Thursday, June 3, 2010

The History of My Uterus

Here is the background of my uterus: AF came into my life when I was 12 years old. Having my period has always been a very painful experience. I didn't know that my cramps were any worse than other people because I didn't have anything to compare my pain with. When my mom noticed me laying in the fetal position in my room every month, she figured out that I was in extreme pain. I mean, can't walk kind of pain. I was put on the pill in an attempt to control the pain and heaviness of my period. Life went on. When I was a freshman in high school I was taken to the hospital due to pain in my lower abdomen. They thought I had appendicitis. That was soon ruled out and we determined that I had an ovarian cyst rupture. Then when I was a freshman in college I gained about 30 lbs. in a month. I went to the doctor to find out what was happening to me. We discovered that I am insulin resistant. Also known as high blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, syndrome X... so I am dealing with that. I have had a couple of other times where I have felt the same pain that I had when I was taken to the hospital with the ruptured ovarian cysts, so I am pretty sure I have had at least three of those. My period continued to be heavy and painful, in addition to my abdominal pain and a new sensation of my organs "floating" or "sloshing around" in my abdomen. Not a fun feeling. My doctor decided to do a laparoscopy to see what was going on. Endometriosis. My doctor told me, at the age of 19, that on a scale from 1-5 my endometriosis was at a level 4. It is fairly uncommon to diagnose teenagers with endometriosis, so to be diagnosed as a four already was not too comforting. My doctor cauterized what he could and we began trying to treat the endo. We might have begun with something else, but I clearly remember the Lupron shots. The idea was to put me into a false menopause to prevent the endometriosis from getting any worse. It was horrible. The hot flashes and night sweats were not fun. I remember being in the middle of class in winter, peeling off my sweatshirt, and practically laying in the snow in an effort to cool off. After the Lupron, I began taking Seasonale, the birth control pill where you only get your period every three months. I was told to skip the placebo pills so I wouldn't have a period at all. Every period that I have makes the endometriosis worse. That brings us up to this year. I got married. I want children. I stopped my pills before I got married so that hopefully all of the hormones would be out of my system for the honeymoon. After three months of trying, I started charting. I got an ovulation monitor. I started recording my basil body temp. And it is a good thing I did. I found out that my luteal phase, the time between the egg being released from the ovary and the shedding of the lining of the uterus, is only 7 days. It needs to be a minimum of 10 days, preferably 14 to give the egg time to travel to the uterus and burrow into the lining and begin secreting hormones to the ovaries that tell them not to shed the lining. The luteal phase length does not change from month to month. The time before ovulation may change, but luteal phase does not. I knew after one month of charting what the problem was. I made my appointment and charted my next two months while I waited for my appointment. That brings us to today.

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