Back in April I had a hysterectomy. This is often a huge question for women. Should I? When? There is something about having all your reproductive organs that often makes us feel complete. Whether we use them or not, it just feels better to have them.
As a teenager my menstrual cycle was 42 days. This would make most girls celebrate to have a six-week cycle instead of a four-week one. However, I bled heavily for the first five days and then lightly for the next nine days. It was not uncommon for me to go through three boxes of the heaviest pads I could find. I often bled so heavily that when I stood up the blood gushed and ran down my legs because the pad could not hold the amount that my body was ridding itself of. I also had severe cramping. I’m not talking about take two ibuprofen and call me in the morning. The pain was so intense that I often could not stand straight. I was often curled up on my bed or on the couch with a towel under me crying. When I had my first child the contractions were not any worse than the cramps. Then there were the mood swings. They were really bad. Of course that is about the same time that Bip hatched. Needless to say, I missed at least two days of school every six weeks.
A doctor once told me that I probably ovulate at least twice a month or more. I was required to use at least two consecutive methods of birth control at all times. Even then, two of my six children were birth control babies. I have even been teased about getting pregnant over the phone because a doctor misjudged my due date. I knew his was wrong because my husband was out-of-town for a full month which I spent at my parents with my two oldest children.
After my I was done having children my cycle was shorter, but not lighter.
Anemia And Fatigue
I lived with my cycle for over 35 years. I was almost constantly tired because I was losing so much blood each month. I just couldn’t bring myself to take any medical intervention. What if I wanted another child? What if one of my children needed a surrogate? About five years ago it got worse. I started ovulating every 5-10 days. That really messed with my hormones. The mood swings were horrible. My cycle started getting shorter. Eventually it was every two weeks. Some months the bleeding left me too tired to even function. It was time to do something about it. I went and saw my gynecologist.
I talked to my gynecologist and went through a complete exam, biopsy and ultrasound. I had a couple minor issues, but was for the most part healthy. I had four options.
- Hormones to try to regulate my cycle. That I was not even willing to consider. I was never able to take birth control hormones simple because it caused more problems than it was worth. Finally being stable with my dragons quiet I was not even willing to consider messing with that.
- Oblation to burn out the lining of my uterus so that I would stop having periods. Occasionally periods would restart. Also I had two or three fibroid which made it less likely to work. Not happening.
- Hysterectomy removing only the uterus and leaving the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- Live with it. Too tired to even consider it.
I chose the hysterectomy. I decided that the plumbing was becoming too much of a problem to live with it any longer.
The day I went in for the surgery I had just finished my very last period. The nurse told me that I was anemic, but not too badly to worry about. The surgery went perfectly. I was home within 36 hours. I was tired, sore and very glad to have it done.
When I went back for my six-week checkup the doctor told me that I had had an inflammation within the lining at the top of my uterus that was causing the heaving bleeding. None of the other options would have worked. I was looking and feeling great.
Time To Celebrate
Do I have any regrets for my decision? None at all. I don’t miss the cramps, the mood swings, the anemia, the mess or the fatigue. I have more energy and stamina than I have had in years. I have also lost eight pounds. Bip, Pots and the twins are much quieter since they don’t have the mood swings to play on.
Do I regret putting it off so long? No. I had to wait until I was emotionally ready to move on to the next phase of my life. My name is now Grandma. I am enjoying all the privileges that come with that name with all my newfound energy and stamina. Of course it takes all my energy and stamina to keep up with my little grandson. Of course I also have five granddaughters to keep up with. Luckily not all at the same time.