Fear of a hysterectomy – Marguerite’s Story

Hello, I am in my late 60s and have had a prolapse for four years. At first I had a pessary fitted which had to be changed and washed and then reinserted every six months.

It worked perfectly at first but my consultant said at some stage, she’d have to perform a hysterectomy. I thought why, when the pessary worked so well. However it began to cause problems recently as It rubbed against the womb causing a discharge. She said again that it was time for the op. but like many this fills me with fear. She said since I was past childbearing and had children then it was of no consequence. True, but I hate the thought.

I live on my own and fear I won’t manage. One son lives a way away and the other has a demanding partner. My girlfriends don’t live near.

I’m frightened of an infection. I’m frightened of the anaesthetic. I’m frightened of hospitals. My GP suggested I see a hypnotherapist. Has anyone else seen one for hospital phobias and can anyone suggest where to get help to overcome these fears. I realise I do have to have this op and I can’t put it off forever. Many thanks to all those whose stories I’ve read.


in my own words book coverNow 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.

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  1. Me too, I think I have a form of post traumatic stress related to fear of a hysterectomy. I had years of investigations and surgeries to remove extensive endo and adhesions but the last two, particularly the last surgery was so traumatic, painful and I was so ill, as they found much more than they expected and it had travelled into my stomach as well, affecting my pelvis, bowel. Tube stump previously removed had stuck to bowel and ovary to bowel the other side …. a right mess! The morphine made me so sick and now years on my likely option is a radical hysterectomy with possible bowel ressection. Now going through menopause so praying symptoms will subside but still get pinching in the right pelvis, bowel problems, poor sleep and frequent urination and general body aches and hip pain. I am so scared, I have actually avoided going to the Gp, as last one said “we are going round in circles” which I immediately knew what would come next!
    I think my other worry is that adhesions which are now thought to be my main problem being in menopause can worsen in hysterectomy some say! It is one hell of a gamble for such a big op. I am so scared, so confused and in a right dilemma. I lie awake at night worrying about my indoor cat who hates catteries if I went in hospital, what I would do for months living alone recovering and unable to get out and walk my friends dog which keeps me sane. My friend has cancer and I don’t want to let her down so for now I just keep popping the painkillers, stool softeners, anti spasmodics and sleep pills and carry on. I realise somewhere inside that I may have to face my demon at some stage
    but I have every sympathy with that paralysing fear!

  2. Hi RE Hypnosis, its nothing to fear, I underwent hypnosis during a stressful divorce a few years ago and use the technique learned for dental treatment all the time. It is a state of deep relaxation that can be learned from a good practicioner, I use it when I have to do public speaking or anything that gives you a nervy feeling. I am 43yo, 3 weeks post op, and had everything removed through an 8″ bikini wound. I was amazed how good I felt once the post op gas had dispersed! The nurses were in no hurry to send me home and if you are pleasant with them they’ll be really helpful and you’ll restore their faith in humankind – can’t believe how nasty and obnoxious some patients can be. I feel like a new woman, but would have appreciated a couple of weeks peace at home, my mum took me to her house and while she was lovely I felt obliged to make conversation all the time. Fill the freezer with home cooking, it takes your mind off stuff before you go in and use the microwave when your home. If your concerned about the slightest thing when your home phone your GP and ask for a home visit. You’ll soon feel like a new woman, you really will find out what you’ve been putting up with beforehand.
    Very best wishes D

  3. Hello Marguerite, handling the anxiety is not easy, but the real project is getting to a better state of health than at the present. More support may be available than you realise at the minute, e.g nurses from a local hospital who can change the dressing, (this overcomes any possible infection), a friend with a bit of time who will be happy to travel, or even someone who can have you to stay initially while you need care. My tips… Buy some big nickers that will reach right over the stitches. if possible have access to a shower, baths are tricky at first; stock up with tasty fruit and veg to mitigate constipation and be prepared for uncomfortable wind! I found DVDs a huge pleasure during recovery. The mind is engaged while the body rests. Friends are happy to lend them or even better could watch with you. Plan to take something personal with you to the hospital. Perhaps a little photo album whether digital or paper. Good luck.

  4. Hi ladies, i am 55 and had my abdominal hysterectomy 3 months ago, i was petrified but i can honestly say it was nothing like i feared, i was never in any pain i slept most of the first day but 2nd day i was out of bed walking about, ok i was a little uncomfortable but feeling fine, i went home on the 3rd day i did rest for a few weeks but the worst thing was the constipation which was soon sorted by eating lots of fruit, i am now feeling brilliant, i hope it all goes well for you.

  5. Hello Marguerite, I sympathise with your fears I am feeling exactly the same, so I unfortunately my post is not really going to help you at all, it is simply to say that you are not alone in your thoughts. I am currently waiting for a total hysteretomy (I am 60) and getting more nd more nervous by the day, I am thinking of consulting a hypnotherapist , I am happy to try anything that will make me more rational. I hope you get the help you need to get you through this period of anxiousness, perhaps we can support each other.