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    Desperately need help...Extremely painful periods
    AmyC84 posted:
    Hi I've read posts on here for awhile, & now I'm looking for some help...
    I'm 28 years old, never been sexually active, & I've had painful periods since they started when I was 12.
    Over the years I've tried a few brands of oral contraceptives, which didn't help. More recently I tried Depo shots, I had 3 injections over 9 months, & my periods didn't stop within that time, I was spotting in between, & they didn't help my pain at all.
    The pain with my periods has gotten worse as I'm getting older, rather than what you seem to hear of it getting better once you move out of your teens. Worse to the point where I double over in pain, I've just about passed out in pain.
    In October last year, I had a laparoscopy, hysterscopy & D&C to see if there was anything causing the worsening pain. I have been told that there was no abnormal pathology found, & therefore no Endometriosis found either.
    At the same time I had a Mirena IUD placed, at the suggestion of one of the doctors who said it would possibly help with the period pain.
    Unfortunately, I found the Mirena to be an absolutely horrible experience, I was in pain from the moment it was placed, rather than just having pain around the time of my period, I was having almost constant pain. I was also having a worsening of my migraines.
    At the end of January (3 weeks ago) I went back to the gynaecologist & told them about the problems I was having. They didn't seem to believe the pains could be caused by the Mirena, but agreed to take it out. (Taking it out was quite a painful experience for me, as it was my first speculum exam as well....I live in Australia, where they don't believe in pelvic exams or pap smears if you're a virgin....)
    The gynaecologist also said that since they had ruled out Endo through the laparoscopy, he (& the other dr's there) didn't think my pain was gynaecological, & suggested I go see a bowel specialist instead....
    Since I've had the Mirena out, I've now just started my 2nd period in that 3 weeks.... I don't know if this is normal or not???

    But my main question is this: If my pain (which is located in my lower pelvic area, & around the supra-pubic area) only happens just before & during my period, doesn't that signal something gynaecological?
    If it was bowel or bladder related, wouldn't I have the pain all the time?
    Thanks in advance for any help, & I'm sorry if this is kind of a jumble, I'll gladly clarify anything if need be!!!
    Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
    Dear AmyC: Glad to have you writing us as well as reading about others. The easiest question first,OK? It would not be a surprise to have some erratic bleeding after the Mirena was removed. This is not so much about a mechanical "irritation" from removal as it is about the abrupt withdrawal of the synthetic progesterone influence from your uterine lining. Remember that the highest dose of the synthetic progesterone is in the initial year of Mirena use. So with removal, the lining may experience a type of "progestin withdrawal bleed."

    Yes, one might assume that pain which is present only around menstruation would have a GYN etiology. You are also correct that endometriosis ("endo") is the most likely suspect. You had a laparoscopy which found no apparent endo. Thus the questions would be: is the diagnosis of no endo correct and can bowel (IBS) or bladder (interstitial cystitis) only flare during menstruation?

    From what is written in the literature, occult endo can be very difficult to find (eg clear and flame colored lesions as opposed to the classic powder burn appearing lesions). At this juncture you have to have faith that your GYN surgeons did a thorough investigation and endo was ruled out. Can other body systems have an exacerbation of symptoms around menses. Yes, the literature supports this.

    In my OPINION I would urge you to follow up with the referrals suggested by your GYN to look for a non-GYN etiology. This is important in achieving a really complete work up. If all specialty referrals do not find an overt cause then you can return to the GYN with questions about adenomyosis (endometriosis which grows into the muscular wall of the uterus and is very difficult to diagnose except after hysterectomy specimens are sent to pathology).

    I am grieved that you have had such a hard road with your menstrual pain. Here is a general overview of recurrent pelvic pain:

    But, perhaps more importantly, here is a link to the International Pelvic Pain Society. They have the expertise to discuss all atypical causes of pelvic pain, and even have a provider referral list to find an expert:

    In Support,
    valoispq responded:
    I am 70 now, but from my first period I had debiliting pain and I mean bad. You could not talk about it except to your Mom 'cause you didn't want anyone to know. So I suffered in silence at work and before that at school. Dr. said it was all in my head and I had a bad attitude towards menses. When I was in my twenties I went on the pill Orthonovum 5 and for the first time the pain was almost not there, a tylenol could fix it. I had children and then back on that pill. When I was around 45 a new doc put me on a lower dose pill, I was a little nauseated all the time with this new pill but the new doc insisted. (I hate when they don't listen). Then she took me off the pill completely and said I was too old to take it. The suffering started again and it was awful. I would take 2Xtylenol 3's and an antiinflamatory like celebrex every few hours,(too much I know but I couldn't get away from the pain) and could just get thru the day at work. Menopause was welcome. On the good side when I delivered my babies, it was a piece of cake, very fast, under an hour and not much pain. In any case if you could get the orthonovum 5 you might be helped, never mind these low dose pills. Hope they still make it. Good luck !!
    gocrazynow responded:
    I have been having problems again due to the fact that I can no longer take any painkillers except Tylenol. Tylenol is not working. Other meds were hurting my kidneys. So I have been researching alternative therapies. Recently I've come across blackstrap molasses and its many benefits. I highly suggest you google this yourself and see if it may be of help. Here is a link also to get you started:
    I will be trying this next time around myself. Good luck to you!
    An_250545 responded:
    I don't usually reply to these sort of things, but felt compelled after reading your note.

    After extensive research and failed attempts to remedy infertility, I began using progesterone cream. Although I was still unable to maintain a pregnancy, the progesterone cream had amazing effects for all the symptoms associated with my period including severe cramps. I could hardly believe the difference that it made.

    If you are interested in reading up on the benefits of the use of progesterone cream, look up John Lee. From what I understand from my reading, he is the guru on the subject.

    Also, perhaps you could have your hormone levels checked. I was told by my homeopathic doctor that a saliva test is more accurate than a blood test for this. A short menstrual cycle can also indicate low progesterone/estrogen dominance.

    Would be happy to discuss any of this in greater detail if there is an interest. I really think this could help. Good luck.
    judwhi2010 responded:
    When I was in my teens, I also had severe cramps during my menses. I have even passed out from it several times, once during school. My family decided to finally take me to the doctor and he said my iron was low. He prescribed some iron pills and I also asked what foods had iron in them. From that day on, my cramps stopped. I hope this helps.
    An_250562 responded:
    I understand about painful periods first off if you are allergic to latex, they have latex in in pads like always if they are not from a health food store they are not organic because of latex in the pads I would blled heavier and they would make me burn because I are allergic. As far as remedies you could try homopathy the company bioiron makes this products cyclease cramp. If that don't not work you could try chinese herbs precious sea really helps me a lot but you have to take it everyday it cuts bleeding down naturally but give in 2 to three months and you should see a difference. I have also took to eats beats and take irons pills to help along with calicum and magnium.

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