State of the Uterus

Monday, November 26, 2018

I briefly touched upon some of the reproductive issues I've had this year in my last post, but for those of you who don't follow me on Instagram (where I updated more often on how everything was going in my stories), I thought I'd explain a bit about what happened and where I am now.

When Tom and I got health insurance this year, I knew that I wanted to speak to a doctor about going back on birth control pills to try to get my periods back under control (and I was secretly hoping that it could help reset me to the point where when I went off of it, I would ovulate on my own). I had been on birth control pills from like 18-21, and it had been a really good experience for me. I was originally on Desogen, and then its generic, Apri. My cycles went from extremely heavy and an average of 15 days to light and 3-5 days. Pretty awesome, right? And on top of that, I lost 20 pounds when I was on it! I figured birth control pills were going to be exactly what I needed to stop feeling so miserable.

In January, I started putting out feelers for a good gynecologist in the area (if you're local to Lafayette and looking for a good OB/GYN at Arnett, hit me up and I'll give you the deets!), and I made the earliest appointment I could, which was in March (I could have gotten in earlier if my schedule wasn't the way it is, but waiting a few extra weeks wasn't a big deal).

I made it to my appointment, had my exam, and discussed birth control with my doctor. She prescribed me Apri, which is the same pill I was on a decade ago. I expected to have the same reaction I did then.

But I didn't.

Everything started off normally enough. I ended up getting my period part way through the placebo pills, but it didn't stop. And it seemed to just keep getting heavier and heavier. I couldn't remember what my first period on the pills had been like the first time, but I couldn't remember anything like what I was experiencing. After about a month of misery, I finally contacted my doctor's office. They confirmed that it was definitely not a normal reaction, and I was advised to up my dosage to see if they extra hormones would help curb the crimson tide. If I remember correctly, I took three pills a day for a few days and then two pills a day for a few days; I was told to contact them if I was still bleeding after that.

I was.

After that, they told me to stop the pills and prescribed me Provera. They told me to call again if the bleeding still hadn't stopped after so long.

It didn't stop.

At that point, we had to rule out anything more serious. I had to undergo an endometrial biopsy, which terrified me. My best friend offered to go with me, but I declined at first because it was a bit embarrassing and I figured it wouldn't be a big deal. Tom said he'd prefer I let her come since he couldn't be there (because he figured I'd definitely need emotional support), and eventually, I agreed. I'm really glad I did. She helped keep me calm and held my hand during the procedure (though at one point, I worried I'd break her hand -- it was legit probably the most physical pain I've ever felt in my life).

The results of the biopsy weren't going to be in until we were on vacation the next week at Disney World, but I figured that if I was going to find out that I had cancer, it would be better to find out at my happy place anyway. I got the results while we were on the parking lot tram heading to Hollywood Studios -- I did NOT have endometrial cancer! I was extremely relieved, but there was still some nagging nervousness because we still didn't know what was wrong.

A couple of days after we got back, I had to go in for ultrasounds (abdominal and vaginal). I had a vaginal ultrasound when I was doing fertility treatments, but I'd never had an abdominal ultrasound before. Having to come in with a full bladder was NOT fun. I was legit afraid I'd pee on the ultrasound tech (thankfully, I did not).

This is not my ultrasound. I asked the tech if I could have the pictures of my ovaries, but she said no. This is what an ovarian cyst looks like though.

The ultrasounds came back normal (for me). My ovaries had cysts, but that was the only "abnormal" thing, and that's not abnormal when you have PCOS. At that point, the bleeding had finally stopped, so my doctor said it was probably just a weird hormonal reaction. She said I could try the same pill, try a new pill, try a new form of birth control (she recommended a Mirena implant), or I could try nothing. I decided to give it a few months to see what happened and try to figure out what I wanted.

I ended up not really doing anything. I kept getting my birth control for a few months just in case, but I haven't taken any. I ended up not getting another period for almost five months. I started using a product that contains natural progesterone to try to induce a period (I know it probably seems ridiculous to a lot of you at this point, but I still REALLY want to be able to conceive a child) in hopes that the extra progesterone (since I'm progesterone deficient) will help me get on track and help me ovulate. I'm not sure if I ovulated or not, but I'm interested in seeing what happens in a week or so.

Here's hoping.

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