For the first several years, my period was VERY regular. I knew that I was going to start 28 days from the first day of my last period in the middle of the night, like clockwork. But then during my senior year of high school, my period slowly became more and more irregular…
During one particularly painful period, I stayed home from school. After sleeping for a good portion of the morning, I decided to try to take a warm bath to help with the cramps and while I was walking from my room to the bathroom I had this horrific stabbing pain in my left very low abdomen that brought me to my knees and took my breath away.
It was not until nearly two years later that I met with a doctor to discuss the painful periods and stabbing pains. By this point, my periods would be were very sporadic. It was at this point I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and put on monthly birth control pills. These pills helped for a couple months but then they stopped working (my period was no longer controlled). We tried several different kinds and combinations over the next couple of years, and they would all work for a couple of months but it was only a matter of time before they stopped working and we were back at square 1.
In July of 2015, my gynecologist, Dr. Eid, suggested that we try Depo Provera (the birth control that requires you to get a shot every 3 months, but in return you do not get a period) as a last-ditch effort. At this point my periods were 2-3 weeks long and coming only 2-3 weeks apart and I was desperate for some relief. She warned me that I may spot periodically for the first 6 months but after that, I wouldn’t get a period at all. I got my first shot at the end of July 2015. I did not spot or bleed at all for the first 3 months, but in late August I became very ill.
On August 28th, 2015 I went to bed completely sober and healthy. On August 29th, 2015 I woke up with a hangover from hell. God awful headache, nausea, exhaustion, feverish, and just overall very unwell. I spent the entire weekend in bed trying to rest in hopes that it was just a flu bug… Little did I know I had developed a rare, incurable chronic illness known as Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension as a result of the Depo Provera. It would take 6 months, 2 more Depo Provera shots, lots of tests and procedures, lots of doctors’ appointments, and even more nights in excruciating pain before we received an accurate diagnosis.
In November of 2015, while we were working to get answers as to why I had suddenly developed this constant migraine, I started bleeding again… and that too became constant. I was so disappointed but held out hope that the next shot in January would help get things back to “normal”. Unfortunately, that was not the case… this period lasted for six continuous months despite many attempts to seek assistance from several different gynecologists… but that’s a story for another time…
Finally, in June of 2016, my pain management doctor, Dr. Carolyn Kochert, stepped outside her specialty and prescribed me Metformin which is commonly known as a pre-diabetes medication but is used off label to treat PCOS and infertility. It immediately stopped and regulated my period and I have been fortunate enough that Metformin has continued to help maintain that regularity even to this day!