Uterine Fibroids

Posted by tnabors @tnabors, Jul 28, 2011

I have severe pain (like labor pains) every month during my period. I also suffer from heavy bleeding. I have fibroids. I would like to know if any of you ladies have suffered from the same thing, and how did you cope with it. I am seriously thinking about having the Uterine Artery Embolization. Has anyone out there had this procedure, and if so, did it help…do you feel better…are your periods now “pain free??”

Liked by Roxie43

@mepowers

I had uterine fibroids and had a hysterectomy at age 41. Post surgery, the doctor said my uterus looked like a 4.5 month pregnancy in size. I used to call it my tumor baby before it came out because I was so extended in my belly. I had my uterus and cervix removed and kept my ovaries. I felt so much better when it was gone plus no periods. My doctor told me that I would feel better because I didn’t know how bad I was feeling. It creeps up on you. He was so right. I was so happy I had that hysterectomy. It was 17 years ago. No regrets!

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It's reassuring to read about outcomes like yours – thank you for sharing!

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@mcmurf2

Have a new question for this topic of uterine fibroids: Last night , after an orgasm, ( no penetration), I suffered the worse cramps of my life. I ended up vomiting everything in my stomach. It was the worse pain I've ever felt. After I threw up, I dozed off, ( not sure if I passed out or what). Since there was NO penetration,, how or is this related to fibroids??? sorry,, if too much info.. but I've NEVER had this happen before. Still waiting for Dr's visit on my fibroids so just wanted to know if someone here has suffered the same thing.. thanks..

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Over the last year I've noticed that – as, unbeknownst to me, my fibroid was enlarging dramatically – I experienced cramping after orgasm. I also noticed slight urinary incontinence in the hours after. I don't have any guesses as to the reason, it's just interesting to hear someone else describe discomfort after orgasm – I wonder if it's fibroid-related.

Best of luck with following up on your situation and getting good care. I for one am grateful for your candor. That any of us are made to feel embarrassed about writing frankly about sexual/reproductive problems is a terrible shame.

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Hi All, an UPDATE here…
I had surgery on the 9th to remove my very large uterine fibroid, uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix. Cervix had to go, unfortunately, due to the very large size of the tumor – it was either remove the cervix in order to make room for the tumor to come out vaginally or have a large abdominal incision, according to my surgeon — which is a riskier surgery and much harder recovery. (And, for those who aren't familiar, when a tumor is as big as mine, attached as it was to my uterus, a hysterectomy is the safest option.)

My big concern going in was losing my ovaries, as well. And the very good news is that I found a surgeon who agreed with the research I'd found online that the ovaries continue to serve a purpose in your body, even after menopause. (I'm 52 and not yet menopausal, so I was concerned about being plunged into menopause prematurely. Also, recent studies show that ovaries play a role in heart and lung functioning – at least I think that's what it was…)

So I'm exactly a week post-surgery today and beginning to feel the healing kick in. What's amazing: my waistline. That tumor was so big and here I just thought I'd been overdoing it on the pasta all these years. Incredible. Even with the four laparoscopy incisions in my belly, residual abdominal pain and all the repercussions of pain meds (digestively – oof) I feel back to myself again. It feels like I just aged backward by about 5 years – my body actually feels younger. I could cry.

And this is my message to medical personnel: first, don't tell a woman to go home and relax when uterine fibroids are detected. Tell her to monitor them closely for growth and/or signs of malignancy. I could have avoided 5 years of discomfort, debilitating periods and urinary problems – not to mention two very stressful months scrambling to find a new GYN, arrange this major surgery, get all the imaging to make sure there was no cancer or spread of cancer in my pelvic area – if my original GYN had taken 3 minutes to talk to me about this condition.

Second, when you ask a woman what her symptoms are, understand that fibroids may have been growing in her pelvis for years. The effects have been so slow to manifest that she can't identify, for sure, how her body feels different. Urinary troubles? I guess I have to pee more… Lower back pressure? Doesn't everyone who sits at a desk have that? Bloating, discomfort, heavy periods? Um, yeah, but what woman past 45 doesn't… This list goes on.

For any of you facing a possible hysterectomy for fibroids, know that if you've got a 2nd – maybe even 3rd – opinion, and the consensus is that this is the best option, it's a good thing. It's scary, and you need to take off at least two weeks of work after, but it's a godsend. I was completely unaware of all of this two months ago. It felt like a part-time job just educating myself. But I'm grateful beyond measure that I found a doctor (a man, ironically) who, unlike my original GYN, was sympathetic to all the ways in which this major surgery might affect my life. He took the time to talk to me about the options, and reassure me that, for instance, losing my cervix would not diminish my sex life. He expressed concern for my wellbeing as a whole person in a way that my last two female GYNs never had.

And just to be clear, just because you have to have a hysterectomy for fibroids doesn't mean you have to lose your cervix – mine was a special case. A good friend just had to have the same procedure but got to keep her cervix bc her tumor wasn't as large as mine. There's a lot of misinformation online about the impact of this type of surgery on your life, especially on your sexual wellbeing. It's a little early for me to report on that, but I'm optimistic, based on the conversations I had with my surgeon — who, by the way, was the one to raise the topic, I was too mortified. I'll be grateful to him forever for anticipating that concern of mine and for normalizing this as a talking point in our first meeting. (When I'd worked up the courage to broach the topic with my original – female – GYN, she stammered and literally waved her hand to dismiss me.)

I hope this provides some good news for someone. I so wished I'd had a girlfriend who'd been through this.

Oh, and word to the wise, if you come through a surgery like this one and especially if you need pain meds after, stay on a liquid diet for the first couple days. Medical personnel kept telling me to eat, so I did. Big regret. I ended up with impacted bowels. Nothing a laxative didn't solve, but it made for a very distressing couple days, as I'd never experienced that before. Or maybe begin a laxative pre-emptively. I was taking stool softeners, but it didn't prevent the situation.

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@2929

Hi All, an UPDATE here…
I had surgery on the 9th to remove my very large uterine fibroid, uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix. Cervix had to go, unfortunately, due to the very large size of the tumor – it was either remove the cervix in order to make room for the tumor to come out vaginally or have a large abdominal incision, according to my surgeon — which is a riskier surgery and much harder recovery. (And, for those who aren't familiar, when a tumor is as big as mine, attached as it was to my uterus, a hysterectomy is the safest option.)

My big concern going in was losing my ovaries, as well. And the very good news is that I found a surgeon who agreed with the research I'd found online that the ovaries continue to serve a purpose in your body, even after menopause. (I'm 52 and not yet menopausal, so I was concerned about being plunged into menopause prematurely. Also, recent studies show that ovaries play a role in heart and lung functioning – at least I think that's what it was…)

So I'm exactly a week post-surgery today and beginning to feel the healing kick in. What's amazing: my waistline. That tumor was so big and here I just thought I'd been overdoing it on the pasta all these years. Incredible. Even with the four laparoscopy incisions in my belly, residual abdominal pain and all the repercussions of pain meds (digestively – oof) I feel back to myself again. It feels like I just aged backward by about 5 years – my body actually feels younger. I could cry.

And this is my message to medical personnel: first, don't tell a woman to go home and relax when uterine fibroids are detected. Tell her to monitor them closely for growth and/or signs of malignancy. I could have avoided 5 years of discomfort, debilitating periods and urinary problems – not to mention two very stressful months scrambling to find a new GYN, arrange this major surgery, get all the imaging to make sure there was no cancer or spread of cancer in my pelvic area – if my original GYN had taken 3 minutes to talk to me about this condition.

Second, when you ask a woman what her symptoms are, understand that fibroids may have been growing in her pelvis for years. The effects have been so slow to manifest that she can't identify, for sure, how her body feels different. Urinary troubles? I guess I have to pee more… Lower back pressure? Doesn't everyone who sits at a desk have that? Bloating, discomfort, heavy periods? Um, yeah, but what woman past 45 doesn't… This list goes on.

For any of you facing a possible hysterectomy for fibroids, know that if you've got a 2nd – maybe even 3rd – opinion, and the consensus is that this is the best option, it's a good thing. It's scary, and you need to take off at least two weeks of work after, but it's a godsend. I was completely unaware of all of this two months ago. It felt like a part-time job just educating myself. But I'm grateful beyond measure that I found a doctor (a man, ironically) who, unlike my original GYN, was sympathetic to all the ways in which this major surgery might affect my life. He took the time to talk to me about the options, and reassure me that, for instance, losing my cervix would not diminish my sex life. He expressed concern for my wellbeing as a whole person in a way that my last two female GYNs never had.

And just to be clear, just because you have to have a hysterectomy for fibroids doesn't mean you have to lose your cervix – mine was a special case. A good friend just had to have the same procedure but got to keep her cervix bc her tumor wasn't as large as mine. There's a lot of misinformation online about the impact of this type of surgery on your life, especially on your sexual wellbeing. It's a little early for me to report on that, but I'm optimistic, based on the conversations I had with my surgeon — who, by the way, was the one to raise the topic, I was too mortified. I'll be grateful to him forever for anticipating that concern of mine and for normalizing this as a talking point in our first meeting. (When I'd worked up the courage to broach the topic with my original – female – GYN, she stammered and literally waved her hand to dismiss me.)

I hope this provides some good news for someone. I so wished I'd had a girlfriend who'd been through this.

Oh, and word to the wise, if you come through a surgery like this one and especially if you need pain meds after, stay on a liquid diet for the first couple days. Medical personnel kept telling me to eat, so I did. Big regret. I ended up with impacted bowels. Nothing a laxative didn't solve, but it made for a very distressing couple days, as I'd never experienced that before. Or maybe begin a laxative pre-emptively. I was taking stool softeners, but it didn't prevent the situation.

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@2929 Very glad to hear the positivity in your post! What a difference this surgery has made in your life, and how thankful to have found this GYN dr who listened to you! I also lost my cervix at the time of my hysterectomy Jan 1999, plus one ovary due to the cords of the fibroid tumors wrapping around it. Get out and walk as much as you are comfortable, as it will certainly speed your healing your process. I just have to think that sharing your journey has helped someone else faced with these decisions.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@2929 Very glad to hear the positivity in your post! What a difference this surgery has made in your life, and how thankful to have found this GYN dr who listened to you! I also lost my cervix at the time of my hysterectomy Jan 1999, plus one ovary due to the cords of the fibroid tumors wrapping around it. Get out and walk as much as you are comfortable, as it will certainly speed your healing your process. I just have to think that sharing your journey has helped someone else faced with these decisions.
Ginger

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Ginger, thank you for that advice – very much appreciated! And for your attention to my situation over the last month. This has been a good source of guidance and encouragement. Thanks again!

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