My Last Three Periods Have Been Hell and This Is What I Am Doing About It
Life with endometriosis can involve countless setbacks, even when you think everything is coming up roses. For over eighteen months, I relied on a daily dose of hormones that kept my symptoms at bay.
I was free of the horrendous periods that lasted over ten days.
Yet, I began experiencing trouble with my breasts, with some issues with fibrous tissue and discomfort. My GP encouraged me to give the hormones a break. And I did so, hoping this would be my last dalliance with hormonal medication.
Stopping hormone therapy
At first, everything seemed OK.
Without the progestin, I knew I had to be proactive to keep inflammation down and my pain levels under control. Daily, I took careful note of what I ate and even decided to quit drinking.
My energy levels increased, and I began to exercise again since the weather was good. I was even able to take part in a six-mile run.
My periods were not completely devoid of issues for the first few months, but they were manageable. While I still experienced a lot of fatigue while menstruating, any pain levels were easily treated with over-the-counter painkillers.
My symptoms began to worsen
Yet after three months of bliss, the nightmare returned.
Soon after my second Covid vaccination in June, things began to worsen. I began experiencing severe blood loss and incredible amounts of pain. I can’t say whether my symptoms were related to the vaccine.
Furthermore, periods are still under-researched, and endometriosis is even more of a mystery. Any links between this illness and how our immune systems work are not something many GPs seem to have in mind.
To a certain extent, I wasn’t shocked when I stopped taking the hormones and was aware that my symptoms could worsen at any point. But still, watching it, all unfold while being bed-bound for days made me incredibly isolated.
I thought about begging for a hysterectomy.
While a surgical procedure will take a toll on anyone’s body, I wished for a hysterectomy. I even wrote down what I planned to tell my GP if I was denied one.
I visited our forums to seek advice and came across a lot of happy stories. Yet, at the same time, I found a lot of members of the endometriosis community who didn’t experience any benefits post-surgery.
I also had to consider how I'd manage early menopause and the other issues that would involve more hormonal therapy. After some weeks of researching and asking around, I decided that this was something I couldn’t do.
Resuming hormonal treatment
I’m back on hormonal support, and that's OK.
I have had to admit defeat, and after four months of extremely bad periods, I have reluctantly begun to take hormones once more.
I don’t know what caused my periods to return to the horror show they once were. It could be stress. It could be the pandemic. It could simply be “my endo.”
But I cannot go another month, losing 12 days of my life from severe bleeding, pain, and exhaustion. I want to live my life fully.
I am aware that hormonal medication does not treat or cure the disease.
Something's got to give. The next step is to talk to an endometriosis specialist or find another type of long-term management.
I may revisit some alternative treatments like acupuncture.
I know this is not defeat. None of this is my fault. I may only be on the hormones for a few more months.
For now, I am just taking it one period at a time.
So my question to the community is: have you gone back to the hormones, too?
Have you taken our In America Survey yet?