Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday: The OB/GYN Looms

Ladies, I know you feel me when I say, nobody likes to visit her OB/GYN. It's awkward, to say the least, particularly if you have a male doctor (as I do). At some point you just have to say to yourself, he's seen it all. He's not in this business to find a wife. He knows what he's doing, and he's doing the best he can by you. The reason for my visit today, thank goodness, was not for an exam or any tests. I wanted to discuss a subject so near and dear to many ladies' hearts, minds, and bodies these days: birth control. I promised myself I'd spare you the intimate details, but I'll share a bit of my BC troubles with you.

Since I was a teenager, I've been on the pill due to tough times with lady business. You know what they say: "Genetics loads the gun, and environment pulls the trigger." I've tried Yasmin, Yaz, Ocella, and Previfem, all with the same crappy results (note: my defamation of these pills was due to personal experience and family history, not the failing or malfunction of these BCs). Endometriosis and uterine fibroids run in my family, so the beginnings of those conditions may already be affecting my body.

When I visited Doc back in January, he informed me that the near-constant trouble I was experiencing was likely due to intense stress. I was like, I am a new Master's student, and this is a whole new ball game; maybe these side effects will disappear once I'm more settled in my new routine. Alas, the stress intensified, and so did my symptoms.
My doctors can't seem to find a pill that will solve my womanly woes. To complicate matters, I'm firmly opposed to using NuvaRing because of its severe accompanying health risks. I'm not a good candidate for IUDs like Mirena because I haven't had children, and because it carries the risks of loss of fertility and/or pregnancy. There are newer non-hormonal BCs out there, such as copper IUDs, that I'm a little wary of trying, but then again, I'm at the "give me anything" point.

Thus, my visit to the trusty Doc this morning. He had several new solutions: my recent weight loss, my fairly recent dietary changes (eating meat again), my grad school lifestyle, and my rapidly fluctuating stress level -- or any combination of these factors -- could be causing my symptoms. He didn't want to do much except renew my prescription for Previfem because I'm not currently experiencing symptoms, but I was not having that! We discussed different options at length, and I was quick to rule out all of the pills I've tried before, as well as NuvaRing. We decided on The Patch. Unfortunately, it comes with all sorts of complicated procedures, like cleansing my skin with an alcohol pad at the site where the patch will be placed before applying, removing the patch with alcohol pads, placing afghan-sized Band-Aids over the patch when I'll be in water for long periods of time, placing the patch in a different spot each month, etc. It's reputed to be equally as effective and well-liked as the pill for helping women month-to-month. Could I finally have found a solution?

I'm very much the Nervous Nelly type who has a multitude of questions anytime someone is trying to shake things up. I was relieved when Doc suggested that I begin using the patch after I return from OBX (so I can stay on my same-old-same familiar pill in unfamiliar settings), and that I return in August for a quick check-in to see how I'm liking the patch. My weekend just began early :)

P.S. Have you ever tried the patch? If so, how did you feel about it? If you're on a pill that works wonders for you, rave about it!
Disclaimer: something about joining this blogging community of honest, open-minded, genuine women has made me bold as brass -- and I don't hate it! Sorry, gents.

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