A Hysterectomy Doesn't Cure Endometriosis

About four years ago, I had a total hysterectomy for my endometriosis. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I felt so much better right after the surgery. Even when I was recovering from the surgery, I felt like a weight had been lifted off me. I didn’t have that horrible ever-present pelvic pain anymore, nor did I feel as tired as I used to. Even now, four years later, I’m still thrilled with the decision to have my horrible uterus removed. Not in the least since it turned out I had adenomyosis as well.

Years ago, hysterectomy was quite a standard treatment for endometriosis. These days, women sometimes have to battle their doctors to get one, especially if you’re a young woman who hasn’t had any kids yet. But while a hysterectomy can be a good treatment for endo for some women, it’s not a cure.

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No, endometriosis will NOT just "die off"

Endometriosis lives outside the uterus and can adhere to other organs. Sometimes doctors will tell you that without the uterus and ovaries, endometriosis will just die off. That’s not true. Endometriosis can make its own oestrogen and can happily thrive without the female reproductive organs. Th e endometriosis may not spread as quickly, but you’re not going to be suddenly to be pain-free once the uterus is removed.

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In order for a hysterectomy to be successful for treating endometriosis, you need an endometriosis specialist to perform the surgery. This specialist must excise (cut away) all remaining endometriosis on your other organs. Even if a little bit of endometriosis is left, it will continue to grow and spread. Sadly, some doctors refuse to acknowledge that a woman can still suffer from endometriosis after a hysterectomy, which makes it harder to receive proper care.

Set realistic expectations

If you can find a good endometriosis specialist, and you’re lucky enough that the endometriosis is easily excised from your organs, then a hysterectomy can provide lasting relief. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a good endometriosis specialist, and often, endometriosis can bury deep inside the tissue of other organs, making complete removal difficult. The decision to have a hysterectomy should be made carefully and always in discussion with your doctor.

It’s a major and invasive surgery, but that’s not to say it isn’t worth it. Even if my endometriosis comes back, I’m happy not to have a uterus anymore. I’m happy not to have any periods ever again. Also, adenomyosis is quite common in women who have endometriosis and often, it goes undiagnosed. The only cure for adenomyosis is hysterectomy, so that is something to keep in mind while trying to decide whether to go for it.

Is there hope for relief after a hysterectomy?

When they say there is no cure for endometriosis, it’s true. Even removing the uterus won’t cure it. However, with the right doctor and enough luck, a hysterectomy can provide longer relief. And if you’re very lucky and the doctor can remove ALL traces of endometriosis before performing a hysterectomy, it might be possible not to suffer ever again.

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