Has anyone had a prophylactic oophorectomy post-menopausally and experienced sexual problems afterwards?

I am sorry to ask such a personal question but am postmenopausal age and considering a prophylactic oophorectomy at the moment. I have searched the web but all the side-effects I can find seem to relate to premenopausal ladies, and I need this information to make a decision. I have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer (BRCA negative) and have had breast cancer.

14 Replies

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  • It is certainly worth seeing if your local hospital can refer you to a consultant Gynae specialist. When I had my op, I was peri-menopausal and asked if there was anything that could be done in the way of reconstruction of my cervix that would ensure I still had a continuing see life. I don't know how this will link to an oopherectomy, I don't know what the mechanics of the op are. It is certainly worth asking, before an op, if there is anything that can be done to ensure a continuing sex life.

    Hope this helps

    Love Wendy xx

  • Thanks Wendy.

    Love Molly x

  • Dear Molly,

    This may seem like a frivolous answer but 'I wish'! To be serious though! My oopherectomy was a necessity and, not being in a relationship at the time, I cannot give you an answer. Now with a colostomy, I am unlikely to find the enthusiasm to start one so i am unlikely to find the answer! On the other hand I have noticed some effects. Never having had hot flushes when I went through the menopause I now have them all the time! I also have night sweats! Very uncomfortable!

    Ringing Ruth at Ovacome would be a good idea and also ask the Macmillan specialist nurses! Consultants, especially male ones, may never even consider that side effect! Non medical!

    Good luck!

    Margaret!

  • Dear Margaret

    Thank you very much for your reply and I am so sorry not to have thanked you before. About 10 days ago I felt that thinking about this decision was getting too much and that I had to have a break from it - no discussing it, no websites. Hence I missed your reply and you must have thought that I was very rude!

    I'm sorry to hear that you've been through the mill. Do you mind me asking if your colostomy was a result of the oophorectomy?

    I saw a gynaecologist last year who also mentioned a small risk of hot flushes. Has anything proved helpful in relieving them?

    I have to choose whether or not to have an oophrectomy because my mother had ovarian cancer and as l have had b.c. I am at increased risk.

    You are certainly right about male consultants not considering that effect!

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

    Best wishes

    Molly

  • In short no! The 'debulking op, which removed uterus, omentum, fallopian tubes, cervix and omentum was successful and did not require a colostomy. Though I was asked to give consent in case it became necessary once they opened me up if they found occlusion of the bowel. As my gaenae said " we can hardly wake you up in the middle if it is needed". My recurrence was a tumour from the vault of the vagina to the anterior wall of the rectum. The colostomy was considered almost inevitable and a colo rectal surgeon was on hand to do that bit. I can't say I would choose it but I lost a good part of the rectum and, as they say, the alternative was unthinkable!

    It has had its difficult moments but it is a year old next Monday and I am, more or less in control. I irrigate every other day and I am just awaiting my caps!

    M

  • PS as for the hot flushes nothing really helps but I do save on heating bills and I keep a dry flannel under my pillow to mop during the night. I mop my face, don't wear make up (it brings me out in weals anyway since the chemo) and just ignore them. I also wear layers that I can remove easily so as my temperature rises I remove and as it goes down I put on!

    I had no choice about my op! I do not have the mutations on BRCA1 & 2 genes so it has not been an issue for me. I was only tested after my sister developed breast cancer and I wanted my daughter to have the right to the test if she wanted it. I do not know that I would have chosen mutilation on the offchance but we each need to tread our own path on that one! After all I have not even had my bunions corrected and they are a hereditary condition which made me very self conscious about my feet. I have only recently realised that my feet are a lot better than most because those extreme heels were just so impossible with my foot shape!

    Love M

  • Hallo Margaret

    Like you, I had no hot flushes at the menopause, which makes me wonder if I would experience them if I have an oophorectomy. There are so many unknowns. Although I was BRCA negative, the fact that I had a first degree relative with o.c., plus myself and other family members who have had b.c., puts me at increased risk, which has been assessed as 6%. This may seem low, but statistics are irrelevant if you are the unlucky one. Also, medical studies on the internet tend to vary in what they say regarding risk.

    What concerns me about having the op is the risks I have read about, including possible damage to internal organs, even though this risk is small. Also, after my breast surgery last year, I do not feel like more surgery even though it is 16 months ago.

    I have felt at times that I am between the devil and the deep blue sea with this decision. Still, I will think positive!

    Love Molly

  • Hello Margaret

    You have been through a very difficult time and have obviously found the strength to help you deal with this. I find, for me, that it helps to talk to others in similar positions, although of course everyone's situation is different.

    All the best.

    Molly

  • Oh I do so agree! I have not had a particularly bad time! All I meant was is that preventative surgery is a big step!

    You are right to talk about it! I honestly do not know what I would have done had I had the defective genes and been found earlier! At my age it is so easy to say I would or wouldn't take a choice that has never been an issue for me!

    I am, however, glad that my daughter does not have to make this difficult choice! You have a lot of courage to think of it and I wish you all the best.

    Love!

    M xxxxxx

  • Dear Angie

    Thanks very much your reply. I'm sorry not to have replied before. The day before you wrote, I had got to the stage where thinking about the decision was getting too much and I had to have a break from it, so I missed your reply.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I also find it difficult to discuss these sort of things with doctors! I had effects from my breast cancer surgery which were distressing to me, which is why I'm looking into the side effects of this op so carefully.

    I hope things improve for you.

    Best wishes

    Molly

  • Hello

    I'm post-menopausal and have had a total hysterectomy which includes a bilateral oophorectomy. All is well on the sexual front, though we go gently until I'm sure that I'm comfortable as initially there's a bit of discomfort rather than pain. It's not the wild-abandoned don't care where or when of youth, but nevertheless is very satisfactory and precious to both of us.

    Sorry if this is either too coy or too much detail.

    Love, Christtinexx

  • Try KY Jelly! When I was still having a sex life it proved a boon for the vaginal dryness that comes with age!

    M

  • Dear Christtine

    Thanks very much for your reply which I have only seen today because 10 days ago I decided to have a break from thinking about the decision as it was getting too much, so I apologise for not replying before.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I didn't find them either too coy or too much detail. It's very difficult to talk about these things to people we don't know very well, especially, I find, the medical profession.

    Thanks again.

    Love

    Molly x

  • Dear Molly

    Dr's tend to be male and see sex from a male perspective. There is also an assumption that women over 60, especially if not married, do not have, or enjoy, sexual relationships!

    I remember when, in my 30's, I was experiencing a lot of migraine and some vaginal discomfort (I later realised that this recurrent problem was due to infection picked up from my serially unfaithful husband) a Dr's first question was 'how old are you?'. My response? "If this is the F*****g menopause I have been going through it since I was 8!" He had one hell of a shock! Nice, educated, middle class school teachers are not supposed to react like that! (All those break duties outside the boys loos certainly gave me a wide range of shocking vocabulary). As it turned out I did not go through the menopause until I was in my 50's!

    I do hope we can all help!

    M

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