Mallory’s Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 41
It started in 2016 for me. Heavy bleeding, horrible cramping, huge blood clots, periods longer than usual—and all out of nowhere. I’d always had heavy painful periods, but this was next level. I was diagnosed with adenomyosis and we began the long frustrating journey to try and deal with it.
We started with the pill. This worked wonders. Period got back to regular length, cramps got better. I started getting ocular migraines though, which should have been an indication that my body wasn’t loving the hormones—and then the pill gave me a pulmonary embolism at 39. Luckily I caught it, but after that my doctors took me off hormones forever. The next six months were absolutely horrible. The periods came back worse than ever and I was on blood thinners for the PE to boot. Next we tried the progesterone only pill which was omg awful. It gave me such severe breast pain I felt like I had bruises hanging off my chest. Since I couldn’t do estrogen based hormones anymore my options were pretty limited. The adenomyosis ruled out an ablasion, so my last hope was the IUD.
This was my 3rd IUD. I’d tolerated the first 2 pretty well, though had to have the second one removed after a year due to sudden breakthrough bleeding. For some reason the insertion of this new IUD was the worst. The pain was excruciating, I almost passed out. I kept this for a year, hoping that it would keep me from having a hysterectomy. It helped a lot. My periods got significantly lighter and less painful—but every month they got longer. My average period was about 12 days long with brownish bleeding for 3-4 days at the start and end of every one. This seriously impacted my sex life with my husband and just my quality of life in general. The month I had a 19 period, I made the decision. I’d had enough. My period was there for everything. Every single holiday. Every fun night out. Every trip, every milestone. I was DONE.
Once I got it scheduled I looked forward to my hysterectomy like I was having work done lol. I was so excited. I was like “New year, new me!” The morning of the surgery I started bleeding again like a final f-u moment from my janky uterus and I was so happy that it would be the last period I ever dealt with. Bye!
The surgery was a breeze. It took about 2 1/2 hours and I woke up in less pain than my average period. I was intubated during the procedure, which is standard, there were zero complications, and I went home the same day. The hospital was amazing. I was made comfortable before I left.
My recovery was so easy it was unreal. Seriously. By 48 hours later I was completely off the prescription pain pills. By the 3rd day I wasn’t even taking Motrin. My energy levels were through the roof. My doctor encouraged me to try and get up and move around to avoid blood clots—I could have gone for a hike. That was actually the hardest part, not overexerting myself because I felt that good that fast. The surgery was less disruptive than my period and less painful than my IUD insertion. I was so scared to have this procedure done, and honestly, it was easier than the things I was putting myself through to avoid it.
I had insomnia the first week, which apparently is pretty normal while your hormones regulate. I kept both ovaries but I read that the surgery puts them in a bit of shock for a few days and can cause a dip that causes insomnia. I took some Benedryl at night and it took care of it until things got back to normal. I didn’t get the air bubble pain that a lot of people mention. I didn’t find myself fatigued.
I have three dime sized incisions on my stomach that two months later are still pretty dark. I’m putting scar gel on them and have been since the bandages came off.
I bled for about 5 weeks. It started off pink and then turned into a brown/yellow color that eventually disappeared. I probably bled for longer than I would have if I would have just sat still lol. Admittedly I was walking 30 minutes on my treadmill within a week and I’d started hiking up the incline as the weeks went on. I was doing weights (10 pounds weights, but still). I just felt like a million bucks and I wanted to move!
Two months later I am so glad I did it. I know that I needed to get into the right headspace and try all the things before I came to that decision, but I sincerely wish I would have come to it sooner. I feel amazing. Picture how you feel on your best day. A day when you’re in between horrible periods and you’re not bleeding or cramping—if you’re like me, you probably only get a week of those days a month tops before the cycle starts again. I feel like those amazing days all the time now. Amazing days are all there is.
I’d get hormonal during my periods, and I suppose I still do since I kept my ovaries. But I realized that a lot of my moodiness was because I felt like garbage during my period. I was cramping, I wasn’t sleeping well when I was on it because I was uncomfortable and in pain. I don’t even notice the cycle now. I couldn’t tell you when my “period” time is, because it’s no longer defined by pain and bleeding. I’m in such a better mood and I feel generally more healthy overall.
And the sex? Okay, this is one thing I felt there wasn’t enough information on so I’m going to lay it out.
I read that some women experience uterine contractions with sex. I thought that mine were cliteral—but what if I was wrong? What if I took out an organ that was contributing to my sensation and I didn’t even realize it? And what about cervical sensation? When my cervix was gone, would that change things? My husband and I have a good sex life. I enjoy sex. This was very important to me that things didn’t change.
My orgasms are exactly the same. Like, exactly. In fact, if it wasn’t for the lack of pain and suffering every month, I wouldn’t even know my uterus is gone. We have sex more now because I’m not bleeding all the time.
Your vaginal discharge is exactly the same too. You’ll get just as lubricated as you did before. The discharge in your underwear looks the same as always. My husband says everything feels the same for him too, except he did mention feeling something at the site of my vaginal cuff (the top of my vagina where my cervix used to be). It’s probably a little scar tissue from the stitches. At my 6 week visit I still had an intact stitch right in the middle, so that probably just dissolved. I’m not worried about it.
If you’re worried about feeling sexy after this, or like a woman—trust me, you will. You will look the same, only you will feel better and you won’t bleed for half the month. I actually lost weight after the surgery, simply because my exercise routine isn’t disrupted by feeling like trash for weeks at a time. The next trip I go on, I’m packing a pair of 4 inch heels where the box of ultras used to go.
Do it. 100% do it. I have five close friends who have all had this same procedure, and they all told me to do it too. I wish I would have done it years ago. I think as women we normalize suffering and it just simply doesn’t need to be this way. Put yourself out of your misery.