I was just 16 years old when I finally received the surgery I need to get a diagnosis which would change my life. Flashback to being 11 years old and the excitement that comes with having your first period, but this excitement soon turned to horror when the pain began. This pain would cause me to have to stay off sick from school for the whole duration of each and every period, as well as on many other occasions. Having to miss school caused my grades to slip, as well as made to start to isolate myself from my friends which didn’t help my anxiety in the slightest. There were more than a handful of nights where I was admitted to hospital with ‘suspected appendicitis’ or ‘severe constipation’ and at one point they thought I might have ovarian cancer. Imagine telling a teenager she might have cancer, I was terrified and that fear just seemed to exaggerate how much pain I was in.
Just from this one revelation things started to make more sense, and I was referred to the gynaecology department at my local hospital. At my first appointment, which was just after my 16th birthday, it was suggested that they perform keyhole surgery in order to find out exactly what was going on, and why someone that is normally fit and healthy was suffering from such bad cramps and sporadic periods. These cramps and sporadic periods had been going on for 5 years by this point, so it wasn’t even a case of my cycle trying to sort itself out or anything along those lines. I tried multiple pills, including the combined pill as well as the mini pill (I can’t remember the exact names) but this both made me violently ill, to the point I was hospitalised once again simply because I couldn’t stop vomiting, I couldn’t even keep water down. By this point I was fed up of being ill, fed up of being in pain, and fed up of having to miss school and then getting called into meetings about my attendance, it’s not like I could help it…when the pain struck I literally couldn’t move. I just wanted to know what was wrong.
May rolled around and it was time for my surgery, after trying several other hormone tablets I was still experiencing the same pain, cramps and one minute severe next minute non-existent periods. I was nervous about the surgery but knew it would answer many questions and once I awoke I would finally have a diagnosis. I had to sign a consent for both the surgery I was about to receive and another in case they needed to remove an ovary or my entire reproductive system (spoiler they didn’t).
When I finally awoke from the anesthetic I was told I did indeed have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome as had been suspected after the first ultrasound, but I also had small holes in my womb which caused my endometrial lining not to leave through the exit it was assigned but instead decided to explore and make itself at home elsewhere in my body. The managed to laser a majority of it away (let’s not forget I’d been suffering for 5 years by this point so I’d hate to think how much there was) and I already felt better.
In order to gain some control over my hormones and reach a balance (as well as making sure my periods were stopped medically) I was put on the Provera tablet…just a heads up it’s not a contraceptive as well…and this made my life so much better. I was able to return to school for the last couple of months, as well as sit all of my GCSES and walked away with 8 GCSEs grades B-C as well as two BTECs at a merit grade…this was after being told it was likely I would fail all my GCSEs, or maybe scrap D’s if I was lucky. I finally had a diagnosis though, and I had the grades I needed to get to college. For the two years I was at college I remained on the Provera tablet and the summer before I was due to move to university I made the decision to switch to the Depo-Provera which is a contraceptive injection which contained all the same hormones…it just doubled as a form of contraception. That is how I have been managing my condition since, and as long as I get my injection done on time I rarely experience a period…although I do get the odd cramp every now and then it’s nothing a paracetamol can’t fix.
For the two years I was at college I remained on the Provera tablet and the summer before I was due to move to university I made the decision to switch to the Depo-Provera which is a contraceptive injection which contained all the same hormones…it just doubled as a form of contraception. That is how I have been managing my condition since, and as long as I get my injection done on time I rarely experience a period…although I do get the odd cramp every now and then it’s nothing a paracetamol can’t fix. My life really was changed by such a small surgery.
So please if you have sporadic periods or suffer from extreme periods cramps then please go to your doctors and mention PCOS and endometriosis, they might just refer you to a gynaecologist or give you the right medication for your body. If my mum hadn’t been so forceful I’d probably still be experiencing those horrendous pains now, and I’d probably have never finished college let alone gone to university.
Love you lots like jelly tots x
All photos within this post were taken by me on my Fujifilm Finepix S4240 in unnatural lighting. They were then edited in VSCO and Facetune.
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