It’s my body, right?

I called and talked with my OB last week.  I had my RE send her the copy of his report detailing the scar tissue that has now taken over my uterus.  We aren’t currently seeing eye-to-eye on what’s next for me and my body.

What decisions are we allowed to make about our bodies and how do doctors figure out how to ‘do no harm’?  I remember one Grey’s Anatomy episode where a guy hates his foot and he wants the doctors to remove it.  The doctors say that it’s a perfectly healthy foot, so they refuse him.  The guy borrows a chain saw and cuts it off himself so that they are forced to listen to him.

Ok, it’s extreme (and you may be able to convince me that not everything that happened on Grey’s is realistic :)), but I really feel that way about my uterus right now.  I want it gone.  I have had too many babies die in my uterus, too much pain caused by that organ, and I just want it gone.

Is this such a leap to take?  (warning- TMI)  If I don’t do anything, the Asherman’s may significantly affect my cycle, I was already struggling with not having any cycle almost 10 weeks post D&C.   It’s possible the scar tissue holds in the lining that you should shed each month and that can cause endometriosis (or make endometriosis worse in my case since I already have it).  Before these last miscarriages, I had heavy cycles and pain.  I was told it would be at least 2 surgeries to try to remove scar tissue and prevent it from returning- on top of months of estrogen therapy (which isn’t good given the endometriosis and family history of cancer).  Really, how much more do I have to try to work through with this?

If I don’t do anything, I also worry that I will get pregnant again when I don’t intend to do so.  I have gotten pregnant so easily in the past that I don’t trust going without birth control.  Between my unknown cause of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and the scar tissue that’s clouding my uterine cavity, it’s probably almost a 99% chance I would miscarry.  I don’t want to leave that as an option.  I can’t move on and try to accept my life if that’s still a possibility to miscarry again.  The only reason I can accept never getting pregnant again as ‘ok’ is because it brings the benefit of never miscarrying again.

So I just want a hysterectomy.  I feel like that will give me closure.  I will know with certainty that I can never get pregnant again nor can I miscarry again.  We are already walking the journey of surrogacy.  I just feel like I will be able to heal better mentally and emotionally.  I wouldn’t have to have my ovaries removed, so there wouldn’t be the hormonal effects.

So, when I even broach the topic of preventing pregnancy with my OB, she said would not even consent to tying my tubes yet.  That kind of blew me away.  I know that a hysterectomy is a drastic move, but she won’t even consent to tying my tubes?  She reminded me that I only have one child (um, thanks, like I don’t think about this 2,000 times a day) and I’m still ‘young’.  Ok, I’m getting extremely close to advanced maternal age, so I hardly put myself in the category of young.

So when do I get some choice over what happens in my body?  The really f’ed up thing is that my husband could go into a clinic and schedule a vasectomy tomorrow with great ease.  And I could choose to have multiple surgeries on my uterus if I wanted to remove scar tissue, but I’m not allowed to have surgery to remove it?  Or to make a step in the direction of never getting pregnant again?  I don’t want birth control or an IUD, I hate the hormones and weight gain and I just want to start letting my body heal and move into a new chapter.

I know, most women who have to have a hysterectomy didn’t want one and they had no choice in the matter, so I’m a very odd duck.  Are there lots of people out there who wanted hysterectomies and then regretted them horribly later?  Were they removing a very broken uterus or a functioning one?  Anyone with thoughts on this to help me out?   I don’t know what my next move on this should be- I guess a consult with a different OB/surgeon will have to be next.  And it’s not like I want to do this tomorrow as a knee-jerk reaction or because I’m depressed or not grieving well or whatever.  But I feel like waiting a year or so should be more than enough to say this is not just a quick, bad decision and that at the very least my OB should tie my tubes even if she won’t remove the scarred coffin inside my abdomen.

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11 thoughts on “It’s my body, right?

  1. I totally understand your doc’s caution… removing the uterus of a woman who is still of child-bearing age is a pretty big deal, because there are no take-backs. But at the same time, you make some very valid points about how Asherman’s could affect your long-term health. If you want to be at your very best for the family you have now, and the child you may have in the future via surrogacy, I don’t think hysterectomy is an entirely unreasonable request. Your ovaries could be left intact, thereby allowing you to go into menopause naturally. I think she probably just wants to be sure that you are looking before you are leaping, so to speak.

    • I understand and free with some of her caution as well. On the phone, I didn’t even bring up the hysterectomy. I was just trying to talk about permanent birth control at that moment. I guess it just didn’t ever cross my mind that she wouldn’t tie my tubes at the very least. She knows our last two pregnancies were IVF, and tying my tubes wouldn’t make that impossible (if we ever were to try to fix my uterus in the future). I need to go in and see her in person and maybe we’ll get further. Thanks for your thoughts! /MMB

      • I find it shocking that she would refuse to tie your tubes. Shouldn’t that be your choice? I would get a second opinion on that one for sure. We will be permanently ending our childbearing years in just over two months… two more months of riding the hope/despair roller coaster, and we’re done for good. We have opted for vasectomy, but our situation is very different from yours- we have to be done with ttc. We’re just getting too old for this. But if I were in your spot, I strongly suspect I would be seeking to tie my tubes (at the very least) as well. Good luck to you- I hope you can find someone who is willing to be reasonable. Hugs…

  2. I can totally understand not wanting to take birthcontrol. I feel the same way, if we decided to move on I wouldn’t want to risk getting pregnant and having another miscarriage, but the thought of putting a pill in my mouth everyday makes me so angry. It makes sense to want to be fully moved on and not feel tied to the past. I’m confused though, didn’t you say in a past post that your doc said you shouldn’t get pregnant again? Why would she want you to keep your uterus in that case?

    • None of my doctors have expressly told me not to get pregnant. And up until discovering the scar tissue in my uterus, we would have been doing a FET this week to try our last time.

      My RE told me he would anticipate needing at least two surgeries (one laparoscopy, one just a hysteroscopy) to remove the scar tissue. He obviously said to use birth control to prevent pregnancy before we attempt surgery.

      My OB has been with me since miscarriage #1 (and she delivered my Sweetie). She just really wants me to have a ‘happy ending’ and she thinks that because I carried Sweetie that there’s no reason I can’t carry another. She wants me to go through the surgeries and try to fix my uterus. I appreciate that she is working to be supportive, but I am just done with my body: physically, emotionally, mentally. I don’t know how to get her to see that if all she wants to do is put me on the pill. :-/. /MMB

  3. I can definitely understand your feelings on this. Since your doctor seems to be resistant to the idea, could you talk to another doctor to get a second opinion? I also despise birth control pills and had sworn I would never take them again once we started ttc. Little did I know that one of the many ironies of infertility is that treatment often requires taking birth control. I think your thought process on this issue makes a lot of sense, so maybe your doctor (or another doctor) just needs to hear you out more thoroughly before dismissing your desire for a hysterectomy. I know no matter what, it’s a very difficult and painful situation to be in, and I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. I really admire your strength and courage.

  4. I think a second opinion is definitely in order. You have more than enough “arguments” for a hysterectomy. If she’s not comfortable doing it because her emotions are clouding the issue, then it’s time to find an objective party who can review your records and come to a reasonable conclusion. You have been through enough.

  5. I agree with the second opinion.

    You definity bring up some interesting points. I find it odd that legally you can get pregnant and intentionally abort a baby… But you can’t have a non-necessary, malfunctioning organ removed?

    I am very sorry, though, for all the heartache that brought you to this spot.

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