I don't know how much I've talked about this, but now that it's been over a year, I should probably talk a little about mini-periods.
If you have a hysterectomy and keep your ovaries and your cervix, there is a 7-15% chance that you'll have some cyclical bleeding.
What is a mini-period? Basically when a partial or supracervical hysterectomy is performed, a little bit of the uterus is retained to make a pouch that's sewn shut (where the uterus used to be, basically think of a pear and the neck of the uterus as it leads into the cervix and birth canal is the narrow top). The endometrium is naturally thinner there and most surgeons will either core out the remaining endometrium or cauterize it to prevent cyclical bleeding.
However, sometimes doctors miss some of the endometrium or don't perform this service so the ovarian hormone still cycle and the endometrium builds up and is shed monthly.
The amount of blood in my case is minimal, it's a panty liner during the day and a panty liner at night. I don't always even need it, but I use it just in case. The period itself lasts about five days (my old ones lasted eight).
If you're pre-surgery, I urge you to talk to your doctor about this issue. It's not something that should be discussed afterwards when you actually discover you have it. It's also pretty important for a good inspection to be made of the cervical stump if you're having a hysterectomy for adenomyosis or endometriosis as this would be where some of that tissue would lurk.
If you're post surgery and think you have a mini-period (and it's not a substanial amount of bleeding), relax. I consider mine a good reminder that my ovaries are working, which is far more important than that pesky light bleeding. However, talk to your doctor, it's possible that either freezing the cervix and the cervical channel can eliminate the problematic endometrium, or using a cauterizing technique through the dialted cervix. The last ditch effort would be to remove the cervical stump which is actually a rather involved surgery.
Me? I'm not really that disturbed by them and don't plan on doing anything to get rid of them.
Posted by Elizabeth M. on November 22, 2005 7:01 PM