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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,I'm new here, actually I just found this site right now. I have a question for everyone. How can you tell the difference in symptoms of IBS vs. something like uterine pain.I have been constipated my entire life. My mother told me she had to use suppositories on me as an infant because I would go a week without a BM. Consitpation is just a way of life for me and I have never really thought much of it unless it gets really severe from time to time.I have also been in chronic pelvic pain for years. At first it was just during my period and sex and then it would be gone. I have two children and since having the second one two years ago, my pelvic pain has worsened to the point where it is constant.I have tried BC. I was on it from age 17 until my first child 5 years ago. I went back on it in between children to control my periods and cramps. It worked pretty well until after my last child so I gave up on it.I had a laparoscopy in May 2003 which didn't show the endometriosis that we thought it would. All it showed was that my uterus was enlarged and had extra blood vessels going into it which were weighing it down and pulling on all of the structures around it.At the same time they also did an ablation to burn out the lining of the uterus because I bled for 3 months straight. The ablation has helped the bleeding. I now have a period every two weeks for about two or three days.My GYN has me scheduled for a hysterectomy on 8-19-2003 because he has nothing left to offer me. He told me there is no guarantee this will work, although he has had some patients in the past with perfectly normal uteruses that just hurt and when removed their pelvic pain is gone. He also knows that I have IBS and never said anything about it being the cause of the pain.I can't help not listening to the little voice in my head that wonders if this is the right thing to do. I went to my internist on Monday for surgical clearance and asked him if anything else could cause the pain. He told me that the IBS could. I have chronic low back pain that seems to increase when I have cramps. I also have cramps all of the time but they are much worse when I have to stand for a while and are somewhat relieved when I can sit for a little bit. Sex hurts a lot except for a couple of positions and then I have bad cramps for two or three days. My poor husband has all but been cut off from sex for the last 8 months. The cramps don't seem to be relieved by a BM although I think the constant pain has caused the IBS to flare and some of the cramps are from that. I am also contantly exhausted. My kids are very young and keep me busy. I also work at the hospital for 12-14 hours on midnights three days a week.I just can't take being in pain anymore because it is greatly interfering with my life. I am having second thoughts about the surgery though after talking with my doctor the other day. I don't want to have surgery unnecessarily if it is the IBS causing my symptoms. At the same time though my doc is doing nothing for the IBS. I asked him about Zelnorm and he told me he had to read about it and get back to me. It is Wednesday and so far I haven't heard from him. I think I will give him a call.I would greatly appreciate any advice anyone has for me before I go through this possibly unneeded surgery on Tuesday. Thank you! I will be looking forward to hearing from you!Kristin
 

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Kristin,I'm older than you and probably should be happy to have a hysterectomy, but I am holding out until the very end! A fairly new gyn told me in February that I need a hysterectomy, but I am getting other opinions prior to taking this drastic step. My worse fear is not being able to take HRT or something to replenish my hormones.If you don't have a gastroenterologist, I would suggest that you get one. Your regular dr may not be as familiar with IBS and the meds that are used to treat it. I would prefer a dr who didn't have to read up on it, if I were you. And, that might determine whether or not you really need a hysterectomy.I've done a lot of reading since Feb. on hysterectomies and the info that I find suggests that hysterectomies are done far too often and unnecessarily. Even in old age, the uterus provides some benefits. You might want to postpone your surgery until you feel more confident in your decision; once it's done, it's final!
 

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Hello XCUZ and Patty. My heart goes out to you as I suffered the same problems for years and no one told me I had IBS. The pelvic pain that would bring you to tears. The heavy bleeding and the continuous ultra sounds, internals, laporoscopy etc. Having children did not make it better as some of those (male) doctors say. I finally had my uterus removed six years ago and I have never regreted it for a moment. I almost never get the crippling pelvic pain and of course no more constant bleeding. My daughter who is 26 no children yet (cant seem to get pregnant) is going through the same thing right now. She also has not been diagnosed with IBS but it looks like from all the other tests that she has inherited this terrible disease also. She has terrible pain and sometimes can barely stand up for days. Having a hysterectomy is a big decision and I would not even consider it if I had not already had my children but as I said earlier it worked for me.
 

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scots,Just out of curiosity --- did you have a complete or partial hysterectomy? Are you taking hormones? Has it affected your sex life? These are a few of my concerns.You may answer any of these questions that you feel comfortable with. Thanks.
 

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Hello ladies I do understand how you are feeling both the uneasy feeling of having the surgery and the questions. You never mentioned your age. I am 35 and I too just had a the final stages of my hysterectomy and as mentioned in a previous post it was the best thing I ever did in regards to pain and the bleeding. I too have Ibs. If you have many questions I would recomend that you visit a site called www.hystersisters.com there is some of us from this site that are also members from here. They are a great support group for women who are about to have a hysterectomy or who have had one. They can answer many questions that you have even the hormone questions. I wish you luck and also my gyn dosn't know alot about IBS and admitted it to me and when I had a problem after my surgery he finally brought in a gastro. Know your body. But I suspect he does this time and it is a gyn problem. You can email me if you like.Denise.bradley
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All I can tell you is this:1) I have IBS2) I had a hysterectomy3) I still feel the pain and it's even worse4) My sex life was changed significantly5) My emotional health declined significantly.6) My fibromyalgia worsened.Evie
 

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I too have had a hysterectomy. It didn't worsen or help the IBS symptoms. It did however end excessive bleeding and clotting, the feeling of overall exhaustion all the time, and near anemia. I too spent a lot of time on HysterSisters when I went through it, and it was a great help to me. I had the pain in the side before my hyst., from a sagging uterus tugging on other things, and that pain is gone now. I still have my ovaries. I was 37 when I had the surgery two years ago.
 

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Thanks denise for posting that site; I will check it out. Evie, I do appreciate all your input. You've been so instrumental in making me stop and think about all issues involved here.I am certainly old enough, late 40's, to have a hysterectomy without much concern. The only reasons are adenomyosis and anemia from heavy bleeding. I don't have clotting and have not had any pain to speak of lately. So, I feel like I can live with what's happening right now and soon the cycle will stop, then my anemia will stop.Because I have hypertension, I could not take the HRT when I tried and I have major concerns that I may not be able to take anything following a hysterectomy. I have a sweetheart who may come back from Kuwait and find me a totally different woman and that's my worse fear!Kristin, it sounds as if you must do something to relieve your pain; whether its IBS meds or gyn.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Patty..... I'm glad if I jumpstarted you to do a bit of detective work on your own, but in the end you need to do what is best for you. I hope you can hold out until menopause causes your distress to go away. I tried, but I wasn't that lucky.Best wishes, Evie
 

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Hello Ladies..I just was diagnosed yesterday with ibs. I am learning alot of new things from just reading the postings. My surgeon prescribed some meds, and I am really hoping that they will help. I have never taken anything other pepto etc. I had a hysterectomy (because they thought it would cure my pain) now my uterus is gone and my chances of having children, but the physical pain is still there. My husband of 7 years, has been very patient with all of my health problems and I am very lucky. We tried to get pregnant for four years and we were pretty devasted when my obgyn told me I had an enlarged uterus and a partial hysterectomy was the answer. I just had a colonoscopy two weeks ago.. and boy I sure don't enjoy those.. yuck.. and my colon was very inflamed. I really thought my bm were related to stress and diet. the constipation = not enough roughage.. etc. I was pretty excited to find this site.. there are so many ppl here that I find myself relating to many postings yayayaI am very lucky though because we just adopted a ten year old little boy. I was at the lowest of lows when he was proposed to us through our adoptin agency. I was recovering from my hysterectomy when suddenly we were on a plane to meet him.. how exciting.. My sex drive has really suffered with the fertility treatments the ibs, ovarian cysts etc. what sort of treatments are there availlable..have a great day everyone
 

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Hi Patty, I don't mind answering any of your questions. Whatever helps
I was in my early 40's when I had the hysterectomy. I had the partial only the uterus removed. It did not affect my sex drive as a matter of fact it got better. The reason for this is I was not always either in pain, with a period or exhausted. I still get pain with the colon pressing on the ovaries but this is very rare and usually happens after eating the wrong foods such as greasy foods. I am now 49 and am pre menopause. This has affected my sex life and my IBS has gotten worse. I have tried some of the natural soy, red clover, wild yam, etc. but have not had much relief from the menopause (mostly mood swings and fatigue). I have done a lot of homework before the hysterectomy and talked to many that also have had it. I find that those who can't let go of the emotional connection to the uterus suffer way more than those of us who do not feel that this is something taken away from their womanhood. After all it is not our reproductive organs that makes us women but our minds and our hearts. One more thing though the surgery is rough and the healing is slow so if you do go a head with it make sure you have lots of support and walk a lot.
 

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Hi Patty I don't mind answering your questions either. Yes I did morne the loss of in inners for a little while. Granted I had my family but I looked at the fat that it was something that had been taken from me. I too am having a problem with HRT but my problem is very rare I am having a chemical reacation. In regards to having problems with the hystersisters site I can't see whats going on that you are being bouced back they are a very supportive site. Have your registered as a new member and gotton a pass word. As I said there is quite a few of us IBSers that are members over there. They have wonderful sections that can answer your quetions and your hormone questions. I have found that the IBS has settled but I keep tight control on mine threw hypno, food and meds if I need to. Granted my mother in law can throw it into hell as I found out this week. As I said any thing I can help you with shoot.Denise
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello everyone,I wanted to let you all know that I did decide to go ahead with the hysterectomy. I had it done on Tuesday the 19th. I came home yesterday. I think that even with the surgical pain I am having I feel better than I have in a long time! I feel like a new woman. The only problem now is that I am quite constipated from the pain meds and am trying to get going again. The doctor did give me the Zelnorm he was thinking about so hopefully that will help.I am also going to check out that website. Thank you for posting it.Thank you to everyone for the great advice. I will talk to you all soon.Kristin
 

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Welcome to the sisterhood. Now be a good princess and listen to your pillow police.Don't do anything let everyone tend one you. Your body needs the rest and drink lots. If you have any queations just ask were are here for you.Denise
 

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Kristin,Wishing you well with your recovery. I went thru a full abdom. hyster. in Dec. The recovery is slow, but it wasn't too bad for me. At least the surgery "saved my life." Kinda nice to be done with that monthly stuff too, including the chronic hemorraghic cysts.Take care, and good luck, again.
 
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