Monday, January 10, 2011

if you're squeamish, run for the hills

In case you didn't read the title, this post is definitely not for the squeamish of heart, or those who are uncomfortable talking about "female troubles."

Here, I'll give you a minute to click click click away...

Okay, so. A few months ago, I noticed my periods were getting heavier. Noticeably heavier, and I was having these crazy acne episodes throughout the month, but more so as my period approached. I would get these terrible pimples under the skin, almost like cysts, that would become huge lumps on my chin or cheeks, but would never surface. A hard red lump would result, and then after a week they would just go away on their own. Diet, face washes, nothing seemed to make a difference. Also, I've been quick to cry for random reasons, most of the time not even because I was sad or upset. Someone would say something sweet or funny or slightly sappy, and I'd almost burst into tears. It was ridiculous, and kind of embarrassing, you know?

Anyway, as the months went on, my periods have gotten significantly worse, and I keep having these blood clots during the first two days. If I didn't know better, I would have thought I was having a miscarriage. Not for 6 months, though, obviously.

I know, this is way too much information, but I'm hoping maybe someone has been through this before and might have thoughts.

This last month was the worst. The blood clots were fairly large and there were several, enough so that I've started to worry. I'm also starting to think I might be anemic because I was thinking back to last month and this month, and I've been more tired than usual, I think. It is hard to tell for sure, because obviously chasing after two kids makes you tired, and November and December were crazy months for me with the holidays and two birthdays, so I could have just been tired because I'm tired, right?

So today I finally called my OB to say, what the hell? And I kept telling myself that I would gauge how much I should worry on her reaction. Her reaction was less than ideal, it turns out. She told me to come in asap for blood work and hormone levels and complete blood count, and she wants to do an ultrasound to look for fibroids or polyps and I don't know what else, and then we'll go from there.

I'm kind of freaking out.

I'm freaking out over the possibility that I won't be able to have another baby. What if it's pre-menopause? I'm freaking out over the possibility that I'll have to take hormones. Have some sort of surgery. Have to have a hysterectomy. Other even more awful possibilities have crossed my mind, of course. What if it is cervical cancer or a uterine tumor or something like that. I don't know what I thought my doctor would say when I called, but I didn't think she would sound so urgent. Now of course it is too late to call the office, so I'm stewing until the morning when I can make an appointment to come in and start the tests. Josh keeps making all these statements that only serve to freak me out more, like "it'll be fine because you're so strong," or "all I care about is a healthy wife." He only wants to help and be supportive, as usual, but I almost shuddered as he was talking.

Has anyone dealt with this before? Heard of this? Especially if you're here to tell me it is nothing, I welcome any and all advice. Unless you're going to tell me something horrid, then keep it to yourself, I guess.


liz said...

I haven't but I'm guessing it might be thyroid related.

Chatty Cricket said...

I will call you because oldest sister in law went through something VERY SIMILAR and it turned out to be nothing harmful and she actually went on a (different) pill to regulate things. She's fine. You will be FINE.

Anonymous said...

I was going to ask what kind of birth control you're period was seriously heavy when I had the copper IUD in. Like soaking through pads and was awful. But never big clots...fingers crossed for you! I'm sure you will be fine!!

Megan (Formerly Not So Little Sister)

Anonymous said...

I bet you will be fine.

My periods got much much heavier post-kids (but I am still not menopausal, or even pre-menopausal), and I have heard lots of other people say that was the case with them too. Often clots (more like clumps), some shockingly large looking. Have had lots of blood work done, etc.etc., ultrasound of ovaries, etc.

The one thing they DID find was that my iron was low (not surprising). So try and make sure you are getting enough. My midwife (from back when I was pregnant) recommended Florad1x from Wh0le F00ds (that's an i instead of the 1, I just didn't want to have searchers come here), which is a gentle way to get iron, and usable when pregnant or not.

It's good to get these things checked out, but I don't think it is so unusual. Hope that helps a little with peace of mind....

:)Neighbor Lady

halloweenlover said...

I love Neighbor Lady! That is exactly what I'm dealing with.

No birth control at the moment, or not hormonal or iud, let's say.

I have more to update shortly.

Clare said...

I went through a similar thing a few months ago and after lots of tests and worrying, my doctor found that there was nothing wrong. I went on the contraceptive pill and it helped a lot, although it caused me to suffer severe headaches so I have stopped it for now and am putting up with the heavy bleeding. I will probably have a procedure in a couple of years where the lining of the uterus is removed, as although I am 99% sure I have finished having kids, I will wait til I am 40 just to be sure. Hang in there, I'm sure you will be OK!

Rev Dr Mom said...

I had crazy heavy bleeding with big clots/clumps at one point and it turned out to be a uterine polyp--which can easily be removed and is ultimately harmless. So it could be something like that. But I'm guessing Neighbor Lady is exactly right.

It wouldn't be surprising for you to be anemic though. I'm sure your dr. will check that.

stacy said...

my periods have been like this for a while. iron is a key helper. if i take my vitamins regularly they are not as heavy and the clumps are less.
i have not yet been to have them try to figure it out but the other thing i read is that it can be fibroids, which are another harmless thing that can be removed if necessary

Anonymous said...

Awww, I <3 you too! :)

I forgot to add one thing.

Sometimes I used to get diarrhea too just before my period. My sis-in-law who is a midwife told me that it can have to do with the excess prostaglandins that come into effect at that time of the month, and can have an effect on the intestines. Also, was having lots of cramping that was MUCH worse than pre-kids. She recommended trying to start adv1l at the first sign of bleeding and continue about every 6-8 waking hours for the first couple days at least. (Helps with diarhea and cramping both, by counteracting prostaglandins....) I think I have this all right....Also to be sure you are frequently changing tampons as blood pooling at the cervix is particularly painful and crampy. Also, oddly, not letting your bladder get too full helps with cramps. Sorry if too much info.

I take 600mg adv1l each time. Have noticed that if I skip a dose, the bleeding is MUCH heavier. Not sure about the benefits/risks of doing this month in and month out, but I try and only do it the first few days, and have found it makes a huge difference. Figure it is a toss up in terms of long term risks vs. iron loss. Just try and hydrate I think....

Hope this helps....

:)Neighbor Lady

Rev Dr Mom said...

I was told to take advil too, in fact I took pretty high doses (before all the advil warnings came out). It does seem to help with the prostaglandins.