So in March 2021, after having had many issues with Felica (my bitchy uterus) for several months. My Gyno set me up with a transvaginal UltraSound (US), which was super uncomfortable from all the inflammation.
The US showed two different conditions. The first condition is that I have a heart-shaped uterus. What the hell is that? Well, it's a uterus that has an indent at the top, making it look like a heart. Although, I thought this was cool. I did find out that this is a condition you don't want. It develops abnormally while you were still in the womb. In some cases, women have no idea they have one, and everything is fine. But, in other cases, some women can be at risk for Endometriosis and pregnancy issues - such as recurrent miscarriages, pre-term birth, breached birth.
The second condition I have is Adenomyosis (Adeno), the ugly sister to Endometriosis (Endo) that no one talks about. Both Adeno and Endo conditions are not life-threatening, but they can really negatively impact your quality of life and make it hard to become pregnant.
With Endometriosis, the cells grow outside the uterus. And with Adenomyosis, the cells grow within the walls of the uterus, so the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus. As the wall grows thicker, the uterus becomes enlarged.
I have all the symptoms of Adeno with the prolonged periods (bleeding for months at a time), sharp knife-like cramping, chronic pelvic pain, enlarged uterus causing "endo belly" and bloating, and painful intercourse.
With Adeno - The exact cause of the condition is unknown. And the treatment options are equally disappointing.
Now I want to start by saying I trust my doctor. He is super knowledgeable and very well known in the medical field. So when I was given the list of treatments, I was so deflated that the only options were hormone treatment to stop the period from happening (aka birth control, which I am already on), over-the-counter pain meds (which I am already taking). And if the over-the-counter meds aren't enough, I can then go on a pain management regimen with narcotics (um hell no!?). The surgical treatments are an ablation (a procedure that destroys the lining of the uterus) or getting a hysterectomy.
My doctor suggested against the ablation, as there is a 50/50 chance of any improvement. So we agreed that wasn't the route to go.
My doc also suggested that I try a different form of birth control (BC), such as the IUD or the implant in the arm. About five years back, I was fitted for an IUD, and just getting fit was excruciating pain, and I vowed to myself "never again". The other BC option was the implant in the arm, which I was also not a fan of. So my doctor suggested that I continue my current form of birth control, the Nuva Ring, but at a higher dose. I used to take it out every four weeks and put a new ring in, and now I would take it every three weeks and immediately put a new ring in. He said to keep track of symptoms and come back if things get better or get worse.
So I took my newfound diagnosis and higher doses of birth control, hoped for the best. But very soon, Felicia would take a turn for the worst...
📷 by ShutterStock, Katelyn Thompson, Reuben Juarez
As a clinical sexuality coach, Katelyn works with individuals and couples to help them discover their best sex lives.