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I wasn’t aware that my normal was, in fact, not the average period…

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.