Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Full Circle of Birth Control

Growing up I was rarely sick and had the need to take very little medications beyond Tylenol.  Thus I had no idea how sensitive I would be to medications.

When we were first married I started having all sorts of stomach pains.  That's when I started getting involved with all sorts of doctors and tests.  At first it was just an appointment here and there without any answers.  We, being my husband and I, knew that we didn't want to wait very long to start our family and a couple months after we were married I gave up the birth control.  However, the stomach pains still persisted.

Shortly after our first Christmas I ended up going to the local Urgent Care for said stomach pains only to find out I was pregnant, barely pregnant.  That particular doctor started a big fuss that maybe my stomach pains were related to an ectopic pregnancy.  I was fairly naive back then and didn't think to voice my opinion.  Doctors know everything, right?

Sadly that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage shortly before I hit eight weeks but the stomach pains continued.  We were in college at this time thus my main doctors worked up at the Student Health Center.  They suggested that I take few months off from trying to get pregnant so we could do some testing to figure out the source of my stomach pains which also meant going back on birth control as getting pregnant would prevent them from doing most of the tests.

This went on for a year and being passed on from doctor to doctor some  more specialized than others.  After that year and some pretty major tests like radioactive eggs, cat-scans, and an endoscopy the doctors were still clueless as to what was going on.

That's when I made the decision to walk away.  I knew that the stomach pains while fairly constant would get worse with my anxiety and stress levels.  Thus I started trying to figure out how to combat the anxiety.  It's a constant battle but after a while I started seeing improvements.  The stomach problems never went completely away but I felt like I could function more regularly and when they started getting bad I knew I was probably stressing over something.

Jump back to the present.  We've been trying to get pregnant for many years.  We've finally decided it's time to  take the step of In-Vitro which means that I have to go back onto birth control beforehand.  Imagine my surprise when my stomach problems started getting worse from almost the moment I started the pills again.  Throughout the years I've been fairly good about dealing with my stomach problems but this time they seemed to be ever constant and I was feeling more sick than usual which is saying something since I've been taking all sorts of hormones for the last year and a half off and on.

I happened to be looking at the information on my birth control when I noticed that some of the common side effects were stomach pains, being sick to your stomach, cramps, etc.  That's when the light bulb went on.

I first started having my stomach problems shortly after I began the birth control the first time.  It's true that I was still having them during those few months before my first pregnancy when I wasn't on the pill but I've found that medications take a while to leave my body thus I often have lingering side effects, especially when it involves my hormones.

My doctor should have taken a guess that perhaps this was the source when I first started going in.  I know that my anxiety does play its part but had I known this bit of information way back in the beginning I think I could have saved myself a lot of that anxiety.  I wouldn't have started back up on the pill after my first miscarriage as in the end it was only adding to the problem.  Most of all, I wouldn't have needed to go through all of those tests, medications, and doctors' visits.  Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.  However, it hasn't been a complete loss.  I've learned a lot over the years and I finally know where and why my stomach pains all began.  Lesson learned I guess.        

1 comment:

  1. Oh man! That totally stinks. How awesome of you to put it all together, though. Do you think there's anything that can be done about it now that you know?