The HERS Foundation’s Twenty-Seventh Hysterectomy Conference will be held November 14th-15th, 2008 in Atlanta GA.
Become informed about female anatomy, the life-long functions of the female organs, the alternatives to hysterectomy, and the consequences of the surgery. Learn about the common reasons hysterectomy is recommended such as fibroids, endometriosis, endometrial hyperplasia, uterine or bladder prolapse, bleeding, and pelvic pain. Find out about the most frequently reported adverse effects of hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries (female castration), and some coping strategies for women who have had the surgery such as diet, exercise, acupuncture, acupressure, massage and reiki.
The conference will be of interest to everyone who is interested in women’s health. Everyone is welcome.
November 15th, 2008
On Friday November 14th at 7:30pm there will be a screening of “un becoming”, Rick Schweikert’s play about an artist who is faced with a medical decision that could forever change her life.
I am 34 years old and I had a hysterectomy about a year and a half ago. My doctor told me that it was necessary to cure my endometriois and my chronic pelvic pain. It did neither. I have much worse pain now, and to make matters ten time worse. I got two infections after the surgery, then months went by and then they tried to say that I was faking to get pain medication. After months of unbearable pain, I just recently found out that it was possible that when the surgery was done only a partial ovariectomy was done. To make matters worse, the doctor didn’t even tell me I overheard him talking to his resident. Now, I am still suffering all the time and don’t know what to do? According to all the doctors that I have seen, my doctor is supposely the best so I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. What do I do? Can someone please help me? Do I act like I don’t know or do I confront him on it?
I wish I had found this site about two years ago before I had my hysterectomy. I listened to what the doctors said because I was young. The sad about this is that I am only 34 years old with no children. I went as far as to get a second opinion from another doctor who was absolutely no help. I had the surgery and experienced nothing but problems ever since, and to add insult to injury, my doctor is telling me that I might have to undergo surgery again for the same problem that he proclaimed the hysterectomy was for. Go figure.
To anonymous Oct 30, 11:27, If I were in your shoes this is what I would do. Go to the hospital where you had the surgery and go to the record department to get your operative report. See what is says. It sounds like the doctor has not told you the whole truth. It is hard to find a doctor who is truthful. If this was me I would look for another doctor. There are Urogynecologist and Oncologist you could check into. Also Hers might help you find a doctor in your area. If the doctor is not dealing with your pain now, I don’t think he will help you anymore. I don’t know what to tell you about confronting the doctor. I have confronted some doctors and I got my answers, and other times the doctor side tracked me and I never got my answers. Maybe someone else can help. If you see a new doctor you could ask that doctor, and see if you get your answers.
HERS Foundation says
I’m so glad that you didn’t accept being told that your uterus and ovaries need to be removed, and that in searching for information you found what you need to make an informed decision.
This information about fibroid may also be helpful to you:
Fibroids are benign growths of muscle and connective tissue that grow until you reach menopause. Then they slowly and gradually shrink to a negligible size, at which time they will be small and calcified.
The average size of the uterus including fibroids in the late thirties to early forties is a ten to twelve week pregnancy size (about 13cm in the largest dimension), in the middle forties fourteen to sixteen weeks is average (about 17cm in the largest dimension), and in the late forties to early fifties eighteen to twenty weeks is average (about 21cm in the largest dimension).
Fibroids have two rapid growth spurts that are natural, predictable, and not a cause for alarm. The first rapid growth spurt is in the late thirties to early forties. Then you have a few years of slower growth. Right before you go through menopause, when you have the hormone changes associated with the beginning of menopause, you have the second and last rapid growth spurt. Then the fibroids slowly and gradually shrink to a negligible size.
You develop all of the new fibroids you are going to have in your 30’s you do not develop new fibroids in your 40’s.
Both estrogens and progesterone stimulate fibroid growth. Many women use the so called “natural” progesterone yam cream that promoters claim shrinks fibroids, but in fact it makes them grow.
Fibroids are not a disease, they are your genetic blueprint. If you can live with the symptoms it would probably be better than unnecessary intervention of any kind. If you cannot live with the symptoms a myomectomy is a reasonable option. You never need a hysterectomy for fibroids unless you have the wrong doctor. If a doctor tells you that you have too many fibroids, they’re too large, or they’re in a location that makes myomectomy impossible you’re going to a doctor who doesn’t have the skill to perform the surgery. There is no such thing as fibroids that are too numerous, too large, or in a location where they can’t be removed if the doctor has the skill.
male in mich
I’ve got a problem with meds just prescribed for my wife. As I’ve posted before I think these doctors are robbing her. She recently had blood tests and they said her ovaries have stopped working. Well la de da, I could have told them that happened about 4 or 5 years ago after her so called partial hysterectomy.(I label it as a complete hysto because the doctors were just hackers) Her surgery was 6 years ago and about a year afterward she began the long road of downward health issues. But my question is this. They had her on estro cream and now she has been put on enjuvia. The websites and drug info all warn of severe side effects. I’m concerned she could be taking poison or something that will make her symtoms worse. Does anyone know or have history with the use of enjuvia? Any help or feedback might help me.
I am 55, have not gone through menapause and I’m having regular uncomplicated periods. My gyno has been doing a watch and wait on my 8cm fibroid that was found on a routine exam 2 years ago. I have no symptoms other than some pressure and bloating now and then. Last visit he said it is time to get it out. Since I haven’t gone through menapause he tells me it will continue to grow and become too large (I still don’t know what too large is). He wants me to have a hysterectomy and take the ovaries, too. There’s nothing wrong with the ovaries but since my aunt died of ovarian cancer he tells my I’m at risk. I was given no other information and I didn’t ask for any because I was taken by surprise. I went home and started researching like mad. I was scared. My quality of life is great. Why would I want to change that? I can now make an educated decision about this surgery. I have chosen NOT to have a hysterectomy. Thank you.
You are very smart not to have a hysterectomy. We all know doctors encourage women to have this life alterning surgery. You can find a doctor that will remove just the fibroids, but you best write on the consent form that is all you want removed and if anything else is removed you will sue.
I am sure you have read on the blog all the women who wished they never had this surgery including myself.
Go out and tell your family and friends to go on the Hers Blog and watch the DVD ‘female anatomy’ and sign the petition. You can be a great help to the Hers Foundation.
If you have any kind of surgery I would call the Hers foundation. They will help you with the consent form.
Do whatever it takes to avoid this surgery. I am 36 days short of it being the one year anniversary of the operation that ruined my life. My husband thinks I am crazy and need to be on medication. The doctor that did it thinks I should just “get over it”. (her words exactly) I seriously consider taking my life just to make a statement towards the severity of the damage that has been done.
Get SEVERAL opinions…including some from doctors that aren’t Ob/Gyns…..you deserve better than this. And so do I….
The HERS Foundation will hold its 27th Hysterectomy Conference on Saturday, November 15, 2008 from 9-6 at the Westin Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Medical and legal professionals will discuss the alternatives, risks and consequences of hysterectomy. The conference will be of interest to everyone with a personal or professional interest in Women’s health issues. The registration fee is $60, but as always, and especially in these difficult economic times, all are welcome, regardless of ability to pay.
The conference will provide information not generally disclosed by physicians about the surgery such as: Fibroids are benign and not a disease. A hysterectomy is never needed for fibroids unless you have the wrong doctor. Removal of the uterus, with or without removal of the ovaries, elevates a woman’s risk of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, heart disease and other pathological conditions. Removal of the uterus causes the loss of uterine orgasm, an irreversible consequence. Removal of a woman’s ovaries, the female gonads, is castration, with effects that are the same as a removal of a man’s testicles.
On the eve of the conference, there will be a screening of Rick Schweikert’s play “unbecoming,” Friday, Novenber 14th at 7:30PM. The play revolves around an artist whose life could be permanently changed by a medical decision.
Hysterectomy is an unproven operation; neither its assumed worth nor its necessity have ever been scientifically proven. Register online at http://www.hersfoundation,.org/conference.html or call HERS at 888/750-4377
I have learned a lot going to HERS conferences. If you have had or are considering a hysterectomy, please attend and educate yourself. It will definitely be worth your time and money.
I had a hysterectomy (both ovaries) removed at the age of 41. Because of endometriosis and heavy bleeding, periods every 2 weeks. I thought this was the complete answer to my problems. It was just the beginning. I had a nervous breakdown about 2 months after my hysterectomy (lack of hormone support) and left work for a year. Recently, in the last 5 years I have been having debilitating migraines which I have never had in my life (no history, no gene link) and my gynocologist just gives me medication for depression; and can’t understand why I could possible think that the hysterectomy has anything to do with the migraines. I have been weaning to a lower dose of the estriol patch and this seems to have eleviated some of the symptoms of migraine but not completely. I have had nothing but medical problems since I had the hysterectomy. After surgery, my gyno said I had no more endometriosis growth and everything was fine. So why did she go ahead and do the surgery? This was not an option of discussion before the surgery (My fault) I was desperate for a treatment for my discomfort and instead of giving me options, I was only given one.
I am 27 years old and had a radial hysterectomy a little over 2 years ago against my will. Nobody understands how I feel but I hurt, and I feel empty inside and pretty much like I am not a woman, like this incomplete person sitting here who can’t give life. I don’t feel like I deserve to be loved and so alone. Alone and cold. If you can find another way to beat whatever is going on then please do it. Nobody should ever have to feel like this, and if I could just get that one day back….
Believe me when I say we all know how you feel. We are the experts and we all need to speak out. What doctors (both male and female) are doing to us for profit is a criminal act against women!
We need you to fight with us to get a law passed so this doesn’t go on for another century.
Please get in contact with the HERS Foundation so they can give you women in your area who are suffering from this unnecessary surgery also.
Unless you have confirmed cancer, there are other alternative surgeries, but most likely your doctor won’t tell you about myomectomies and polypectomies because it is just easier to clean house taking your ovaries, uterus and cervix.
I just read some of the recent posts. I was feeling very poorly this evening, and when I do feel this way, (my aftermath of Hyst. associated problems) I seem to sit down and read the blogs. At least I realize I am not alone.
Gosh, some of the recent posts…
“Medical problems since”, “Nobody should ever have to feel like this, and if I could just get that one day back”, “…doctor that did it thinks I should “just get over it”, “Hyst. never needed for fibroids unless you have the wrong doctor”, (condsidering)…”taking my life” just to prove…
Oh, my gosh. Well, this one last comment, from an anonymous of taking her life…Hang in there…
I know how all of you feel. I post as “Bibi”, and you can read my previous inputs. I had a Hyst. due to Fibroids the very end of 2003. I have regretted it since. I feel I was forced into having the surgery; as it was my only option and cure. My life, as many have stated here, feels ruined. My only blessing is that I do have some family and a few friends who do support and believe me when I say I am at this state of being ruined, and have more physical and emotional pains than ever. How dare any doctor think any of us are “faking pain”, by the way (as one posted here).
We all, who have had this happen to us want this to cease/not be done to any other woman. I just want also answers to how I can feel better. I have been to four other GYNs, several tests done, and gone to other specialists, since the Hyst., but not one person can help. One specialist I saw was an expert with Fibromyalgia, and got me on all these misc. pills to treat this. Hello? I do not need ‘Lyrica’ to help me with my horrible abdominal pains every single waking day, my fatigue, my feelings that I do not want to do anything, that when I bend over I have horrible back pain, when I try to put on pantyhose, I get horrible lower side abdominal pains (never did before), and absolutely excuriating, seriously, never did gag when brushing my teeth, (hate to brush my teeth ever since the Hyst. – and would like to charge my OB/Gyn for any dental bill I incur from here on out…), have no desire for sex, when I truly was a ‘wildcat’ before, and just feel miserable about every single day of my life.
I could list a few other things, but isn’t this enough? I have even some family members who are turning on me. They wonder what is wrong. What they can’t see; well, there must be nothing wrong. Do I have to break a leg to get sympathy? My own daughter, just of recent, (22 years old) is starting to say, “Mom, if you would just get up and do things. Well, I also have RSD – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in my legs – a nerve disease caused by a fracture to my left ankle area. The family is sympathetic with this, but I am trying to tell everyone, since the Hyst., I have never felt worse. I believe, because of the Hyst., and the doctor not taking into consideration my nerve disease, and severing more nerves, he has only worsened my situation and syndrome. See, this was only something I discovered when I attended the last HERS Foundation conference, and discovered, for the first time, all the nerves, ligaments, and tendons severed during this surgery. The doctors don’t tell a woman this.
Three things here:
One is – I want help and answers to help in the aftermath with what has happened to me;
Two is – I want to get the word out about this horrific thing happening to women each day. Women are being told they must have a Hyst., and it is so untrue!
Three is – I want to share with other women who have gone through this, and get their advice also on how to cope with this, and with family/friends who don’t understand. I get so upset and it does get depressing when people think it is in your mind, and you are not doing enough to just take care of yourself. (Stop eating red meats, my sister said, even go Vegetarian…Hello?) If I could give one family member the feelings and symptoms I have each day, for one day – they would sit down and cry for me…
Well, there… I have vented. I hope anyone here reading this can help me with any answers to feeling better. I also write this to say, I am here for all of you. We have to stick together. We can’t give up.
Take care, everyone. My heart goes out to you all so sincerely.
i am a 45 year old female, diagnosed with breast cancer in june of 2007. since then, i have recently had 2 transvaginal ultrasounds, they showed a mass on my ovarie. the report said benign, i think. i go to the oncologist today. anyway, now this young, inexperienced, obgyn wants to do a total laproscopic hysterectomy. cant they do a test to see if the mass is cancer? the blood work was negative. i think cause i have state insurance, hill-burton, this young dr may need practice, and im not volunteering. i am so thankful i found this site. my heart goes out to all of you. and if its cancer, wouldnt it be best to remove only the ovaries? scared to daeth in south fl. nanetteh
wow..interesting…I recently was treated for breast cancer and was told my estrogen may contribute to my cancer in the future. The oncologist said, since my uterus/ovaries give out estrogen, why don’t I get them taken out? In the meantime, I was checked out by a bladder specialist who did tell me my uterus was quite large and is pressing up against my bladder, but he detected no diseases. He told me ‘they’ may want you to take your uterus out, don’t let ‘them’. Interesting……I’m 50, yup my body is changing, heavy bleeding (but manageable), coupla of mood swings, frequent bathroom visits, but I can handle it. All of the above are pain-free. After reading a few of these posts, I’ll continue to manage and keep the whole caboodle of parts.
I was fortunate to find the book, “Hysterectomy Hoax” by Dr. Stanley West. I highly recommend this book as it explains all the female issues and explains that a hysterectomy is never necessary unless it is life threatening, (i.e. cancer). The book explains that abnornal bleeding is caused by either a hormone imbalance or fibroids and fibroids can be removed through a myomectomy vs. a hysterectomy. Women from all over the country have traveled to Dr. West to have their fibroids removed and their testimonies are on his website. Please read this fine book for any female issue before proceeding with a hysterectomy. Please do not fault the doctors because they are only doing what they are trained to do in medical school. I am so grateful I found his book and saved myself from a hysterectomy.
As gynecologist Stanley West said, “With proper planning, our advisers suggested, each year of practice would produce a lucrative ‘crop’ of women ripe for hysterectomy.” West’s medical license was suspended by the New York Department of Health. This is a quote from a “Determination and Order” against West by the Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct: “We suspend the Respondent’s License for three years and stay the suspension for all but three months. We place the Respondent on probation for three years, with the added requirement that the Respondent receive pre-approval for all surgery.” Women who read books by doctors speaking out against hysterectomy may assume it means the doctors are conservative in practice and skilled surgeons, but it’s not necessarily so. Gynecologists learn to say what women want to hear, but it shouldn’t be assumed to reflect what they actually do in the operating room, or what women need to know about the many functions of the uterus.
While I hope I never need a hysterectomy, women need to realize doctors are doing what the medical schools teach them to do. Maybe focus should be toward the teaching institutions and changing the way doctors are taught. Also changing the focus toward insurance companies to make alternatives to hysterectomies lucrative (i.e. myomectomy, ablation, etc). This site states ablations are destructive, but it doesn’t seem to be as destructive as hysterectomies. Maybe HERS can forward these comments to insurance companies and medical institutions, etc. That is where change needs to take place it seems to me.
I had a hysterectomy about 3 years ago and am now 48 years old. I have a bulging disc problem that keeps me from sitting in a car for very long. I can’t even ride in a car sitting up for 100 miles. Is this related to my hysterectomy?
I can't recall my user ID, but it's just as well because I work in a hospital. I'm a nurse and at 43 I was told I had to have a hysterectomy because of my uterus prolapsing from having 5 children. I regret it everyday. If you look at the most common side effects for women who have had their uterus removed but not their ovaries I have many of those symptoms, the most distressing being the lack of interest in sex, decreased sensuality & response. It certainly has put a damper on things. And of course the worst part about it is that I was uniformed of all of the possible side effects.
I had a nursing instructor tell me she has a friend who says, regarding sex, "You might as well be tapping my forehead"
I miss the feelings of comfort, resolution, after sex as well.
We were discussing it when a female doctor walked into the charting room & she said she had a hysterectomy & and she thinks it's wonderful. I would venture to guess it probably wasn't great before. She says she never hears of any bad side effects from her patients.
To tell you the truth, I haven't told the dr. who did mine either. I was so mad for a year & hurt I couldn't bring myself to tell HER what she has done to me. I can hardly look her in the eye. Thankfully I have only seen her at another hospital I infrequently work at only on occasion. I guess I don't have the nerve to confront her. I think I should print a copy of the questionnaire & request it to be put in my chart.
The nursing instructor also told me maybe hormones might help, but I have my ovaries.
Has anyone else had success with a little bit of hormones even with ovaries intact. Does it help? I would think not much since you don't have the uterus for the hormones & nerves to work from/on.
This nursing instructor also mentioned why do you think pregnant women have fantastic sex? From all of the increased blood flow to the area. What happens with a hysterectomy? Decreased blood flow to the perineal area, thus decreased feeling, sensation. It makes sense to me.
Frustrated & still angry after 4 years.
lisa from ct says
hello im 31 years old i just found out i need surgery do to back pains always having my period bledding after sex im always stress and depress i have daughters im so scared something happens ive been with my husband 21 years he was my first love .now im scared reading all this somepeople say your body changes and sex is not the same i dont want to loose my husband of 21 years or loose my kids do to attitude change they said i have no choose my bladder and uteris is low and they said i had cancer cells can someone please right back to me and tell me is it true about my whole life is going to change
HERS Foundation says
Do you know what's causing your pain and other symptoms? Have you had any diagnostic tests?
If you email the HERS Foundation at email@example.com they will email information to you. You can also arrange a telephone appointment to speak with a counselor by contacting HERS at 610.667.7757. It's also important to watch the short, informative video "Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs", at http://www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy.
I am 32 yrs old and am suffering from heavy clotting n pelvic pains during my periods. I have a kid and now i am so sick of bleeding and pain that i want to get my uterus removed. i was working earlier but had to leave the job because of this problem. i cannot even walk during those days as it increases the clotting.. someone please help..
HERS Foundation says
Ila, the type of bleeding you describe is usually associated with fibroids. Fibroids are benign growths of muscle and connective tissue that can grow on a long stalk (which is the blood supply from the uterus to the fibroid) called pedunculated, they can be embedded in the outside layer of the uterus and are called subserosal, or they can be in the middle layer of the uterus and are intramural, or they can be in the inside, endometrial layer of the uterus and are submucosal. The only location of fibroids that causes heavy bleeding with large blood clots is when they are submucosal. Fibroids can be removed without removing the uterus. If you would like to speak with a counselor at HERS about how to be evaluated to determine if you have fibroids, and if you do, how to find a doctor who is skilled at removing them, contact HERS at 610.667.7757, or fill out the contact form on HERS website at http://www.hersfoundation.org.
Its not going to be the same all the time, changes happen in your menstrual cycle and often to a lot of women. ANd I guess sometimes ovulation has light bleeding, not sure but I heard. I wouldn't worry so much.