Interview with Sherri A. Stanczak of St. Charles, Missouri. Sherri is a married freelance writer and author, as well as the mother of three boys, ages 27, 25 & 21. She had a partial hysterectomy (meaning the uterus was removed but the ovaries were kept intact).
How old were you at the time of surgery?
Why was surgery recommended for you?
Sherri: I was hemorrhaging.
What kind of symptoms were you experiencing?
Sherri: Very heavy bleeding, severe cramps, anemic.
Did you try any alternative procedures or therapies prior to surgery?
Sherri: A year before my hysterectomy, my doctor performed a uterus ablation surgery. This is where they actually burn the lining of my uterus. This did help for several months.
Did you feel like you were being “pushed” toward a hysterectomy?
Sherri: Not at all. My doctor went over all of my options. She did tell me, however, that it would be the only thing that would cure it.
Did your surgeon discuss the option to retain your ovaries?
Sherri: Yes. I still have my ovaries. She didn’t feel like it was necessary to remove them at that time.
Can you tell us about your recovery?
Sherri: My recovery was great. The hysterectomy was done by laser surgery. Within a couple of weeks I was completely recovered. The first few days were the worst.
Did you worry that you would feel less womanly or sexy due to the surgery?
Sherri: It bothered me that I couldn’t have any more children. Even though I started young as a mother and my boys were all almost grown by the time I had the surgery, it still bothered me because it was so final.
Did you worry that having a hysterectomy would alter your sex life?
Most women say that their sex lives are as good, or better than, before the surgery. Would you agree?
Did the hysterectomy improve your symptoms?
Sherri: Definitely. I am doing much better.
How is life after hysterectomy?
Sherri: Much better. No cramps, no bleeding, no worrying about planning vacations or outings around my periods.
If you could make the decision over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Sherri: I would do it exactly the same.
If a good friend was considering a hysterectomy, what advice would you offer?
Sherri: I would make sure she was sure she didn’t want any more children. If not, I would say, “Go for it.” Life is so much better.
What do you wish you had known before surgery that you now know?
Sherri: I don’t think there is anything. My doctor really kept me informed about everything.
Editor's Note: This is a personal account of this individual's experience. Your experience with hysterectomy may be different, and the decision to opt for surgery is something that should be based on your particular situation and doctor's advice.
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