Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's Talk About Cycles

I hate my cycles. They are one major indication that something is not all right in my lovely body, but like everything else, something that has not yet been figured out on this TTC journey of mine in the 3+ years we've been trying.

I've always had bad periods from the time I started getting them. For the first few years it was almost like my periods were reversed - bleeding for 3 weeks, 1 week off. And always extremely, extremely heavy. My mom didn't believe in tampons if you were still a virgin so this involved me many times bleeding through pads while I was sleeping - it was horrible. Obviously something was wrong hormone-wise but I never even knew it was something that could be checked out by a doctor.

Pain was so bad in my high school days that there were times I couldn't go to school at all, other times when I drugged myself up so badly with massive amounts of pain reliever that I was in a self-induced haze to get through the school day and even times that I went to the hospital to get a muscle relaxer shot. So by the time I went to college and was introduced to the birth control pill I jumped on it. My periods were still VERY heavy (I once bled through my jeans on the way home from a music class and very painful (but not as painful as they had been). That jeans embarrassment (thank God it was dark and I lived in NYC so no one noticed a thing except me) led to my college roommate asking me why the hell I never used tampons. I learned right then and there and they've been my godsend ever since. My mom was not happy though...and I didn't have the guts to tell her it was ok since I hadn't been a virgin for awhile anyway.

I was on BCP on and off throughout college and law school - alternating with semi-long cycles and pain. By semi-long I mean normally 32-35 days although occasionally I skipped altogether (scary for an, ahem, young, sexually active woman (although if I knew then what I know now I would have known not to worry!). I stopped when I moved back to NY after law school and my periods began getting increasingly painful again so when L and I got back together I immediately jumped on the BC my BFF had been taking - the depo shot. It was awesome - no pill to remember and made my periods stop for the years that I was taking it. Win win!

After a few years I got concerned about using Depo for so long so I let it run out and see how long it took my cycles to start again. From the last time I got the shot it was about 6 months before my first period. But that period was the WORST FREAKING THING EVER. I was screaming in pain. L managed to bring me to an RE (I had no idea what that was then) who prescribed me hydrocodone and gave me a prescription for Lybrel which I started taking immediately the next month. It was a BCP which didn't have a placebo week, you just took a pill every night and didn't get your period on it, which after the one I'd just had I was TOTALLY fine with. I took that for a year before we started trying. From the day I took my last Lybrel pill it was exactly 29 days till I got my period.

Love! I was so excited about that. That period wasn't bad at all and a 29 day cycle seemed to be just about gosh darn perfect. So I got pregnant the month after that and I've never had another 29 day cycle again.

I'm all over the place - 32 days one month, 60 another. Last month was 41 days. From my temping days (which are long long gone) I appear to have an LP of 15 days (pretty darn long, but not abnormal) and in more "normal" months I seem to ovulate anywhere from day 17 through day 24.

All that I've described above seems to indicate endometriosis, right? Yet I've never been diagnosed with it. The two laps I was to have to determine this were canceled, and the hysteroscopy I had last year didn't show anything. My cycles are nowhere near as heavy or painful as they used to be, at least not regularly. Every once in awhile I'll have a pretty painful one, but none that make me scream.

Today is Cycle Day 33. I have no idea when I ovulated - I did a few OPKs left over from several months before but never got a positive and didn't want to buy another pack when I ran out. But it's always around this time of the month that I start thinking, "well...maybe." It's silly and downright stupid in my case because often times there's the chance I didn't even ovulate until days before, but I still have that 28 day perfect cycle in my head and every time I run over it by more than a few days I start dreaming.

So, back to the beginning of this post. I hate my cycles. How about you?


  1. Wow - what roller coaster cycles you have, but you knew that already. I'm sorry I can't help more - as I pretty much have the same cycle each month...yet nothing else works (tubal issues, MTHFR gene issues, uterus lining issues).

    Have you tried taking your basal body temperatures? I did that and found I ovulate around CD 17. That also helped me look at other signs to tell me when I'm maybe regardless of how long your cycle is, you'd at least know IF you ovulated.

    1. Hi, Oh yes, i took my basal body temperatures for years. I can determine exactly when I ovulate but that day each cycle changes every time! So frustrating. I also seem to have fertile CM about half of the days each month - it's not a good sign for me! :)

  2. My cycles are of various lengths from 28-35 days. As far as I know I don't have endometriosis, but want to see what they can tell me about that possibility. I also have significant autoimmune problems. Have you been tested for auto-immune problems?

    1. I've gotten tested for everything. I have Hashimoto's but it's well known and my Synthroid takes care of that. Sometimes I would rather just know what my issues are even if they meant I could never get pregnant!

  3. Hate them, hate them, hate them. My longest cycle was 82 days, and it only ended because I took Provera to bring on the period. My crazy cycles are a huge part of my problem, and i hate them for that. Sounds like you do too!

  4. Yea I hardly ever have a cycle and when I do it's hell. Currently I think I'm ovulating for the first time in 5 months and what would you know hubby is out of town...that's how it always goes...

    Lavonne @ *Our Wish*

  5. Yes, HATE my cycles. Yours sound similar to mine and I did end up having endo (saw and removed it during a lap last year). My hysteroscopies haven't shown endo, either--we could only see it via lap.

    Good luck with your surrogate!