Saturday, 15 April 2017
Reproductive health | Living with menorrhagia
Before treatment I would:
Soak through a max flow night time towel in 1-2 hours and soak through my clothes/bedsheets
Get through at least two packets of towels and 2 boxes of Feminax per period (plus other painkillers)
Get up off the toilet after a wee and have blood running down my legs and splashing on the floor
Have huge black blood clots
Have stabbing pains in my vagina and bum and evil burning pains over my left ovary
The pain was awful - the kind of pain that makes you sweat and shake. Sometimes I'd lie awake at night crying in pain, or I'd take a bunch of painkillers in the afternoon or early evening to knock me out. James would tuck me in on the sofa and I felt safe knowing he was awake in case I stopped breathing. These are not considerations a person should have to make when on their period! I'd often feel weak and anaemic from blood loss. Generally, it was effing awful.
There are a couple of reasons why my periods are so awful. Firstly I have thyroid disease and that makes your period difficult full stop. Secondly, when I had my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011 they had to remove my ruptured fallopian tube as I was bleeding to death. Ever since then my periods have been even more awful. I've had ovarian cysts on and off since 2011, probably exacerbated by the surgery. The biggest of my cysts was measured at 15cm long at one point - that's six bloody inches! I don't currently have any cysts (at least I didn't the last time I was scanned) but I do have a huge amount of fluid trapped in my abdomen. Because the fluid itself isn't causing any pain my consultant doesn't recommend surgery to drain it, so the permanently pregnant look is my cross to bear.
It's sad it took a specialist to order a trans vaginal ultrasound for them to believe that my periods were that bad. Now a doctor has seen a scan of my innards and knows the area around my left ovary looks like a war zone I'm finally medicated! I'm taking Mefenamic acid, Tranexamic acid and Lansoprazole. Mefanamic acid is a painkiller and Tranexamic acid reduces blood flow. Lansoprazole is taken as a preventative measure because Mefanamic acid can cause stomach ulcers.
Occasionally I still need to top up the Mefenamic acid with another painkiller, but the difference in my pain levels is like day and night. I get through less than a packet of towels now and less than a box of painkillers each period. Days 1-3 are still painful, but certainly not enough to trap me in bed. Days 4-5 are very light. I occasionally get some bad ovary pain as my period ends, but I've gone from spending a couple of days in bed in agony each month (with a hot water bottle between my legs and a wheat bag on my tummy) to what I would call a normal period, where I can actually walk without it feeling like someone is knifing me in the minge. This is marvellous! It's a shame it took for me to be referred to a specialist for someone to believe my periods are hell, but better late than never. It just proves that womb-owners still aren't to be believed about their periods - it has to take a doctor to see evidence on a scan that your periods are hellish before they hand over the magic tablets to cure it.
You know your body best - you live in it all the time! If at first you don't succeed in getting help (with any kind of medical problem) do persist.
Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo
Hi, I'm Leah. I blog about plus size fashion, cruelty free beauty and my life with Fibromyalgia, joint hypermobility disorder and CFS/ME. I live in SE England near the sea with my geeky hubby. I'm obsessed with Jason Momoa, rock and metal music, cats and Netflix. My interests include long romantic walks to the fridge, pissing trolls off by being fat and happy, and being outside in nature. I'm a hippie chick at heart, happiest where the birds sing and I can walk barefoot. I've got depression and anxiety disorder and I'm just trying to live my best life. Don't be a stranger! xoxo