29 days until my hysterectomy for PMDD / severe PMS, aged 35

by msjekyllhyde

In January 2011 I learnt from my online research that a hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries is currently the only true cure for PMDD / severe PMS. I was very upset to learn this.

A year later, after quite a journey, I have a date for the operation – 29 days from now.

I feel

  • Calm and centred
  • Relieved that I’ve made a decision
  • That I’m in the best possible care
  • Glad that I’ve finally plucked up the courage to tackle this once and for all
  • Thankful that I am someone who is good at research, so I’ve been able to get to the bottom of this illness

I posted this update on the fantastic NAPS forum (National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome) today:

“The Christmas break/New Year gave me a chance to reflect even further. I have a date set for a hysterectomy (laparoscopic, with ovary/cervix removal) – 23 February 2012! It’s being done at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea on the NHS. I had an appointment there yesterday, they can fit you in very fast regarding the operation date as most patients have cancer. Normally after an appointment at Queen Charlotte’s I’ve felt quite emotional/tearful, but this time I felt elated and yet very calm!

As I live 100 miles away, they are letting me stay overnight the night before, so I’ll be there for a total of 3 nights. My partner will come to collect me on the Saturday, but if my circumstances were different they’d let me travel home alone on public transport. I can resume normal day to day activity after about 1 week, if I feel up to it. No intercourse for 8 weeks. As I don’t have endometriosis the op should all be quite straight forward, since my organs won’t be stuck together. As I’m already suppressed with the Decapeptyl, apparently I shouldn’t suffer re a ‘crash’ in hormones after the surgery.

I’ve been on Decapeptyl (GnRH) since May 2011, plus estrogel & testogel. I tried several different types of progestogens but have not found one I can tolerate, so I haven’t taken any since May. The Decapeptyl made me feel great from June-November, but my last 3 month injection doesn’t seem to have been nearly so effective and some symptoms have come back. albeit more manageable (I understand that symptoms can break through with long term use); this has made my decision much easier. I understand that I could have tried swapping over to Zoladex if I wanted to stay on GnRH’s for longer.

I am childfree by choice (aged 35) and have been considering remaining so for over 2 years, which also made the decision easier, although I still did a great deal of soul searching and research. I could have seen a psychologist on the NHS to discuss the impact of the op if I had wanted to. I’m going to see a psychosexual counsellor about my low sex drive, on the NHS; I will also try taking a little more testogel to see if that helps. Aside from this I have a very good relationship with my partner; we had a great sex life until we moved in together and I couldn’t shield him from the PMDD/Jekyll & Hyde behaviour any longer (although I had warned him about it). PMDD has destroyed some of my relationships, and nearly destroyed others, and it’s played absolute havoc with my career, which is extremely important to me.

The NAPS forum, and the knowledgeable women on it, has been an absolute godsend for me! It has empowered me and taught me how to get the treatment I need from the NHS. Without it I might have spent thousands on private treatment, which I can’t afford; or I might still be wondering if I had bipolar disorder or have cyclothymia, or taking anti-depressants which left me flat / fuzzy headed and almost unable to work, let alone be creative.”