I’m not sure I’m fully prepared for this post, and it’s most definitely the most personal I’ve got on this blog. Prepare yourself for a long one, I would suggest you make a brew and grab a packet of biscuits, I don’t want you becoming parched or famished because of me…
So some of you may appreciate what I’m about to discuss while others of you will probably unfollow or write something disregarding this post, but I believe that what I’m sharing can happen to any woman (sorry guys you can sit this one out).
My story begins with basically not having my period in January, and I predicated it should creep up on me in the middle of January so around the 15th mark or even at the end as my periods have never been regular ever since I hit puberty. I started getting cramps, spot outbreaks, and bloatedness around the time I predicated my period and thought “it must be on it’s way then” and thought nothing much of it but by the time the end of the month came and February began, still no period.
To add to this worry I had stayed at my then boyfriends house at the time for a few days, and we had protected sex multiple times but I wasn’t on any form of contraception myself- so only condoms were used (yes bad move number one right there). I can’t fathom how silly I feel for not sorting out a contraceptive for myself before having sex, but I mean we had sex before this and no worries so why was this any different? Ding ding ding, if the condom had split during intercourse there was a high chance I could be pregnant. This was a complete no from me, no way did I want to be pregnant at this point in my life, and I raise my hand here and say that I was a complete idiot for not taking precautions of my own to prevent this from happening.
Here is where my mental health comes to join the party…
I suffer from anxiety to begin with so worrying to the extreme is nothing new to me, but this was different. I became so anxious and sick with worry that I didn’t want to eat, I had trouble sleeping, I couldn’t concentrate on my university assignments, and my relationships with friends and family suffered because I didn’t tell anyone what was on my mind. Adding to this, I had tonsillitis and was on a heavy dose of antibiotics for two weeks, and immediately I thought perhaps the medication I was on was having an effect on my menstrual cycle. This gave me some reassurance but no much, and so everything was still rattling through my head.
You’ll be thinking right now “girl just tell someone, tell your Mum.” Well, me and my Mum don’t have the best relationship and I don’t share a great deal with her. She tends to be one of those people that can be quite nosy and pushy as to wanting to know what’s going on, if anything it can be quite off putting and makes me crawl back into my shell. When I want to share something with someone it’s normally on my terms when I feel comfortable about it, so I didn’t tell my Mum I kept it to myself. I sorted out in my head that I would get myself a pregnancy test and go from there. If it was either positive or negative I was adamant that I was going to force myself to go to the doctors to see what I had to do next…
So I bucked up the courage and decided to take a pregnancy test, and it was the scariest moment of my life by far. You may be thinking this is so silly but when you’ve worked yourself up with worry for over a month it’s never been more scary to pee on a stick and await a + or – sign that I would happily have swapped to re-do my maths GCSE.
It came up negative. I felt a great sense of relief, but that wasn’t the end. No like anything it’s important to read the instructions and the booklet that comes with the test advised me to take another test in 3 days time if my period still hadn’t arrived. So obviously to be certain I took the second test…again it was negative.
To begin with I couldn’t bring myself to go to the doctors, my anxiety was sky high and I felt everything was collapsing on top of me. A few days later I broke down crying to my Mum and I told her straight about the tests and that I was still worried that I could be pregnant. This was a huge deal for me, to basically tell your parent that you’ve had sex, and I sensed it had an impact on her too to know that her little girl had done an adult act. She was deeply concerned, quite angry at me for not telling her but above all she was understanding. I’ve never felt such relief to telling my Mum what I’d been keeping to myself for so long, and puncturing my health because of it.
I was now feeling calm, and I even called my friend Jodie who I spilled everything to as well. She reassured me and made me feel better that it could be anything and I might not be pregnant at all. This is when I finally took action and made a doctors appointment to end this turmoil of worrying 24/7 and that whatever the outcome I would be a lot happier knowing what’s going on with my body and what to do next.
I booked myself a doctors appointment as soon as possible, and I surprisingly felt quite calm and eager to heard what they had to say. My Mum insisted that she came with me for moral support. I then confined in my doctor as to what was happening and she examined my stomach, she came to the conclusion that she didn’t think I was pregnant but I could have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome- year I know this meant nothing to me either. She explained that this is where I may have cysts on my ovaries that cause my menstrual cycle to become irregular, and the chances of conceiving in the future were uncertain but not impossible. There are treatments and other various processes that could help me. So that was to some extent a relief that this syndrome could be the cause of all this worry. My doctor then gave me an appointment slip for a blood test for that day and she was going to arrange an ultrasound after my blood tests came back from the lab.
My Mum had to go back to work and off I went to my local hospital for my blood test. The only other time I had a needle in me was for jabs at school, I wasn’t worried but waiting for your number to be called was pretty gut wrenching. Strangers around me all waiting for the same procedure, I knew it wasn’t anything to worry about but when number ’31’ was called I was up and several pairs of eyes were watching me, it felt like I was Katniss volunteering for the Hunger Games. The nurse greeted me with a smile, and a comment about how she liked my name and with a matter of sitting in the chair and rolling my sleeve up she was done. I then had a 3-4 day waiting time for my results.
The day soon arrived and I felt confident that I wasn’t pregnant, but that was pretty much a mask to display in front of my Mum as I knew she would be just as worried. I got the phone call from my doctor at around ten to twelve, my heart was thumping so hard I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. The tests found that I wasn’t pregnant, but I could have ovarian cysts and I needed an ultrasound to confirm this or not.
Now that the big pregnancy worry was out of the way, I could now fully concentrate on my university assignments and I was beginning to get back to my old self again.
Before my ultrasound you’re asked to drink two pints of water before, but waiting forever for the nurse to call my name was torture and I was certain I was going to pee all over the floor. The moment I heard my name called I jumped out of my seat, and the nurse got me to lay on the bed and expose my grotesque stomach so she could squirt on the jelly. Within a couple of minutes of her looking she told me my ovaries looked normal and to make a doctors appointment in a couple of weeks to see what to do next.
Now me being the idiot I am, it was a month later before I made the appointment (don’t do this, go when you should people!) and I think it was because all of this worry was now over and for someone to say “everything is normal” is just what you want to hear. Anyway, after gaining back my period at the end of the month (March) I was relieved. However, after this two months passed again without a period and I was back to square one. The worrying and questioning came back. Menstrual pains were dominating but no period, and every day I would wake up hoping there was blood all over my bed sheets. Seriously I would have been jumping for joy. So me being, again an idiot. I decided to Google my symptoms and well it came up with various medical conditions that were quite minor, to premature ovarian failure to ovarian cancer.
I made an appointment with my doctor. I promised myself from that day on that I wouldn’t let my health come second best to everything else, and I basically rolled off all of these possibilities of what could be wrong with me and I was pretty upset.
Well, I’m now on the pill. The doctor has told me it’s a trial to see whether it will regulate my periods and solve the issue, and if it doesn’t then I would need to go for more tests. So I’m praying that it won’t come to that, and my periods will become regular and won’t cause me anymore grief.
Below is the combined pill I have been prescribed, and I just want to point out here that you must NOT accept other people’s medication. Medication like this are for personal use, and are for that specific person not just anyone. So please keep this in mind because you could make yourself ill. I know some of you will be thinking “I’m not stupid,” well you’ll be surprised of how many people think this is okay to do. So just a kind reminder!
Phew, now this is most likely the longest post I have ever written, but what I wanted you to grasp from this post is that you shouldn’t ignore your health no matter how small it might be, just tell somebody! If it turns out there’s nothing wrong then that’s great, but it’s better to get the okay from a professional rather than your gut instinct or Google. I’ve told you what happened with me because I bottled it all up and it’s no picnic I can tell you, so please please please don’t leave things thinking it will all blow away. It won’t, it will keep digging at your brain, making you panic and unhappy. You will feel so relieved in telling someone and acting on the problem, I promise you!
I know this post got quite personal, but I wanted to write it for the sake of you guys who are/could go through the same situation as I went through, or even something similar. Sometimes knowing you’re not alone will make you feel better, and I’m more than happy to listen to you if you have any worries or concerns. I obviously can’t do an awful lot to help but I can try and make sense of what’s going on in your head and reassure you of what you can do next to make things better again.
*Note at the time of me being stressed out about possibly being pregnant, my then boyfriend pretty much tossed me aside, and it just proved to me how much looking after number one is important. If the person you’re with does this to you and gives you no support, then get rid. They don’t care about you. I am now with a guy who does genuinely care about me, and so it’s a happy ending after all!