While Astrid's experience with uterine prolapse is quite standard, her case is somewhat unique as she had her surgery in Europe, which uses a different type of anesthesia for the procedure.
Interview with Astrid Senior, a married, German mother of two who currently lives in Morgan Hill, California.
How old were you at the time of surgery?
Why was surgery recommended for you?
Astrid: I had a uterine prolapse (my uterus was falling out so to say...).
What kind of symptoms were you experiencing?
Astrid: Terrible bleeding, pain, and discomfort due to the prolapse.
Were any alternatives to a hysterectomy offered?
Astrid: I had to wear a porcelain ring for a while which was very uncomfortable. Surgery Guide: The porcelain ring is also known as a vaginal pessary.
Did you feel like you were being “pushed” toward a hysterectomy?
Astrid: No, not at all.
Did your surgeon discuss the option to retain your ovaries, so that menopause would happen naturally, rather than immediately after surgery?
Can you tell us about your recovery?
Astrid: I was psychologically and physically fine after the operation and felt on top of the world after 4 weeks.
Did you worry that you would feel less womanly or sexy due to the surgery?
Astrid: Not at all. My mother had a hysterectomy many years back and was a very good mentor of my own.
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?
Astrid: Better, more relaxed, due to the fact of the "getting pregnant risk" and also no more period so "always ready."
Did the hysterectomy improve your symptoms?
How is life after hysterectomy?
Astrid: I had to deal with the fact that I couldn't have another child after I got married the second time but I came over that period with help of my cranial sacral therapist. He guided me through a visionary pregnancy and also the delivery. That was a great experience.
If you could make the decision over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
If a good friend was considering a hysterectomy, what advice would you offer?
Astrid: I could definitely say that if the hysterectomy is absolutely necessary to do it better sooner than later. I would listen and if asked talk about my experience.
What do you wish you had known before surgery that you now know?
Astrid: The operation was made under epidural anesthesia so I could watch and hear everything. That was a bit spooky. Surgery Guide: Astrid had surgery in Germany. In the United States, the use of general anesthesia is standard.
More Real Stories of Hysterectomy: Hysterectomy Interviews
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.