June marks one year since my periods went completely haywire, and my PCOS was just wreaking havoc in my body. It’s been a long journey, and I have waited and waited to write this post but I thought today I would share what exactly has been happening and how I have managed to *hopefully* get my body back on track in the past month or so.
This is a long one, so I recommend getting a cuppa, some snacks and getting comfy before starting to read!
Warning: A lot of TMI and period talk so apologies in advance!
I was diagnosed with PCOS in October 2018 and for the year previous to that and up until June last year, I was getting 4-6 periods a year. Then, all of a sudden, during a holiday with my Mum last June, my period started, and never ended. I’m not even joking. After 3-4 weeks of constant bleeding (spotting-medium), I rang 111 and got an emergency GP appointment. The GP ran the usual tests to rule out pregnancy, anaemia, even STDs (!!) but thankfully all came back negative. He decided to book my in with my normal GP and get them to do a full cervical examination. He also suggested I ask for a smear test too even though I wasn’t yet 25, as some of my symptoms were that of cervical cancer. At this point, no one knew if it was being caused my PCOS or whether it was something different.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later, I was still bleeding and went to my appointment with my normal GP, who decided to do the cervical examination there and then. This was what I *thought* was a smear test. The GP found cervical ectropion (when soft cells from inside your cervix are found on the outside and can cause light bleeding) and I also had a bit of an infection so got antibiotics for those. Neither are anything serious and I was sent on my way.
Another month later, the infection had gone but I was still bleeding. Back to the GP I went, and she decided that I would probably need the ectropion removed but I had to have had the symptoms for 6 months or more *rolls eyes*. I returned to the GP in October/November with the same symptoms and the constant bleeding and luckily she decided it was time to refer me to a specialist to get the ectropion removed. I also hoped this specialist Doctor would help manage my PCOS as well! However, the earliest appointment I could get was 2nd April, which was 5 months into the future. So, it became a waiting game.
This was also the time that I found out that I had not in fact had a smear test, and that this and a normal cervical examination were actually two different things *rolls eyes harder*. I was told that despite me having the symptoms, I couldn’t have a smear test until I was within 6 months of turning 25 – absolutely ridiculous but another issue entiurely.
Fast forward to after Christmas, the bleeding wasn’t constant, but it was very scatty. I had found an app called ‘Clue’ which was helping me track different symptoms with my PCOS and bleeding/periods, so that I could try and spot more of a pattern. I also finally got the letter to say that I could book in for a smear test so obviously rang up straight away and got that booked in for March.
The scatty bleeding went on until the middle of March, when one weekend I had 5-7 quite big blood clots and really quite painful cramps in my tummy and back. This was honestly terrifying as before this it had never been heavy, mostly just spotting or light bleeding!
So, as soon as Monday morning came, I rang my Doctors and asked for a same-day appointment. Now, bear in mind that this was the day that the UK went into lockdown, so they weren’t really wanting people in but as soon as I told them my symptoms, they got me an in-person appointment within an hour.
Anyway, at this appointment, the doctor did the same tests (pregnancy, STDs, infections etc.) and they all came back negative, again. This time, she decided that she wanted me to have an internal ultrasound, someone to have a proper look at my cervix as the last one I had was a year and a half before this when I was diagnosed with PCOS.
Yet again, I was sent away with the promise that I would have an ultrasound. That afternoon, I had a phone call from the Doctors, asking if they could rearrange my smear test that was later that week as with lockdown, they were having to cancel all in-person appointments. I again, explained my symptoms and the blood clots to them, explained that I had actually been waiting for a smear test since June and that I really needed to have one as soon as possible. Luckily, the nurse got me a last minute appointment that afternoon (and in case you’re wondering, the results came back negative!).
Anyway, 2nd April came and obviously my specialist appointment had been moved to a phone appointment. Long story short, this doctor was less than helpful and basically said the only thing they could do was put me on the pill or some sort of birth control (which I am not willing to do). He did agree with me that the bleeding was highly unlikely to be caused by the cervical ectropion as what I was getting was completely different anyway.
I came off the phone so disheartened and fed-up. I felt like no one was taking me seriously and that because I didn’t want to try their ‘only option’ to go on the pill, they couldn’t be bothered with me.
In May, I had some more random blood clots and more cramping so I had another phone appointment with my GP who basically said the same as the specialist. Oh, and she also added that getting pregnant might help relieve some of my symptoms. Because apparently carrying a baby for 9 months and then looking after said baby for a following 18 years was no big sacrifice if it helps my symptoms *rolls eyes EVEN HARDER*. Never mind the fact that as someone with PCOS, conceiving might not be that straight forward for me anyway!
I remember sitting and just crying my eyes out after this, I had no idea what to do or where to even start. And that’s when I decided to ring my private homeopathic GP, who I have seen on and off since I was a teenager, as well as half of my family.
She was so helpful, so understanding and actually willing to help get to the root cause. She understood my reasons for not wanting to go on the pill, and agreed that this wasn’t the solution. We looked at all my bleeding since February, when it happened, how long for and discussed all my symptoms. And what she realised was that my bleeding was starting to happen just twice every month and that actually I could be getting an ovulation bleed. I didn’t even know this was a thing! But, since the big blood clots in March, I had a few days bleeding a month later (what we can assume was a proper cycle) and then every two weeks after that up until now, the end of May.
We decided to assume that the clots I had in mid May was actually an ovulation bleed and to monitor the bleeding to see if it started two weeks later, The following day, I actually had a sharp pain which I *think* was me ovulating properly. So, we’re now at the end of May. If we go 14 days from the blood clots, that takes us to Mon 25th May. If we go 14 days from the sharp pain I felt, that takes us to Sat 30th May. We decided that if I started bleeding at any point within this week, we could count it as day 1 of my cycle and a proper period (!!!). Then, on day 7, I needed to take some homeopathic medicine to help with ovulating at the right time and to hopefully prevent an ovulation bleed.
Monday came, and there was some slight spotting. This carried on until Wednesday and then Thursday there was some light bleeding and the same again on Friday. It doesn’t feel like a “normal” period, in that the blood is’t typical of a “normal” period, but I’m taking it as a win.
For the first time, in over a year, I feel like I have had a normal cycle. I actually feel quite emotional, I mean it has really been an emotional rollercoaster over the past 12 months but I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with it.
Who knows what the next month or so will bring, but I am feeling optimistic and positive, for once! I’m so sorry that this has been such a long post, I forgot just how much had happened but I wanted to get it all down in one go.
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If you have been through something at all similar, or you have PCOS please do leave a comment below and let me know! I would love to hear your stories and we can support each other going through this. If you don’t already, come and follow me on Instagram were I talk about my journey a lot more!
Until next time,