I had my hysterectomy at 50. I was told that I had a large fibroid after a routine examination but was told that I didn’t need treatment unless I started having problems. One year on I was having increasingly heavy periods and my stomach looked like I was 5 months pregnant. After various scans and a visit to a consultant I was told that my only option would be a hysterectomy. There was concern over the very rapid growth of the fibroid and cancer couldn’t be completely ruled out until it had been removed. I did feel extremely frightened at this point.
I was also advised to have my ovaries removed due to my age but after careful consideration I decided to keep them as I didn’t want to be going through a surgical menopause while recovering from a major operation.
I had my hysterectomy within 4 weeks of seeing the consultant. Due to the size of the womb I had to have a vertical incision but it was all straightforward. I had an epidural as well as a general which I was quite nervous about but it was the best decision because I was in no pain for pretty much the rest of that day. I was also hooked up to a morphine pump but I reacted badly to that so just relied on paracetamol and ibuprofen for the rest of the time.
I was only in hospital for 3 days and was told that my uterus was the size of a 22 week pregnancy and that although everything looked normal I would have to wait for the histology results to be sure.
I had very good care in hospital but absolutely no information about what I could or couldn’t do when I left. I asked one consultant about when I should start pelvic floor exercises and he just looked blankly at me ! I had to find out everything from websites like this one.
My recovery went very well, better than I expected. My husband and son were great and I was able to get lots of rest. I was little shocked when I first looked at the incision site, it was from above the belly button right down to the pubic area. Eventually after a nearly 7 week wait I got the letter from the hospital confirming that no evidence of cancer had been found. My uterus was very enlarged due to big fibroids and weighed 1.5 kg. I was now able to finally relax !
Looking back the hysterectomy was for the best and I can now get on with my life without heavy periods and a great big pregnant looking bulge (not a good look at 50 years old ! )
And finally for other women who are worried that a hysterectomy will spell the end of their sex life and orgasms (I was one of these) everything is still in good in that department. In fact its better!
Now available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.
Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.