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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-05 08:04 PM
Original message
Uterine fibroids
Anyone have them? What problems have they caused you? How did you deal with them?

I've have them for more than five years. I was just dealing with it best I could. I had to take hormones a couple of times to stop the bleeding and have been anemic a couple of times as well. Stress seemed to really be an influencing factor for me and the more I was under, the worse the bleeding and unfortunately even more stress it caused.

Well, things took a big turn for the worse. I had been under a lot of job and life stress for about six or seven months. In April, during my annual physical, the doctor noticed my abdomen was really large. It turns out that I have multiple fibroids and my uterus is enlarged to the size of a five-month pregnancy. (And, no, hardly any of my clothes fit right now.) Just one of the fibroids is the size of a normal uterus.

My local gyn recommended a hysterectomy, and at 42, I'm not interested in having kids. But, she said she would have to do a horizontal cut on the abdomen because it's so enlarged. I have an appointment tomorrow at the University of Chicago, where I'm hoping they can do something less radical.

Anyone have anything they can share?
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-05 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. a friend had her uterus removed (leaving the ovaries)
and she said it changed her life. she was in the same shape you are - very enlarged.

i don't know of anything less radical. sorry.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-19-05 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Changed her life?
Was it in a good way or a bad way? After all the discomfort and embarrassment that I've been through in the past few years, I can hardly imagine worse. I plan on keeping my ovaries to delay menopause.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-19-05 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. sorry. yes, for the better.
she wished she'd opted for it sooner, but she was trying everything besides surgery first.

yes, save your ovaries! 'artificial menopause' is worse than natural menopause, i hear from friends who had total hysterectomies.
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Pool Hall Ace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-19-05 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. Could you be a candidate for endometrial ablation?
I have been diagnosed with fibroids, also. Fortunately, I am able to control the pain with either naproxen or ibuprofen, and while the bleeding is a little heavy, it is tolerable.

That being said, I do wish I had known about endometrial ablation when I had my tubes tied a few years ago. It's an outpatient procedure, and it involves burning the lining of the uterus. I know of a few women who have had it, and they feel so much better.

Since fertility does not seem to be a concern for you, it may be a good option. Here is a link with more information. http://www.gynalternatives.com/ablation.htm
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. I had mine removed two years ago
One was quite large and two others were smaller. The doctor said I would still be able to have children. I feel much better after getting them removed. Before and after the operation, I had to have a shot of Lupron to stop the bleeding. I was bleeding so much it was ... shudder. I was really very sick from it.

One of my best friends had a hysterectomy last year and has been really happy since. She had adenometriosis (sp?), a severe form of endometriosis. She kept one of her ovaries, which I'm sure would be an option for you too.

Good luck to you - those are miserable things to deal with. :hug:
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-12-08 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
18. They were able to simply
remove the fibroids? I didn't realize that was an option.

I saw a gynecologist for the first time in seven years last year and that was the first thing she wanted to do (a hysterectomy) because of the fibroids I have and the side effects I'm having. To me, it seems extreme, but there are times, with the constant pain, I'm ready.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. I had a hysterectomy
Best thing I ever did. No problems since and I feel great!

I highly recommend http://www.hystersisters.com / for discussions about options, alternatives, HRT, etc.

I gained a lot of knowledge from it.
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thank you - I started
checking it out after I read this thread.

Glad to hear of your experience.
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. Question for all that have UF's
when did you know you had a problem?

I ask this because UF's run through my family, and even though I don't have bleeding of any kind in between periods, over the past couple of years my MF has gotten worse. Extremely heavy, and pain that literally keeps me awake all night. I have thought that this could possibly be the situation, haven't been to doc (got no health insurance) I have also put on about ten pounds, that happened last summer in a short period of time, about two months.

I am 31 years old. (BTW)
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Pool Hall Ace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. For me, my gyno suspected I had them because I had all the
symptoms. She sent me for an ultrasound, and it was confirmed.

Do you have access to PP, or a clinic that allows payment on a sliding scale?
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shimmergal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. Here's a good site for
women having or contemplating hysterectomies:
www.hystersisters.com

Just had one two weeks ago (not for fibroids, however) and so far, I'm very glad I did.
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astral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I learned I had them back in 1994
. . . and now? I look like I'm 4-5 months pregnant and people who don't even know me will walk right up to me and ask when my baby's due. (I have never even been pregnant.) I just look back at them straightforward and with no hard feelings and say, "I'm not pregnant. I have fibroids."

No kids, no pregnancies, no wishes for any of it, I decided to play the waiting game and not have a hysterectomy. I didn't plan on them getting so BIG, though, but I still would have made the same choice.

I've bled too much, had to take iron for anemia, and found I can't even attempt to suck in my gut while walking without my legs going to sleep. (Not that it would do any good.)

But I hate, hate, HATE looking like I am pregnant, during the last supposedly attractive years of my life. I wouldn't be considered a bit fat without the stomach.

So I try to remember to be grateful that my only physical "sicknes" is this. I saw other women go through breast cancer, MS, lupus, among other things, and I know now that physical appearance is MUCH more important to other people than I realized, and that if you think you are nice and thin and healthy looking, don't take it for granted that you have any control over keeping it that way.

argh!

:)

ps For anyone who doesn't know what the "waiting game" is, if you physically are not in pain or in danger from losing too much blood or whatever, you can just let them be until you have menopause at which time, I have been promised by everyone in the universe anyway, they WILL disappear.

For me, hysterectomy and what it may do to my body was more of a risk than it was worth. There are no choices without trade-offs, however.

I am now 45 and you can guess: I CAN'T WAIT for menopause to set in!
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-05 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. I'd get a second opinion.
Removal of the fibroids themselves has gotten to be a fairly common procedure as opposed to a full-blown hysterectomy. Get ahold of Dr. Christiane Northrup's books. She has lots of info presented in a wholistic way.
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astral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Sarabelle, removing just the fibroids can work for some women.
However,
--- there is a higher danger of excessive blood loss to where you might need blood transfusions.
--- given enough time between removal and menopause, they often do just grow back!
--- in my case, they are kinda surrounding the uterus, especially from top/behind in addition to the ball shaped kind attached by a 'cord.'

I'd looked into what I could. It's been 11 years this year since I first found out I had them and have settled into just waiting for menopause, as much as I hate it, out of my 'multiple choices' to pick that was the best one for me.

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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-06-06 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
11. The Second of My Two Sisters Just Had a Hysterectomy
For UFs. They are, respectively, 10 and 8 years older than I.

Even though I've never had children, my attitude towards keeping my uterus - right now, at least - is sort of like some Southern men and their guns. I'll be keeping a watch, and keeping a watch for alternative procedures.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-30-07 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
13. Resurrecting this thread - I recently found out I have 3 of these and have been
looking into what, if anything, I want to do about them. Told my Gyn that I'd like to take the wait 'n see approach for now - he's pushing for Lupron in an attempt to hurry along menopause (I'm 49). The other option he offered was a uterine fibroid embolization. I'm not too keen on either, and was wondering if anyone has any experience with either or these options or something else.

I'd been on a diet and exercise mission to loose some weight since I quite smoking this spring and it was my frustration with the scale that took me to the doctor and, well, one test lead to another and another and that's how I found out about the 3 free-loaders. The largest is 6x7cm, the others are 2cm and 3cm and the Gyn says he'd put my uterus at about a 12-15 week pregnancy (hard to tell because it's tipped). The main problem they're giving me is that bloated, full feeling and sometimes there's pressure on the bladder or bowel - nothing constant or too unbearable yet.

Besides the continued diet and exercise I've started taking Nattokinase enzymes (which amazingly do seem to be helping with the heavy clots and pressure) and I'm going to start acupuncture next week to help with some of this perimenopause "stuff". Lupron scares me a bit and I'm not real keen on the idea of blocking arteries that just happen to have a fibroid feeding off of them. Anyone have any input they can share?
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-31-07 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. You might want to check out hystersisters.com
You need not be a candidate for a full hysterectomy but the message boards cover the things you're dealing with.

http://www.hystersisters.com/vb2 /

I use that site a lot. (I had a full hysterectomy.)

Good luck.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-31-07 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Thanks! Just spent the past couple hours on that site - very informative. n/t
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-12-08 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Another interesting site (once you find your way around) I came across that allows
women to share their experiences with fibroids and their treatments....

http://blog.geekwithfibroids.com/questions /

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-09-08 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
16. I had them when I was 30 years old and stress was a big factor.
I had a simple D&C and that took care of them. Never any more problems and I am now almost 69.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
21. I had them.
One on my left ovary, the same size as the ovary, and one the size of my uterus on my uterus. I was 44, married, and never planning on having kids. DH had a vasectomy a couple of months before we got married. I had a hysterectomy and left only my right ovary. This was during the revelations about HRT so I didn't want to have to deal with it.

I'm so glad I had the hysterectomy. It's been five years now and I wouldn't have done it any other way. I hated having periods since I knew from my early 20's that I didn't want children. My mom also had cervical/uterine cancer when I was 16 so there was that scare removed, as well.

I love to just chuckle when I walk past endcaps of tampons in the grocery store. Never again! Freedom!!
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-03-08 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
22. resurrecting
Edited on Tue Jun-03-08 09:33 PM by shanti
i have a friend who suffers from fibroids, all the symptoms you mentioned. she went thru all the "treatments", lupron (yikes!), ablation (sp?), an IUD, hormones, etc. after all this and no relief, she found a dr. who suggested an approach that has been around for awhile, but somehow seems to be overlooked. this is the uterine fibroid embolization procedure. about 2 weeks downtime, much less than a hysterectomy. maxiumum results take awhile tho. it's worth checking out, imo: http://www.fibroids.com/
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