Advice on Surgical Menopause in your 40's

Dear Ladies,

I‘m looking for advice, help and support on surgical menopause. I’m a long term sufferer of endometriosis (approximately 25 years), along with fibroids. I’ve had a variety of treatments and surgery over the years. My Mother died from ovarian cancer in 2002 (she was originally diagnosed at 46 but survived for 12 years). I am 42 and do not wish to have any children. I’ve been having screening for the last 12 years and after a false scare earlier in the year I’ve elected to have a full hysterectomy next year, with the support of my consultant, Simon Butler Manuel. It has not been an easy decision, even though I don’t want children, but I have weighed up the options and in light of my own history of gynae nightmares and family history it seems like the right thing to do. I would love to chat to any younger ladies who have experienced surgical menopause so I can prepare myself for what may occur in terms of the actual surgery and what HRT options are available. I am also being used as a little bit of a guinea pig and my surgeon hopes to use the Da Vinci Robot to perform my surgery which only means x 1 day/night in hospital and less invasive surgery so sounds rather exciting (all new info to me though).

Thanks in advance of your help and time.

Kind regards

Marie

5 Replies

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  • Hi marie, I too suffered from endometriosis for years and required to have a hysterectomy at 32 due to large ovarian cysts which were initially believed to be endometriomas but turned out to be borderline cancer. I dont mean to frighten you with that as i believe that is an ususual case . I was really worried about surgical menopause and to be honest it was horrible initially i had the classic symptoms flushes tearful sleeplessness etc pretty text book. I am very happy to say that since being put on estraderm 100 mcg patches i feel better than i have in years. I still have the emotional scars of not being able to have anymore kids but i am lucky i have 2 so be really sure you r ok with that as it can creep up on you even if you are certain.

    Hope this helps

    take care

    sem10

  • I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March, and had a hysterectomy in July. I am 43, so I have been pitchforked into the menopause in the same way. One of the big helps has been Evening Primrose Oil! I take this spread out over the day, and whilst I still get flushes, they are not overpowering. The other tip is not to let yourself get exhausted, I found if I was really tired, I could feel really woozy with a flush, and always seemed to get a bad one at 2:30 in the morning! (mind you, this was when I was on the chemo)I am not on any other medication, so I'm pretty lucky. After I had the hysterectomy I was walking about as soon as possible, when I was outside I didn't get flushes. The advice my Mum gave me I'll pass on, when you go for a walk, remember you have to get back again, so don't try to go too far. I would do my walk, and if I still felt I could go further when I got home, I walked up and down my street.

    All the best

  • I had my surgery in June & started to get menopausal symptoms immediately,hot flushes mainly.

    My oncology team referred me to The Hospital for Intergrated Medicine,part of UCLH trust in central London for management of my symptoms & the homeopathic medicine they have perscribed is working. I have also had a baseline bone density scan & will have these every year or so to monitor for osteoporosis.

    If you opt to go on HRT, have a look at the article in the Ovacome winter news letter,the consultant is from St. Brats hospital which has a menopause clinic that is open to referrals from any trusts. She recently gave a talk at the Young Woman's Ovarian Cancer support group & it was very interesting & informative.

    Hope this helps.

  • HI there,

    I had a full hysterectomy at 32 following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. I have to say that although the symptoms initially were pretty horrendous - they do get better and now 5 years on I am just happy to be here.

    I had one son and have never really mourned the loss of my fertility - I just wanted to be around for the child I did have.

    I have made lifestyle adjustments in diet/fitness but overall just get on day to day not really thinking about the fact I have had a hysterectomy. I am not currently on HRT - I have previously been on patches and tablets but did not feel happy on them.

    I just feel very happy each day I wake up well. If you want to ask any questions - I am quite open and don't mind discussing my experiences. You can always message me if you wish.

    All the best

    Joelle x

  • Hi Marie

    I had my hysterectomy 18 months ago, at just turned 46. For the first 6 months I was preoccupied by chemo - having it, then getting over it - so I didn't really notice the menopause symptoms until after that. Then I found that I was feeling very old & tired! I felt like I'd aged 10 years.

    I'm fortunate that my cancer was not hormone related so I've been able to get HRT and it really helps. I didn't suffer too much with flushes anyway, but mainly aches & stiffness & tiredness. I still don't think I'll be doing much clubbing or dancing til dawn but I do feel much better than I was at the start of this year.

    Good luck with the op, and take it easy while you're recovering.

    Gael x

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