My experience with birth control started very young. Not because of sexual activity but due to extreme menstrual pains and bleeding. My doctor placed me on them at age 15 to help with the menstrual cramps and symptoms of PMS. I continued to take the same Birth-Control called ortho tri cyclen until my late 20s to control my menstruation.
At that stage in my life it was hard for me to lose weight, I continued to gain weight in college years. Finally, after graduation I started a diet and exercise routine to lose weight before my wedding. I knew I didn’t want to be on birth control any longer but I still was not ready to have a baby either. Once I was married, I started to use the Nuvaring to help my body with the side effects of birth control and limit the amount of hormones I was ingesting. I wanted to begin to decrease the hormones in my system for my future endeavors in parenthood.
Between children I also used the Nuvaring and it worked well for me but then my menstruation began to cause other issues and infections in the area due to allergies. I began developing severe abscess and infections from sanitary products. I had known for years that I was allergic to latex condoms because I would immediately get irritation and develop a vaginal infection. So, we had to revert to sheepskin condoms to avoid pregnancy.
My allergies to sanitary products continued to cause issues and I was constantly suffering from UTI, yeast or bacterial infections. I tried different brands and started to read labels to find the cause of my allergies. Over time, I began using cloth pads and washing them in order to avoid these issues. At times, I would also use organic sanitary products to ensure they were free of chemical additives. My final birth control experience was with Mirena. I used Mirena twice and loved the fact that my menstruation was gone.
After several months, my period completely went away and if I had any symptoms it was mild spotting. It helped me with cramping and infections since I no longer needed to use sanitary products. I replaced my Mirena when it was due but then started to develop severe cramping issues due to a growing fibroid in my uterus. I had one other experience with a fibroid when I was pregnant with my oldest son. The fibroid continued to grow with my pregnancy and there was a point where my son was pushing on the fibroid. The pain was so severe he actually induced labor and thankfully they were able to stop labor because it was still mid-pregnancy.
The fibroid later stopped growing and eventually shrank after the baby was born, since the extra blood supply was gone. Fast forward to 2015, I began experiencing excruciating pains with my menstruation. I also began fainting during my menstrual periods. The fibroid was growing rapidly and the increased blood during menstruation was causing my low blood pressure to drop rapidly. Over several months, I fainted multiple times.
I eventually reached a point where the pain was too much to bear and impacting my life. I decided the only option was a hysterectomy. I was young only 37 at the time but I knew my body was not healthy enough to sustain another baby and my pain was just too much for me. I finally, had the hysterectomy in December, happy birthday to me.
My recovery was not easy because limited activity and bed rest made my EDS worse. It had been a rough year, with an ACL repair in the summer and hysterectomy in December. I vowed that my life was going to change. My experience with birth control enlightened me to the fact that all medications cause side effects and many of my issues were likely related to those effects.
Have you had any issues with menstruation or birth control?