Surgical menopause- How long do symptoms last?

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I had TAH +BSO 6 weeks ago and now having symptoms of menopause- emotional instability, hot flashes, migraine, sleep disturbance.. Not too bad so far, but I need to decide whether to have HRT. Anyone have any experience of surgical menopause without HRT? How long does it last? Does it get worse over time? Can't find any positive info from internet, books or GP. Does anyone know of any studies?

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  • Posted

    jasdip - I feel for you. Terrible when you are trying to recover from surgery.

    Mine menopause kicked it a couple of days after my surgery, and I got really really ill with it, soaking the bed, and sweating soo much my ingoing fluid wasn't keeping up with the outgoing fluid, I say my fingernails were sweating.

    Woudn't wish this reaction on my worst enemy.

    I was put on Hormone Replacment, which I was not happy with, but as the Dr said to me if you don't take it, they were going to have to do a cut-down to get a big vein to keep my fluids high enough, I had a very bad reaction.

    Take the hormone replacement, it will make you better, than once you get over the surgery work with you GP every 3 months or so to reduce your dosage, took different dosages, different brand names, just a little less strength each time it was changed, thats what I did, took me about two years to stop taking them completely.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Lyn,

      2 years sounds fairly reasonable to me at present- heard lots of people talk about 10 years of hell due to menopause!! I just want to hear that some people find it not to be so terrible, let's face it, half the population does it and seems to survive! I really feel I can probably cope without HRT, but there are several good reasons to take it, aside from symptoms- increased risk of dementia/stroke/heart disease to name a few. Seems like an unnatural scenario to suddenly have no oestrogen rather than slowly decreasing levels in natural menopause, so I like your suggestion, will discuss with doc tomorrow.

      Thanks again for reply

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Jasdip, you replied to my post yesterday.im the same I don't want to take Hrt because if the side effects it causes, but if symptoms get really bad in afraid it's needs must. I will be in exactly the same position very soon as my surgery is tomorrow as you know, will keep in touch with everyone here as you have all helped so much. Speak soon to see how you are doing with your menopause I feel we will be friends and get through this together.

    Love Ann

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    • Posted

      Hi, Ann

      I'm thinking of you, I bet you're pretty nervous by now (understatement, I suspect), be assured that this menopase stuff is not too bad, would love to keep in touch and compare notes! I'll be a few weeks ahead of you so will let you know how it's going if you like. This time tomorrow, you'll be starting your recovery. Good luck.x

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  • Posted

    Hi jasdip68bim 2 years in june post op surgicaly put into mena and its a nightmare tbh im hoping its nearly over xx
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  • Posted

    I was told to expect 3-4 yrs. by my doctor.  I managed 3 but thought I was going nuts.  My doctor would not give me a HRT replacement.  I took over the counter natural HRT which helped a little bit.  I would take HRT in a second if my doctor would've prescribed it.  Really hard on your marriage when you can't control your emotions and just feel out of control.
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    • Posted

      Edith - forgive me, but I just had this mental picture of me taking to my Dr with Golf club, into his shins, and when he squealed, saying what do you mean it hurts, wouldn't have thought so.

      I did similar to a young arrogant Dr who some years ago when I had a kidney stone, he came at me with an injection in his hand, grabbed my drip line, and lined up the needle.

      I asked him what it was, he said Morphine, and I told him that is going to make me vomit all over the place, I know it does from previous experience, he assured me it would not, as he pushed morphine in.

      I lasted about 10 seconds, before throwing up all over his nice white coat, made no effort to miss him, he abused me roundly as he walked out.

      He won't forget to ask the next patient if they are allergic to morphine.

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    • Posted

      Hi Edith

      any chance another doctor in surgery will prescribe for you?

       If not, consider changing doctors....seriously.  

      Unless there's a serious medical reason why you can't take it, that's just not right..and you have every right to ask to be referred back to the gynae consultant.  

      I had to fight long and hard for my referral to a gynae consultant initially, far harder than I should have..ended up being treated under something called a 'two week rule' for suspected cancer. Had Laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, then Hysterectomy, de-scarring, biopsies and curretings and histology etc all done very quickly after, (all within 6 weeks), but had to initially fight so hard, thought I was going nuts as they wouldn't take my symptoms seriously it felt like. They are very sympathetic now!

      If you are struggling still, please get another opinion. I lost it in the surgery one day...it had the desired effect, and I told them I would be coming back every day or every week till they did something! (I am not pushy by nature, just desperate by then).  Also took my hubby to all future appointments as back up. Think that also helped a lot too.

      Hope you get the help you need.

      Bw's Karen

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    • Posted

      karen - agree with you, with HRT, I really think some of these Dr's have no idea.

      You almost hope Karma comes and bites them on their superior bum.

      I too had no end of problems getting Dr to listen to me with heavy periods, crazy.

      When my daughter developed the same a few months ago, I told her to put all of her padding, towels, tampons in a rubbish bag, and take it to the Dr with her, and when the idiot starts to make excuses about heavy periods, sling the bag on his desk, and tell him this is the last twelve hours.

      She did it, she was soooo frustrated, with excuses that she had been dished out previously, she said to me she nearly knocked his socks off, he went pale, when he looked, and sent her straight to the lab for blood tests. Yes she was in trouble like me, they gave her a blood transfusion, and have put her on a high dose of hormones, which amazing seem to be working for her, that little trick didn;t work for me, only started me vomiting, and then I couldn't stop vomiting, and that in itelf became on emergency.

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    • Posted

      My family has a family history of heavy periods, developing into endrometiral cancer, or suspected endrometiral cancer.

      Me, at 51, D & C came back with carninomia in situ, my younger sister to the month, 5 years younger than me, at 51.

      Then she mentioned to me, what age was Mum, when she had her hysterectomy, we worked out she must have been 51 as well, or therabouts, she coudn't attend my brother's wedding, as she was in hospital, but a little sleight of hand and friends on the wards, and she turned up at wedding in an ambulance, in a wheelchair for a few hours, very special day, my sister, the nurse, looked after her, and kept her drip going, with  medicaiton as needed. 

      Being a nurse, by the time of her surgery, very senior, and in the same hospital system, she was able to access Mum's file, endrometial cancer, or suspected, result hysterectomy,

      My sister and I both have daughters, so we have warned them, they must not muck around with excuses from Dr's but be right on top of getting preventative hysterectomy done.

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    • Posted

      Our stories our so similar Lyn. It's scary not only in what we have to cope with, being told 'it's normal', despite them having taken all the familar history and clearly obvious genetic links, still drag their heels.  Periods so heavy you were lucky to make the bathroom, never mind leave the house...lasting 3 weeks at a time with spotting in between, ridiculous amounts of iron 3x a day had me throwing up, as did meds to try and lighten/stop flow, as did hirmones-trying to stop flow, morphine level pain meds..totally, utterly ridiculous.

      my doc refused to make my request for initial appointment as urgent, so had to wait another 17 weeks to see a consultant...They booked me in the same day for initial investigative surgery at the hospital it was that bad.

      They had found growths in my cervix and I was in agony esp while being examined...I was found to have 2 different pre-cancerous conditions though growths were found to be benign they could have turned nasty..  My mother had breast cancer. My grandmother started with ovarian, then got cervical, then a rare form and had to have a vulvectomy..  Have warned all my female relatives....sisters, daughters, nieces...don't be fobbed off. 

      Glad you and your daughter are getting the help you need now. Best wishes for a great recovery. Karen x

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    • Posted

      My Grandmother had cervical cancer in early 50's. My Mum and one of her Sisters both had breast cancer around the same ages (at the same time in fact in early 40's. Mum was about 42). My Mum and another of her sisters had fibroids and both had Hysterectomies. I had heavy and incredibly painful periods during my 30's but was controlled for a while with mefnamic acid tablets. Never took pill because of my family breast cancer history. Last year age 42 I was diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer I had a TH and BSO, as was diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer and no HRT because of it being Oestrogen related. I get hot flushes, episodes where I feel very fatigued, others where I can't sleep at night. I also suffer with anxiety issues and C-PTSD. Though I find that this is far worse than anythingelse. I don't get a little sad, a little upset, I get seriously distressed to the point that I feel that I am actually losing my total sense of reality and rationality. Its not a good place to be. Not when you feel like that. But HRT is not an option for me. Though I can across your original post about how long surgical menopause lasts.

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  • Posted

    Hiya, I had my op back in August and I dread to think how difficult that time would of been without hrt!

    I could cope with hot flushes, lack of sleep etc IF my emotions were easy to control, but in all honesty its only now I'm kind of getting a grip on them and not turning into a hormonal whirlwind at the drop of a hat. I was given hrt to take as soon as I left hospital. I'm only 32 and it's been very difficult, I'm still not back at work!

    X

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  • Posted

    Hi Jas

    i was approx 6 weeks post op before the menopaise kicked in properly,..had had only odd flashes that were what I would call 'major' having to change clothing, bedding...took to having a towel under me and over my pillows so I didnt ruin them, but had been mostly just a 'warm sensation' that would come over me initially...  Then they kicked in with a vengeance! Plus tearfulness, awful headaches-like migraines, joint pains etc..

    Due to cancer risks doc was concerned to prescribe hrt, but the flashes became such a burden. Lost count of how many in a day...started dressing in layers so I could peel off then put back on when got cold (felt very cold) after it passed, Some night flashes left me feeling very cold and shaky. Almost flu like, but wasnt ill.  Carried a hand held fan with me everywhere.  (I had a LAVH BSO 10 weeks ago).

    Have had internal inflammation and burning kind sensation probs as well...no infection detected, so given internal hrt for direct (suopository type) application (like using a tampax), which appears to be helping now...only been using for last 10 days (only a twice weekly application).

    the oral tablets helped calm the flashes within days.

    my doc is going to be working on getting me on the lowest dose asap.

    My mammogram scans were clear despite other symptoms, but could still just be 'hormonal', but my family history for cervical, ovarian and breast cancer is not good, so doc trying to take extra cautionary steps now, after previous fiasco referring me.I didn't want hrt initially because of all this, but am grateful for the help atm, and doc working with me now makes all the difference.

    not everyone has these problems I know, but if it gets too much, better to get help with it.  I have lots of serious allergy problems to foos and medicines, so trying to go 'natural' wn't much of an option either. 

    Think one of the sites that may be linked on here may have more help advice re alternatives..hystersister I think the site is called.

    bw's

    karen

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    • Posted

      I too, see previous post had previously had a breat lump removed, was not cancerous, but as I was told, if it had been left, they felt it would have turned. Even though I had a really rough time with change of life, I also worked with my Dr to get me stepped down off it as soon as it was possible, every month he changed the medicaiton to lessor strength, if I remember correctly. I was on a very high dosage, again if I remember correctly, too get control of sweating, like you I was soaking everything in the hospital, I became a danger to myself, as my small veins started shutting down due to dehyration, and they were struggling with me.
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    • Posted

      Will be doing the same Lyn, working with doc to get off it safely, being monitored regularly..  Despite a few setbacks in recovery, its still so much better than life Pre-Op. X
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    • Posted

      I have only told you some of the story, I got to that final D & C that diagnosed cancer, via a heomorage (spelling) woke up early one morning, thinking, I had wet myself, got up just before light, but starting to get light,  to go to toilet, didn't switch on the light in the bathroom, but did in the tiolet, and nearly died from fright, the entire front of my nightie wasn;t covered in urine, but blood, I think I screeched in fright, which brought my husband running.

      Husband and son bundled my into brunch coat, carried me downstairs and drove me straight to the hospital. 3 units of blood later, I was told if I hadn't woken up when I did, I may not have woken up.

      Told when looking to see where the top of my uterus was they found it above my waist, you have the equilvant of a five month pregnancy in there.

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    • Posted

      So scare.  I'm glad you woke up and that is a lot of uterus for not being pregnant.  I was bleeding lightly for almost a year waiting for them to complete their tests and tell me what I already knew.  By then my cancer was half way thru the uterus wall.
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