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Hysterectomy at 50 – Lisa’s Story

I had my hysterectomy at 50. I was told that I had a large fibroid after a routine examination but was told that I didn’t need treatment unless I started having problems. One year on I was having increasingly heavy periods and my stomach looked like I was 5 months pregnant. After various scans and a visit to a consultant I was told that my only option would be a hysterectomy. There was concern over the very rapid growth of the fibroid and cancer couldn’t be completely ruled out until it had been removed. I did feel extremely frightened at this point.

I was also advised to have my ovaries removed due to my age but after careful consideration I decided to keep them as I didn’t want to be going through a surgical menopause while recovering from a major operation.

I had my hysterectomy within 4 weeks of seeing the consultant. Due to the size of the womb I had to have a vertical incision but it was all straightforward. I had an epidural as well as a general which I was quite nervous about but it was the best decision because I was in no pain for pretty much the rest of that day. I was also hooked up to a morphine pump but I reacted badly to that so just relied on paracetamol and ibuprofen for the rest of the time.

I was only in hospital for 3 days and was told that my uterus was the size of a 22 week pregnancy and that although everything looked normal I would have to wait for the histology results to be sure.

I had very good care in hospital but absolutely no information about what I could or couldn’t do when I left. I asked one consultant about when I should start pelvic floor exercises and he just looked blankly at me ! I had to find out everything from websites like this one.

My recovery went very well, better than I expected. My husband and son were great and I was able to get lots of rest. I was little shocked when I first looked at the incision site, it was from above the belly button right down to the pubic area. Eventually after a nearly 7 week wait I got the letter from the hospital confirming that no evidence of cancer had been found. My uterus was very enlarged due to big fibroids and weighed 1.5 kg. I was now able to finally relax !

Looking back the hysterectomy was for the best and I can now get on with my life without heavy periods and a great big pregnant looking bulge (not a good look at 50 years old ! )

And finally for other women who are worried that a hysterectomy will spell the end of their sex life and orgasms (I was one of these) everything is still in good in that department. In fact its better!

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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.

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Happy for you! Wish we could all have such a great experience! Mine left me in worse shape with more health challenges. It has ruined my life and I am only 37. Sex sucks and I have no feeling in that area and any pleasure spots are gone. There are those who get it all and those of us who made the worst decision of our lives.

  2. Hi Lynn,
    I was interested to read that you took up belly dancing after your hysterectomy. I was doing belly dancing before I had mine but can’t seem to find any info on whether 3 months post op is too early to start back again. I’ve read that it’s a very good exercise for the pelvic floor. Not sure my tummy will ever look normal again!
    Also which essential oils do you use? I don’t think I’m in the menopause yet but I do get mood swings.
    Thanks, Lisa

  3. Hi Lisa,
    like you I had hysterctomy at 50. I am 57 now, I had mass Fribroids and a Cyst on the ovary but it was my choice to have a hysterectomy which was a subtotal one, meaning only the Cervix was left. I have had no regrets. The hospital stay was for 5 days, again my choice, as they wanted me to go home over the weekend but i wanted to stay until the staples were removed. The surgery was on the bikini line. I was also very sick after the anaesthetic and thought my insides were being ripped apart, but no dignity. They tried to get me out of bed the next day, but was so sleepy but they wasn’t having any of it.The nurse said you don’t eat your breakfast in bed at home, so you shouldn’t do it here. It makes you feel really small. There was some good patients in my ward and that really helped the recovery too, as we had a good laugh. My husband and daughters supported me when I got home and had plenty of help. Having good weather to sit in the sun to recuperate definatley helped too. Please can anyone tell me, did they get cravings after there hysterectomy? mine was sea food and ice cream (not together) hee hee. Very strange as never liked Ice cream much. After 6 months I took up Belly dancing which is good to tone the whole body and still doing it now.
    This website helped me a lot as you don’t get any help with the aftercare, it is good to hear what other people say, so you don’t feel like you are going through this alone. For the menopause I used aromatherapy oils in a burner to help relieve the symptoms. It worked for me anyway.
    Take care. Lynn

    Lynn

  4. Hi Lisa,
    I had my Historectomy at 49yrs of age it will be three yrs ago now and i had suffered with fibroids for 11yrs in and out of hospital with problems ie heavy periods and a lot of discomfort, I too had the cut below my navel,
    I kept my right overie has my left one was attached to the fibroid and could not be saved, I was givin morphine but it did not agree with me it made me ilusanate so I could only have paretamol,
    I was in Hopital for 6 days due to being very sick after my Anaesatic I explained to the Anaesatis that I was always sick after having operations he completely ignored me the Nurse told me off when I came to, she said you should of told the Anaesatis I said I did…….
    After I got home that’s when I felt really ill I knew I had to just get on with it, luckily I had good family support but work was hassling me to go back I stayed off work for 5 mths due to the job I did. I know now it’s the best thing I did even though hormones are up and down and I’ve had weight gain,but the reason I’m writing this is we need more before and after care when having a Historectomy if it was men having a Historectomy things would be different I’m sure ,no ones told me when my ovarie will die and when will i finally go through the change.
    your sincerely Mrs R Ogley

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