Because everyone finds my uterus fascinating

There were some wonderful practically-essays of advice in the comments for my last post. Essays, you guys. My word, but you do seem quite fond of me and my ridiculous innards, and extremely patient with my vapourings. Thank you. And hugs. And all your wonderful words of care and advice, I think, deserve a proper response.

I thought I’d start by discussing my periods (foul little word. Periods. Pfft. Because they happen ‘periodically’ (hah hah) and take a determined period to happen in (ah hah hah hah) and, you know, are a punctuation-sized dot in a woman’s life (AH HAH HAH HAH oy, I split my corsets)). Incidentally, I had to come home from work early today, because at lunch-time someone, or something, left the tap on chez Cute Ute. She wasn’t cramping much, just a tad sore and bruised, really, but all of a sudden she must’ve hit a gusher, because I went through a super-plus-extra tampon in 45 minutes. And another. And another. I went home, not because I was in agony, but because I was running out of san-pro (though I had gone, I am told, rather pale and grey about the mouth and under-eyes, so They thought it was agony, and I kept my uterine incontinence to myself). By the time I got home, she’d stopped. Silly organ.

Anyway. Drugs I am CURRENTLY taking to deal with Cute Ute and her roughly (roughly! So funny!) monthly antics.

  1. Tranexamic acid – Yes, Geohde, I do take it. It does help. I forgot to take it with me to work today, so missed my lunch-time dose, which would explain the ridiculous bleeding episode. On it, I still bleed quite a lot, and very clottily, but I no longer lose a pint a cycle (which was getting a bit much).
  2. Cocodamol – This is a mixture of 500mg paracetamol (which, Dr Google informs me, is called Panadol and/or acetaminophen on other continents) and 30mg codeine per pill. It worked on my miscarriages, which were really really quite painful, so I took this as a Good Sign and asked the GP for it (and she said yes!) When the period *spit* pain is bad, I take two pills at a time, four times a day (no more than eight pills in 24 hours) I therefore can’t add more acetaminophen/panadol/paracetamol, because my liver will combust. My GP assures me that pure codeine is not available on prescription to anyone who isn’t dying of cancer. Fair enough, I suppose. (Also, did you know paracetamol is made out of coal tar? Like mauve? Cool, huh?). I know I had a brief whinge that the cocodamol wears off before I can take another dose, but I ought to be spanked for that whinge, because, really, the relief this drug gives me. The relief. And the wearing-off leaves me thinking ‘ow, actually, I feel very sore and crampy and I don’t like it’, rather than, as previously, drugged or undrugged, ‘oh God oh God oh God it hurts please God make it stop I can’t think oh please God make it stop.’
  3. Iron supplements – I take these from day one until day 14 of my cycle. You know, because I don’t care to have very diluted Ribena for blood. Hopefully the tranexamic acid will make this less necessary, as the hard-core iron supplements the GP prescribed make me a) constipated and b) give me the most poisonously bad-smelling wind (what? I’m serious. It’s embarrassing. And uncomfortable).

And this is the list of drugs I have taken to supress Cute Ute’s wildest excesses, and which didn’t really work, only worked a bit, or FAILED EPICALLY to work:

  1. The contraceptive pill – I was on this for years, once I found a brand that didn’t make me fatten like a Christmas goose or become hysterically depressed. On it, my ‘periods’ were very very regular (natch), and heavy and crampy – by heavy, I mean I used super-plus tampons, changed every three or four hours on the worst day, ohhh, poor little innocent that I was – and by crampy, I mean nothing that two ibuprofen and a hot-water-bottle wouldn’t sort out. For extremely obvious reasons, the pill is a no-go solution at the moment. *sigh*
  2. Ibuprofen – was drug of choice for years. Still works pretty well on migraines (BTW, haven’t had a migraine for months. Interesting). On period pains, they have as much effect as a man armed with a pea-shooter and a bowl of squashy peas against a Centurion Tank. The tank doesn’t even notice when it runs the man over.
  3. Aspirin – nope. Nothing. Hopeless. The soluble kind is a good gargle for sore throats.
  4. Naproxen – works quite well on non-ovulatory cycles. Has sad little pea-shooter effect outlined above on ovulatory cycles. This would indicate my bastard bastard bastard hormones are playing a role in the agony.
  5. Diclofenac – Doesn’t work either. WTF? I thought diclofenac was strong stuff.
  6. Mefenamic acid – Fucking doesn’t fucking work either. At all. The cycles I was taking mefenamic acid, I would spend three nights in a row awake at 3 am weeping and rocking in pain and wishing I was dead. This is the GP’s Drug of Choice for treating dysmenorrhea, so I assume it works for a lot of women. Which makes me feel like a freak. Even more of a freak.
  7. Paracetamol by itself – may as well be eating rice krispies out of the packet with a spoon and no milk. Vaguely amusing, has little effect Cute Ute, who spasms on regardless.

I think from this we can safely conclude that NSAIDs and Cute Ute aren’t really on speaking terms. She likes opiates, the little junky slut, and I say, thank God she likes something.

Incidentally, as far as we can tell, I do not have fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, or polyps (any more. They could’ve come back, I suppose. Should I have that checked?). The medical profession, having ruled all the above out, has nothing more to say to me about my uterus. I can’t help but feel that such bloody horrible periods are a sign that Something is Wrong, and I can’t help but wonder if that Something has a role to play in the miscarriages.

As for all the other stuff my dear good Readers mentioned in the comments on the last post, well. You have given me all furiously to think. I will get back to you on that.

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11 responses to “Because everyone finds my uterus fascinating

  • Melissia

    Okay, what about a smooth muscle relaxer like flexeril? While it can be sedating at first you do become adjusted to that and it can be very effective for the horrible cramping. While you may not want to take a smooth muscle relaxer every day, you do need something effective for the cramping and they work great for severe uterine cramping. Also another question about the ibuoprofen you may want to try the prescription dose of 800 mg 3 x a day in addition to your cocodamol. Often when we take the dose here in the states we don’t take the full prescription dose and do not get the full pain relief benefit. Perhaps if you take it in conjunction with the cocodamol it will have an work better than it has in the past.
    Now remember, I don’t play a nurse on tv or anything, just an interested bloggy friend!

  • g

    NSAIDS (whichever you feel most effective, so it seems naproxen) AND your paracetamol+codeine, to stop the breakthrough pain problems. Take both. Plus the tranexemic acid to stop the knicker messing.

    Simple :)

    Also, the nsaids really do have a good pharmacological reason for being thrown into the mix.

    Love,

    a fellow on-the-floor -with-pain doctor dysmenorrhoea sufferer

    G

  • g

    Also? Your slut ute?

    Likes the soft stuff. Only 10% codeine (at best but variable depending on cyp2d6 polymorphism- I have the ‘doesn’t work’ slow metaboliser variety and prefer morphine vastly) is turned into the drug that’s helping with your pain, you know. Out of 30 mg, you’re getting a junkie-boring hit of 3mg of morph. Slowly.
    :)

  • twangy

    Wish I had information to impart. Unfortunately am feeble arty type. But am very impressed by your readership. These people know things! And the things they know are useful!
    Am in awe.

    Wish you best with the ute. Have great sympathy. Makes you think there is no justice when the reminder that one is not pregnant is so horribly painful.

  • QoB

    I didn’t comment on the last post because if I wanted to feel terribly extraneous in a medical discussion I could just call doctorsister, who regularly treats drug addicts. of whom you are not one, codeine notwithstanding.
    (which you can’t get OTC in the U.S.!! wish I’d known before I lived there…)
    /rambling.

    Anyway! that is an extensive list. If any medical professional ever suggests another remedy, show them this list first.

    and may answers be forthcoming on the other questions raised.

  • manapan

    Hi May! I’ve been reading for a while, but I tend to fall behind so I don’t comment anywhere as often as I’d like.

    Ugh, the iron supplements. I learned the hard way not to mix bean burritos with iron supplements! A bountiful stench, that was.

    I’m with G on the pain relief. My credentials aren’t even near the same level as hers though, as I’m just a former behavioral pharmacology lab assistant, so you might want to ignore me.

    I take 440 mg naproxen sodium every 12 hours, plus 1000 mg acetaminophen every 6 hours. The combination mostly stops the pain from breaking through. I don’t like to take opiates routinely, no matter how weak, because I’ve seen way too many rats become severely addicted, though on the worst days hydrocodone and acetaminophen is a lifesaver. :)

  • katie

    Hello – NOT dying of cancer, just simple broken shoulder – currently have 15mg codeine on prescription from GP – and did have 30mg a) after this injury and b) after previous surgery. GP, meet elbow, arse.

    (Oddly, though Google says naproxen IS an NSAID, the BNF says it’s in a different class. Ah well – since my pharmacology was a very long time ago and very minimal I’ll just have to remain confused).

  • katie

    gah, total brain fail. I am NOT taking naproxen. Mr. Spouse is taking naproxen and says it’s horrible but it IS an NSAID. I am taking nefopam, which isn’t. Begins with the same letter, both sitting on our dining table, erm, can’t think of another reason, erm excuse.

  • katie

    Just another thought perhaps for those who know more pharmacology than me: I have assumed you could not get addicted to codeine if only taken a few days a month – is this a valid assumption?

    Also, I have been told repeatedly by GPs and fracture clinic people/physios that I can take a paracetemol based medication every X hours but at the intervening X/2 hour time point I can take an NSAID. Perhaps a moderate dose of ibuprofen (you can take up to I think 1600mg per day?) just as the combo drug wears off? That’s more or less what g says but stagger them. I did that when I first broke the shoulder.

  • Betty M

    Uggh. I feel for you. Would second the cycling of paracetamol/codeine and NSAIDs (plus ranitidine for the stomach). I would alos think there must be some reason for this. Perhaps a new round of testing would show something? Not that either your ute or you needs more grief/prodding.

  • I am my own fairy-light « Nuts in May

    [...] happy version., The innards, Tom-fool nonsense — May @ 12:22 am Item – OK, so, much advice on medicating my light-weight junkie-slut uterus into stunned and giggly compliance. I feel I should sort my remaining drugs into alphabetical order, experiment and report back. I [...]

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