A Grandmother’s Tale – One year on – Mary’s Story

I am 55 yrs old and had a TAH with removal of ovaries and cervix 1 year ago. I had been experiencing 10 years of difficult pre menopause symptoms and had grown several very large fibroids so I looked 6 months pregnant (not fun in my 50’s and already a grandmother!), and had experienced severe bleeding and increasing pain for a long time, which restricted my life intensely and caused me many embarrassing and difficult times despite medication.

I feel I should have had had the op at least 2 years before, but good old NHS insisted I jump through their hoops of various treatments first, to justify the cost of hysterectomy…

My surgical experience was traumatic, good old NHS again! But to put that aside… it’s not been an easy year. I don’t bleed any more, I don’t have pain, but until very recently my energy levels have been poor, my mood fluctuating low to good, and my sex life (yes – I do have one! even being a Nana!) is very different as much of the passion is gone for me, though I want to stress that I still enjoy it for it’s loving intimacy and the pleasure my partner feels. Following surgical menopause I take huge doses of HRT which reduces symptoms most of the time…

I still have very poor sensation around the scar (7.5″!) and have learnt to accept my new figure with flabby pot belly below the scar (still tons better than looking 6 months pregnant at my age! ).

I stayed in a Travelodge last night, having booked a standard room at the last minute, only to find I was given a room with disabled facilities. Went into the bathroom and, whoosh! was emotionally taken straight back the hospital ward by the wetroom floor, bars, raised toilet seat…..

It made me think – was it worth it all, because I still have symptoms despite the HRT. My body is scarred and altered, my sex life is quieter… I have to say “Yes”, but with qualifications… I am saddened by the loss of libido, saddened that I experienced an artificial menopause despite being 54! That my otherwise healthy body was subject to the surgical knife and bears the scars.

I have my life back, I can go to work, go out to a restaurant, to the theatre etc not stressed I may bleed uncontrollably any minute, I can go on a plane! I have significantly reduced pain… I can go anywhere with a small hand bag rather than a holdall with changes of clothes.. I can walk for miles without puffing and panting! I don’t need to plan for a loo stop every 30 mins…

My life is altered and it is no fairytale ending. But I would say, if you have the ££ go for it when the time is right for you, not waiting for when the NHS will grudgingly cough up. Do your research, challenge your surgeon to justify whether you should have cervix,ovaries removed, ask questions and don’t be pushed into surgery until you are sure.

Then move on! Life is precious and there is a better life to be lived after hysterectomy! I look forward to my second anniversary – in the hope I won’t even notice it’s passing! and I wish the same for you.


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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