If you Google heavy menstrual cycles you will undoubtedly come upon a plethora of links and websites with tons of information. You will find forums and health boards with women chatting back and forth about their experience with these heavy cycles and what has happened to them before, after, and during.
Towards the end of 2009 I had what I thought at the time was an abnormally heavy cycle. Very heavy bleeding and there was some small blood clots. I’d never been a heavy bleeder before and so I chalked it up to some weird phenomena. Until the next month rolled around and then the next and next.
I was bleeding extremely heavy at night too, even bleeding out on the sheets time and time again. Changing sheets and panties and cleaning yourself up in the middle of the night is not a pleasant experience. I was miserable. After a few months I’d learned to deal with it the best I could. I learned that if I took a few Advil before I went out I could curb the bleeding slightly so that I could get some grocery shopping done, or enjoy time at the park with my family for a few hours. I was wearing super tampons and a pad “just in case”.
But still I chalked it up to aging. I was 32 at the time. My hubby didn’t have a great job and our insurance wasn’t the best so I skipped the multiple doctor appointments that I knew would ensue with testing and what not to figure out what was going on. Not the best option but you do what you can at the time it happens.
This went on throughout 2010. The tampon/pad double protection, the Advil popping, the miserable nights, and the massive amounts of blood and clots. YUCK! In 2011 we moved to my hometown in Michigan. We were both unemployed but I was bleeding for months at a time and I could tell I was anemic. I was extremely tired all of the time. I was bleeding for 2-3 months at a time and passing huge golf ball and larger sized clots. It was time to get into a doctor.
At my first visit I went over my history with my doctor. I was scheduled for ultrasounds and blood work. Tests results were no surprise, I was extremely anemic. The ultrasound however revealed I had uterine fibroids. Nothing extremely large, but enough that it was causing me so much havoc on my menstrual cycle. It wasn’t a surprise as during the years previous I had done copious amounts of Googling and researching about what was going on with me. I knew this was a possibility and what treatments there were to help.
I also knew the BEST option and the permanent option was a hysterectomy. At 34 the doctor was totally against that option and I knew I was NOT going to take birth control pills anymore. I’d taken them previous to having my 2 kids and every one I’ve tried I am the lucky person that gets every side effect listed. So no, I wasn’t going down that road.
That left us in the middle. A HydroThermal Uterine Ablation. Not permanent in most cases, but can provide relief for a uncertain period of time. All the words you don’t want to hear when you’re looking for a solution and not a damn band-aid. But at this point bleeding for 3 months at a time versus some relief ….I’ll take door #2 Alex.
December 2011 I had the procedure. It was pretty easy and my recovery wasn’t bad at all. I had some spotting afterward from the fluid they use and hardly any pain. I was able to get back to normal life with being a mom and wife in a few short days.
Life went on and for the most part 2012 and 2013 were uneventful. I still had regular bleeding but it was extremely light and most times a light pad was perfect. I was able to get my blood counts up and stop taking iron pills and live life without packing an overnight bag full of tampons, pads and Advil.
2014 I began to have irregular cycles but the bleeding was still minimal.
2015 The irregularity ensued and cycles began to get heavier throughout the year.
And that brings us to 2016. This year I’ve seen an increase in bleeding and passing clots again. Cycles lasting up to 15 days at a time. So it was back to the doctor.
Last appointment she wanted me to at least try birth control. UGH. My insurance wouldn’t approve a hysterectomy without at least trying them. So I had no choice. Within two weeks I had all the side effects and called the nurse. Luckily my doctor said I could stop taking them and come in to talk about the permanent option. HALLELUJAH!
I went in October 2016 and my doctor went over the permanent option. She did a biopsy per standard practice just to make sure I don’t have cervical cancer. She also had to pull down my uterus (yes it hurts as bad as it sounds) to see how far it would descend. The operation she performs she advised she was not able to do, since my uterus does not descend much. Probably due to scarring she said, from either fibroids or procedures etc.
So this month I have a pre-op appointment with another doctor in the practice that can do a laparoscopic hysterectomy.
Stay tuned for my countdown to what I’m calling my hysterectomy, U-Day!!
Thanks for reading if you made it this far.