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Hi all, I am chocked to read how frequently women are advised to have a hysterectomy considering the fact that it is a quite large operation with likely comprehensive and lifelong side effects.
A few examples: at least 50% of women who has had the operation will develop incontinence and vaginal prolapse over time (80% says the largest American doctors' association). Since the uterus is placed in a quite central part of the body other organs such as bowels and bladder may be damaged during the operation, and, being a central organ, removing the uterus may have an impact on the placement of the other organs. There is evidence that a hysterctomy causes early menopause, probably (not yet proven) due to impaired blood supply to the ovaries. Please read on internet what it may do to your sex life! You can also find testimonies from American women about their suffering after hysterectomy.
If you ask your doctor about these side effects and she/he deny or diminish them, look for information on your own, compare information and think for yourself. The side effects are quite logical. Some doctors have their own agenda, which may be much more important to them than your lifelong health.
I went to see a gyn about two years ago. She said that I had two "enourmous" fibroids and showed me the size of a football with her hands. Looking at my tummy I realized that she was exaggerating a lot, but they were still big and caused heavy bleeding. She said that I should have an operation and told me "no worries, they will leave the ovaries". I went out from the hospital thinking "and what will they not leave?". Then I read the information about fibroids and operations on several web pages and realized what this monster had in mind for me - female mutilation.
I contacted another doctor and I told her that hysterectomy was out of the question and also gave her my view of discrimination against women in health care. No one would suggest to a man to have his reproductive organs removed!
When I presented my arguments against hysterctomy she reluctantly admitted that I "may have a point", but being a suregeon she defended hysterectomy anyway. I said that there must be other options for women and there were of course.
We discussed embolization, but I was still reluctant since it may have an impact on nerves and blood supply to different organs.
Then she told me about Esmya and it seemed great to me. I took it for three months and I had no side effects. I was just very happy to get rid of the heavy bleeding and to have a flatter tummy. Still my fibroids had only shrunk by 15% and after six months they had grown a lot again. Now I had four very large fibroids (each with a diameter of 7-9 cm) and my uterus was quite big. I looked as if I was pregnant and the bleeding was heavy and non-stop. Again the doctor suggested operation. I refused and set up an appointment with another doctor.
I realized that a longer period with Esmya would probably be the only cure for me and I found a doctor who agreed. After five months on Esmya (with no side effects) my fibroids have now shrunk more than 50% and my uterus is much smaller (almost back to normal size) and my tummy is flat. We have decided that my doctor will check on my fibroids every third month and if they regrow I will be put on Esmya again. Scary that I (being a financing professional) had to design my own health plan because of incompetent doctors.
It is up to every woman to decide what to do with her body. Not the doctors! Look for information, it is quite easy to find on internet. There are organizations working against hysterectomy. Talk to different doctors! I do realize that some women have bad side effects when taking Esmya, but please compare with the lifelong damage to your body that a hysterectomy may cause before you decide on an operation. An operation should be the very last alternative, if it should be an alternative at all.
Good luck to you all!
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