In 2015 I had a hysterectomy. I don’t regret it, in fact it was a turning point in my life. After the recovery I lost 5 stone, and eventually asked MrH to be my Dominant. Before the hysterectomy my life was controlled by blood.
Periods the early years.
I started my periods at 14. I remember clearly I was in my afternoon lesson and when we (the students) stood up as the teacher entered the classroom I got the most awful tummy pain. It took my breath away. It passed and I thought no more about it. The lesson finished and I walked home with my friends, my mum wasn’t in and I didn’t have a key. I needed to pee- thankfully we had an outside loo – so I went. When I pulled down my panties they were stained with dark brown (old) blood. I felt queasy. I had no idea what it was and began to panic. We had not had The Talk at school. In my naivety I thought perhaps this was the result of me drinking black coffee.
When my mum arrived home and I told her she have me a pamphlet to read (I think she had been given it at school cos the sanitary towels attached to a belt in the diagrams) and she gave me a pack of sanitary towels to use.
And so, I had become a woman. Every 28 days my period came, it was perfectly normal, I cramped for a little, but a hot water bottle and some paracetamol took care of it. I would get one (yes just the one) HUGE spot on my chin every month.
Motherhood and Contraceptives
After my first pregnancy my periods got a little heavier but I went onto the pill and that sorted that out. Every 28 days I would bleed and get a spot.
I started to notice a little problem just before I fell pregnant with S2. I was spotting mid month and my GP thought it might be a sign that the pill wasn’t working as effectively as it had. There may be something to that as S2 arrived 10 months later.
After S2 was born MrH and I decided not to have any more children, and as MrH was only 23 it was unlikely that he would be sterilised (particularly as he was adamant he would have to be asleep), and so we opted for a longer term birth control method, The Coil, specifically, The Merina Coil. A new breed of IUD which released a hormone slowly for 5 years, the result of which was that in most cases users had no periods for the lifetime of the device.
I nearly passed out when it was fitted.
I felt sick all the way home. I cramped and bled for a week. It stopped. For 2 days. Bled again. After 6 months of constant cramping, pain during sex, spotting after sex, spotting most of the time, I went to see a consultant about the problem. It was decided I had an irritable uterus (sounds about right I thought) and it was just not happy having a foreign body in it, as well as cervical erosion (which sounds bad like its worn away, but is, in reality, where the cells that are usually found inside the uterus form on the cervix. These cells when rubbed against, by say a penis during sex, bleed and can be painful. As we still didn’t plan on having any more children we decided that I would be sterilised.
I was sterilised, and apart from a little issue (my BP dropped to 50/70) and I became unresponsive once back on the ward which resulted in a day case turning into an overnight stay, all was good.
Except, the bleeding and pain continued. The laparoscopic scar tissue formed adhesions. A second surgery was done to separate the muscle layers and a slower recovery advised. I was also told I was experiencing ovulation pains.
I still had pain when we had sex, doggy style (my favourite position) was guaranteed to hurt like hell and I would almost certainly bleed afterwards. My once regular periods became erratic and my GP in an effort to prevent ovulation (so it wouldn’t hurt) and to regulate my periods again. It didn’t work.
The next few years, MrH and I were subjected to reverse periods. I would bleed for 21 days a month. I would not bleed for 7. These days were in no particular order. We came up with an unimaginative code to use to indicate to MrH that we could have sex. He would ask what the weather was like. I would say clear for well clear, I was not bleeding, or changeable for no go.
I was anemic. I was tired and I was sore from being constantly damp and wearing sanitary towels. And, I was very unhappy.
I know some people are perfectly happy to have sex during their periods. I was not. I had no desire to see a large clot of menstrual blood on MrH cock, or his hands. When I was menstruating I was extremely sensitive to smells and I would always feel that I smelt bad, as a result I didn’t feel amorous.
After 5 years of having little to no sex, I had had enough. I went back to the consultants and when they had satisfied themselves that there was no obvious or sinister cause for the bleeding, and some persuasive talk from me “Look, I don’t want any more children, I’ve been sterilised, I don’t need the plumbing anymore, I just want to be able to have sex with my husband!” And the consultant agreed.
On MrH birthday in 2015 I was admitted to hospital for total abdominal hysterectomy. This means they removed my cervix but left my ovaries, and operated by cutting into my stomach, similar to a cesarean scar. I will be forever grateful for the morphine and ketamine drip that first 24 hours. I came round and the spinal block was still working, I could not feel or move my legs. I had a catheter in place for 24 hours too. After the catheter was removed I was mobilised. I was shown how to get out of and back into bed without opening the wound.
The recovery took 3 months. For 6 weeks you are not advised to lift more than a cup of water or hover or mop. After 6 weeks you are then advised to slowly increase your activity. It was hard. I would fall asleep in the afternoon, exhausted. I cried for no reason. But then, I got stronger. And, I started to loose weight.
Having the hysterectomy changed everything for me. I was no longer controlled by blood. We could have sex without worrying if there would be bloodied sheets. I felt clean again.
The weight loss continued and in all I lost 5 stone. Unfortunately, at the point where I had lost 2.5 stones I had the first episode of suspected cauda equina. So while we got rid of one problem another raised its head.
The hysterectomy is remains one medical decision that I am glad I made, it has been life changing.