For those of you who are uncomfortable when I talk about anything that is TMI, you may want to go check out a less graphic post. Maybe this one about how much I love the Mississippi River. But for those of you who are interested in all the gory details of my health and fertility journey, I’m about to put it all out there.
This is your warning! This post includes DivaCup, endometrial lining, surgery, and a whole lot of menstrual blood. No pictures, I promise. But certainly not for those prone to fainting.
Okay, now that I’ve lost all of you, it’s time to tell you a story (and explain why I didn’t post on Thursday or yesterday as my usual schedule dictates).
Bad Doctor/Good Doctor, and a Provera Prescription
So as you know, I’ve been dealing with some chronic health problems for awhile. A lot of these problems have centered around my menstrual cycle, and since we are trying to get pregnant… we’ve been working to get all of that sorted out. When I went to my evil gynecologist, she put me on Provera to shed my endometrial lining which was 15 mm thick. Provera is just synthetic progesterone, and it basically induces a “normal” period.
Right after I finished the 10 day cycle of Provera, I had an appointment with my new wonderful doctor (you may remember him as the doctor who listens in the same post as the evil gynecologist) who diagnosed me with PCOS, did an ultrasound in office (explaining EVERYTHING TO ME AS HE WENT), and scheduled a hysteroscopy D&C for the next Tuesday (yesterday). He said that not only was my lining still 15 mm thick (not surprising because the Provera withdrawal bleed hadn’t started yet), but that it was echogenic and looked like it might have polyps or fibroids that could be causing my constant bleeding. During the hysteroscopy D&C, he would look around and basically clean out my uterus so we can start fresh and hopefully get pregnant.
I went home excited to have found a doctor who would move so quickly to figure things out and who was willing to educate me as we went along. Best doctor EVER.
Provera Withdrawal Bleed From Hell (DivaCup saved me)
I strongly recommend skipping this part if you are prone to fainting.
Anyway, two days later, the Provera withdrawal bleed started, and oh my gosh, I thought I was dying. Seriously, I have never had period pains like this. I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t sit. The cramps radiated down my right hip and leg, and there was no way to get comfortable. Worst of all, from Thursday to Sunday, I lost 17 ounces of menstrual blood!
Of course, most people have no idea what that actually means, because they don’t use a DivaCup like I do, but if I had been wearing tampons instead, I would have been bleeding through a super tampon in 1-2 hours for an entire 24 hours during the peak of my flow (almost 8 ounces in one day). The average menstrual cycle is only 2-3 ounces, and even though my flow is typically considered heavy, it is still only about 6 ounces total. So, I almost tripled that, and I felt terrible. It was the worst experience of my life.
The best thing about using a DivaCup is that you don’t have to be tied to the bathroom since you can change it twice a day. Well, I was pretty tied to the bathroom anyway because it filled so much more quickly. Still, even with the clots and the heaviest flow ever (Seriously. I couldn’t find a single similar experience when I googled it), I only leaked from my Diva cup one time, and it was just a little. And that’s why tampons totally suck. I can’t imagine the mess I would have had if I didn’t wear a DivaCup. Want more information? Read my complete review of the DivaCup.
Thankfully, by Monday morning, things had slowed down, and I was beginning to feel like a normal person instead of a zombie blood faucet. Which was great because at that point, I only had 24 hours until my surgery.
The Surgery – Hysteroscopy D&C
I was a nervous wreck yesterday because I am a total baby whenever it comes to anything medical. I had never had an IV, anesthesia, or any type of surgery. Also, since I couldn’t drink water past midnight, I was unable to chug my usual gallon of water (slight exaggeration) before being stuck with a needle since I’m such a hard stick. And yes, I’m afraid of needles because I’ve had so many people stick and dig and stick and dig never to find my elusive veins. Like I said, I can’t stand medical stuff, and I was an anxious mess leading up to the surgery.
Thankfully, the nurse was awesome and got my IV in in one stick. The anesthesia didn’t make me sick to my stomach or anything, and I woke up feeling pretty normal – just a little tired. I remember everything leading up to the surgery and everything after the surgery clearly, and everything went smoothly. Dr. Simckes cleaned out my uterus and even gave me before/after pictures! (I’ll spare you those details… lol) He said it didn’t look like there were any fibroids or polyps, but everything was sent to a lab just in case.
Apparently, the PCOS was making the lining build up in overdrive, and each month, I wasn’t shedding as much as I was adding. So that’s why it was so ridiculously thick. He said there were ridges in the lining, and that may have been why it appeared echogenic on the ultrasound. In any case, my uterine wall is smooth now and hopefully on its way to growing a healthy endometrial lining. It will probably take hormone maintenance to keep things from getting out of hand again, but I’m sure I’ll learn more when I go back to the doctor for my follow-up appointment in a couple weeks.
So there you have it, the 18 ounce provera period from hell and a hysteroscopy to boot, all in the quest for a child. In other words, 100% worth it.
So what about you? Have you had any struggles with your cycle and/or infertility? Do you have a doctor that really cares? Share in the comments below.
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