storychick (storychick) wrote in vaginapagina,

Hysterectomy scheduled but I'm having second thoughts

So, I'm 40, have three kids. I'm done having kids, so I'm not sad about that, but I am also just not sure a hyst is the right choice.

It all started about 9 years ago (sheesh) when I had Mirena inserted after my second was born (which my body hated -- gave me near-daily and very severe migraines) and then switched to Paragard. I started having absurdly heavy periods, figured it was the IUD, and got off it. Still had heavy periods, then had another baby, lactational amenorrhea, and then... even heavier periods. Got diagnosed with hypothyroid, but getting stable didn't help. Upped my Vitamin D levels, was diagnosed anemic and fought for awhile to get my iron levels up, even did acupuncture. Did a special diet, tried progesterone cream in the second half of the cycle. Nothing helped. I also starting having some irregularity, after years of being exactly 28 days I'd have spells of shorter cycles, and on-and-off would have a 22/23 days then 28 day pattern. Nothing showed up on ultrasound -- no fibroids, no cysts, nothing to explain the bleeding.

After a few years of dealing with horrible flooding, several comedy-show level episodes in public restrooms, and endless pairs of ruined panties, I had an endometrial ablation done (with a failed attempt at Essure, and a few months later a tubal). The ablation never quite took completely. I mean, I wasn't wearing a super tampon AND a pad and still worrying about my pants, but I was still bleeding enough for the super tampons for a few days, and my periods were still long. Then they got longer and even more irregular. Which brings me to now -- I'm averaging 23 days, but am anywhere from 16-28 or so without rhyme or reason, and bleeding 8-10 days of each cycle, even the really short ones (so 8 days of blood, then 8 days off, then 8 more days of blood).

Because I have migraine with aura, I cannot take the pill or tranexamic acid (which is what lead me to the ablation before). Because of my reaction to the Mirena, I've been warned off taking POPs as well. Which leaves me two options:

Wait it out till menopause, or go ahead with the hyst.

After that 16 day cycle, I said I cannot do this anymore and scheduled the hyst for the week before christmas, because that's the only time I have for recovery. (I'm a fulltime doctoral student in my last year, and doing clinical work.) But now I am somewhat panicking. No one has been able to really say why I am bleeding like this except to shrug and say "perimenopause". The doc did an AMH test, which can sometimes indicate if menopause is in the next year or two, but I came up in the normal-low normal range, so its not likely.

But I am worried -- what if I am opening up a whole set of worse problems? I mean, I'm not in pain. I'm not really rearranging my life around my bleeding any more, though that's partly because I am between partners so its not effecting my sex life (which it WAS significantly effecting when I did have a partner). But the thought of doing this for 10 more years... just no. But, surgery! and major surgery!

You see how circular this has become.

Would you do it? What is the threshold where the risks of surgery and longer term complications is worth it? I feel so "in it" I can't really think it through any more. The thought of never having to deal with this period bullshit again is wonderful, but is that a good enough reason?
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