I Went Back to The Pill and Became A Hormonal Mess
Right after my last surgery a year ago, I decided to take a more natural approach to manage my endometriosis. I stopped taking the strong painkillers I swallowed like magic pills every month, relying solely on my TENS machine and CBD oil. I also refused to go on any hormonal treatments and changed my diet to a plant-based one. Yet, three months ago and with the prospect of becoming a digital nomad, I had to give in and accept some hormonal crutches.
Before being diagnosed with endometriosis, I took several kinds of contraceptive pills for years, but I never really liked them. I mostly took them to ease my periods, and that they did. But they also affected my emotions, lowering my moods, and practically destroying my libido. When I decided to give up hormonal treatments, my mental health improved, and while my periods slowly went back to the usual horror show, I was happy with my decision.
Why I went back
A while back, I spoke to my endometriosis specialist since I was experiencing discomfort and irregular spotting. In order to control these symptoms, especially when I had a couple of months of traveling ahead of me, he suggested a progestogen-based minipill. Had he mentioned this pill six months ago I would have declined the offer. But the thought of being hit by a bad flare-up during my travels was really troubling. I agreed to the pill and began taking it almost immediately.
It’s been almost 3 months, and it’s not looking great
While the pill has stopped my monthly periods, the spotting has worsened threefold. I have been bleeding non-stop for over 70 days, so much it’s almost like I am on my period, and heavy at times. While I’ve had a couple of good days here and there, I also still experience intermittent pelvic pain.
The other thing I knew would happen - but took me a while to realize- were the mood swings. I had been experiencing a lot of anxiety, but I blamed the traveling. Then came the tears... and not for important stuff, but for mundane things. Like my roommate buying me the wrong kind of chocolate, or a friend not returning my messages. My mind spun out of control, and I believed the worst about myself: “I am a horrible person and impossible to love” or the all-time-classic “I am old and ugly”.
The turning point was sitting at a cafe, next to a table with three new mums and their tiny babies wrapped around their chests. I am actually quite OK with not being able to produce babies, but suddenly I felt like a failure. Seeing them was a reminder of my inability to bring a pregnancy to term. As the tears started to appear, I stuffed the over-priced avocado toast into my mouth, took my chai to go, and left the caffe in a hurried mess of sniffles and leopard print. Welcome back crazy hormones, you chemical champions of mood swings and unexplained ugly crying!
These hormones are tripping me up
At this point, I don’t know if I will carry on with the pill. I obviously need to see my doctor as soon as I am back home and discuss my symptoms. My aim is to have some degree of control over my periods and avoid the messy and painful side that comes with this disease. And while my flare-ups are somewhat under control, I still feel deflated by the intermittent bleeding.
Depending on what my doctor recommends, I will either carry on with this experiment of mood swings and blood stains, or face having no control over my periods. I will keep you posted.
Have you heard about the new tampon technology currently being tested to detect endometriosis?