[MOL] Elective Hysterectomy at age 25..... [02408] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Elective Hysterectomy at age 25.....



Elective Hysterectomy at Age 25
by Kelly Shanahan, MD
Q.I am 25, and I am having a hysterectomy because I have had problems with periods since age 13. I have three sons already, and my husband and I really don't want any more children. I am wondering how often doctors recommend this to women my age. An awful lot of people are telling me I am crazy for doing it. I have been also told that it takes up to three months of bedrest to heal. Is this true, or are people just trying to get me not to do it?

A.L.

A. Every woman has different experiences with life -- and with hysterectomies. I assume all medical approaches to deal with your periods have been attempted, and your doctor has discussed all your options with you. Why and when a hysterectomy is offered as an option depends on exactly what problems one is having and what approaches have been tried already.

You know how much you suffer with your period. You know what you have tried already. Your friends don't. For some women, a hysterectomy is the best choice to alleviate their symptoms of pain or heavy bleeding. Unless you have endometriosis, I would expect that your ovaries will not be removed. If the ovaries are left, they will continue to produce hormones, and you will not have any menopause symptoms until your ovaries give out in another 20 or more years.

Whoever told you that you will have to be on bedrest for three months is wrong. You may not feel 100 percent for a few months, but you will be expected to be up and about in a day or two. Your activities will be restricted for four to six weeks, but this is not bedrest. If the hysterectomy is done through a large abdominal incision, you can expect your healing process to be on the longer side. If it is done vaginally or with the laparoscope, you will have less postoperative discomfort.

The decision to have a hysterectomy is yours alone, with the input of your doctor. Most women who are having problems significant enough to even consider a hysterectomy usually say later they wish they had done it sooner.

Created on March 27, 2000
Last Reviewed on March 27, 2000
Warmly, lillian

 
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