If you suffer with fibroids, here are the questions you should ask yourself before deciding on your course of treatment:
- What are my symptoms?
- What am I seeking relief from?
- Are these symptoms tolerable to me?
- What does the doctor think is causing my condition?
- What are my preferences and feelings — about having a child, keeping my uterus, premature menopause?
- What are my treatment options?
- Are less invasive procedures possible?
- Will some form of limited treatment help me?
- Would some kind of medication help?
- Can I wait to see if the problem clears up on its own?
- What if I don't do anything?
- Are there some options the doctor doesn't know about?
- Where can I get more information about my condition?
- What are the risks and benefits to me?
- Will there be pain, and how can it be handled?
If you're considering a hysterectomy, here are the questions you should ask:
- How long will I be hospitalized?
- How long is recovery?
- Will I need help with chores and children for awhile?
- How will I feel afterwards?
- Will it impair my sex life? For how long?
- What will be done exactly?
- Is it vaginal or abdominal?
- Which organs will be removed?
- Will I have a scar?
- What anesthesia will be used?
- What are the risks?
- What will it cost me?
What else you should know about hysterectomy:
While hysterectomy is almost always effective in stopping excessive bleeding and resolving pain or urinary symptoms, there can be complications, including post-operative bleeding and fever.
- Recuperation can take several weeks.
- You will no longer have periods or be able to get pregnant.
- You may have menopause-like symptoms.
Types of hysterectomy:
- Subtotal — Only the uterus is removed. Ovaries, cervix and fallopian tubes remain.
- Total or "simple." — The uterus and cervix go, but not the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- Radical or "bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy." — Everything goes — uterus, cervix, ovaries and tubes.