me any more – music, reading, waking to the birds singing, being engaged in life. I became a recluse. The rapid aging was even more reason to stay home.
My heart breaks for you and every other woman who is suffering the life shattering effects of sex organ removal! You should write your story for Hormones Matter. Just as you wrote it here would be great and it would get more visibility than your comment.
It seems there are very few ethical gynecologists and gyn oncologists. And many of them are downright cruel and flippant like yours who implied that a hairy chin would be the worst of the after effects! And only 10 minutes to talk about the effects of being de-sexed and having your anatomy destroyed!? Well of course because they want to lead you to believe that it’s a benign surgery with benign consequences! I don’t know of any woman who was provided with the necessary information to make an informed decision about hysterectomy or oophorectomy (unilateral or bilateral).
Prolapse surgery suspends the bladder (and bowel?) but I don’t think it helps the skeletal structure. And I believe that type of surgery has a high failure rate. Personally, I can’t imagine going into an operating room again. I’ve lost trust in doctors especially surgeons. There are good and ethical ones out there but…
In my opinion, you should send your letters to your doctors and rate them on doctor rating websites.
I saw a number of therapists after my surgery. Surprisingly, the youngest one who was still working on getting licensed was the most helpful. I also joined a depression support group. Meetup is one resource. Another is psychologytoday.com. The “find a therapist” drop down menu gives you four options including “find a therapist” and “find a support group.”
I know that hormones cannot restore us to our pre-surgery selves but for me it has helped a lot. It has helped with mood (depression and extreme irritability), sleep, cognition, memory, focus, feeling overheated… those are the main ones. Oftentimes, doctors will not Rx estrogen after a cancer diagnosis but it seems the fact that it was all removed and quality of life matters more than quantity should allow you to take it. Plus it has been shown to mitigate some of the increased health risks of castration.
If you want to share your story here on Hormones Matter, complete this form – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/. We need to hear more voices on this subject.
U are talking about me it’s so sad we can do nothing to expose this doctors fast to cut our life out of us! I feel your pain I pray this will get better for you … I do nothing I age fast after this hora surgery things they never tell you ….
Camela, I totally agree with you. Gyn and gyn oncologist should provide full disclosure of the effects of a hysterectomy. All I got was, “Oh, you’ll just have some hot flashes, but I think they’re very becoming. Make you glow”. Exact words. Almost 1 year later, the hot flashes are the least of my problems. I am seeing a PT for bowel, bladder, and vaginal pain. More money I’m paying out to the hospital. I’m see a neurologist for numbness and leg pain for my right leg where they removed lymph nodes. Now have early stages of lymphedema and I have to wear compression stockings. BTW, I am very active. I run, take exercise classes (Pilates, weight-lifting, kick boxing, etc). For me exercise helps me get thru some of those feelings of betrayal and anger towards the doctors I trusted. It’s hard to be grateful to those doctors when they did not reveal there were other options, such as targeted therapy to treat low grade endometrial cancer. I didn’t know about this until after the operation.
I also believe there should be a further test to detect cancer between a d&c and hysterectomy. The d&c actually got my cancer. The hysterectomy found a polyp that may have been precancer. I was told no other cancer was found, which made the hysterectomy and the ovaries removal unnecessary. I heard there is a scan that detects cancer, but it’s expensive. Really! This test would have saved me and my insurance company money as compared to the costly hysterectomy, PT sessions, and neurologist. Overall, I wouldn’t say my world is gray, just a little less colorful as I learn to battle the side effects of my hysterectomy.
Vicki – I’m sorry that you too are suffering the after effects of hysterectomy. None of us were provided with the necessary information to make an informed decision. Of course, a cancer diagnosis makes it even harder to escape hysterectomy but we all deserved to know ALL our treatment options and short and long term effects of each. I have communicated with women who had / have endometrial hyperplasia who won’t take a progestin due to possible side effects but have agreed / will agree to a hysterectomy despite other women suggesting they give the meds a shot first. Of course, it’s likely that their gynecologists are swaying them that way.
Wow ! You are so correct ! I am so angry aswell ! I’ve had endometriosis since the age of 15 ( when I gave birth to my one n only miracle baby she was born at 25 weeks 1.14oz) I’ve had 15 abdominal surgeries since that emergency c section in 2000….when I was 17 large gortex mesh 13x15cm was place do to endo Tumors causing growths ect and caused my recurs muscle to herniate into my left ovary bowel ect I was only 17 I lived in sever pain for two whole years before that surgery I was actually referred to a psychologist by my Gyno n Pcp after two years of colonoscopy s being poked prodded probed n just violated at the age of 17 I always wonder why god has done this to me? I am 34 as of a weeks ago n was SUPPOSED TO HAVE HYSTERECTOMY LEAVING MY OVARIES TOMORROW BUT I CHICKENED OUT IM SCARED OF PROLAPSES, incontinence, I already feel terrible pain and the biggest issue is WILL I LOOSE MY ORGASMS? That’s like being paralyzed WHY WOULD I HAVE A SURGERY THAT COULD PARALYZE MY SEXUAL PLEASURE? Why would a dr do that to a 34 yr old female? I’ve already got passed the fact that I will only have my beautiful 18yr old daughter “MiKayla” IDK I JUST WANTED TO VENT THAT OUT BECAUSE I DID READ UR ENTIRE MESSAGE AND I AGREE WITH YOU 100% and I AM SO AFTAID OF THE RISKS AT THIS POINT MAYBE SUFFERING IN THE PAIN IM IN ISNT AS BAD AS LOOSING ALL SEXUAL SENSATIONS IN MY BODY N ORGASMS IDK I KNOW IM JUST RAMBLING BUT I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME KIND OF SUPPORTIVE GROUPS FOR WOMEN LIKE US TO GO TO BECAUSE I FEEL THE DRS JUST WANT THE INSUANCE MONEY N THEY WILL MISS INFORM U OR JUST LEAVE PUT ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF CUZ THEY R MEN NORMALLY AND DONT CARE ABOUT THERE PATIENTS QUALITY OF LIFE ONLY THE QUANTITIES OF MONIES THEY RECEIVED FROM OUR INSURANCE COMPANIES TO TAKE OUR FEMALE PARTS N PLACE THEM IN BASINS (treated like trash)
I just read your post about not getting the surgery because of fears. I had a hysterectomy 14 months ago and it is truly the best decision I have ever made. I have endometriosis, and had three fibroids on my uterus. Because my uterus was retroverted, the fibroids were pressing on my rectum and cause chronic constipation. Sex hurt! I missed days of work due to painful periods and excessive bleeding. I was wiped out for at least 7 days every month.
Ever since my surgery, I feel like I have a new lease on life. I still have my ovaries and cervix so I do not have any of the menopause side effects and the cervix helps keep me from getting dry. Sex is now pleasurable again and life without a period is amazing!
My recovery was about a week long. After a week I went back to work, I was walking slower than normal, but I did not have any trouble or pain. I have not had weight gain and all of my clothing fits the same. I do notice my lower ab to be slightly more protruded, but considering my improved quality of life, it really is a minor thing.
I wish you luck with whatever decision you make. Be well!
I understand. I had breast cancer and a bilateral mastectomy in 2018. Due to fibroids that were not shrinking after the chemo induced menopause as expected and in fact obe was baseball sized and concerning due to the hormone based endocrine treatment that increases uterine cancer risk we decided to do a complete hysterectomy. I did nit want more cancer in ovaries (a risk for me). But nothing braced me for the skeketal pain and changes. It was bad enough to lose my breasts. Then to lose my internal feminity…. I’ve really been struggling the last year. I miss the old athletic, slim and smart quick brained me. All these beds and the skeletal changes no one fully discussed or explained…. I’ve spent two years at chiropractors, doctors, spinal clinics… they argh me to a pain clinic. First thing they do is drug test and treat you like a pain pill addict. I don’t even take alleve or Motrin or Tylenol much… much less any other pain pills. I can’t take them, even post op I could only tolerate them one day. But what I’m getting at, is we are told “you’re fine” after medical tests, but never sent for the right kind of follow up care. Counseling, yoga, body mechanics help but do NOT tell me that “at your age you likely just have some oateoarthritis…everyone does by your age”. (I’m 59). Yes it’s common to feel some aging but do NOT downplay how extreme and deep the changes and pain is, his my cognitive quickness has been impacted and that it’s normal to feel 85 at 59. Egads if the medical community could just treat women experiencing this with respect, compassion and not downplay it as hysteria or “just a mental health issue”. It’s real. I don’t ask for excuses or miracles (though I’d gladly accept one) but I would like to be validated just like Carmela and so many others and wish we’d been clearly informed and forwarned instead of just forwarded to be surgically changed to this degree forever.
Good information but don’t let it scare you if a hysterectomy is necessary. There are good reasons for them. Tumors can become cancer and I’d rather be alive and have some body changes. Just being straightforward.
Laura – Yes, some hysterectomies are necessary but about 90% of them are not. Unfortunately, many gynecologists use cancer scare tactics and other unethical tactics to railroad women into hysterectomies. Fibroids are benign growths. According to Dr. William Parker (author of “A Gynecologist’s Second Opinion”), fibroids do not become cancerous. There are, however, cancers of the uterine muscle called sarcomas, such as leiomyosarcoma. Dr. Parker explains it here – http://www.fibroidsecondopinion.com/fibroids-and-cancer/.
Oophorectomy (ovary removal) surgeries are rarely necessary either. A woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1.3%. There are ~22,000 new ovarian cancer cases every year in the U.S. yet there are ~500,000 oophorectomies, many of which involve removal of both ovaries for no reason or benign conditions such as ovarian cysts which are common and rarely necessitate removal of the ovary and oftentimes no surgery at all. These should be excised from the ovary (cystectomy) allowing women to keep their ovary(ies) and their many lifelong health promoting / endocrine functions.
2 months ago I made the startling discovery of my uterus dropping through my vagina. ! My Gynae gave me a pessary to wear as an alternative to a hysterectomy. It was the most uncomfortable painful experience. I walked with for 3 weeks, trying to teach in front of the class with high school students, being aware of the lower backpain, very sore vagina and the darn uterus falling trough the pessary. If I dare to bend or have a bowel movement the pessary would slip to the front. Then I could hardly walk!.
I discovered a very knowledgeable, experienced uro-gyneacologist, hoping that he could just lift my uterus. However he suggested full hysterectomy, leaving my one ovary (other one is gone already). He discovered during the operation that my bladder and rectum was also prolapsed . He did reconstructive surgery using , sacropolpexy etc. Yes, that was not my plan for my life to have a hysterectomy, but it happened. It is now 8 weeks after the operation and I walk again like a normal person in the malls and in my neighbourhood, without this big lump hanging between my legs.
I did have quite severe backpain after the operation but the chiropractor got my alignment back again and it is my plan to go to Pilatus classes. Also ladies, please do yourself a favour and read: Feeling young and sexy with bio-identical hormones by Dr Jonothan Wright. It is an eye opener! There are doctors that follow this route and I will certainly not go any other way when it comes to hormone replacement!
In the last 4 months I also experienced depression, severe anxiety, heart palputations, severe tiredness etc. However those issues were because of magnesium , iron and Vitamin D deficiency. Luckily I followed my own head on these issues and did not take the anti-depressants some doctors wanted to give me.I guess there is a time and place for everything. Just educate yourself and make the best decision you can.
Anna – I’m sorry the pessary didn’t work out. There are so many different types and it seems there are many gynecologists who do not have the experience to fit them properly. Hysterectomy is what they are taught and then practice during Graduate Medical Education (at least here in the U.S.). When surgery is done for prolapse, they suspend the bladder so I don’t understand why they so often remove the uterus versus suspending it too.
I had a partial hysterectomy due to fibroids and adenomyosis and a failed ablation. If I could turn back the clock would not have had either surgery. The failed ablation made me sicker than the heavy bleeding which would have passed. Docs push ablation these days, and I fell for it. My body has changed, some weight gain, my joints hurt, my hips hurt, my stomach muscles are shot. I cry when I look in the mirror. My doc said welcome to the 50s club when I tried to explain my symptoms after this procedure. For cancer, surgery is the right choice but for other issues, conservative measures may be the better option.
JR – I’m sorry that you too became a victim of money driven medicine that seems to be the worst in gynecology. Your gyn’s “welcome to the 50s club” comment was evil.
I agree with you Laura….I had Uterine Cancer and that is why I had surgery….and so far I have had not any problems except peeing more…
Due to heavy painful periods I had novasure ablation done and had my tubes tied at the same time. The ablation didn’t seem effective for me and a while later I started developing infections in my uterus due to the blood not draining properly. In hindsight, I believe that the ablation caused scar tissue which led to the blood not draining. After the second bad infection which required a D & C it became obvious that this would be a recurring issue and after obtaining a second opinion I agreed to the hysterectomy. The surgeon decided during surgery to take both ovaries as they apparently didn’t look good.
On one hand I am glad go to have done this survey as it most likely has prevented serious further infections, however I agree that I am now faced with another set of problems, such as being comfortable with doing HRT (patch), zero libido, bladder problems etc. obviously I can’t say whether I would have experienced those issues would I have gone through menopause naturally but at times I felt so crappy and had no clue what was linked to the whole hyster thing and what was normal part of aging. It wasn’t until I went to a female endocrinologist to check hormone balances and get help to determine HRT that someone explained to me what a shock it is for your body and your entire system to be catapulted into menopause overnight. I cried when she said that as until then I thought I just wasn’t tough enough etc. There is no general answer whether a hysterectomy is right for someone or not and everyone faces a different set of problems afterwards (some more some less) but my biggest advice would be to deal with female doctors regarding this matter. I am sorry but men have no clue when it comes to female hormones and the effect they have on our overall wellbeing.
Alex, I’m sorry your ablation led to having a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, although ablation is sold as a hysterectomy alternative, it’s more apt to lead to hysterectomy when done in younger women due to the damage it causes. A doctor at a renowned teaching hospital on the east coast said that ablation should not be done on women under age 50. Here’s my article about the harms of ablation – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/endometrial-ablation-hysterectomy-alternative-or-trap/.
It’s a shame that your gynecologist also removed your ovaries which has been shown by numerous studies to increase women’s chances for all kinds of health problems. What did he mean by your ovaries “didn’t look good?” As we go into perimenopause and menopause, the outer portion of the ovaries shrivels up while the inner part goes to work to produce hormones our whole lives to keep us healthy. This is one of many important facts gynecologists fail to tell women before they “consent” to hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy. Any procedure that alters the functions of the reproductive organs can have serious long-term effects on the endocrine system. And hysterectomy causes additional harm due to the anatomical changes to pelvic organs and the skeletal structure. Every women deserves to know these after effects so she can make an informed decision especially since very few of these surgeries are necessary.
Sadly some women have no clue either – my female GP told me that after menopause we don’t need “all that any more, it just causes problems”.
Lydia – Have you enlightened your GP on the lifelong functions of the uterus, ovaries, tubes? It’s mind boggling to me that medical schools do not cover the lifelong functions of the female organs. Minimally, you would think every physician would know that the ovaries are endocrine glands and work in concert with the other endocrine glands since it’s an endocrine “system.” And alteration or removal of any part of a system can cripple the whole system. Every physician should be taught about the functions of all the body’s organs. I think part of the problem is that we call women’s sex organs the reproductive system but we don’t say that about men’s sex organs.
I have to think that medical schools purposely exclude the lifelong functions of the female organs from their curricula. Look how much money is at stake if they divulge the truth, not only from the standpoint of lost revenue from gynecologic procedures but also medical malpractice. The medical field has known about the harms of ovary removal since as far back as 1912! And there’s quite a bit of literature on the adverse effects of hysterectomy too.
i had my hysterectomy may 2008 due to uterine fibroids that were all thru my body and attached to all my other organs,,, a 90 minute surgery turned into a 5 hour surgery due to the scar tissue caused by the fibroids attaching to my organs…. i also had one one that rubbed a hole in my bladder thus my bladder is half its size due to stitches that were required… the hysterectomy took care of all the fibroids and i no longer had to deal with the cervical cancer i had been dealing with since 1984. i had wanted more children but that choice was now taken from me…. but since then i have had some of the problems mentioned…besides the weight gain and difficulty losing the weight i feel as if there is constant pressure on my bladder and since it is half the size it is supposed to be– i am constantly going to the bathroom…..even after i use the bathroom i feel pressure and pain in my lower abdomen… i go from constipation to diarrhea all the time and yes i have had all the tests to make sure everything is working properly but my pains continue… Sex!!! my husband and i haven’t been intimate since 2008…. i have no desire whatso ever …. tired all the time and still have hot flashes and there is the depression,,,all drs want to do is prescribe anti=depressants for menopause and hormone treatments are too expensive… i wish there had been an alternative to the hysterectomy… i feel as if all my organs are out of place and not functioning as they should.
I Had been going to a cliinic since i had no insurance and for years i kept telling them something was wrong after i had a uterine scraping once a pap smear came back abnormal but i was always told i was fine,,,once a was able to get insurance– i went to a gyn and thats wen the fibroids were found and some were the size of large grapefruits….had the clinic cared enough to check years earlier– the fibroid would have been found when they were small and not so many and i would possibly still have my female organs today….
My advice— have a good doctor who cares and see if there are other choices than a hysterectomy
Regina – I’m sorry your concerns were dismissed resulting in extensive surgery and organ damage along with the after effects of the loss of your organs. I understand the bladder pain to some degree. My whole abdomen is in pain all morning if my bladder is overly full and my bowel needs emptying, even after emptying both. I’ve found that not drinking anything (or very little) 3 hours before bed helps. But my situation is different from yours.
While it’s true that some hormone treatments are expensive, the estradiol pill (generic Estrace) is only $4 for a 30 day supply / $10 for a 3-month supply. Although they’re intended to take orally, I use them vaginally to bypass the first pass through the liver. They give me the estrogen I need to function fairly normally including sleep, mood, cognition and memory (as well as the hot flashes). The patch is much more expensive and did not work well for me.
Regina Kirby, I also had my hysterectomy in 2008 for uterine fibroids in, out, and within the walls of my uterus. I had put off considering any intervention for over 5 years, living with a non-stop menstrual cycle (heavy bleeding almost the entire month) and anemia.
I did my major research at the time and learned of some options that MIGHT have help or worked I thought, unfortunately most were still considered experimental and my doctor said with my conditions I was not a candidate anyway. I saved my cervix but was coerced to remove my otherwise healthy ovaries for fear of cancer being so hard to detect (at the time that was true).
Your story and the article read pretty much like my post hysterectomy story with the addition of 5 years of extreme anxiety partially due to loss of employment but primarily due to lack of hormones. I could not get a prescription since my timing was caught up in the time when the Women’s something study using Premarin estrogen was stopped due to causing to may women in the study to have cancer and the economy crisis. Pharmaceuticals- avoid. When will the medical world wake to NATURAL plant based knowledge.
Anyway All I really want to say to you and ALL WOMEN here, we do the best we can at the time, and despite the results most of our doctors have also been doing what they believe, at the time, to do the best for their patients.. When I think of all this I have to remind myself how extreme my bleeding was and how miserable it made me then. While now I believe I MIGHT have been able to reduce some or most of the fibroids with natural solutions (nattokinase and Serrapeptase a likely choice) but if that failed I still would opt for the surgery but keep the ovaries. As for sex, lift your spirits toward your partner, I did not have a husband then but do now.. true my orgasms are only clitoral but when I get out of my own way my mind can still make it all a wonderful experience and enjoy the love. Seek knowledge from doctors who have studied and are also naturopaths.
My advise… seek out several types of doctors in consultation for knowledge and do your own serious job of self research so you will be loaded with knowledge that your decision was yours.
Go to PubMed.gov and search for specific studies that relate to your situation, read more on the web, there may be options be sure you know them but if you decide to go forward do not look back, go forward knowing you did and are doing the best for yourself. For recovery learn about everything natural.. diet changes, plants and food for hormones, meditation for relaxation. We will still have post symptoms but an empowered Woman can be grateful for a life free of the reason they chose the surgery.
Sadly, I came looking for something reassuring, but it looks like that’s not going to be the case. For starters, a year ago the day after Thanksgiving I had a complete abdominal hysterectomy due to endometrial adenocarcinoma stage II. The hysterectomy saved my life and while I’m enormously grateful for the outcome, I am now experiencing some of the problems you have described, specifically the horrible back/leg sciatica pain that I am having. It interferes with my job, driving, etc. I have wondered if an inversion table might help. There are bladder and intestinal quirks as well. In spite of the issues I am dealing with post op, I remember the day I got that call from gyno telling me what the biopsy revealed and it’s always a wake up call when I feel like having a pity party. I guess after reading the comments on here my biggest fear now is cardiovascular issues which I’m just now having to address. I guess therein lies the proverbial rock/hard place scenario. Hysterectomy for cancer may have saved my life, but my heart has to suffer for it.
Marie, I’m sorry that you had to have a hysterectomy for cancer. It sounds like you had some nerve damage too since you’re dealing with back/leg sciatica pain. I don’t know if an inversion table would help or not. Some physical therapy or certain exercises may help. Acupuncture is also a possibility. Best of luck in getting this treated and moving forward!
I am on injections to put me into the menopause chemically before the docs decide to do a hysterectomy. I have been on them for 3 months and am due to see the specialists in 2 weeks. I have my left fallopian tube at 8cm wide and full of fluid, my right ovary was beyond painful each month and I have just had a cyst taken out of my womb after a year of bleeding. I am having no pain now my hormones have been ‘switched off’. The hot sweats and night sweats are terrible, but nothing compared to the pain. I am also very worried about my tube exploding/splitting. Now I have read this and am totally confused. Help me as until tonight I was sure that I wanted a full hysterectomy. If I do Have it I won’t be offered hormone replacement. I am 48 years old. What other choices are there?
Michelle – I have the same question as Chandler. Are you on Lupron? Being that you are 48, menopause is probably not that far off at which time you should get relief from the endo pain since estrogen levels fall after menopause. Removal of ovaries or ovarian failure that commonly happens after hysterectomy increases our risk for all kinds of health problems. And as discussed in this article, the uterus has a number of anatomical functions.
I had a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy nearly 5 months ago in May of 2017 –
it was totally necessary because I had a large complex cyst on my right ovary,
a cyst on the left ovary, and 2 fibroids in my uterus.
EVERYTHING was taken out, leaving only my vagina –
and after I healed I was thankful for my life.
Suck it up ladies, sometimes these things are a MUST,
no way around it, your life is most important!
Yes, I exercise every single day to keep healthy –
Yes, I notice changes but I exercise more to keep
the body in place –
Yes, I get some aches and pains, but I deal with them
and get on with LIFE.
Jersey – It’s unfortunate that you too lost your vital organs for benign growths. That should NOT be happening. In other specialties, they remove the growths not the organs. So please don’t tell women they should “suck it up.” We should NOT accept this harmful treatment that’s rampant in Gynecology.
I’m curious what prompted you to go in search of articles on this subject. And since surgery has made you thankful for your life, did your doctor say your life was in jeopardy if your organs weren’t removed?
Actually, it was totally necessary as I had a precancerous condition going on,
and while I don’t think hysterectomies are always the answer, many of us
have this forced on us.
When you have a large ‘complex’ cyst growing on an ovary, that’s a dangerous
situation. And as I understand it, fibroids grow back, sometimes even larger
than they were.
No, I was not thrilled to have my organs removed – but the surgeon told my
husband and myself that he ‘saved my life’ – and for that I am eternally grateful.
My pathology report showed ‘no sign of malignancy’, so I was very lucky.
You may think that this means that my organs should NOT have been removed,
but believe me, I was in pain and knew something was wrong. Went for tests &
the doctor told me that within 10 days, this cyst had ballooned and was in danger
of bursting – and we all know that is very serious.
Every medical situation is a little bit different, some of us need total hysterectomies
to help avoid future problems.
I have had a few ‘aches and pains’ and a few hot flashes during the summer, and
searched to see if others have had similar issues. Generally, I feel fine and exercise
ALOT to keep the stomach and pelvic area as healthy as possible.
Chin up Ladies – question (as I did) removal of ANYTHING, and make sure you get
a trusted surgeon!
Yes, unfortunately many of us do have this “forced on us” not because it’s necessary but because they get away with telling us it’s necessary. Your story is eerily similar to mine as you’ll find is the case for many women. They are very good at marketing hysterectomy as well as oophorectomy which is why it’s so prevalent (45% of women end up having a hysterectomy!) when a woman’s lifetime risk of all gynecologic cancer is less than 3%.
Fibroids do not require a hysterectomy. Nor do benign ovarian cysts, complex or not. But that’s only if you have an ethical surgeon – one who doesn’t remove organs for benign conditions that can be treated (or watched / monitored for possible future treatment). Many precancerous conditions (uterine and cervical) are curable without organ removal.
The ovaries are the equivalent of a man’s testicles. They do not remove testicles for benign cysts. Numerous studies have shown that the ovaries are essential for good health. And they produce these health promoting hormones a woman’s whole life; they do not shut down at menopause so “surgical menopause” is a very misleading term. The uterus is also essential our whole lives. I hate to say it but five months is still early post-op to experience the full force of the effects. Hopefully, you will be one of those whose after effects are not as severe.
Your attitude is the best. Being thankful is everything
I too had TAH/OBO for failed ablation and suspect growths on ovaries. The growths ended up being a complex cyst on one ovary (which you don’t mess with at 51 with a familial cancer genetics) and a parasitic fibroid causing horrid pain on other ovary.
Did I want this? Heck no! I fought it for two years but sometimes it is what it is and you do what you have to, to live!
I needed to read that.
You have your surgery less than a year ago? Suck it up ladies? Really? I had my hysterectomy 10 years ago. I am now 45 years old and have to have a hip replacement. I live in constant pain. I am not the same person I was before. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful to be alive, but my quality of like at 45 is horrible. Yes I get up every morning, go to work and do things that woman have to due. But I sleep maybe 3 hours a night from the constant pain in my bones from arthritis. So good luck to you. And remember when you cross our bridge one day….. suck it up!
JD – I’m sorry you’re suffering with constant pain since your hysterectomy and now need a hip replacement. I recall a woman needing one around your age after developing avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis). It’s no wonder the hip bone dies since our whole skeleton collapses hence impairing blood flow. It’s criminal that gynecologists damage so many women. I wish you the best with surgery and the years ahead.
I cannot tell you how UPSET I am for having a hysterectomy 7 years ago. I had my Uterus and Cervix removed, but kept my ovaries. I so wish this article had been available back in 2010, as it would have saved me from making this life altering mistake!!! Back in 2008 on New Years Day I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I started experiencing very debilitating pain during my periods roughly two years later. I suspected I had fibroids or something going on, and after going on some Crohn’s forums, there were woman who said that having a hysterectomy was a good option for fixing the painful periods which was aggravating their Crohn’s every month. So there I went into see a gynacologist to request this surgery. He had suggested getting a Laparoscopy, but I had it in my head that a hysterectomy would solve all my problems, so I declined that option (BIG MISTAKE). The ONLY risks/side affects mentioned by this doctor was that there may be a chance of damaging my bowels or other surrounding organs during the surgery. He NEVER mentioned that I would lose almost an entire inch in height, that my rib cage would drop, and that I would experience debilitating back and neck pain. I can literally feel that my spine is compressed! My once very attractive shape is now GONE!!! I gained 20-25 pounds that I cannot lose, and I used to be very petite and have a great metabolism before this surgery. That is GONE! My upper arms have gotten bigger, and so have my legs because of this surgery. I no longer have a waist, and am many inches wider in my jeans because of this. I am SO depressed at how my body looks that I hate even looking in the mirror. I also get shooting pains in my ribs, and sometimes in my vaginal area that feels like a quick sharp lightening strike. The other strange thing that I am experiencing is sometimes it feels as if my chest has been opened up, and someone has poured very cold rubbing alcohol into my chest, it hurts and stings at the same time. It is a very strange sensation….just wondering if you can tell me if you have heard of this from any other women, and what could be causing this? Is this another side affect of this horrid surgery?
Crystal – I’m so sorry you, like just about every other woman, was not told about the many after effects of hysterectomy. The changes to my figure / physique are just as devastating as the rapid aging I’ve experienced from the unwarranted removal of my ovaries. I abhor the poochy belly and flat butt! In my opinion, this is the best kept secret of hysterectomy. I also have occasional severe chest pain but for me it occurs hours after doing push-ups. I never had this problem prior to hysterectomy. I was doing push-ups in the evening and I’d wake with severe crushing chest pain but it would stop if I lay still. In my case, I think it’s costochondritis. I read that this condition affects women more than men (70% vs 30%) so it would make sense that hysterectomy could be a risk factor. And it’s no wonder since hysterectomy causes the rib cage to sit on the hip bones (no more buffer between the two).
WS, thank you so much for your reply and giving me some information on what you think is causing these strange chest pain episodes I am experiencing. I am so sorry to hear of the chest pain that you are experiencing as well. No doubt, that this is a result of the butcher surgery they call hysterectomies. I can also relate to the flat butt effect as well. This surgery completely alters and changes a persons figure! I am also experiencing extreme fatigue, depression, and insomnia because of this wretched hysterectomy. I am also wondering if you think that the younger a woman has this done, the worse it will be for her??? I was only 33 when I had my uterus and cervix removed.
Crystal – Unfortunately, since some of the problems caused by hysterectomy can be progressive, the younger a woman is at the time of surgery the greater the risk for / severity of these problems down the road. The fatigue, depression, and insomnia you’re experiencing may be due, at least in part, from impaired ovarian function in which case some hormone therapy may help.
WS – Can you please tell me which Hormone Therapy works the best??? I am very afraid of side affects. Should I go through a Natural Path Doctor? BTW – I was told after the fact that I had Uterus fibroids after my uterus had been removed. I’m so upset, I firmly believe looking back that I could have had my fibroids removed without having this surgery (hysterectomy) and I wouldn’t be dealing with all these problems.
Crystal – Unfortunately, hormone therapy (HT) is not one-size-fits-all so you have to pick a delivery route that you think would work for your lifestyle as well as at a cost that you can afford and try one of them. There are pills, patches, gels and vaginal rings. I was started on a patch after surgery and did not do well on it. My estradiol blood level was considered “therapeutic” but I had many symptoms of estrogen deficiency. I did not try a different brand of patch. Some women have found they do not do well with one brand but fine with another. I’ve been on the generic Estrace (estradiol) pill which is a $4 prescription and it works well for me. I insert mine vaginally versus taking it orally and it works well for me. I have a high deductible now and patches and gels would be expensive. I know the gels run about $100 per month, not sure how much patches would cost me but probably about the same as gels.
I’m sorry Crystal. I didn’t answer all your questions in my previous reply. You don’t need a naturopathic doctor. You can start with your primary care doctor if you have one. It’s a shame that you were not told about the fibroids beforehand and told about all your treatment options for that. There are some radiology treatments as well as myomectomy that removes just the fibroids. Unfortunately, many of us were misled about our need for organ removal.
WS – Thank you so much for your reply on the Hormone Therapy. Sorry for my late response, and thank you again for taking the time to help me with this. I applaud you greatly for your research and for your work. I will take the knowledge that you have given me, and continue to warn woman about the horrific after affects of this horrible, mutilating surgery known as “hysterectomy”. God bless you WS!!!
I’m 3o this year I had an emergency hysto of new year’s Eve 3 years ago. Life was great the dust year, partially because I want Flint to the ER in an ambulance every month I want in pain from retiring cyst and I wasn’t receiving blood transfusions however I’m 5,9 I used to run 3xsa week was not athletically for but I was in good health other wise, wished 160 had a nice figure the first year I gained 30lbs, I can’t get to go away, I have severe bowel issues, batteries infections with horrible symptoms I wish not to repeat, my neck is in constant agony my back and hip hurt non stop my sciatica will hit at any given time knocking me if my feet I have bat wing arms that came from no where and now I am scared to go to the ER because the past two weeks I have been very ill and in person and I’m afraid I’ve got a prolapse of some sort. And another infection with horrid side effects.I don’t have insurance I can’t see my OB do you have any idea what’s it’s like in the ER for this type of things. I married seen is great no complaints I do have one ovarie. I agree it saved me from dinner terrible things but have me an entire list of other complications, I’m becoming extremely depressed I’m Moody and the person I used to be is Lost. Please give me some pain hopes I’m having a hard enough time going into my forties and watching my children get older knowing that’s all I will have
Michelle – I’m so sorry for the horrific after effects you’ve been suffering. Is there some sort of walk-in clinic (women’s health or otherwise) that you could go to? Even though you still have an ovary, it may very well be producing little to no hormones as that commonly happens. If that is the case (as shown by some blood work) then taking estrogen may reduce some of your menopausal type symptoms. I hope you can get the help you need!
Is there any way to combat the skeletal/structural loss? Yoga? Pilates etc?
Jessica, You can’t fight gravity but keeping your core strong may help mitigate back and hip discomfort / pain.
I’m sorry that WS is very unhappy with her appearance post-hysterectomy. But, my experience is quite different. After carrying large twins to term and having a partial hysterectomy to remove a painful tumor, I have to say that I am thrilled to be alive and healthy to raise my babies. Is my tummy poochy, yes. So, I do muscular-skeletal work to keep my body strong. Aging is hard in a youth-obsessed culture. I’m alive because of important medical interventions. So, I think it’s fine to write about alternatives and personal experience. But the “unattractive figure” comment in this article seems to collude with patriarchal notions of what women’s bodies “should” look like. Friends, bodies change with age — some more than others, some because of medical issues, some because of more or less exercise or nutritional choices. But I’ll tell you that having the tumor and partial hysterectomy has allowed me to have bowel movements without excruciating pain — which makes me a more patient mom, a happier person, and a person without a tumor growing in my belly. I’m happy to have had my surgery and don’t care to be body-shamed by someone who thinks my middle-aged figure is unattractive.
JT – The figure changes caused by hysterectomy are not normal age related changes. They are the result of severing the pelvis’ support structures. And not only does hysterectomy destroy our figures, it causes degeneration of the spine and hips in the long-term. Hysterectomy is rarely necessary. Many are done for benign fibroid tumors (the reason for yours?) for which there are other treatments that preserve the uterus and its lifelong anatomical, skeletal, sexual and hormonal functions. I’m sorry that you too have had this surgery that typically trades one set of problems for another.
Thank You!! ?
I did not notice anywhere in this article “Body shaming” but I do hear in your comment shaming a person who is speaking of their personal loss and feelings. Nothing more I need to say because your comment was answered with respect and empathy for you..Maybe in the future you can contribute with empathy rather than what sounds like out right anger. Maybe deep down you are suffering, and actually are not happy with your post surgery appearance.. if that is the case I can totally understand your anger, but please don’t pick on people who are suffering themselves, telling them that their issue is their own ego as it comes across here.
I had a total hysterectomy in 2019…I regret it…I have suffered from insomnia since this happened..I use to be very active..no body fat…exercised three times or more a week at a gym..5’5” 125 lbs…felt great..then the hysterectomy..I had prolapse due to 2 births..a family history of cancer..the doctor gave me a total hysterectomy..,I know have lost all interest in exercising…my belly is big..I can’t sleep..I have no energy..I know aging will also do this to you..but having a hysterectomy brings it on faster..I miss my old self..if nothing else at least make the doctor leave your ovaries..so you can have the right hormones to sleep etc..I just feel old now..I am 65..I feel 90
Well said RH! For some the proceedure is life saving… and perhaps having a strong fit body prior to surgery helps a lot also…
Em, Only about 10% of these surgeries are necessary. Hysterectomy alters the figure regardless of how strong and fit one is.
Thank you for this article. I’m scheduled for a total hysterectomy come Sept 22, 2017. I have a 9.6cm chocolate cyst on my right and only ovary (had left one taken out in yr 2000), endometriosis, adenomyosis, a small fibroid, and my fallopian tube is filled with water. I’ve been having pelvic pains, bleeding/spotting in between periods, bloating, constipation, urgency to urinate often, heavy menstruation among others. I’m 47, haven’t had any child. What I’m concerned about if I don’t get the hysterectomy is I might develop ovarian or endometrial or uterine cancer in the long run because of the endometriosis and adenomyosis. Genetically, there is cancer in the family. My mom passed away due to breast cancer. In my last check up, I have a thick endometrium. But having read all of the information you have given in this article, and the comments of those who have had hysterectomy, I am now having second thoughts on going through with the surgery because of the lifetime ill-effects of it. I would like to have your thoughts however on my situation. Would you suggest or advice me to have the surgery based on the situation of my reproductive system and genetics, or should I just bear with the pains until I naturally go into menopause? I don’t even know if menopause can shrink the cyst and make the pains go away.
YVR, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I cannot advise you on whether or not to proceed with a hysterectomy and removal of your remaining ovary. But I can give you my thoughts on your situation.
Removal of ovaries has been proven via many studies to be associated with many increased health risks and earlier mortality. A 2016 Mayo Clinic study showed it’s associated with 18 chronic conditions. Hysterectomy with preservation of one or both ovaries can have similar consequences as ovarian function is oftentimes impaired after the uterus is removed. And per this article as well as my others, hysterectomy has other serious long-term effects.
Breast cancer is common and most women who get it do not have a genetic predisposition. Ovarian cancer is MUCH MORE rare with the average woman’s lifetime risk being less than 2% (1.3% per SEER stats). If you have a family history of ovarian cancer, then you may want to get tested to see if you have the gene before allowing your ovary to be removed. Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid surgery due to the size of the chocolate cyst (endometrioma). The problem is that puts you at risk for losing your ovary unless you have a surgeon with good cystectomy (cyst removal) skills and make explicit instructions on your surgical consent form that the ovary cannot be removed if the frozen section is benign. You may be more apt to get “restorative” treatment from a fertility specialist. This site talks about draining endometriomas versus removing them since cyst removal can damage the ovary – https://www.drmalpani.com/knowledge-center/articles/chocolate-cyst/. This can impair the lifelong endocrine functions of the ovary as well as fertility.
Have you been officially diagnosed with endometriosis via exploratory surgery and biopsy? I’m not aware of an increased risk of endometrial cancer with endometriosis or adenomyosis. There is an increased risk of ovarian cancer; however, I’ve read that risk is still very low since ovarian cancer is rare.
Being that you are 47, menopause is probably not far off. The irregular cycles may be, at least in part, an indication that you are in perimenopause. But adenomyosis and possibly the “small fibroid” may be contributing. A thick endometrium is common during perimenopause since we produce less progesterone to shed the lining which is also why periods become irregular. Also, fibroids, adeno, polyps, can make the lining appear thicker than it is on imaging. A thick lining is not a reason to have a hysterectomy. If the lining continues to build and stays thick for an extended period of time then a biopsy would be the next step. The best time to have a u/s to check the lining is a day or two after your period ends when it should be thinnest.
The problem with hysterectomy is that you will trade one set of problems that are temporary with a whole new set that are permanent.
I hope this helps!
Thank you WS for your reply. Thank you for your thoughts, facts and suggestions you have given. I have been officially diagnosed with endometriosis via exploratory surgery in yr 2000 when my left ovary was removed. We don’t have any ovarian cancer history in my family, thanks God. And by the way, my menses have been regular so far, so that makes me think I might not be in peri-menopause yet. Yes, the size of my chocolate cyst is what concerns me. And thanks for the website you gave. But it said there, “The major bugbear with chocolate cysts is that they tend to recur. This is why doctors will often combine medical suppression with surgical treatment. However, all these are temporizing measures, which help to buy the patient time – we really do not have any way of curing this enigmatic disease !” So it looks like I’m not winning in this situation. So now i’m thinking, if they will really have to take out my remaining ovary, do you think it be wise to have them retain my uterus (with endo, adeno and fibroids)? By the way, this is the site where it says there is an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer from endometriosis due to constant bleeding and inflammation:
YVR, you are in a very difficult situation with no easy answers. Do as much research as possible, ask as many questions from as many people as you can before making the decision. Realize too, that the information on this site is not intended to replace medical decision making. We can only provide the information that we have. For reference, regarding the suppression drugs, that typically means lupron and other drugs like it. We have number of articles on the side effects associated with that drug. Read up on it as well before making your decision.
Thank you, Chandler! I appreciate your reply and suggestions. I will do that- do more research as much as possible. I will also read more articles in this site. I know I’m in a very difficult situation right now, and I just have to trust the Lord in all these, whatever course I will decide to take. Thank you again for the infos you have given in this site. It is very helpful as doctors don’t really provide all of these infos to their patients.
You can always reschedule!!! don’t let them push you!!!!!!
Look up “fibroids a second opinion” website, there is other info on it regarding ovaries etc and Dr. Bill Parker (Santa Monica), whose website it is, has saved many many women from hysterectomies that they were told were absolutely the only option… he is considered an absolute myomectomy and laparoscopy expert, trains others worldwide and women come to him from around the country when all of their other doctors recommend hysterectomies and look at them like they’re crazy for suggesting anything else. If anyone can tell you what your other options are, or could recommend you a Dr closer to you who understands the importance of uterine preservation when at all pissible it is him.
I’ve never read anything about women who get a hysterectomy have a chance of getting breast cancer also. I’ve read that women taking estrogen can lead to breast cancer. Which is correct??
Christine – I’ve never heard of an association between hysterectomy and breast cancer. Studies have shown that taking estrogen alone (without a progestin) does not increase risk of breast cancer. Hysterectomy has been shown to increase risk of thyroid and renal cell (kidney) cancer. Oophorectomy (ovary removal / castration) has been shown to increase risk of lung cancer.
YVR, are you still scheduled for your hysterectomy? Based on your issues, there are other things that can be done. They can go in and remove the fibroid and endometreosis and they can do endometrial ablation in the uterus so that you will either have light periods or eventually no periods at all. I had a lot of the same issues and they did offer me options. I wish I had done that instead of the hysterectomy. Endo doesn’t lead to cancer, I would not worry. As far as your mom having breast cancer, well that is something you can stay on top of but does not pertain to the other surgery you are scheduled for. I hope this helps.
I know this is comment is to an older post, but endo can lead to clear cell carcinoma a type of aggressive and chemo resistant ovarian cancer that I’m currently undergoing treatment for. Not all endo will be cancerous but all clear cell carcinoma cases are seen in women who have endo. Thank you and God bless you all – you strong, beautiful goddesses!
Kamsworld, I’m sorry you’re fighting ovarian cancer. I pray that you can beat it!
I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy on June 2nd. So far it seems like I take one step forward, two steps back. Going into my 10-week post op, I find myself regretting my decision to go thru with this surgery. While I was having pain before and lots of bleeding, it’s nothing compared to the agony I’m now in. I can’t touch my stomach, it’s too sore, too sensitive. Feels like a huge bruise. I can stand for about 10 min but then if feels like back labor. I have a dr appt today with my GP since my surgeon doesn’t call me back. I’m so tired, bloated… tried going back to work. I went for two days but had to quit since I couldn’t do it. I’m still paying for the two days I thought I was feeling up to working. I appreciate your article.
Jayme, You should not be in this much pain 10 weeks after a hysterectomy. Something isn’t right. How awful and disturbing that your surgeon is ignoring your calls. It’s not that unusual though. I’ve connected with a number of women whose surgeons (oftentimes their long-time gyns) abandoned them after surgery. I guess they figure they have no use for us any more. 🙁 That was my experience with my gyn of 20 years.
What did your GP say?
Jayme, how are you doing? Has the pain resolved?
While I find your post interesting, at first informative, I can agree with another commenter that it’s almost fear-mongering. I just had my partial lap-hyst in mid-May and have had a few setbacks and have been waiting to feel my “normal” self and against my doctors and friends advice find myself searching the internet for comfort and came across your post and now fear, I will NEVER know what that will feel like. At just 38, I feel empty, emotionally and physically. My pelvic pressure and bloating is constant and a sadness has sunken in.
But, I KNOW, this will pass. This will not be worse than the constant heavy bleeding and rupturing of ovarian cysts that I was experiencing for months before my surgery. I had adenomyosis along with cysts that where rupturing almost as fast as they where being produced. SO no, I don’t think that this pelvic pressure and swelly belly compares. For some long suffering women perhaps this may have been our only choice, and it would be nice to know what MAY happen to our bodies without being scared that we may have innocently caused ourselves this misery. Support not Fear.
Kat, I’m sorry you consider my article fear-mongering. It’s a shame you had such awful gyn problems that put you in this crappy position. I totally understand feeling emotionally and physically empty. I hope you can get past it and any other problems that crop up. Unfortunately, educating women about the lifelong functions of the “reproductive” organs can be very upsetting for women who’ve already had surgery. We deserved this information from our doctors as part of the consent process. But that rarely happens… too much money at stake.
I also had adenomyosis and fibroids, pain and heavy bleeding. I had ablation without success and next a partial hysterectomy. I cry every time I look in the mirror, my midsection is so wide and I have always had a nice shape. I have gained about 6 pounds, but it looks like 60 when I look in the mirror. Things do not fit anymore and I have horrible joint pain and am developing osteoarthritis everywhere. My hips bones hurt, my back bone hurts, I have fatigue and depression. I am so regretful about my decision to have this surgery. These are the things the doctors do not tell you.
Jill, I’m so sorry that you’re also suffering and were not given the necessary information to make an informed decision. As you can see from the many comments on all the hysterectomy articles here on Hormones Matter, women are not told the truth. Even though you still have your ovaries, there’s a good chance they’re not producing a healthy level of hormones. They may have even failed completely. Naturally menopausal women’s ovaries produce hormones their whole lives. Hormones, especially estrogen, may improve your joint pain, fatigue and depression. That’s been my experience. Unfortunately, there’s no “fix” for the loss of skeletal integrity / changes to our figures. 🙁
Thank you. Well, I have a strong family history of breast cancer, so no hormones for me, it is too risky. I am experiencing low thyroid symptoms, but tests keep reading normal. I may seek a second opinion. But the skeletal changes and joint swelling and pain is the worst. Although, I was pretty ill from my conditions, the failed ablation made everything worse. I wish I could turn back the clock, I would not have done any of the surgeries. .
Jill, Studies have shown that estrogen does not increase risk of breast cancer. Combined hormone therapy (estrogen + progestin/progesterone) does increase risk. Estrogen has been shown to mitigate some of the increased health risks associated with ovary removal or post-hysterectomy ovarian failure.
My primary and gynecologist feel taking extra hormone too risky, but I will definitely discuss next visit. Thanks for the information and for this forum. It is nice to know it is not in my head and other people have similar problems.
Thank you for stating this woman and s putting serious fear out there and I wish I never came across this post. I had to have a life saving emergency hysterectomy after avoiding it for four years. After reading this lady I met the as well lock myself in a closet and wait to die. I will shrink and I’m already 4’11”, on top of that I will no matter what become rotund and start peeing on myself while never wanting sex or enjoying it again. Good times.
I’m sitting here near to tears (not for the first time today) not just because of pain, but because it was like you took the words out of my head! You have described almost everything I have been through, even the sphincter muscle problem!
I had a vaginal hysterectomy just over 10 years ago, and I’ve suffered for it since. Its cost me my health (both mental and physical, depression and contemplating hurting myself, I’m not joking!) my job and nearly my marriage!
I’ve been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome since, and was only offered hormone therapy after a blood test revealed I’d pretty much gone through the menopause, I was 34!
Nothing was discussed pre op, I wasn’t even given all the alternative options, in fact the gynecologist had my pre op form filled in before I’d walked in the room!
Nothing was explained about what happens after, I was offered a follow-up apt post op, 6 months later!
I’ve spent the last 10 years suffering alone, because I didn’t think anyone would understand, and then I find you lovely lot, to say I’m overwhelmed, is a serious understatement. Just gleaning some of the advice from some of you, is possibly going to change my life, and knowing I’m not abnormal because there ARE others going through the same crap as me….I can’t even explain!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart xxx
Mummy Badger, I’m so sorry you were also misled about the consequences of hysterectomy. I totally understand the suicidal depression and not being able to function. It almost destroyed every aspect of my life. It’s been 11 years and it still haunts me. And I always worry that my doctor will quit prescribing HT and I’ll be back to that hellish place. And I wish there was some sort of remedy for the awful figure changes. I hope you can find the “right” HT to improve your quality of life.
Who are you and what are your medical qualifications? Just wondering, there does not seem to be any information about you on the website. This is quite a comprehensive article but it does not detail any references to research.
Martine, I’ve been researching hysterectomy and oophorectomy for 11 years. You can find some studies about the effects of hysterectomy on bladder and bowel function. There’s also an article in Medscape about the effects of hysterectomy on the aging patient that explores some of the after effects. There isn’t a lot of information about the changes to the skeletal structure (spine, hips, rib cage) but the severing of the pelvis’ support structures causes widening of the hips, spine compression and descent of the rib cage. You can see it in hysterectomized women’s figures. Watch the HERS Foundation’s female anatomy DVD or study the anatomy diagrams on their website – http://www.hersfoundation.com/anatomy/.
Sorry to hear all of this . What is the other alternative? I have to stop bleeding or I will continue to suffer the horrible symptoms of severe anemia. They already prepped me for surgery by putting me on the Lupron shot. It’s supposed to put me in early menopause. Can this be reversed and can I start a new natural method? Or am I already damaged by the Lupron and provera I take 3 x a day? They are planning my surgery in august
Melissa, How long have you been bleeding? Are you in perimenopause? Bleeding can get unpredictable during the transition into menopause. Have you been on provera for awhile and it wasn’t working hence the addition of Lupron, a drug that can have serious side effects? Are you aware of a drug called tranexamic acid, brand name Lysteda? It’s a non-hormonal Rx medication that’s used to slow or stop bleeding. It seems that many gyns don’t offer it to their patients. They’re really quick to do hysterectomies though since only 10% of them are necessary. Keep us posted on how this plays out. I hope you can save your uterus and its many functions!
Melissa – Have you tried having an ablation already? If not you should absolutely do this first. There are three different kinds, and if one doesn’t work you should try another. I had the hydro-ablation and endometrial removal, it was the best nine months of my life. When I started bleeding again all the same problems came back mental fogginess, aches legs, pelvic floor pain, more bad days than good. When I went back to the doctor, the conclusion was, “oh I guess it’s time for you to be a hister-sister,” and on the list they put me. The problem isn’t the uterus, as much as the reaction your body is having hormonaly to what your uterus is doing day to day. If you can stabilize the uterus, everything else will sync up. If you remove the uterus there isn’t anything to sync up to. Since I had my hysterectomy five years ago I feel like I have aged 10 years. On the outside and the inside. All the things you read about that say will help the problems you have now, you won’t have a choice but to do them after the uterus is gone. Buying supplements, eating the right foods, cutting things out of your diet to see if it’ll make you feel better. And you can be pretty sure to add the problem of the pretty common bladder issues that you’ll have to deal with every day. Possible vaginal, bladder, and colon prolapse down the line. I wish I would’ve insisted on having another type of ablation, but I wasn’t given a choice. The best days of my cycle was the week before I menstruated. For me removing the uterus, took care of the bleeding problem, but put the rest of my body forever stuck in the worst days of my cycle. I do believe there are times when it’s necessary, especially if there’s cancer or life-threatening disease. If you were my sister I would beg you to cancel. You’re going to have to figure out how to stabilize your hormones after, so why not do it now while you still have some.
I am truly heartbroken. I got a pacemaker at 40 a few years back only to be told I needed to have a hysterectomy a year later. Now…a year post hysterectomy I am not in the WORST shape I think I can be in but the near 20 pound weight gain, loss of uterine orgasms, and the overall feeling that I am JUST NOT MYSELF and depressing episodes have me losing my mind!! And reading how heart issues can be increased by having a hysterectomy is REALLY making me even more infuriated because you would think with my having heart issue already, one of the two (gyno or cardiologist) would have fought against this or at least WARNED ME that this could be an increased issue for me. I am sad beyond belief and feeling like an incomplete woman and quite frankly, a sitting duck!
Saddened, I’m so sorry you were not provided with the necessary information about hysterectomy. Unfortunately, this is the norm because gyns and the medical industry make tons of money from removing women’s organs. About 90% of these surgeries are unnecessary. Based on Physician Assistant Cindy’s comment below, many cardiologists don’t seem to be aware of the increased risk of heart disease after hysterectomy or oophorectomy. I’ve read that these risks are 3x and 7x, respectively. But gyns and the medical industry probably want to keep doctors and patients in the dark so they can keep the status quo to maintain their revenue streams and expensive lifestyles.
That’s why I am meeting with a lawyer. This can not continue, I was told nothing like I feel. I felt fine till about one month post opp. Then alll hell broke loss. At first I thought the leg cramping was from not having any iron.
Jennie, I’m so sorry you too were misled about hysterectomy! I hope a lawyer will take your case! Unfortunately, very few women are able to find one and then it’s difficult to win these cases. Don’t give up searching! You can also file a complaint with your state’s medical board and your insurance company. Although it probably won’t matter, if more women did this, we may be able to make a difference in the overuse of these surgeries.
I came across this thread where the women are frustrated and confused as to why their bodies are changing shape. One woman said it’s just a normal part of aging. It’s so heartbreaking.
It is heartbreaking and they don’t get it. Posting about these figure changes was probably one of the reasons I was blocked from that site!
The site must be run by GYNs. Sick shame!
I am a Physician Assistant specializing in cardiology. Presently, I am not working while I’m raising my young children. I still have close ties to the medical field. I find it incredibly interesting that almost every female patient with coronary artery disease has a history of TAH and BSO. Years ago, I just accepted this as normal. Now that my eyes are opened, I know that this is not a coincidence but a major contributing factor if not a cause. There is a reason why coronary artery disease and osteoporosis is on the rise in the United States. It’s time to take the blinders off and wake up, America.
Cindy, There are SO many studies that show an increased risk for heart disease as well as many other health problems after ovary removal / oophorectomy. These risks would also apply to impaired ovarian function or complete failure that commonly occurs after hysterectomy. I have a lengthy document of studies showing the harm of oophorectomy as well as hysterectomy. This site has a comprehensive list of studies and various articles about oophorectomy – http://www.gynreform.com/citations.html. This is its companion site – http://www.overy.org/.
It’s truly appalling that this is not part of education for ALL medical students but especially for cardiologists and gynecologists. But of course the Gynecology Specialty would prefer it not be! Why in the heck are insurance companies authorizing and reimbursing this rarely necessary and egregiously harmful surgery?? Cigna would not divulge what was submitted to get approval for my “hysterectomy.” There was absolutely NOTHING wrong with my uterus or other ovary and all that should have been removed was the benign ovarian cyst. It should be a criminal act (assault and battery) to remove vital organs unnecessarily. Yet, women cannot even get medical malpractice attorneys to take their cases.
Sadly, attorneys protect doctors. You have no case unless you are dead. I had a good case against a doctor for sexual harassment and the attorney was interested in hearing my case. A few minutes into the conversation, the attorney asked what profession my employer was. When I said doctor, he hung up on me!
My mom went into ovarian failure after chemotherapy for breast cancer. She now has severe osteoporosis.
I spoke with a cardiologist about increased risk of heart disease post hysterectomy. He knew nothing about it. You are absolutely right. Education is needed. Insurance companies authorize this surgery because everyone makes money: the hospital, hospital staff, hospital equipment gets paid off (it pays off the DaVinci robot), phlebotomists, the lab, the pathologists, the nurses, the insurance companies, the pharmacies, and of course the doctors. It keeps the beds occupied, the staff employed, the malpractice insurance paid, the doctor’s lifestyle, their children’s education. The list goes on and and on. There is a special place in hell for these physicians who have given an oath to do no harm.
Yes, doctors are treated like gods regardless of their actions. I’ve read of ones who’ve sexually abused patients who are allowed to continue practicing so it’s not surprising that attorney would not take your case. However, I’m sure if they started de-sexing men that would change! I suspect with the da Vinci robot, that more prostates are being removed than previously but they wouldn’t dare touch a man’s testicles absent confirmed cancer!
Yes. I refused a rectal exam from my doctor/butcher and he forcefully shoved his finger up me. Unbelievable! Why did I continue going to him?
I am 47 years old and had my hysterectomy 7 weeks ago. I just found this website by accident and it made me cry. They removed my uterus, folopian tubes, and cervix but they were able to preserve my both ovaries. After reading all these posts, I am so worried what might happened to me, to my figure, my back, my hips, my bones, my joints, my heart….. WS, what are some things I can do right now to be able to, at least partially if at all, prevent all these issues/problems.
Agnes – I’m sorry to hear you had a hysterectomy. I’m not sure you can do much about the skeletal / figure changes. As far as the others, being extra vigilant about your health would be a good idea. Weight bearing exercise helps maintain bone density / stave off osteoporosis. Aerobic exercise is good for your heart. Keep in mind that hysterectomy oftentimes impairs ovarian function which may or may not cause “menopausal” type symptoms. But if your ovaries do end up producing lower levels of hormones, hormone therapy has been shown to mitigate some of the increased health risks of loss of ovarian hormones. Best of luck to you.
Can you believe that the “Go Red for Women” website makes no mention of early nor surgical menopause or hysterectomy on their website as a risk factor for heart disease?? I thought they used to list early or premature menopause as a risk factor but I cannot find it anywhere on their site. I’ve written them before about this issue but they did not respond.
ACOG doesn’t list these risk factors either but that’s not one bit surprising! http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Heart-Health-for-Women#are
As far as osteoporosis, the ACOG doesn’t mention early/premature or surgical menopause or hysterectomy as being a risk factor. It only states that estrogen levels fall after menopause and this decrease triggers rapid bone loss. They make no mention of early bone density testing for women who’ve had oophorectomies and/or hysterectomies or are prematurely menopausal. (NO surprise there!) All it says is have one at age 65 or if younger than 65 and past menopause “have a BMD test if they have had a bone fracture because of fragile bones or have other risk factors for osteoporosis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, smoking, alcoholism, a history of hip fracture in a parent, or a body weight less than 127 pounds.”
That’s so unfortunate. Not surprising. That is why I didn’t bother getting a second opinion from another GYN. They are all malpracticing. I figured the second opinion doctor would just agree and say that he could do a better job so he could take the case. I got my second opinion from my primary doctor. Thank God the butcher doc needed preop clearance for surgery, otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen him. He told me NOT to do the surgery. He is a cardiologist.
Wow, lucky for you! What reasons did he give for not doing it? It seems a lot of primary care doctors don’t know enough about gynecology and would defer to the gyns. And then there are those who want to protect their peers’ as well as their own revenue streams so won’t speak up. That was the case on one review of the book “The H Word.” There was a primary care practice that commented that they have prevented many of their patients from undergoing hysterectomies but kept their review anonymous saying that referrals go both ways and they didn’t want to lose referrals. I wish primary care doctors were “gatekeepers” like in the old days when referrals were needed to see specialists. But things have changed plus gyns are now acting or trying to act as primary care doctors.
Yes, I was very fortunate. He was able to speak candidly with me because he is a colleague and friend. Thank God. He really emphasized the importance of getting another opinion but my eyes were opened and I knew the opinion would be the same since another GYN would want to make money off my organs. The main reason he gave me was that he knew the surgeon was the only game in town and does too many, what I will call “castrations”. I don’t trust any GYN anymore and I don’t see a need to go to them at all. I told him I wouldn’t do the surgery but he still said to go see someone else which tells me he isn’t fully aware of the repercussions of this butchering procedure.
A lot of things aligned at the same time that I too, as signs not to do the surgery. 1. While I was in the waiting room, I ran into a nurse friend of mine. She asked me why I was seeing the doctor and I told her it was for pre-op clearance for hysterectomy. She had a puzzled and concerned look on her face and reminded me of a friend of ours who had a castration. She told me that she has been on disability since her surgery, her hair has fallen out and she had has leg numbness since being butchered. 2. I booked a job for the day of my scheduled surgery. 3. Various people saying I’m too young for surgery. 4. I just got into snowboarding. 5.I found your blog. I’m so grateful.
I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I’m on a mission now to spread awareness. I’m talking to every person and brining it up in conversation with strangers whenever I can. I don’t care if anyone is taken aback by this sensitive subject. Planting the seeds is key.
You’re an angel for taking on this mission to educate women! That reminds me that I had printed up some index cards with bullet points about the after effects of hysterectomy and ovary removal. I need to print some more and have them ready to hand out. I’ve also slipped them into women’s magazines at the store.
If we’d all start calling ovary removal what it is – castration – that should make a difference too. But I won’t hold my breath! Also, I’ve had to avoid using that word on some sites so I didn’t get banned.
One of the reasons I’ve concentrated on hysterectomy (and not so much castration) is that so many people are misguided in thinking that hysterectomy is a benign surgery if the ovaries are not removed. Obviously, you now know that it is a very destructive surgery with a number of long-term after effects and risks.
If I hadn’t had a 20 year history with my gyn, I wouldn’t have dismissed my inner voice that told me something didn’t seem right!
That’s awesome you are making those cards. It’s interesting. When I see the word hysterectomy, I feel it just waters down the sunject and people gloss over it. When I see the word castration, it has a powerful effect on me. I see how it may turn people off and make people defensive. For me, it’s what I needed to hear. So many people told me I shouldn’t get the surgery but I just tried to defend the need for it. It was not until my doctor used the word butcher and I was like, “Woah!” It stopped me in my tracks. I definitely think the terminology does need to change to sex organs. So many people think the uterus is only good for making babies. People are brainwashed into thinking that. That is so far from the truth.
I am blessed to have had a hysterectomy. I have been living in pain for the past 40 years. I think for ME, its vain to be so upset about your exterior. Hips spreading, waist getting thick? Really. I was in pain daily and at times could not drive. I was wearing a waist supporter before my surgery. Women need to be blessed that they are gods children and are on this earth breathing. Go work with children that have cerebral palsy and spine deformities before crying about your shape!
Samantha, For a small minority of women the trade-offs are worth the resolution of symptoms. 40 years is a long time to be in pain. Do you have endometriosis? Were you in menopause and still experiencing pain when you had your hysterectomy? Menopause usually takes care of most gyn problems.
You are a Godsend. I am forever grateful to you for sharing the truth that is hidden from women. I found your article a week before my schedule procedure. My doctor was putting the fear of my uterus for seven years and I finally agreed to the surgery. I am a physician assistant and was not told about any of the complications. As a physician assistant, I know that medical professionals can easily state in the documentation that risks and benefits were discussed with the patient even if they weren’t. Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving my life. I can’t thank you enough. The field of gynecology disgusts me. These doctors should protect women’s health but instead destroy it for money. It’s truly sickening. Keep spreading the word. You are a hero. God bless you.
Dear Cindy, I am SO thankful you found my article(s) before your scheduled surgery! And I thank you for sharing your story and speaking out against this scam of egregious harm by the Gynecology specialty. I can only hope and pray that you, especially as a physician assistant, can prevent other women from falling into this trap. I urge every woman who is considering hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy or is told she needs one finds my articles before it’s too late. My 13 articles can be found here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/post-hysterectomy-skeletal-anatomical-changes/#comments. Please share. Thank you!
Yes! Thank you. I’m telling every woman I meet and I’m telling every man who has a mother, sister, wife, daughter in their life and sharing about this crime against women. It’s I crime against humanity because when lives and families are destroyed, it impacts everybody.
I’m bawling reading your response. It means so much to have someone who has not had this surgery to understand the wide-reaching impact it has on families and society as a whole. Plus the fact that you’re a medical professional means so much more. I’m thankful that you are in a position to prevent women from undergoing this grossly overused destructive surgery. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! YOU are a Godsend!!
YOU are a Godsend! Thank you for your heroic work. I’m so sorry your were hurt by medical professionals. I stand with you!!
I was searching some information about what its going on after hysterectomy. I just had mine 3 weeks ago. Right now I don’t see and I don’t feel any change but in all honesty I didn’t have any symptom before surgery either. My fibroid was discovered during a gynecology exam for some other issue. I had multiple fibroids but one was about the size of an almost full term pregnancy (and it showed) I looked like a 9 mo pregnant woman). I actually find out about my fibroids not here in the states but back home in my native country in Europe. There I was told it should come out because it was already pushing other organs away from their normal place since it was that big and it was growing fast (one time it grew 70% in 3 months). Mine was growing inside the uterus and I also had liquid around. My uterus was also twisted and turned and somehow it fell towards the back (wired I know). One problem I had before surgery was when I had to bent over I felt like all the organs were in my throat and I couldn’t breathe. I don’t feel that presure now. At first my gynecologist here in the states said surgery is not necessary for fibroids but I insisted into having an ultrasound to look at it. I had one done in Europe and I also had an MRI or CT scan done there. I had brought those results on a dvd but the doctor didn’t look at them. I was worried because the information I got from the doctor in Europe was that if this thing is continue to grow it was going to give me other problems as well like swollen ankles (which I had big time) and other problems I’m not gonna putt all here but one major problem I was told it could happen is that when it grows too big is gonna put presure on your blood vessels in your legs and that can put you at risk to get blood clots. After I had an ultrasound done here in the states my doctor came back saying that unfortunately due to the size of the larger fibroid and the speed of the growth I have no other option but the hysterectomy. Now looking for information on what is going to happened to your body afterwards I came across this website and now I’m freaking out. I do have a friend who had a hysterectomy done 17 years ago and she said she didn’t see any changes except the ones related to the symptoms. She is 60 but she looks like 40 and she has a body to envy. She looks great. Is it possible that maybe not everybody goes through the changes I was reading in here? Anyway all I can do now is wait and see how I will change.
Mrs. Clm, With a fibroid that large, hysterectomy may have been your only option although there are some doctors who can remove large fibroids and preserve the uterus (myomectomy). The effects I covered are anatomical facts. Some women may not notice or be bothered by the changes as much as other women. But your body will change. And for those who suffered with severe problems prior to their surgeries, the trade-offs may be worth it. In your case, your post-hysterectomy midsection that will gradually take “shape” won’t be as pronounced as your fibroid-filled abdomen that made you look 9 months pregnant. Only time will tell how much your bladder, bowel, and sexual function (as well as ovarian function / hormones) are affected.
Health care is supposed to restore health versus trading one set of problems for another. Myomectomy (removal of fibroids leaving uterus intact) is restorative while hysterectomy is destructive, trading one set of problems for another. Likewise, oophorectomy (ovary removal) is destructive both before and after menopause since the ovaries produce health promoting hormones a woman’s whole life. Even removal of Fallopian tubes is destructive as it has been shown to cause histological changes in the ovaries which is why it reduces risk of ovarian cancer. But most women do not need their risk reduced as it is already VERY low at less than 2% (1.3% per U.S. government statistics).
It is very very possible because the vast majority of women that have hysterectomies have an improvement in their lives and bodies because the condition that caused them to have a hysterectomy in the first place was unbearable. It it sad to me that these anecdotal experiences, however horrible, are being described as fact for all women. It is fear mongering and many women are probably suffering with fibroids and ovarian cysts because of the fear this kind of thing creates.
RH Pearson, Women don’t have to choose between hysterectomy or live with fibroids or ovarian cysts. Both of these conditions are treatable without removing any organs. In every other specialty, they remove the growths not the organ! It is fact that the anatomy is changed by hysterectomy, both from an organ (bladder, bowel, vagina) perspective as well as from a skeletal (spine, hips, rib cage) perspective. I’m curious what prompted you to go in search of hysterectomy information.
I completely agree with your view of these comments. I waited 17 years to have a ( laparoscopic hysterectomy) hysterectomy and these comments are disturbing.
I had a complete hysterectomy, including removal of both ovaries, when I was 41, a year after my 4th child was born. Months after her birth, I sat on the toilet with a mirror, trying to discover what this rubbery pink thing bulging out from my vagina. An ER visit on my birthday confirmed it is my uterus AND my bladder. I got an appointment t to see the doctor who had delivered all my children, and she advised removing my uterus instead of reattaching it. Once she learned I had an aunt who had ovarian cancer, she convinced me that The only safe choice would be a complete hysterectomy, fallopian tubes, ovaries, everything. I knew of a couple of women whose bodies changed so much after their surgeries, but she promised it wouldn’t happen to me. I’m 57 now, but have not had an attractive or feminine figure in many years. My legs used to be curvy and I received many complements on them. My body began to change rapidly after recovery. My legs are now straight up and down and look like bird legs, and have been like that since my early forties. I developed a pot belly, before surgery I still wore a bikini! I have no waist, and am shorter by about 2 inches! My hair was so thick that when I went to a salon, the hairdressers always teased me about having to mix up more color partway through. Now I have kept my hair short for the last 14 years, because it is so much thinner that it looks terrible longer. My figure is truly a parody of how I looked before, my butt is completely flat, not even a crease beneath the buttocks because they are gone. No fat there, or on my hips. In contrast, my upper body looks out of proportion. I have to wear a size 40 bra now because my ribcage must have gotten wider. It also seems that my neck is shorter and my jawline is very saggy and undefined. Yes I:m 57 now, but this happened to me in my early forties! It is difficult to find clothes that fits properly. I need to wear tops in extra large, but can fit into my slender teen son’s skinny jeans. Honestly, my figure reminds me more of a man’s build than a woman’s. One more thing the doctor didn’t reveal, the external changes to my vagina. The inner lips completely disappeared, as though they’d been removed. It halpe ed first on one side and then the other. I wish I had never let her talk me into it. But she promised I would never are and changes. Within the year, I developed widespread pain throughout my body and was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was on HRY for a few months, and then she said I had risk factors that prevented her from writing any more prescriptions for it. I began to grow facial hair in place of formerly smooth skin. It has been terrible for my self esteem, and at this point I don’t feel like a woman anymore, maybe a caricature of one.
Lrr, I’m so sorry for all you’ve lost from this awful surgery! These gynecologists who railroad women into these surgeries are so unethical and downright evil!
Feelings about supracervical hysterectomy? I keep getting that I need hysterectomy rather than myomectomy b/c I am high risk for bleeding since i have a subserosal (exterior) fibroid is 8.7 x 5.8 x 5.8 cm and I also have a small 2x2x2cm submucosal (very small). Because of what I hear on this website, hysterectomy is scaring me. I do know that either my cervix or my uterus is STRONGLY involved with my organs! NO DOUBT! No matter what the research has shown. BUT, I am soon to be 47 and with myomectomy the fibroids can return. So, do I just do supracervical and then I won’t chance having to come back for another surgery later from something else like my mother with endometriosis? I do not want UFE because it remains in the body and rots and ONLY decreases by 30-50% in most cases AND can return. I heard pain is horrible also. So I am confused. I see most everyone saying hysterectomy and NOT supracervical hysterectomy that are having these issues (pelvic shift, prolapse, protruding abdomen, sexual issues). Here is what my research shows….. please bare with me it’s lengthy.
Nerves: With supracervical, paracervical plexus and ganglia (Frankenhäuser plexus) nerves remain intact. Sensory nerve fibers from the cervix, upper vagina, and urethra pass through the Frankenhäuser plexus and pelvic nerves to the second, third, and fourth sacral nerves. Sensory nerves of the lower vagina, perineum, and distal urethra pass primarily through the pudendal nerve. So, is the sexual sensation preserved?? At least is it more-so to the total hysterectomy for sure!
Ligaments: Endopelvic fascia (connective tissue around each pelvic organ and pelvic sidewalls) remains untouched since the 2 supportive pelvic ligaments (cardinal and uterosacral ligaments) are not severed. These are the ligaments that hold the cervix and the vagina in place preventing pelvic prolapse.
2/3rd of these ligaments attach cervix (cardinal ligaments) and 1/3rd to the vagina. So, prolapse and pelvic shifting I would not think could occur??
Signed: Confused in Houston Texas!
Kim, What symptoms are your fibroids causing? If it’s mainly bleeding, have you tried hormonal or non-hormonal meds (such as birth control pills or Rx tranexamic acid / Lysteda)? Being that you’re 47, menopause is probably not far off when fibroids shrink. It would be a shame to have a hysterectomy and trade a few years of bothersome fibroids for decades of the nasty and progressive after effects of hysterectomy.
It sounds like you have uterine orgasms. I did too and orgasms are very disappointing now. They’re like a ripple instead of a tsunami. I don’t know how much it would help (if at all) to keep your cervix… it seems like it would help some. I know of women who kept their cervix and they also have the altered figure. The HERS Foundation’s female anatomy video may be helpful – http://www.hersfoundation.com/anatomy/index.html.
Keep in mind that hysterectomy is very lucrative. A hysterectomy can be done much quicker than a myomectomy and I don’t think insurance reimbursements make up the difference. It seems I read that both surgeries are reimbursed at about the same amount. Time is money to a surgeon. And many gynecologists do not have good myomectomy skills so will make excuses for why it’s not a good option for you (versus just being honest and telling you they don’t have those skills). Did you know that gyn residents must do AT LEAST 70 hysterectomies but no myomectomies? My surgery was done at a hospital (Mercy) that I did not even realize was a teaching hospital and these surgical requirements seem to have been the main reason why my uterus was removed.
It’s important to listen to your intuition and do your own research because hysterectomy is the one of the top overused surgeries with only 10% being necessary. Plus it causes so many other problems down the road.
Best wishes for getting proper treatment which should restore your health not trade one set of problems for another.
I had a partial hysterectomy the doctor cut my urethra tube I had to have surgery to repair it then I had to have a full hysterectomy.
Kesha, I’m sorry this happened to you! 🙁
Kim, There’s also a focused ultrasound / MRI guided focused ultrasound procedure (ablation) for fibroids that may be an option. Since it’s done by radiologists, gynecologists probably don’t tend to mention it as an option (lost business or them).
I agree too. I was told to have my tubes tides and six month later my doctor had to do a full hysterectomy. Now my naval has grown a keylard as they call it on my naval due to the surgery not being done properly. After six months of my full surgery, my belly looked like the size of a 36 weeks old pregnant person and I have gain a lot of weight which I thought I would never let myself do. I have always been in shape and running was my best interest. But after the surgery, your body feels sluggish, tired, sometimes you have mood swings which is odd. All in all, the surgery is only for risk factors such as fibroids or extreme circumstances, but they do not tell you the other parts that will happen after to your body. Once you start noticing the changes and you go back for a check up, they start to tell you, “oh you won’t see this, this is just your body getting adjusted”. Also if you have dry bleeding or spotting and there is nothing there to draw conclusions too, see your doctor. A year after surgery, women go through so much.
Chiquita, I’m sorry that you were also misled about the after effects of hysterectomy. And yes, these surgeons then dismiss our complaints post surgery and “wash their hands” of us. When I called my surgeon’s office desperate for help with hormones and other issues from surgery, the nurse said she’d never heard of those problems and hung up on me. I’d been their patient for 20 years. That’s when it really hit that I was exploited to fatten their bank accounts. Retrieval of my medical records shortly thereafter confirmed that.
I have the same thing happen to my body . i had my hysterectomy at 35 and i had a well proportioned body i was slim and had good strength in all areas. Now i look pregnant all the time i have weak muscles and i get headaches alot sometimes migraine. My face is more bloated and my arms too my chest got bigger and my butt. I cant work anymore due to headaches and weakness in my legs. I used to work full time and wihout effort. I understand sometimes hysterectomy is needed to save lives such as in my case but the outcome is still the same isnt it. I am sorry for your post hysterectomy experience hugs to you… Xo and you are still beautiful as am i . lots of love ?
Alishya, I’m sorry that the side effects of your hysterectomy has destroyed your ability to work. I know of a number of women who’ve had to go on disability after their hysterectomies. You would think our state governments would care about this since it’s costing them.
I had an emergency hysterectomy at the age of 22, following the birth of my son. Being told by a consultant in his 60s that, I would be “ok just sterile that’s all, I’ve taken the net but the goalposts are still there!” Was an experience I’ve never recovered from, I will never forget the look of impatience and disdain on his face, I hope that if he’s still alive he dies a slow painful death, they told me it had never happened before, it didn’t take me long to discover that was the first lie of many. I was not offered counselling, instead they sent a social worker to watch me for three months, to make sure I didn’t blame my baby, I didn’t know she was a social worker, I thought she was a counsellor, that’s what I was told, so was shocked and bewildered when she told me the truth, though I did think that her counselling skills were rubbish at the time, handing me photocopied information about hysterectomies with no advice for somebody of my age was vague to say the least, but I was young.
I made an official complaint when my son was a year old, a year of pain and being ignored, told I was depressed, I’m sure I was but I was also bleeding a lot as well, my complaint was for lack of care, I didn’t know at the time that it was negligence. I was given counselling, it was a man who knew nothing about hysterectomy, I saw him once and he suggested that he could arrange for me to be admitted into hospital for tests to find out what was causing my pain and bleeding. I trusted him, went into the hospital the next day and was promptly put into a psychiatric ward and drugged up for the next four weeks. I didn’t complain after that, I took my antidepressants like a good girl but I had pain and bled for the next nine years, I was so tired all the time and permanently anaemic. I started to believe that the blood was my imagination even though, as a scientist, wearing a white coat, it was pretty obvious to everybody around me that it wasn’t. I was taken to a&e and told that there was something wrong with my cervix, it was a surprise as I’d been told all this time I had no cervix. I was brought in the next day to have the cervical stump removed, I wanted to see it once it was removed, I made that very clear. I was in surgery for six hours and the cervical stump was immediately destroyed, I was told that I’d been making “too much of it”
When I asked for access to my medical records, 15 pages were missing, there was no record of me ever having given birth. I decided to leave England after that and went to Ireland to take up my medical place again now my son was older, I was given a place in the 4th year. It was my chance to start again, try to forget and move on, I decided that I wanted to donate my eggs, this was six months later, I was taken into another room and told that they thought there was a problem and wanted me to come in for a biopsy. I don’t really want to go into too much detail but basically I had one ovary removed and my vagina, I had secondary, the primary was missing, a medical impossibility almost,( though everyone knew that the primary had been taken and disposed of. If I hadn’t’ve decided to donate my eggs I would never have known and wouldn’t be alive now, though there have been times that I wish I wasn’t alive.
They built me a new one using part of my ileum, not that I needed it as its been 25 years and I can’t imagine ever wanting or having sex again.) I came back to England and have been ignored again since, until it reached a point where I was left for so long again (6 months) following an abscess on my leg, which became a fistula, (I had faeces pouring out of my leg and they still ignored me) which they then tried to correct but couldn’t help me as it had tracked up my leg and through the rectal muscle, so now I have a permanent seton placed and every few months I had another placed where it had branched off elsewhere, it was the final straw, I became a recluse five years ago, I haven’t left the house since and nobody seems to think that’s an issue, they just started delivering my prescriptions instead so I didn’t have to leave the house, makes me wonder if it’s just me or the nhs. I reached the point where if I had to have another male doctor intimately examine me I would kill one of them. I’ve had more men fiddle about with me downstairs in the last 25 years than the most popular prostitute. I’ve lost count of how many operations I’ve had. One time I lost my temper with a doctor over my claims I had a fistula and his choice to ignore me and tell me I was wrong, because I wouldn’t back down and shut up he sent my swab request for gonnorrhea. Obviously if I talk back it means I sleep around, either that or my partner does. I haven’t had a sex life for 25 years. I made a complaint and was given a new doctor, I had to take my pants down before he introduced himself to me, he then performed surgery on me and nobody could tell me what had been done, for three months. It was almost laughable that I was bleeding in hospital for a fortnight on the ward and I couldn’t tell anybody what I’d had done, nobody else could tell me either, they couldn’t read his writing apparently. That was my punishment, it was pretty obvious to me by then. It all sounds like a really bad dream, I wish it was. My relationship with my sons father has finally broken down. I consider suicide on a almost daily basis. I cannot bear men, only my son.
I was given hrt patches at 25. Been told on many occasion that I’m ‘far too complicated’ to be given medical advice I have not had a libido since the hysterectomy and I noticed that some gynaecologists seemed openly amused by me when I tried to explain how horrendous it was without a libido in a relationship. I have been guilt tripped into sex so many times that there were times I couldn’t walk the next day, the pain of intercourse when your body won’t react is like being impaled.
Andrea, what a horrendous experience. Medical abuse on top of medical abuse and then more medical abuse. Since you have share it here as a comment would you consider sharing it as a post so that more women might read it. It’s an important story to tell because as horrendous as it is, I am pretty certain that you are not the only one and if we share it as a post more women might be inspired to come forward. Please let me know. Thank you for commenting.
Andrea, How horrific… beyond words!!! It’s appalling that there are people that are this evil and medical professionals to boot! I’m sure it took a lot of courage to share all this. Thank you for doing so. It’s so important for women to be aware of this dark side of women’s health “care.”
I had a complete hysterectomy 4 months ago 1 month shy of my 57th Birthday! Greatest thing I have ever done! I had problems for years my first gyn doctor never diagnosed my endometriosis along with scare tissue Doctor made me think this is how I should feel pain during sex and painful menestrual cycles. It was not until I tried to get pregnant with my second child and changed doctors that the new doctor diagnosed my problem also found in my medical records from the radiologist from my prior doctor that I had a problem from the radiologist view of my tests but doctor either never completely viewed my tests or he just did not know how to treat the problem and blew off the radiologist findings with that being said my new doctor said I should of had a D & C So I went through infertility treatments for several years because my ovaries and fallopian tubes were scared and damaged I was then sent to a wonderful infertility doctor I was going to go through with IVF but prior to starting the process God answered my prayers I was expecting a baby then 15 months later I was blessed with my son Getting back to my complete hysterectomy well I’m thankful I heeded my doctor’s advice because I felt terrible for years prior to having my surgery I just thought this is how I should feel I’m post menopause etc., I had a horrible post menopause breakthrough bleeding with cramping felt terrible! My wonderful caring doctor and his great nurse practice advised me I should go ahead and have the surgery. My cousin died several years ago of ovarian cancer she was diagnosed at age 57 and died at age 61 my husband cousin at age 58 was diagnosed with ovarian cancer she had no systems was rushed to the ER and through tests and surgery found her cancer she is fighting for her life through cancer treatments at this time As for me I’m grateful that I listened to my doctor and went through the surgery he said I was a complicated case with so much embedded scar tissue and endometriosis growing all behind my uterus and into my lower intestine my uterus and fallipian tubes and ovaries were embedded in a mess! No wonder I would cramp terribly prior to bm’s or had horrible diarrhea some would mistake my tummy problems for IBS. I’m here to say I feel great if my butt falls and my gut sticks out which it has not I really do not care if it did as I accept my body changing is part of the aging process! I Praise God for His Wisdom giving Physcians wisdom to help a woman like myself I feel great I want to be around feeling great and having energy for my husband and being the best that I can for my 3 adult kids and my 2 grand daughters. Do your homework talk to your doctor I did I’m grateful I did I’m blessed to have him and his wisdom and how he cares for the health and well being of his patients!
I also had a Bladder Lift but my doctor actually Pulled my Bladder back where it should be during my hysterectomy I no longer leak or leak urine when I sneeze!! Ladies all I can say is I’m blessed to have the gyn/ surgeon that I have. I feel like a new woman! – Cindy
Cindy, I’m glad your recovery has gone well. You’re still early post-op. The surgical recovery is the easy part. It’s the long-term and progressive effects of an altered anatomy that are so damaging and distressing for hysterectomized women. It sounds like your surgeon failed to inform you of these after effects as most do. Granted, some women find these negative effects an acceptable trade-off for their (temporary) gynecologic problems or genetic cancer risks (although genetic ovarian cancer risk doesn’t necessitate hysterectomy).
I absolutely agree Tee…though I’d get some info and instead got clobbered with negative unhelpful blaming…I had cancer. I want forced to do this and I’m feeling better every day. My ligament pain, cancer, excessive and constant blood loss are gone…there should be disclaimers on sites. Go to Hyster sisters…they help, not hinder, recovery.
Kim, I’m sorry you had cancer. That is about the only time a hysterectomy is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, Hystersisters is biased. I know a number of women who have been banned for posting their experiences and being told they were too negative. Others were banned for sharing their experiences with HRT after their hysterectomies. This is especially troubling in that some women go there to seek out information prior to their hysterectomies. Many women are told by their doctors that they need a hysterectomy or it’s their only option so it’s a shame that some sites perpetuate this over-treatment and harm.
I found this page through a search. I am trying to self-diagnose because since my hysterectomy in October of 2016 I have been falling apart. It is hard to recognize the side effects directly after surgery because you are tired, sore and miserable. I had a spinal block . For me that was the reason I had extreme back pain. None before the hysterectomy. Leg weakness. This is the norm for me now. In my job I walk approx. 7 miles in my day often pushing heavy items. I could do this easily before the surgery, now it is an extreme struggle to have the energy and strength in my legs to do my job. Forget trying to exercise or do house chores after work. A new trait I am experiencing after hysterectomy is fatigue. I go home from work and crash sleeping for 12 hours without even waking. I have stood up to fall to the floor because of the weakness in my legs. It is as if I have went from 45 to 95 overnight. I have had bladder and bowel issues. My bladder does not work, and when I have a movement there is pain. I have pain in the exact spot that brought me into the gynecologist in the first place. Through my searching I think it is now adhesion issues. My most peculiar symptom that is driving me insane is my tongue is on FIRE. After searching the net I have found that women experience burning mouth syndrome after a hysterectomy. The gynecologist and my family doctor say that my symptoms cannot be because of the hysterectomy. I am into the 6th month post op with symptoms almost as bad as when I went in for the hysterectomy. I have had numerous appt with my family doctor and gynecologist searching for answers. How can it be that there are No medical explanations, no studies, no informed counseling before and after a hysterectomy. (All test come back negative for diabetes, thyroid, etc. I have not had an MRI of the spine.) If I had done any research before I would not have had the surgery. Because endometriosis is not cured by a hysterectomy. I read an earlier comment of this one person that was prescribed duloxetine for the nerves. I have another follow up apt with my doctor and will ask for this prescription. My gynecologist said the burning mouth syndrome is not her area, but has to relate to nerves (although everything I have found says it relates to hormones). So, hopefully this will solve the tongue and leg weakness issues. I hope that sites like these bring more awareness that there needs to be more education before surgeries. More guidelines for doctors to follow such as is it medically necessary. On a different note, I had a friend who had a hysterectomy a week after me and they are doing great. No issues, better than ever.
Amy, I’m sorry you, like most women, were misled by your gynecologist. Of course your gynecologist will “lie and deny” that your problems were caused by the hysterectomy! Is your family doctor really that clueless? I think you should give him/her a list of websites of women’s experiences. He/she needs to be educated!
I hope you can find something to help with all your symptoms!
I’m so glad for my hysterectomy it really changed my life FOR THE GOOD I love my new body and how it feels to be normal again
Krissy, Some women’s problems are so debilitating that they find the benefits outweigh the side effects. I’m curious what prompted you to search for information on hysterectomy since you’ve already had one. How long ago did you have it?
I agree with you. I had with no options left because of a multiple fibroids in my uterus that started to press on vital internal organs. I feel so much better 7 months after the surgery. I lost some weight and I was pleased with that. No protruding belly etc. as it was before the hysterectomy. No weakness. No depression. In fact, I would recommend to move more, get outside, exercise, be involved and social. All will be well.
Exactly! I ran across this article while looking for post op recovery info. I have 9 aunts and 3 cousins who’ve had hyterectomy due to genetic issues. Not one them have a single problem listed on this horrible fear inducing article! Take care of your body and mind and thank God your alive. Be positive!
Amanda, Did your doctor not give you explicit surgical recovery instructions? Or is recovery taking longer than you were told it would take? I’m sorry you consider my article “fear inducing” but these are anatomical facts. Very few women would choose to have elective hysterectomies if they knew what it does to the body both anatomically and hormonally. I hope your recovery goes well.
I was bullied into a radical hysterectomy that was totally unnecessary and harmed irreparably by a group of unscrupulous doctors involved in the hysterectomy racket. They needed guinea pigs for surgeons-in-training at a teaching hospital so deliberately misled and misinformed me into immediate surgery. Fabricating cancer is one of the dirty tricks they use to frighten women into unnecessary hysterectomies. Do NOT trust gynaecologists unless they are against hysterectomies and will only do one after they have tried every other option and the woman has PROVEN cancer. Many greedy pathologists get a kickback from the hospital to fabricate cancer so their are plenty of guinea pigs to train. I know because I am one of those rotten apples. This is rampant in the corrupt, gynaecological profession…
June, I’m SO sorry this happened to you too. Thank you for sharing your story and continuing to speak out about this horrific epidemic that has and continues to harm so many women.
I think that this site is absolutely terrible and downright mean considering that a hysterectomy is in fact sometimes medically necessary die to life threatening conditions. It causes me and i am sure other women distress and left worrying “after” the fact. I had a hysterectomy last friday because i suffered many many years in pain and discomfort and had 7 abdominal surgeries due to issues with my uterus fibroids and ovarian cysts before it became medically necessary to have my uterus removed. Are you trying to frightn women into NOT having the surgery even if life threatening? Also, have you no compassion for women who look at this site post-op when it is already said and done. I am appauled that a female would write such things.
Whoa Tee! Don’t shoot the messenger! I can certainly understand your anger and distress over not having been told these facts by your surgeon. I felt the exact same way after discovering the truth after my hysterectomy. The lack of informed consent by ob/gyns is precisely the reason I’ve written a number of articles about hysterectomy. It’s a shame that most women don’t find them until after they’ve already had surgery especially in light of the fact that only about 10% are necessary. 🙁 It’s the doctors who are using fear tactics (to get women into the operating room). Your anger should be directed toward your surgeon and hospital / surgical center.
In my case I would have died without a hysterectomy. I had a fibroids that were the size of my husband’s size 15 shoes.
The one at the top of my cervix was the size of a softball.
The fibroids I had were growing so fast they were causing my uterus to split which caused me to bleed internally. I was losing so much blood I had to use size 7 diapers every 40 mins because super overnight pads wouldn’t work. I HAD to get blood transfusions every week until I had my hysterectomy. My options were have the hysterectomy or bleed to death.
Pills and shots only made things worse in my case I received all the side effects none of the help or cure.
Not every Dr is lying about a woman needing a hysterectomy to save her life.
Rose, I’m sorry your problems necessitated a hysterectomy. While it’s true that some are necessary, the majority are not. Only about 10% are necessary. As you can see from the many comments on this article (as well as my other articles), the majority of women did not need any organs removed.
Your doctors should have talked to you about all of this. There are so few remedies for women’s health issues. Anger and depression are a natural part of any traumatic surgery. We feel robbed and that we have lost control. I’m so sorry. Please be gentle with yourself, you need tlc now.
I’m so happy you said this. I am sitting here with knots in my stomach 3 weeks post op surgery. For me surgery was my only option as it was life threatening if I hadn’t. Suffering with endometriosis. I’m praying that I have a successful recovery and I can go back to a normal life and be active as I was before without the pain.
I think this information is very misleading and dangerous. I have had a full abdominal hysterectomy. All ops have side effects, but not having the ops is not a possibility for most , if not all, women. I advise sanity over vanity anyday.
Julie, These are anatomical facts – the skeletal structure is altered by hysterectomy and organs are displaced in addition to the other (possible) negatives – loss of sexuality and ovarian dysfunction. Medical treatments should be restorative not cause a whole new set of problems which is what happens after hysterectomy and/or ovary removal (oophorectomy). You are misguided to think that most hysterectomies are necessary. Only about 10% are necessary. However, since most women are (were) told theirs is (was) necessary, many don’t know any better.
Thank you for your article. I’m looking for lawsuits for hysterectomies where all of these post surgery symptoms arise and we weren’t informed.
My walk changed, my laugh changed, I drag my legs around (she removed all of my uterine muscle walls in addition to uterus via laproscopic hysterectomy). My pelvic bone, even a year and a half later, is still sensitive to the touch and the bruising on the pelvic bone was horrible, I read up after they often break the public bone by accident.
I’m looking for a group lawsuit for the exact things you mention in your article. I have the protruding belly, I’m shorter, my knees hurt, I have back pain. I’m only 46 and I walk like an old lady. The surgeon presented the situation to me that this was medically necessary for reoccuring cysts, heavy periods, extreme menstrual cramping, but she disclosed nothing about what happens after. She did share there would be a risk of bladder issues, but nothing about the anatomical changes this makes.
Wendy, I’m sorry you too were not provided with the critical facts about the harm of hysterectomy. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to sue for lack of informed consent probably in large part because it’s difficult to prove. But it seems to be difficult to find lawyers who will take hysterectomy cases even when there are surgical complications. I heard some years ago that Martindale Hubbell was a good website to try to find a medical malpractice lawyer… don’t know if that’s still true. I’ve also heard that you have to carefully screen potential lawyers because you don’t know who has connections with what doctors and hospitals even if they are a plaintiff firm. Nonetheless, I encourage you to pursue your case. Every case brought (even if not successful) is somewhat of a victory for all of us who’ve been unnecessarily harmed.
My wife had a hysterectomy in 1996 . Hers was a necessity as she had a pre cancerous condition in her uterus. Sh was not comfortable with the hormone pills but took them most of the time. Then there was the 4 day estrogen patch. Then she was removed from hormones completely approx 4 years ago. Her demeanor has never been the same since the operation and had has deteriorated a lot in 20 years. She has a lot of the symptoms of bi polar disorder and an explosive temper directed at me for seemingly no reason especially when I am on her side or defending her .She is 63 yoa . I am 62 yoa . I am a retired police officer and have refrained from abandoning , divorcing , or having her arrested as she has assaulted me several times.She needs to get on a mood elevator or a an anti anxiety pill like lorezepam. This is almost unbearable and I have at times been afraid of what she will do. She lies at the drop of a hat and takes joy sometimes in trying to get me to hit her. I am to smart for that and know she is the way she is because of no hormones. She refuses to try any of the aforementioned drugs and gets mean when I suggest this . Any suggestions will be well accepted and carefully considered by me. She also shows the physical deteriorization described in former articles of Hysto patients. Contact me at my email address and I will go from there. Thanks for any help.
Daniel, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry your wife’s hysterectomy has destroyed your relationship. It sounds like you have been a saint through all this.
Personality / demeanor changes are a common complaint after hysterectomy even when the ovaries are not removed. Something that hit home with me was the comment by a renowned ob/gyn on a TV talk show that the uterus is “a woman’s heart center.” She also commented that the mantra at Tufts University when she was chief ob/gyn resident was “there’s no room in the tomb for the womb.” This is evidence of the misogynistic (and greedy) nature of the ob/gyn specialty. Granted there are some ethical gynecologists but they’re in the minority since 90% of hysterectomies are unnecessary.
Your wife obviously needs intervention likely in the form of medication, hormones and/or a mood stabilizer. Since she won’t listen to you, counseling may help. Have you tried or considered couples or individual therapy? Even if she refuses, a therapist may be able to help you determine how to proceed. Would any other family members be able to influence her? I found a bipolar / depression support group after my organs were unnecessarily removed. This may be an avenue of help for you and/or her. It was especially helpful for me until I found an effective route and dose of estrogen. “Filling up my estrogen tank” and maintaining a decent level resolved the depression, extreme irritability, and crushing feelings of being overwhelmed by every little thing. It also helped most of the other symptoms of castration / ovary removal (which oftentimes occur even when the ovaries are not removed). However, it has not completely restored me to my former (intact) self. If your wife can’t or doesn’t want to go the hormone route, there are some very effective meds for bipolar disorder. But, just like hormones, it can take a bit of trial and error to find the correct medication and dose. Lithium is one of the oldest and most effective meds for bipolar and is very inexpensive. Some of the side effects of various psychiatric meds can be serious and permanent so it’s critical that patients do their own research when considering taking one of these drugs. Estrogen has some risks (as well as benefits) too. Anti-anxiety meds such as lorazepam are short-acting and addictive so aren’t a good long-term solution.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/ is a good resource for finding an individual or group therapist. Use the “Find a therapist” drop-down feature to find the right resource (e,g, therapist, psychiatrist, support group, treatment facility). Other resources are http://www.nami.org/ (National Alliance for Mental Health) and https://www.meetup.com/ (meetup groups).
Best of luck to you in getting the help you so desperately need!
I appreciate the insight you have provided regarding this issue. I have been searching both pre and post surgery and this is the first realistic explanation I have read. I know my body very well, eat very healthy and exercise and could not understand why my formerly well toned stomach and hips appear to be that of someone else. I am pleased with the outcome of my hysterectomy, removal of all but my ovaries this past September 2016, with the exception of this problem. I must say that I would have given more thought to how this would affect my mental health had the information been provided. For individuals who maintain a healthy body weight and physique their entire lives, it is a difficult pill to swallow. Thank you again.
Jennifer, It is difficult to get this information. The truth about the figure changes seems to be the “best kept secret” about hysterectomy. I remember noticing years ago how women who’d had hysterectomies seemed to have bellies but some I didn’t know beforehand and others I didn’t recall what they looked like beforehand. But I suspected hysterectomy was at least partly to blame. I dismissed all that when I was led to believe my surgery was necessary. HUGE regret!! 🙁
I had a complete hysterectomy 6 years ago. I came across your post on he internet and was intrigued by the info.
I have complained of hip n back problems and various other things to the doctors and they said no can’t be the hysterectomy.
So for the last 3 years I’ve been on varoiu meds from coedine to morphine and been having spinal injections,and going round in circles. Today my pain management consultant told me my spine didn’t look too bad and couldn’t understand my pain,so he’s sending me to a hip specialist……
I felt bewildered by it all,deep down I’ve always felt my problems were due to my hysterectomy.
Its so so difficult to find anything out about how your body changes afterwards,so I almost cried when I read your article,as i t described exactly how I feel and the pain I’m in. Its just a relief to know I’m not alone. Your articles are brilliant and a great help and I feel I can go to the doctor more confidently now and put my case to them…..
Thankyou…. I now know I’m not going mad!!
Joanne, Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m SO sorry you’ve been left with such awful back and hip pain! It would seem that doctors who’ve been practicing for years would see these problems in their patients who’ve had hysterectomies, at least in the long-term. Medical schools must be lacking in their education on female anatomy (but that’s to the advantage of the hysterectomy industry). A woman, Julie, posted a number of comments on one of my articles and said a chiropractor she saw confirmed that hysterectomy causes back and hip problems. I think she also mentioned that a physiatrist told her the same thing. It’s one of the best kept secrets of gynecologists, as are many other negative effects.
I recently spoke to a couple of people who had success with accupuncture for some joint problems. They had done cortisone shots and physical therapy and the accupuncture fixed their problems. I wonder if it would be of benefit for you.
I’m glad my articles have been helpful. I’m sad that more women don’t find them before their surgeries. 🙁
Thank goodness, I am not going mad after all! I had a full vaginal hysterectomy in December 2014 at 45. Like many here, I had suffered extreme blood loss and clotting which just got worse every month. All my life I was told it would go away when you have a baby. Unfortunately, after 2 heartbreaking rounds of ivf I decided enough was enough. I had no quality of life and chances of having the much desired baby wasn’t going to happen. The hysterectomy itself was the best thing for me, no more pain and discomfort. However, I too have lots of back, hip and leg pain. I noticed it first walking up a hill on holiday about 6 mths after surgery when I literally had to stop, rest, catch my breath. Wasn’t sure what was going on. I am in fairly good shape, slim, eat healthy. Went to doc (useless – did bloods for inflammatory markers, nothing showed up) and hrt clinic advise they have never heard of such pains linked with hysterectomy/hrt treatment. Strangely I feel better knowing I am not on my own!!
Joanne, I’m sorry ivf was unsuccessful and you’re left with back, hip and leg pain since your hysterectomy. I hope you can find something to help.
I’m 67, had a total (except one ovary) when I was 43. Never returned for any hormones. My body is as slim and trim as ever. You have to just maintain an ideal weight, keep eating right and exercising. Same as for women who never had the surgery.
Gail, People would call me “slim and trim” too. I’ve always been thin and weigh even less than I did pre-hysterectomy but my shape has changed. I have the hysterectomy belly that is a consequence of the skeletal changes that occur from the ligaments that are severed to remove the uterus. I can tell (from all angles) that my upper torso / rib cage has dropped.
I am 65 years old. I had my total hysterectomy 22 years ago at age 43. I had terrible monthly periods with heavy bleeding and pain. I didn’t hesitate to have it done, as I was not planning more children. My sex life has never been better. No worries, no pain, I have never ever been sorry that I hadvit done. I know its not the same for everyone, but it has been the best decision for myself.
Kathy, I’m glad you are happy with your decision. Unfortunately, gynecologists do treat the uterus as if it’s only for having babies but it’s needed our whole lives. I’m curious what prompted you to go in search of articles on hysterectomy. Are you having some of the problems that crop up over the years? Or wondering why your figure has changed? If I was 100% happy with mine, I wouldn’t be searching for articles.
I too am having bowel problems after my surgery. Just because you don’t have them does not mean a thing as everyone is different. You think you know it all. Just wait. Something is going to happen to you and we will be telling you to go search those articles!
So happy to see such a positive reply. Three weeks post op and hopefully a better life after surgery then before.
Thank you for a little bit of positivity.
I had a radical hysterectomy 3 days ago.
After reading the replys on this site….omgoodness!!! I am so scared I made the wrong decision.
Your reply gave me a little bit of hope. A little is better than none at all. I thank you for that.❤
My reply was to Kathy Johnson❤
I had a complete hysterectomy four years ago, at the age of 28 (they left one ovary, for hormone production, but removed everything else, including Fallopian tubes). I had been extremely anemic for years, due to blood loss during my periods, and my hemoglobin dropped dangerously. I had so much inflammation that every time I sat down, it felt like I had been punched in the abdomen. I would go through the huge over night pads in twenty minutes (they would literally overflow with blood in 20 minutes) and my periods would last for two weeks. I would pass blood clots the size of baseballs. For the first week of my period each month, I couldn’t even go to the grocery store, because walking around, even for 15 minutes, would make me bleed out of a pad. I couldn’t go out, couldn’t go on weekend trips, let alone a week-long vacation, couldn’t have an intimate relationship with my husband, couldn’t go to they gym or work out at home. During the last six months before my hysterectomy, I was on narcotic pain medication for the cramps (and I’m a pretty tough girl…I’ve stepped on hot coals before with bare feet (by accident…long and funny story) and have had spinal taps done, all without wincing). Since my hysterectomy, I feel like I’m finally living! No pain! No anemia! I can go places, do things, hike, bike, run, be an active mother to my three kids and I’m not trapped by pain, blood and worry any more. I haven’t had many physical changes at all, except for a blessed cessation of the pain and anxiety. Having a hysterectomy was the best thing ever, (for me, anyway). I’d do it again in a heartbeat!