Not as bad as you might think – Ali’s story

So, I am four weeks and four days post hysterectomy. I asked them to leave my ovaries as at 49 I didn’t want to go into the menopause any earlier than necessary . I also asked them to leave my cervix on the basis that ,to my mind ,the only reason to remove it was to prevent future cervical cancer. But on that basis I should also have my breasts removed to prevent breast cancer …so no ,I kept my cervix.

My hysterectomy was about 11 years in the offing. I had a huge fibroid …the equivalent size of an 18 weeks pregnancy which I had had since my first child was born and soon after my second was advised to have removed. As I psychologically was unprepared to give up the possibility of a third child at that stage and being very emotional so soon after giving birth I resisted.
Actually I resisted a couple of other times ..coming close, asking for second opinions I even asked for non invasive methods of reducing the fibroid but in the end I was advised that removal was the only solution.

The reason I eventually agreed was that although I didn’t suffer in the way that many women do with heavy periods I did have incontinence and wind problems which meant that I couldn’t run or sneeze without an accident which frankly meant that as someone who has enjoyed being active throughout my life was leading me to have a poorer quality of life and it wasn’t going to get any better as I got older.

I was put on a new drug called Esmya by my consultant at the beginning of this year which puts you into a menopause but has the benefit of reducing blood flow to the fibroid which in theory means it should shrink,ensuring that surgery is easier (smaller cut) and less blood loss. I can personally recommend Esmya …it didn’t reduce the fibroid but my brilliant surgeon still managed only a 10 cm horizontal cut and the drugs settled my hormones and improved my mood prior to surgery for six months ( happy husband).

The first 48 hours were pretty ghastly I was in pain and sick from the gas they use to blow the stomach up. However my recovery has been good, I’ve been walking about since day 2 and started driving week four. Now back at work part time having worked from home from week three.

I’m looking forward to the bruising finally going …still bruised on my tummy. And the scars reducing but all in all pleased I’ve done it finally and I can sneeze, cough and laugh at will without fear of wetting myself and looking forward to running and playing tennis when the sun shines.

For those of you worried about having the op it’s not that bad but I think you have to have the right mindset before you do it otherwise you might take longer to recover. I know for some people that’s not possible but if you can, take time to get your head round it and ask loads of questions exploring all your options. Also there is a lot of mystique around hysterectomy and I am surprised that some people almost make me feel ashamed about having it, so now I make a point of telling people what I have had ( if they ask) and explain that it’s not that bad at all! Best of luck


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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