Hello, good evening, and welcome to the middle of the film

Gentle Readers, you all know that my periods, over the past few years, have been getting increasingly painful and craptastic. And I’m in pain for more days, each cycle. It’s getting quite hard to deal with (how people in this state with small children, or unsympathetic bosses, or unhelpful partners, cope, I do not know, but I think they deserve cups and medals).

Anyway, I have been researching palliative treatments for adenomyosis (only ‘cure’ is hysterectomy. Or menopause. Um). The one that keeps coming up as being really quite effective in alleviating the pain and the bleeding, is the mirena coil.

It’s a contraceptive device, naturally, so getting one would mean taking a trying-to-conceive break. Probably at least of six months, so the hormones in it get a chance to shrink the patch of adenomyosis a bit. I’d still be ovulating (probably. Some few women do stop ovulating on the coil), but my endometrium, wherever the hell it has got to, would simply not grow. Sounds ideal, yes?

Well, it might stop me ovulating, and I don’t know if I trust Satsuma to leap back into action. I suppose we can always hit her with a brick when the time comes. It’d make her feel at ovulatory home anyway, given that’s how she usually feels when she’s laying.

What is more concerning, is I actually have an abnormally shaped uterine cavity (it’s arcuate, or heart-shaped, and why the Cute Ute is cute), and a coil might not actually fit. Which would be a bummer.

(There are always Lupron Depot injections, but that really would give Satsuma (who is delicate and not to be fucked with) a kicking. Mirena coils are less systemic, more, eh, targeted? at the offending organ. And Danazol and other androgenic treatments are an absolute, utter, total NO. I have PCOS. I am already hirsute and spotty and fat, thank you).

So last night I asked H what he thought of taking a break for a few months, and seeing if we can get the Cute Ute to shut the fuck up and calm the fuck down. H looked troubled and said it made him feel uneasy. Why? said I, twitching faintly. H reminded me that his own mother had managed to get pregnant while on the coil, and had lost that baby. But but but, I expostulated, the mirena coil is considerably more effective than the ordinary coil, even, as a contraceptive. It’s more effective than the pill. It’s something like 99.9% effective. The coil H’s poor Mum was using was not a hormone one, as they didn’t exist in the 70s. It’s different.

H was still uneasy. He wandered off muttering about having to use condoms for six months. Keeping in mind he only found out that his mother lost that pregnancy because of a malfunctioning coil less than a year ago (he’d known that there had been a miscarriage between himself and his brother since forever), I think he’s being weird. He is also being weird about it in silence in the other room, rather than talking to me. And last night, he was very much giving the impression, now strenuously denied, that he felt uneasy about taking a break at all.

I hate it when that happens. Which of us is being daft and imagineering parts of the conversation? Did I jump to conclusions? Is he in denial? Amnesiac? That’s it, I’m bugging every room in the flat right now.

But honestly, either I get proper full-on take-home baby pregnant by my 36th birthday, or I have a break and get a mirena coil (if possible, if it will fit, and if not possible, God, I don’t know, go back on the pill or try Lupron). Because this last cycle hurt for over two weeks. And adenomyosis gets worse every month. Of course it does. How could it not?

We’ve been trying to get pregnant for over five years now. I’ve begun to think of my 40th birthday as the ‘Jesus Christ, enough already’ day, also known as Cute Ute’s Eviction Day. So we’re already over half-way through the Decade of I Lost My Tiny Mind. Definitely I could do with a break.

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14 responses to “Hello, good evening, and welcome to the middle of the film

  • Amy P

    A break sounds like a good idea. Mind you, there may be some selfishness mixed in that reaction–a break sounds like an ideal time to view redwoods in their natural environment 😉

  • a

    H has dealt with your random hormones and uncooperative ovary and such, while not truly understanding any of it. I can understand his reluctance to do anything that might upset the delicate balance. You might have to sell him on the idea. I’m glad there’s any kind of solution for you, though.

  • BigP's Heather

    Breaks can be oh so good.

    I hope you two can agree on a path.

  • carole

    I guess he’s just a bit disapointed about the idea of a break and perhaps a bit surprised as well. Give him a bit of time and let him come round to the idea quietly in his own head. I’m sure that once he’s thought about it a bit, the plan of you being in a lot less pain will tip the balance. Perhaps this is also something to discuss with one of your flock of docs? If H is anything like the specimen I have at home, he will distrust information from t’internet and prefer to hear it from a proper person in a proper white coat.

    Good luck with the plan. Plans are good.

  • Solnushka

    If you are seriously considering it, I’d say you almost certainly need it. I know it’s not something you’d consider lightly.

  • wombattwo

    Things I learnt from having a mirena coil (admittedly I don’t have adenomyosis, but for heavy/painful periods + contraception).

    1) I still had periods when I had it. They were way lighter (from 7 days to 2-3 days brown spotting, often just had to use pantyliner) They were slightly less painful, and the pain was more controllable with nurofen plus/hot water bottle.

    2) Excellent contraception, I didn’t get pregnant once (!)

    3) It took about 6 months for my periods to settle down, and often takes this long in some women. During that 6 months I had random bleeding, and still had heavy periods, and even went back to my gynae at 4 months saying “what have you done to me? It’s pants!”

    4) It didn’t stop me ovulating. I ovulated exceedingly regularly when I had it. How did I know? I got woken up, at 5am by it, 2 weeks exactly before my period. Every month.

    5) Apparently I have a slightly cute ute too, and I had no issues. The two top bits are flexible and bend upwards, see? It’s not a rigid T shape.

    6) Hurts like buggery having it out, but it’s only quick. Don’t know how bad it is having it put in (was under GA) but I’d definitely take some analgesia beforehand.

    7) Once it’s out, your periods go back to how they were, immediately. I remember some old wives tale floating around saying you were more fertile after coil removal. No idea if that’s a load of rubbish though.

    At the end of the day, it is a God-send for painful and heavy periods. I totally understand the wish for a break, I also understand H’s wish not for a break, and his concerns about you. Maybe it’s worth mentioning it to Miss Consultant next week? If she listens to you that is. If not, dump her, I say.

    You deserve better than this.

  • manapan

    While I agree a break sounds great for everyone involved and I hate to make your decision any harder than it already is, I’m wondering if having to kick-start ovulation again might make things worse. I don’t know if you follow Single Infertile Female, but if you don’t, the gist of her story is in this post: http://singleinfertilefemale.blogspot.com/2010/07/finding-my-focus.html

  • everydaystrange

    Wombattwo, she speaks the truth. Big time. I have a coil. I (now) love my coil. I used to have periods so incredibly heavy and crampy that nothing short of stuffing a rolled-up duvet would staunch the flow (and for the pain? Nothing worked. Neat.) Also:

    1) if you have fibroids, they will bleed. For a long while. Mind you, it is exceptionally light blood, but it is blood.

    2) Even cute utes can take them. Apparently some of my scarring meant mild adjustments to the coil but the coil, she fits.

    3) I am so having my coil taken out and re-fitted under general. So what if they do them at the GPs? Not tempted.

    4) I no longer have periods. I have reason to believe I ovulate. I may be wrong.

    Love Wombattwo’s advise about talking to the consultant, too (Wombattwo, we may need to start bonding).

    We took a break. It was lovely – we travelled. We took two breaks, actually. Both were lovely. I’ll be honest with you – it was relaxing and lovely (there’s that word again) and I look back on both times with joy, but I remember at the time that there was that feeling in the back of my head, like something was coming, something had only been parked. Relaxing and I’d do it all over again (and it really did help), but it’s not like you forget there’s something that you’re going back to doing.

  • twangy

    It does sound like an idea. A break could be just the thing, if indeed the coil would give you that. Would the Prof have an opinion, do you think? If Miss Consultant doesn’t give you the advice you need (due to her now renowned selective deafness)?

    I am sure H and you can work out a plan together. Sometimes I take a while to get used to an idea – maybe it will be so with H.

  • Betty M

    A break does sound like a good idea if you can have one with less pain than usual. I am amazed at the way you get through the grimmest of grim periods. I know nothing of coils etc but if it helps then go for it.

  • Nina

    I’ve used the mirena as contraception, as well, and I loved it. Lots of women stop having periods altogether, and I was one of them. Once in a blue moon I’d have some spotting for, like, an hour. It is 99.9% effective, and lots of times when they come out, it causes you to ‘drop an egg’ as my doctor put it. I certainly didn’t have to have general anesthesia for insertion, but it did cause cramping for a couple of days after the first insertion. After I had Fletcher, I had one inserted again at my 6 week post partum check-up, and didn’t feel a thing. The difference (I’ve been told) is that the first time, I’d never had a baby, miscarriage, or anything that had ever opened my cervix. It does need to be put in when you’re on your period, so that your cervix is open a bit. All the women I’ve talked to that had it put in while not on their period (or 6 weeks post partum) have complained of horrid pain and cramping, and some have even come out. Now, all of this is my own observation and what other women and my doctor have told me. I know they do things very differently on the other side of the pond. If you like, I can tell you exactly the procedure with instruments and everything, (you know I’m an OR nurse, and I’m creepy and macabre like that) but that seems like a bit much for a comment here, so contact me on my site later if you want. I ADORE my mirena IUD. It’s the most amazingly wonderful birth control ever invented, in my opinion.

  • Womb For Improvement

    Firstly I have a cute ute too (http://womb4improvement.blogspot.com/2010/04/easter-eggs.html) and the coil was no problem.

    I like others here bled whilst on the coil. For first time for the first 3 months out of the six month sentence the second for about a month and a half out of the three. But I didn’t have cause to bring out the feminax ultra.

    So that is the technical side dealt with.

    As you know I have had to have several enforced breaks. Knowing that you have six months off is a bit of a relief. You can plan more than a month in advance (imagine that?!) you can get up without taking a temperature or weeing on a stick. And sex for sex’s sake. It is a relief.

    BUT. All my breaks were medically prescribed. I didn’t have a choice and I wasn’t happy about it. I saw age rise and still managed to measure the breaks in trimester terms. I don’t know if I could do it if there wasn’t a medical imperative.

    Much as I hate to contradict wombattwo (sorry hun!) my periods did not return to exactly as they were prior to the coil. They were lighter and less painful. I put this down to the coil having cleared out a whole lot of gunk making the passage that much easier. But I am the queen of non-fact-based-post-rationalisation.

    Tough choice but to agree with wombattwo (phew) talk to your wonderful consultant as she might have a view on whether this might help (longer term) implantation – which is why I’ve been on it.

    Good luck.

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