Suffering before, during and after a total abdominal hysterectomy – Debbie’s story

I am 7 days post op of a total abdominal hysterectomy. I am looking for support and to be able to share my story as at the moment I feel very alone even though I’m trying to be positive. I’m not good at resting as I have always kept myself busy. Being out of control and relying on time to recover is really hard. At times I’m emotional and feel my life is on hold and other times I accept time is a great healer and I should enjoy the opportunity to sit with my feet up cause I’m allowed.

I have been peri-menopausal for approx 4 yrs suffering with flushes, heavy prolonged periods and bad mood swings. I was prescribed HRT which helped my mood and flushes. My periods became so heavy I became anaemic and very unwell. I was prescribed ferrous sulphate which increased my iron levels and I felt much better, although my periods remained the same.

My periods were getting me down so I decided it was time to seek help. My GP prescribed metformin acid which after 3 months made no difference. I was sent for an ultra sound scan which showed fibroids. I was prescribed tranexamic acid which helped with the bleeding.

I was referred to a gynaecologist who suggested a coil or endometrial ablation. I opted for the latter as I thought it more permanent solution. They were unable to perform a colposcopy as they were unable to insert the camera. It was decided they would carry out the colposcopy during the ablation.

March 2015 I had the ablation and biopsy. The operation was straight forward and the biopsy was benign. Great I thought no more periods and nothing sinister.

From March – May 2015 if I wasn’t bleeding heavily I was losing a watery fluid which felt like urine but it wasn’t. I was wearing pads day and night 24/7. I thought it will settle down, it didn’t it just got worse. I was getting worried.

I went to the sexual health clinic as I thought I had PID or something, but not an sti as I have a regular partner. An internal was performed and I bled heavily. I was treated for 4 weeks for PID taking numerous antibiotics and injections. I had an ultra sound scan which showed something which they thought was a 3.5cm blood clot. 2 weeks later a further ultra sound showed a 4.5cm ? Polyp. An urgent referral to gynaecologist was made.

MRI scan showed a 4.5cm polyp/ fibroid in the cervix. Colposcopy was unable to be performed as again they could not insert the camera. A colposcopy was arranged under general anaesthetic in Aug 2015.

Colposcopy revealed an inverted uterus. Total abdominal hysterectomy was arranged for Sept, 2015.

During May – Sept I hemorrhage, lost clots as big as my hand and had a prolapse. I went to A&E on one occassion they sent me home and when I had a prolapse I saw an out of hours doctor who told me this is what happens to older ladies!

1st Sept I had a 2 hr total abdominal hysterectomy including ovaries. It was described as major surgery. The discomfort was bearable and to be expected. 2 days after surgery I had a blood transfusion due to anaemia.

Day 5 I was discharged home. The surgery went well and physically I’m doing fine. Emotionally I’m struggling, but I don’t want to tell anyone as I know it’s part of my recovery and it will pass.


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. having really heavy period co.inf through two pairs of knickers and trousers want a full hysterectomy but a bit scared I’m 50 with grown up kids

  2. Hi all I am due for TAH everything out on 14 th Dec 2015. Am concerned about recovery time. I too am thinking give it 2 weeks and I should be up and about guess not! Giant fibroids for me blocking view of ovaries and other organs so all out then to the lab. Just want these things out of me. I realise I have to be realistic about recovery so thank you for sharing your experiences.

  3. I had my TAD on 15th of September, after coming home from hospital, my grandchildren gave me the sickness bug….horrendous is the only way to describe how ill I felt, then on wk two of recovery I had a bladder/kidney infection. I was twice prescribed antibiotics that I was allergic to, which made me more sick !
    On the upside, I have always struggled with my emotions and suffered terrible mood swings, on leaving hospital I was prescribed Premarin and I now feel strangely carmer and haven’t had any emotional outbursts at all !
    The pain from the op has mostly gone, just a bit bumpy and sore, but otherwise all is good.
    All my friends convinced me to just stay in bed and watch rubbish TV, which is exactly what I have done, I’ve also spent a lot of time colouring and writing ” real letters” .
    Maybe you should see your GP about HRT, its really really helped me, I was so worried that I’d be even more unstable emotionally, but to my great surprise I actually ( apart from few niggles here and there) feel so much better.
    Hope your feeling better soon. Try to enjoy this time and be selfish, rest your body and be kind to yourself. A

  4. I had a total hysterectomy 11/09/2015. I was back home after 2 days and thought that I was doing okay, however on day 3 I have slept most of the day. I will take heed of what you are all saying and rest and talk to my husband.

  5. Hi.. my symptoms and condition seem very similar to yours.. I started to bleed heavily about 18 months ago. I bled 22 days per month with awful back ache. I was also on tranexamic acid and ferrous sulphate. I had a failed scope also. Then I went in for a D and C which revealed a fibroid, histology showed a smooth muscle tumour of uncertain malignant potential I am 51 and have 2 grown up children. The next step was a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salping-oophrectomy. I am now 6 weeks post op having hot flushes. The next step is Everol HRT patches…i am awaiting the prescription. I now feel much better and hope to be back at work on a phased return basis in 5 to 6 weeks time..The histology is now fine.. hope you make a good recovery.Take things slowly.. and take time to rest.. you will be fine xx Jean x

  6. Hi I know how you are feeling. I had tah on 5/6/15 & I was very independent before my surgery.
    I struggled after the op found it very frustrating relying on others. I was emotional and kept crying and could not understand why.
    I phoned my gp three consecutive days in tears.
    Gp said my hormones are unbalanced due to surgery.
    I thought I will never get back to what was normal for me.
    It does get better with time it’s early days. I took the advice of ladies on this website to rest . Resting will help your recovery . When I did over do it my body told me and I set my recovery back. I totally under estimated the recovery side it’s been a journey and I feel much better apart from recurring bladder infections. My hormones have settled it takes time for the body to recover from major surgery. I thought I would be up and about within 2 wks how wrong was I.

    Honestly you will come out on the other end. I spent first five weeks in the bedroom. Wishing you all the best.

  7. I had a total hysterectomy sept 1st. You really need to rest. You will be rewarded with the benefits. Doing your abdominal exercises and eating healthy. Be positive ask for help. Your health is important. Having a tah is life changing. Take 1 day at a time. I pulled a couple of stitches omg the pain so made sure I rested. I treat my body like a temple. So please try to take it easy. You are not on your own. Be kind to your body and believe in yourself. Fiona