Why I Chose To Have a Hysterectomy

The decision to have a hysterectomy was an easy one for me. In fact, I almost cried with relief when my gynecologist suggested it.

My hatred for my uterus

Endometriosis made me hate my body, or more accurately, my uterus. My periods were never regular, and they always came on with a surge of pain and blood. It did sometimes feel like my uterus had it out for me. When the pain became part of my everyday life – pelvic pain and back pain crippling me on a regular basis – I longed for my uterus to be gone. I have never felt a hatred for a particular body part before, but my uterus never really felt like it was part of me. I viewed it as my enemy.

My pregnancies

I was diagnosed with endometriosis after I suffered a miscarriage. The bad news was that my pelvis had been infested with endometriosis, which the doctor had removed. The good news was that the endometriosis did not make me infertile. I think had I not been able to conceive, I would have asked for a hysterectomy much sooner. I was lucky and was able to have two children, so I guess my uterus was good for something at least.

A permanent solution

Despite having served as a home for my two children, I still did not like my uterus. After the birth of my second child, the pain returned in full force. The birth control pills I was prescribed helped a bit with the period pain, but my overall quality of life wasn’t great. I still had pelvic pain on an almost daily basis and the hormones made me lethargic and depressed. I moved countries, so I was unable to consult my original gynecologist and the prospect of having to explain endometriosis to a new doctor was so daunting that I kept putting it off. Finally, after years of putting up with the pain, I found an endometriosis specialist and I was able to explore a more permanent solution to my pain.

The hysterectomy

When the specialist first suggested a hysterectomy I could have wept with relief. This was what I wanted: to never have to deal with that horrible part of my body again. My uterus again felt like a cancer in my body, slowly killing my joy for life with the daily barrage of pain. On my worst days, I often remarked to my husband that I would like to rip my uterus out myself, so having it done surgically by a professional was probably a better option. I didn’t have to think twice about it: as soon as the doctor suggested hysterectomy, I agreed and a few months later I had the surgery.

Second thoughts

After my hysterectomy, when I was recovering, I admit that I did have second thoughts. After all, a hysterectomy is not without complications, especially since I also had my ovaries and cervix removed. I would have to go on HRT, I had to worry about prolapse (always do your Kegels, ladies!) and without a cervix, sex would be different. I started reading all sorts of scary accounts of women having complications later in life, and even women who had their endometriosis return despite the hysterectomy. At my next check-up, I discussed my fears with my doctor (a bit belated as the deed was already done). My doctor put my mind to rest: he had found relatively little endometriosis, all of which he removed, but he found my uterine wall littered with adenomyosis. As the only cure for adenomyosis is hysterectomy, this really put my mind at rest.

Having a hysterectomy was the right decision for me, and now, two and a half years later, I have no regrets. I have a new lease on life and have not experienced any complications. It’s not a decision to be made lightly, but it was right for me.

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