Thought I’d write a quick post on a point I made in my last post, just because it’d be a bit of a derailment in that post, but I also look like I’ve gone mad without an explanation.
So yes, I appear to be allergic to being female.
Starting from the very beginning, when puberty first started it was easy. I was regular as clockwork, there was no pain, and no other side effects. Over the years it’s got worse and worse.
Now my periods appear to be sent from hell to torment me, but I’ve skipped a bit, let’s rewind..
As I advanced through my teen years I gradually started to experience more pain, it started of mid month, mittelschmerz it’s called. I love that word, it translates as “middle pain” and is the pain you get when you ovulate. Not all women get it, some of us are just lucky obviously. This wasn’t just mild twinges, this was feeling like I’d been stabbed and collapsing-on-the-floor-balled-up-holding-my-stomach-and-crying kind of pain. This was taking time off school/work once a month every month kind of pain. My mum took me to the doctors who said, “yep, ovulation pain, take paracetamol” and sent me on my way.
The years go by, the pain continues, except then it starts happening just prior to my period, and then just after my period. It did become a reliable way of knowing my period was about to rear it’s ugly head, which was good because my periods had also become increasingly erratic. Oh happy happy fun times.
As all of this was happening I was also starting to get more of the traditional period side effects; the bad skin, the greasy hair, the moods, etc. Over time all of these got worse.
I eventually ended up going on to the pill in order to try and stop all of this, the first pill I tried had me vomiting and feeling nauseous. Sound familiar? Oh yes, this one had so effectively tricked my body that it gave me morning sickness! I should have guessed that this was a sign of what was to come, but anyway, I digress. I got put on a different pill and saw a huge improvement to my cycle length, and minor improvement to the pain etc.
Like I say though, it was minor, and eventually the improvement wore off.
So back to the doctors.
This time they decided to run some tests, which is where they discovered my PCOS. For those who don’t know, PCOS means I have cysts on my ovaries. This is actually normal, well, one cyst is. Every month an ovary produces a cyst which contains an egg, and when the cyst bursts the egg is released. (This is obviously a very simple explanation, apologies if I’ve missed anything) Except I have multiple cysts, or poly cystic ovaries. My mittelschmerz is the pain caused when one of more of these burst. Some women get cysts that grow massive and burst, and these get operated on. Multiple cysts apparently means there is little point in an op. Just to add insult to injury my body doesn’t actually necessarily produce an egg every months, just the cysts. In fact at that point the doctor couldn’t tell me whether my body produced any eggs at all. Infertility is a real concern with PCOS.
At this point I was faced with a reproductive system which not only didn’t do what it was meant to, but also caused immense pain while failing at it. Oh joy.
Anyway, few years down the line me and my husband had pretty much given up on me being able to bear children, and then I got pregnant. Which was a cause for celebration once I’d stopped arguing with the doctor about whether I really was pregnant, but also worry, as I was on the pill at the time. Which meant high risk of ectopic pregnancy. So one early ultrasound later and mini-MoG number one was where he should be, sighs of relief all round, or not…
Because I had severe hyperemesis. Which is morning sickness turned up to 11. And then some.
I was in and out of hospital being given fluids through IV over and over because I couldn’t even keep sips of water down, let alone ginger-fucking-biscuits.
It was horrific, I was sick right up until the morning I gave birth to mini-MoG number one, even on a combination of anti emetics.
Anyway pregnancy over, thankfully, my body went back to normal. Hah!
It didn’t, the period pain and symptoms kept ramping up. I was moodier, in more pain, and more spotty than before. Also the PCOS symptoms had ramped up during the pregnancy, I had a damned beard!! It didn’t calm down afterwards, I was hoping that as my hormones settled it would too. No such hope.
Back on a different pill again, surely that last pregnancy was a one off? Hahaha.. nope, pregnant again. No arguments this time, I recognised that nausea all too well.
Different doctor this time, a much better doctor thankfully. One who’d researched HG and thought that maybe the reason I was being sick so badly and not responding to anti-emetics was because I was basically allergic to one of the hormones my body was being flooded with. She said it was probably either oestrogen or the pregnancy hormone HCG. Given that I’d been sick on certain types of contraceptive pill, which increase oestrogen but not HCG, it looked like we’d found the culprit. And treating it as an allergy worked, I was put on steroids and the vomiting and nausea vanished.
That’s right, I was allergic to one of the hormones that made me female. Fucks sake. So my body was doing everything it could to get rid of the thing making me ill, mostly by vomiting, the steroids were helping thankfully. There’s also the chance that my PCOS is made worse because my body is reacting against the oestrogen and so making it seem like my testosterone levels are higher than they actually are (in relation to the oestrogen IYSWIM?).
But guess what happens towards the end of the pregnancy? The hormones increase. Guess what my body did?
My waters broke 10 weeks early.
That’s right, my body rejected pregnancy.
Luckily mini-MoG number two is a healthy(ish) 6 month old now, thanks for asking.
Want to guess how fun my periods are now? May I refer you to line 4? I think I’d prefer demons sent from the very bowels of hell to be honest. And on that note I’m off to track down my hot water bottle and my razor, this beard is bugging me..