My periods were never a problem to me for many years. Regular 28 day cycle, 4 or 5 days on and never heavy. The only connection I can think to my heavy periods is being sterilised after completing my family, as I was warned there can be a link. It was however, gradual and over a number of years.
I think that as it was so gradual, this is how I coped with it, because looking back now post-op, I amaze myself that I did cope, and for how long.
I eventually went to see my GP who couldn’t believe my story & referred me immediately for a Gynae consultation, in the letter stating I was “at the end of my tether”! On seeing my consultant Gynae I was diagnosed with a Fibroid, 8cm diameter & sitting (growing) inside my cervix. She wanted to put me on her emergency list there & then. No wonder I had described my period pain as “Like Labour”. I had my Fibroid removed & my Gynae warned me I would be back, saying, “Fibroids are like wrinkles, you don’t just get one”! There were others inside my uterus, but she would see how I went on.
For a couple of months my periods were a little better, but then they came back with a vengeance, pain, clots and floods like I couldn’t believe, and a 22 to 24 day cycle, lasting 6 or 7 days. I was exhausted. I was re-referred by my GP. I requested Ablation, but as my uterus was so bulky with further Fibroids, my only option was Total Abdominal Hysterectomy. I was disappointed I have to say. I had always seen Hysterectomy as “the end”. To me it was an absolute last resort and would turn me into an old woman overnight. However, I was at the end of my tether. My periods were affecting my job now as well as my personal life. I signed on the dotted line with a slightly heavy heart.
I went home and took out my laptop. I discovered this wonderful forum. I read, read and read some more. It was here I learned about “my options” and also that it wasn’t necessarily the end! This wonderful site allowed me to make an informed choice, which is apparent it isn’t offered by most Surgeons! I decided I needed a Sub-total Abdominal Hysterectomy, but would it be possible?
I started on my preparation for my pending surgery. I bought a book listed in the natural menopause sections online, which became my Bible and changed my diet to enable a quicker recovery and easier menopause journey (should this occur following surgery). I followed this diet for the 6 weeks prior to my surgery and felt so well and even lost a (much needed) stone in weight. I went to the gym as often as I was able-I am Gymaphobic so this was a big deal! I bought all the gadgets for my hospital stay as advised on here and I felt physically and mentally prepared. This site made me realise my hyster was going to improve my life, not ruin it. My frame of mind has never been more positive.
On the morning of my surgery, I asked my Gynae re My cervix. She simply said “yes you can keep it if you want it because your (very) recent smear was normal ”!! Why wasn’t I offered this then?
Today I am 4 weeks post-op, in fact I was having my spinal and GA at this very moment I type! I am so happy and feel free. I haven’t had a period for 54 days! (I cant believe it, I keep pinching myself)! My scar is neat and healing well. I have taken my time, rested to the max and been careful not to overdo things, if you do, you will suffer the next day as we all discover! I continue with the healthy eating & I feel so well and am told I look so well. I walk almost every day now for 30-40 minutes and people do not know I have had a major op, so I don’t tell them if they don’t already know! I don’t feel like an old woman, I feel like a new woman! I am glad to be rid of my uterus, it was ruining my life and my health.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda for this forum. I am sure there are 100s of women out there, afraid and uninformed and I think this site information should be given out, like a prescription to all women under-going a Hysterectomy by GPs & Consultant Gynaecologists. I would also like to thank all the ladies on the forum, their insight and experiences have helped me to accept and eventually enjoy the Hyster path I have had to take.
Good luck to all ladies who are also on this journey, it has its twists and turns but embrace it and go forward.
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.