I’ve always had heavy irregular periods and we’re told I should probably consider having children sooner rather than later. I got married at 23 and started trying for a family straight away. I had five miscarriages, numerous tests and had diagnosis ranging from endometriosis – lupus – polycystic ovaries. All of which I felt were guesswork as despite having tests I always felt like I was never really taken seriously.
I would bleed heavily for up to 10 days but never had a regular pattern. With the help of a sympathetic gynaecologist I had fertility treatment and when I was 28 I had my twin girls. I was advised that having a full term pregnancy would help with my menstrual cycle. If anything my periods became worse, they became more irregular, heavier and more painful. I would regular have ‘labour type’ pains and pains down the front of my legs.
Following a further miscarriage when I was 33 I began discussing with my GP the possibility of having a hysterectomy. I was advised to try other options first, so I had a Mirena coil which affected my mood and I still bled heavily, I then had an ablation which made absolutely no difference. I felt like the GP’s and gynaecologists didn’t believe me that the procedure had made no difference at all and I asked for a further ablation. Again it made no difference and if anything my periods had become so painful I was staying in bed for the first day of my period.
Finally I asked for a referral back to my original gynaecologist who had helped me have my daughters. On my first appointment he informed me I had a my shaped womb (heart shaped apparently) and probably adenomyosis. He asked if I wanted the tests to confirm, after discussing what the options would be he informed me that the only effective treatment would be a hysterectomy. I could have wept, I was so grateful that the man who had assisted me to have children was now offering me a solution to the pain and discomfort I’d suffered for years.
When I told people I’d be having a hysterectomy they all looked at me with pity and I felt like I had to tell that it was okay and what I wanted. At 39 some of my friends are just having their first child. I’m now 8 weeks post op and feel better already. My surgery went well, they had to leave my cervix as it would have damaged my bladder if they’d attempted to remove it due to adhesions. I was very sore for about 10 days and found not being able to drive very frustrating.
I now notice I don’t have the heavy, full feeling in my abdomen. I didn’t know I was living with that until it had gone. I can honestly say for me, my family and my sanity my hysterectomy was absolutely the right decision. I feel better already than I have for a number of years. I’m looking forward to going back to work and moving forward rather than feeling like my life was on hold.
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.