by Dr. Sallie Sarrel
I’m 43 and I don’t want a hysterectomy.
There has been much controversy over the claim in the media that a hysterectomy cures endometriosis. Hysterectomy, while it has a role in treatment of pelvic pain and uterine disorders, does not cure endometriosis. For me, having a hysterectomy is a very involved decision. It is not so simple just to take the uterus because I am unable to have a child after all of endometriosis’s damage.
Being a pelvic floor physical therapist that specializes in endometriosis, I know all of the current research. I have seen patients soar after hysterectomies, and I have also seen them continue to suffer in pain and anguish. Because of my experience, I will admit that this makes me a challenging patient to work with.
I am 43 with a long history of endometriosis. I have endured 5 very expensive surgeries. During one of those surgeries, I had an ovary removed without any previous discussion of its removal. I attempted to freeze eggs, multiple times, all to no avail, because when the ovary was removed, the other ovary failed.
While I own a leading pelvic physical therapy practice for endometriosis care, I also live in constant pain – pain that has worsened since this past summer, pain that is so bad I miss work, cannot care for my mother who survived a stroke, and pain that prohibits me from any of my social and sporting activities.
Multiple well-respected doctors have suggested that a hysterectomy will solve my issues. With my history; most doctors would perform a hysterectomy and call it a day. There’s a catch though, for me and everyone else with a uterus: hysterectomy is a personal choice. As with any medical decision that you will need to make during your life, there are pros and cons.
Here is why a hysterectomy may not be right for me for now (and why it may not be right for you, either):