I wouldn't be so quick to have surgery nowadays

Photo of an older couple sitting on a park bench (mitarart / iStock / Thinkstock)

Georgia, 71 years old

"I think women should try other treatments first before having a hysterectomy. It's not something to be taken lightly."

I was in my early thirties when I noticed that my periods were getting heavier. They gradually got heavier and heavier, not from one month to the next but over a long time. I wasn't in pain, but there was just noticeably more blood.

My doctor recommended surgery

So I went to the doctor. He did an ultrasound and diagnosed several fibroids as being the cause of my heavy periods. He advised me to have my womb removed. I agreed to have the hysterectomy, in part because I was a bit scared about getting cancer. No other treatments were tried beforehand, just surgery straight away. It all went really quickly, within a month.

Bladder problems after the operation

My womb was removed through a cut across my belly. After the operation I thought that everything was fine. But fairly soon after I realized that I kept having problems with my bladder. At first I thought it was just normal and would get better over time. But it didn't go away. I have to go to the toilet a lot. Often I don't actually have much in my bladder, but I always need to make sure there is a toilet nearby. I've pretty much learnt to deal with it now. For example, if I go to the movies or the theater I always make sure I have an aisle seat. That way I know that I can always get to the toilet quickly if needs must.

I had the operation in 1977, so quite a few years ago now. Back then the doctor said that a hysterectomy was the best thing to do. I believed him. And I also thought it was best for me at the time. I thought about the advantage of not having periods anymore, because I did find them really unpleasant sometimes. And I didn't want to have any more children. But in hindsight I regret having the operation because I’ve had these bladder problems ever since.

Nowadays I would get a second opinion

It has really made my life difficult. I think women should try other treatments first before having a hysterectomy. It's not something to be taken lightly.

With what I know now, and after my experience, I wouldn't be so quick to have an operation, and I’d get a second opinion from a doctor too. I’d be much more careful about making a decision to have an organ removed and would try out other treatments first.


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