Just over 2 years ago I had a vaginal hysterectomy for a prolapsed womb, cystocele and retrocele repair. Post operative pain from the retrocele repair went on for a year due to scar tissue making sex painful and then a few months after the surgery my sex drive went completely. Despite keeping my ovaries blood tests revealed that my oestrogen and testosterone levels had completely flatlined. The hysterectomy had caused my ovaries to stop working altogether.
HRT patches solved the absence of oestrogen but this did not improve the lack of libido which had been fine before having the hysterectomy. I had my surgery done privately and was lucky enough to have a very understanding consultant who suggested I tried testosterone therapy. I was apprehensive at first as the information on the internet was scary to say the least but my consultant reassured me that it was safe.
Testosterone therapy is unfortunately no longer available for women on the NHS. Testogel is only licensed for men to use but this is the product I was prescribed. It is a colourless, scentless, clear gel in an alcohol base which absorbs easily into the skin. It comes in boxes of 30 x 50mg sachets and I started on 2 x 5mg doses a week. A man would use a full 50mg sachet a day so the dose for a woman is very, very, small. I had blood tests at regular intervals so that my testosterone levels could be monitored closely. Eventually the right dose for me was 5mg daily which is toothpaste size blob. After just 2 weeks my sex drive started to return, I had more energy and felt less depressed. I have not looked back since, it has been the best decision I ever made. Testosterone therapy does not work for everybody and you have to continue to use it to maintain testosterone levels.
I have to pay for private 6 monthly check ups with my consultant which is around £100 each time and a box of Testogel lasts about 10 months and depending on which pharmacy you use costs about £36. So for £236 a year I have my sex drive back at a cost of 65p a day!!!
The subject of testosterone therapy for women appears not to be something there is much information about and the subject of low or non existent sex drive in women appears to be something that is talked about even less and not acknowledged by some, which is why I wanted to share my experience with other women. It is not as scary as people make out, I did not grow a beard or experience any side effects and if it works it transforms your sex life. I refuse to be written off at the age of 51 and can now enjoy life again after all my gynaecological surgery which did have a devastating impact on my sex life.
I feel strongly that the psychological impact of a hysterectomy is seriously under estimated by many people in the medical profession and it is only by sharing information and experiences that women can support each other through this life changing experience.
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.