“You’re running out of options.”
These were the words that one of the many OBGYN’s I had seen that year said to me. After twelve years of birth controls, hormones, and a horrible IUD experience, I realized something needed to be done.
Ever since I was young, I have had horrible periods. My periods were so bad my mother had to give me old Vicodin and Oxycodone from prior surgeries to alleviate my pain. Finally, my mother took me to the OBGYN at about thirteen years old. She asked her why I was experiencing such horrible cramps and why they were so heavy. The doctor told me, “It was normal, some periods are just bad,” and she put me on birth control and sent me on my way. It never worked. They may have lessened my bleeding, but never stopped the pain.
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At twenty-three, I went to the emergency room three times in one year. The first time, I had been on my period for over 30 days and was bleeding through a maxi pad and was extremely swollen. After collapsing at school from the severe pain in my lower stomach, my mother rushed me from my college campus to the nearest trusted hospital within our branch. They put me on Megestrol, a hormone that is given to cancer patients to make them hungry, and it ceased my cycle within a few days. For months, I began to feel better and finally normal. After about six months, the pain began to creep back in. Going to the bathroom became as difficult as it used to and sitting down was becoming uncomfortable again. The bleeding was light, but I could not understand what was happening, so my new pelvic pain specialist suggested Mirena (a hormonal IUD). After a very painful insertion, I tried my best to be optimistic about this new method only to end up disappointed.
After going to the emergency room twice for the IUD and two OBGYN’s saying they “couldn’t see it,” to take it out, I ended up having surgery to get it removed.
Eventually, as a twenty-three-year-old woman (now twenty-four) a doctor finally explained to me what the problem was – endometriosis and adenomyosis.
Never hearing of such a thing, I immediately did what we all do and went to Dr. Google. After doing a hefty amount of research I came to the conclusion that I was willing to go to extreme measures, such as a hysterectomy or shock treatment to get rid of my pain. Unfortunately, my doctors are not willing to do either due to my age and them thinking (not asking) about my ability to have children in the future. They told me the best option for me would be hormone therapy, which is what I have already tried. I felt like they were trying to preserve my uterus, not me.
Endometriosis is defined by Mayo Clinic as, “An often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus.”