Sunday, March 25, 2007

get out the fainting couch - no, for real this time.

if "feminine issues" trouble you on some fundamental level, i would avoid this post.* because while i'm not going to overly TMI you, if i don't vent about this right now i'm not sure what i will do. probably take out my frustration on some unassuming piece of small furniture or kitchenware. and that wouldn't be fair to those household goods, which have done nothing but be utilitarian. (and not in the philosophical sense.)

ANYWAY. i am rambling, i think, because i don't have enough blood to my brain. i'm lacking such stuff of life because my reproductive system has apparently commissioned all the blood in my body, and is currently expelling it. people, i have been bleeding for a month.


the background: you know, i'm on the seasonale. before this month, i would've sung the praises of seasonale to anyone who would listen. i loved seasonale. i worshipped seasonale. four periods a year, how great is that?? i recently read other women complaining about breakthrough bleeding on seasonale, and i thought, "well, lucky me, i've never once had a problem with that in the last two years!"

apparently, karma took that as its cue to slap me upside the head and kick me in the shins. and by "shins" i mean "uterus."

as an unfortunate health care system by-product, i had to take a month off of seasonale back in december, because i was switching over from my old job's health plan to my new one, which of course didn't kick in for 30 days after i started. which was over a week after i was supposed to have started a new pack of pills. so after some consultations with people who know about this shit, they said "yeah, just take the full month off, then start the new pack after your period is over." cool. (and just fyi, i don't doubt that this was the right thing to do. i just never considered that the issue that arise for women just starting seasonale could rear their ugly heads for me now, too.)

so, the first two months of my new pack passed in relative equilibrium. then, at the beginning of my third month, i realized that one night i had forgotten to take my pill. oops - it happens. i just take two in one day, and it's fine. except this time, apparently, it wasn't fine, and my body took the one day off of its regular hormone regimen to break the uterine lining dam. and i have been bleeding, in intensities ranging from breakthrough to full-on period, for a month. a month!!! i have had two full strength periods in 28 days, and have also been bleeding enough to be a slave to the tampax box for the other 14 days.

last night, i took my last placebo pill. i am desperately hoping that the next round of hormones can regulate this menstruation free for all. because this has got. to. stop. i've had a low-level, recurring headache for the last two weeks, and GI system is not thrilled with the situation either. and if this lasts much longer, i don't think i'll have enough energy to like, stand upright.

(and yes, i'm taking my multivitamins. but are there any iron-rich vegetables that i should be eating? gypsy spells i should be incanting? proverbial rain-dances i should be doing? come to think of it, i should've asked you all for some good woman-related advice here much earlier - i blame the lack of blood to my brain, um, or something...)

*by the way, if this is the case, i highly recommend getting over it. the whole "fear and disgust" thing when it comes to women and menstruation is a tired routine. we're women, we bleed, deal with it.


educand said...

I hope to god or reason that you've gone to see a doctor about this.
It could be serious.

Roni said...


I spent over a year like that & it was a fibroid. Go see your OB NOW. If it's just your pills, cool. Then you'll body will recover. If it's anything else, you want to know sooner than later. Hang in there. I know it sucks more than you can ever say. If you need to talk talk, call me anytime.

PS: Another sign that it might be a fibroid is light incontinence.

Cinnamon said...

Yep, give a jingle to your gynie. And if you are bleeding that much for that long, you should be taking an iron supplement. Which is not something to take on a whim because having too much iron can be just as bad if there are any side issues. If you have a crunchy, granola shop check out some vegetarian iron supplements and take a half dose daily until you see a doc. Taking iron pills made from animal products are likely to cause headaches and more GI issues, but the veggie ones are gentler on your system. Otherwise, I'd suggest eating a burger (more blood in a burger than a steak, actually) Or eat a big ol' helping of kale, spinach, greens, or other leafy green and follow it up with a glass of oj or squirt some fresh lemon all over the greens to get the most iron absorption.

Hugs, chica. Due to a healthcare issue, I skipped a month and it made me even more stressed and fretty than normal. So I can only imagine how this is treating you.

Toast said...

What is the "seasonale"?

Amy said...

I decided to skip Seasonale (it was too expensive for me for right now) and my doctor just prescribed my regular pills so that I skip the placebo. I can then CHOOSE when i get my period. :) h

kate.d. said...

i did talk to an NP at my OB/GYN's office about two weeks ago, during the first bout of full-on period - i was wondering if i should be skipping the placebo pills when they came up (assuming i had stopped bleeding by then, which turned out not to be the case), so as to avoid having two periods. she said that it was probably the month off and then missing the one pill that threw me a bit out of whack, but to take the pills like normal and hopefully the next three month cycle gets back on track.

but don't worry, if i don't stop bleeding in the next few days (now that i've started the next cycle), i'll be making an appt stat. i have to go back in a few months for another reason (damned cervix), so i'll talk to him about it then regardless!!

Toast said...

What, you're not going to answer my question? Is it because I'm just some icky boy?

kate.d. said...

i'm sorry, toast! i thought you might context clue it from some of the other comments. seasonale (which i think i blogged about somewhere before actually - a post of the "singing praises" variety) is a birth control pill that comes in three month packs, and you only get a period at the end of every three months. thus the four periods a year thing.

there actually coming out with a seasonique (maybe it's out already?) that i was way tempted to try, because it eliminates the period all together with low-level hormones instead of a placebo week. but now i fear making another switch and enduring something like the past month!

Kate said...

AHHHHH! Crap! I hope things get better for you Kate -- and the other commenters are right, get thee to a gyno if the bleeding persists for another few days.

Just for the record, the article that got Seasonale FDA approval (Anderson et al 2003) showed that more than half of the women who joined the study and took Seasonale dropped out. Some were lost to follow up, but most dropped out because of all the freaking breakthrough bleeding.

Also, that same year (or maybe 2004, I forget) the FDA pulled all of Seasonale's ads from TV because they misrepresented how many women had side effects and breakthrough bleeding.

You can tell I have a vested interest in this stuff... ;)

Toast said...

i'm sorry, toast! i thought you might context clue it from some of the other comments.


Ha ha!

No, seriously?

Ask Tracy some time about my ability to "context clue" meaning during the conversational process.

reasonably prudent poet said...

yeah, wow. reading this post reminded me of my girlfriend who has fibroids. her regular periods frequently last up to 14 days. just par for the course w/ those infernal fibroids. hope that's not what's ailing you.