Hysterectomy to treat depression – Deborah’s story

I have had problems with my periods all my life. My first period lasted 10 days, and I soon got into the routine of 2 weeks of bleeding, and 2 weeks of crying. My Mother took me to the Doctor, and I was on the pill at the age of 14. This helped a lot, but I still had painful and heavy periods, but at least they only lasted 5 days, and the PMT wasn’t as bad. Came off the pill at 19 due to DVT scares, and carried on suffering. Doctors didn’t believe I had heavy periods as I was never anaemic.

The first time I had a Doctor agree was when I was getting the coil fitted, and she refused to give me the copper one as it increases your bleeding, and she felt I already bled too much.

I didn’t get on with the coil, and when discussing options with my GP, I asked to be sterilised. I have never wanted children, and managed to persuade a gynaecologist to sterilise me. During the procedure, I was found to have a dermoid cyst on my left ovary. I was advised I needed to have it removed, but it would make no difference to my cycle.

I had a laparotomy, and tried to persuade the consultant to do a full hysterectomy, but as I was only 28, he refused. My periods did change, and were lighter and shorter.

I still had pain during my periods, and PMT just seemed to get worse. I would be angry with everyone, cry all the time, and have major problems with my memory. I was diagnosed with depression, and over the next 5 years took anti-depressants. I got some relief, but also got scared with thoughts going through my head to harm myself, normally 2-3 days before my period. I was diagnosed with PMDD, basically severe PMT, but not offered any solution.

I found a gynaecologist who specialised in cyclical depression, and eventually had to pay to see him privately. I told him I wanted a hysterectomy, and he agreed, writing a stern letter to my GP asking for it to be arranged on the NHS. I had to see another gynaecologist, and have a scan which showed significant fibroids before they agreed to it.

Because of my previous surgery, I had severe adhesions, and was in theatre for 5 hours. I also had multiple fibroids, and a polyp, and my uterus was the equivalent of a 12 week pregnancy.

Despite some post op complications, I have never looked back. I am 5 months post op, on HRT, and off my high dose of anti-depressants, and feel like I have got my life back. My surgeon said it was unusual to do surgery for predominantly psychological reasons, and I responded by telling him he has already changed my life. I know it will take a year to fully recover, but I can’t believe how great I already feel.

Surgery will not be the best answer for everyone, but I just wanted to encourage others to not suffer in silence. I am 41, and am angry that I feel like I lost my 30’s to depression, but I am determined to start living again, and a hysterectomy has given me that chance.


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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