** FOREWARNING: This blog contains detailed information about an FTMs experience through a total vaginal hysterectomy. IT IS NOT FOR THE FAINTLY HEARTED. Man up or hit the back button**
For some, the thought of a hystorectomy is out of the question because hey, who cares what’s in there. But for others, unfortunate side effects of T can cause an enormous backlash of pain, angst, medical issues, and severe legal and political issues. Yes, even political issues. I do have supporting documents for the claims I will be making, but for now I’m posting from my mobile so I can’t get to them at the moment. But something like 65% of women have some form of symptoms of PCOS, some worse than others. I’ve seen research done that shows something like 90% on trans men have been diagnosed with PCOS Pre or post transition. That’s Too much for a coincidence in my book. The fact there’s not enough long term research done on the use of test injections dilutes the serious issues that the hormone can cause to a trans person with PCOS. If you have a good doctor administering your hormones, you will be told within 5 years of your first shot you will need a hysterectomy. There are quite a few valid reasons for this, and I will give you one from my experience ( and I’ll probably give you the rest in a later post). I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2006. I went on the pill and insulin which made me feel sick so I stopped taking them. During that time I realized I was trans, and began taking the necessary steps to transition. About 2.5 years on T I started getting cramps similar to menstral cramps once a month, for maybe a few hours here and there. Over 4 months, the pain would grow more intense ever month and last more hours of the day. By 7 months I was having pretty severe cramping for about 12 - 20 hours for one day a month and would have intense pelvic pain starting 10 minutes after any clitoral orgasm and last into the next day. by 8 months I would have debilitating pain for 24-36 hours, with side effects such as pain radiating into my legs, blurred vision, un controllable body shakes due to pain and being completely unable to move for a day or so. As well as had pain 1-2 days a week per month, and had pain after every orgasm. It was miserable. Thankfully I was out of work, had just moved to a new state and my full time job was to find a job into my career. I finally (reluctantly) made an appointment with an obgyn, who took 3 weeks to get an answer from my insurance, which did not want to cover my surgery because someone at my college had taken a liberty to change my gender when I requested to change my name on my insurance policy. It took another 3 weeks for me to track down the right people to sign the right papers and to change my profile to the correct information. Just enough time to miss both scheduled surgeries my surgeon had made… And now my sergeon had to take a leave to go treat patients at a naval base and left his practice for 2-6 months. Great. Just what I wanted to hear. I contacted the other sergeon my original ob had reffered his patients to, and it took 2.5 weeks to get an appointment. In that amount of time I made sure the insurance was set, the new office had any and all medical history, and the doctor knew I needed a hysterectomy immediately.
At the point I had my first appointment, I was fed up, had been praying for the right answers, praying the mormon doctor would take me, I had just had a great interview with my dream company and I felt as if I was about to jump out of my skin. The doctor was awesome, the appointment went better than I could have ever imagined- he wanted me to be scheduled for a robotic assisted total vaginal hysterectomy and oopharectomy within 5 days. I went back to schedule my surgery, and my insurance approved it on the spot- a litteral miracle. The doctors office made sure to say I was not transgendered when asked by insurance. Bastards.
I prepped myself for surgery, hitting the gym hard and making sure to have my house clean for my prolonged bed rest stage. The day before surgery, I had that horrible pain all day- but thankfully for the last time ever (hopefully). I started taking the post op pain medication to relieve myself from agony. The day of surgery, while I was getting my IV drip put in, I recieved a call from the company I interviewed with: I got the job!! Couldn’t have been a more perfect day in my eyes. I went under with spirits high, making jokes with the doctors, and right before I went under, thanking them for being there and wishing us all the best for the surgery. Then… Lights out.
I woke up choking on tubes in my throat. I couldn’t breath, my eyes were taped shut and I started thrashing as the doctors held me down. After what seemed like an eternity, I took a small breath and made out the words ‘can’t breath!!’ and they quickly took the tubes out of my throat. Slowly I was able to take small breaths as I came to. They said I did great, I was in a serious daze and could only feel a small amount of pain. I had 3 small incisions on my belly that were super glued shut, one in my belly button where the camera went in, one low left and one low right on my stomach where the robotic arms went in. I have an unknown amount of stitches up my whoowhoo, and one or two small stitches in my lower vagina/ taint area where I must have ripped open from the vacuum type instrument the inserted vaginally. That one is yummy. I had a catheter and stayed in a private room in the hospital for 26 hours.
I didn’t get to talk very long to my doctor as I was essentially in a drug induced stupor, but he told my mother that it was not endometriosis after all. However, he believes my pre existing PCOS was severely aggravated by the Testosterone. My uterus was very enlarged, was extremely vascular and he believes in a matter of months I would have developed uterine cancer. We did the surgery just in time. Scary stuff. Still waiting on the lab results.
For the first week it was hard to walk, sit, eat, piss, shit… Really do anything a healthy functioning human does. I didn’t have a bowel movement until the third day I was home. That was the most pesky poo I’ve ever encountered, since I am normally perfectly regular. I started drinking 2 cups of smooth moves laxative tea and stool softener a day and was still having serious issues pooping. I still am having issues, it’s very frustrating (only one week post op). The first week I’ve been very bloated, and the bloating would increase and decrease based on how much liquid I had, if I was taking my ibprofen 800 on time and my bowel movement. Of course I was and am still very swollen, but I am finally seeing now the swelling is going down a bit. I am very gassy, I know a lot of that is surgical gas used to expand my abdomen during the procedure being absorbed into my intestines, but I think it might also have to do with the pain pills vs the laxatives. I hope as I taper off the pain meds my bowels will resume normal regiment. I drink a lot of water. I mean ALOT. 6-9 34oz bottles a day. With that said, it’s been a real feat coaxing my body to pee. Sometimes it hurts funny, but mostly I feel it’s hard coming out, it takes a while, as if there is swelling pinching my urethra tighter. I spend maybe 2.5 hrs of my day on a toilet consentrating on doing one of two things you sit on the John for. It’s a bit rediculous. Thankfully I have a month until I begin my job.
I’ve begun having the infamous hot flashes and night sweats. Their all they’re cracked up to be. I haven’t been cleared to take my T shot yet, so I think my body is in a bit of a shock with the hormone situation. It’s been 2 weeks since my last shot, I’m calling the doctor tomorow to ask if I can be cleared. I will probably start with .6 CC as opposed to my normal 1cc pre hysto, since I don’t have to override estrogen production, I can take less test and have the same levels I did before. It’s healthier for your body, especially liver, and I can save more/ stock up on test because I will use less every week. It adds up. However, since I am serious about body building, I realize I have an advantage of safe test, and will keep my blood work updated every 6 weeks until I reach the levels my doctor and I feel are safely on the higher end of normal. I will also be looking into an estrogen cream or low dose treatment in order to help healing process, regain sexual abilities (good strong orgasms), and help with the sensitivity of the stitched area. Test will usually cause certain areas of the vagina to become more vascular, tight and sensitive. These can present issues when trying to heal properly, quickly and fully. Some trans dudes probably don’t like the idea, but once you realize your orgasms are not even CLOSE to what they used to be, the idea of anything that will allow you to gain back the pinnacle of your sex life becomes increasingly necessary. The best way I can describe the orgasm I had very recently is all treble, no bass. None. Not even a little bump. Research it thought. It will take a few months to a year to heal and regain the big O (with estrogen treatment). Because I’m unlike women because I have a ton of T in me, I don’t think my sex drive will suffer any serious issues like I have read about. I’m pretty confident between estrogen treatment and proper T adjustments, within a year I will be as good as new (minus the severe pain post orgasm).
I have my post op appointment in one week. I’m eagerly waiting the chance to talk with my doc about how he feels the surgery went, what, if any, results came back from the lab, what kind of estrogen treatments are available and what would be the best for me, and how long he foresees my recovery. It really depends on the person. Some people can be back to work in 5 days, some need 2 weeks, few will have the privilege I do to have 4-6 weeks, which is recommended.
I’ve already begun working with my personal trainer doing VERY LIGHT isolated aerobic band exercises. Only bi’s, tri’s, some upper back, and calves. It’s killing me not to go to the gym and bike and all the normal things I do, but I’ve been eating a low cal diet consisting of 1-2 semi solid meals per day, lots of fruit, and tons of water so I know I am at least maintaining weight, if not losing (I am on a plan to lose fat, gain muscle. 4-5 days weight lifting 50-100 minutes a day, and 1-2 hrs cardio. 2 off days per week with light cardio).
I could clearly go on forever documenting my procedure thus far, but I feel these are the most pertinent and vital points I could thoroughly explain about my particular experience and the information I have spend countless hours researching. I plan to keep a log and update every few weeks about any advancements, changes or breakthroughs I encounter. I know I would have appreciated detailed information like this from a trans man prior to my hysto, but the fact is there’s such a small number of us and a lot of good info gets lost on the Internet, or not even documented. This is for you and me, I hope it helps you in your decisions for your journey.