Hysterectomy: Why One Woman Chose Surgery For Endometriosis

Hysterectomy and Endometriosis

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Interview With Women: Hysterectomy. Photo: Stockbyte/Getty Images

Interview with Meagan Farrell, a professional organizer from Snohomish County, Washington, and a married mother.  Meagan chose to talk with us about her total hysterectomy, a procedure that she chose after attempting to medically manage her endometriosis symptoms without success.

How old were you at the time of surgery?

Meagan: 36

Why was surgery recommended for you?

Meagan: I had level 4 endometriosis.

We tried many other therapies and nothing worked. I was in a great deal of pain.

What kind of symptoms were you experiencing?

Meagan: Abdominal pain on a very regular basis.

Were you ever told that a hysterectomy may not cure endometriosis?

Meagan: I was told that if they left my ovaries, it could come back. Therefore, I opted for a full hysterectomy. [Surgery Guide: Meagan had her entire uterus and ovaries removed]

Were any alternatives to a hysterectomy offered?

Meagan: My doctor wanted to try Lupron as a last effort, but I had already been on fertility drugs for the last 6 years. I did not want to do anymore drug therapies.

Did you try any alternative procedures or therapies prior to surgery?

Meagan: I tried going back on the pill and acupuncture. Nothing worked.

Did you feel like you were being “pushed” toward a hysterectomy?

Meagan: Actually, the opposite. My doctor did NOT want to do it, but I persisted.

He felt that I was too young and that it was an extreme measure, but I was desperate as the pain ran my life.

Did your surgeon discuss the option to retain your ovaries, so that menopause would happen naturally, rather than immediately after surgery?

Meagan: Yes, but I opted for a full hysterectomy.

Were you well-prepared by your physician for menopause to begin during your recovery?

Meagan: He warned me that I could get symptoms, but I was put on estrogen immediately, so I never had any what so ever.

Can you tell us about your recovery?

Meagan: Recovery took about 1 week until I was up and around again. After that, it was a full month before I had more energy and really felt better.

Did you worry that you would feel less womanly or sexy due to the surgery?

Meagan: Not at all.

Did you worry that having a hysterectomy would alter your sex life?

Meagan: I knew it would make it better because I would not have pain during intercourse any longer.

Most women say that their sex lives are as good, or better than, before the surgery. Would you agree?

Meagan: I most definitely agree. No more pain.

Did the hysterectomy improve your symptoms?

Meagan: They are all gone.

How is life after hysterectomy?

Meagan: So much better!!! I did not realize how much pain I was dealing with until the pain was gone.

I feel great!

If you could make the decision over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?

Meagan: Nothing at all – it was the right decision for me.

If a good friend was considering a hysterectomy, what advice would you offer?

Meagan: I actually did have a good friend face that decision recently and I told her how well it worked for me. I encouraged her to go ahead with it. She did and she is as happy as I am.

What do you wish you had known before surgery that you now know?

Meagan: Nothing. My doctor was very thorough. I felt very prepared for what I went through. I appreciate the time he put into educating me.

Editor's Note: This is a personal account of this individual's experience. Your experience with hysterectomy may be different, and the decision to opt for surgery is something that should be based on your particular situation and doctor's advice.

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