For more than 15 years I’ve suffered with heavy periods. My periods caused me to have low iron, which caused a number of other issues. I have seen numerous doctors during this time – specialists, GPs and even homeopaths trying to understand why my periods were causing such disruption to my life.
I wasn’t really aware that my normal was in fact not the average period until a discussion with my friend in my late 20s. For me, bleeding through a super tampon and super pads together and then my clothes was a normal period. I can recall a number of situations when I had to leave work due to excessive bleeding and have used so many sick days during my heavy days of my period because I literally felt I couldn’t leave the house without severe embarrassment.
For my husband and family, they had to schedule activities around my period. I wouldn’t be able to take my kids to weekend activities due to the excessive bleeding. The pain was a secondary issue to the heavy bleeding, which was the most distressing issue – although I regularly had to take prescription pain killers to deal with the pain. During my period it was not unusual to wake three or more times a night to change my pad and I had purchased a waterproof mattress protector to utilise during my period. I was tired, grumpy and hyper emotional during the period. I sat on a towel on the couch to try and minimise the risk of staining.
This issue controlled my life for such a long time that I developed a number of strategies to try and reduce possible embarrassment at work. Obviously only dark heavy pants during the period, and tucking my legs under me so that if I did have a bleed through it was onto my own pants, not the chair at work. I was prescribed mefenamic acid and at tranexamic acid at different points during this journey, I had tried hormonal birth control including an injection that made me bleed for months on end, and an implant that I would later need removed, due to the continued bleeding whilst it was in place. I conceived two children on the oral contraceptive pill and this also caused me some other issues.
I saw two different specialists who both recommended a hysterectomy despite my being under 40. I found this extremely distressing.
I went to see my GP earlier this year to again have my iron tested as I was suffering from low iron. At the time my GP was away and I saw a different GP who looked at my file and noted that I had been taking an iron replacement for a number of years. I broke down in tears. The GP did the iron test and found the iron was still low. When we discussed this, she sent me for iron injections and an ultrasound. I now have staining on my buttock from the iron injection. It looks like a nasty bruise that I was told will stay for a number of years.
The ultrasound showed an anomaly, so she referred me to a Sydney Fibroid Clinic gynaecologist. I was reluctant to go again as I didn’t want to be told I needed a hysterectomy again. As it turns out, it was the best course of action.
I met with the specialist who arranged for me to have a MRI. After the scan, I met with a Sydney Fibroid Clinic gynaecologist and interventional radiologist. They explained that I had adenomyosis and this could be contributing to my issue,
I had the UAE and was unwell for a number of days after. The pain was manageable, but I felt lethargic and nauseous – quite unwell. When my first period came, I thought it was lighter than previous as I had just had the UAE. Prior to my second period coming, I still purchased all the same products as normal – super pads, super tampons etc. I had to go back and get regular pads!! I hadn’t ever used them before; I had always used super, overnight or maternity.
My third period was the same – just regular pads or tampons, but not both together. During my fourth period I went swimming. I couldn’t believe I was able to do this. In the past I couldn’t even have a bath. Now I’m swimming in a public pool! I haven’t had to take anything stronger than paracetamol during my period and that was just for a headache.
Despite how unwell I felt directly after the surgery I would 100% do this again. I’m due to have my iron tested again, but I FEEL better so expect a better result.
I honestly got to the point where I thought it might just be me and I was over-dramatising this and was doubting myself. I’m so relieved to have found these doctors and have had this UAE treatment. It has had such a positive outcome for me.
This procedure has changed my life so much. I feel like a different person now. I am no longer anxious about my period and am no longer in severe pain. I would recommend this procedure to any woman who is suffering from adenomyosis. Sydney Fibroid Clinic specialists changed my life.