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A Hysterectomy for Endo? Part 1

A Hysterectomy for Endo? Part 1

For many years, I was against the idea of having a hysterectomy for any other reason than to treat something very serious and life-threatening, like cancer. My own mother had had a radical hysterectomy in her early 40s when she was diagnosed with late stage cervical cancer (from an earlier bout of HPV) that had already spread to her other reproductive organs by the time it was discovered. Likewise, my ex’s sister had also been diagnosed with mid-stage ovarian cancer when we were still together, and also needed to have a hysterectomy. But was a hysterectomy a proper treatment for non-lethal diseases like polyps or fibroids, endometriosis or even just dysmenorrhea? I hadn’t thought so.

Doing my own research

I had not only been privy to articles that not only showed that hysterectomies were being recommended to women who did not want them, but as a health journalist I had reported on the downside of these surgeries. In particular, I had covered how they were over-prescribed. Specifically, the hysterectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, with one out of five potentially being performed on those with benign conditions.1

A changing perspective

Meanwhile, in many of the Facebook groups and chat rooms I was a part of for people with endometriosis, I came across dozens who had had hysterectomies hoping it would eliminate their symptoms, just to discover they still suffered from abdominal pain and complications associated with endo. This hardened my resolve against ever getting one myself. However, eventually my situation shifted--or more specifically, a greater understanding about my body surfaced with new diagnoses--and I found myself finally contemplating having a hysterectomy myself despite my earlier reservations with the procedure.

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