Background stuff: I'm 29, nulliparous, married and living in the U.K..
The problem:My periods started when I was about thirteen and were hideous: very heavy and excruciatingly painful. My G.P. suggested the Pill but I wasn't keen so I got mefenamic acid (Ponstan) which worked reasonably well and began a love affair with Feminax (O.T.C. paracetamol / codeine (500/8).
Everything trotted along normally until I was seventeen when I woke up one morning on the day my period was due feeling a bit "off", which I put down to overwork and the impending period messing with my hormones... no such lock, I suffered a massive stroke caused by a blood clot within an hour of getting up (this is relevant as blood clots exclude H.B.C. as treatment for the problems I'm having).
The stroke recovery went fairly well (I learned to walk again when I was told I wouldn't) but I developed epilepsy (tangentially relevant as my period was the only trigger for my seizures and I suffered one a month with my period for a year).
Aged eighteen I became sexually active using condoms. Following an exploding Durex Avanti (we'd had tears before but always near the opening and never at the "crucial moment") which caused me to seek emergency contraception. As the "morning-after pill was not an option I was given a copper I.U.D. despite it not really being suitable for someone with my periods. I kept the I.u.D. for about a year and during that time developed mid-cycle cramps lasting a couple of days. I put this down to the I.U.D. and had it removed despite liking the extra layer of contraceptive peace of mind it provided (was using condoms with a different partner by then).
When the mid-cycle pain and horrifically painful periods didn't ease up left to their own devices I saw a gynaecologist who found a very small cyst on one ovary on an ultrasound. She thought this might be a normal egg-releasing thing and asked me to go back at a different point in my cycle. I went back and Lo! and behold! no cyst.
Now the gynaecologist suspected fibroids or endometriosis so I had an investagative laparoscopy which showed up nothing.
The gynae told me she would normally recommend h.B.C. and my only other option was a Mirena I.U.S. which still carried some risk. After consulting my other doctors it was agreed to give Mirena a go.
The first Mirena (inserted 2001) was amazing. No bleeding but some light cramping in place of gushing, agonisng periods and no pain mid-cycle. All was well for just short of the five years the Mirena should last when my periods started getting heavier and the pain came back.
The first Mirena was replaced in January 2006 and within months I was doing much better, with very light bleeding and minimal cramping and only slight twinges around ovulation.
Fast forward to now and the pain is present for the week before, the week of and the week after my period. Meaning I have roughly a week a month when I'm not in agony. The pain is in my lower abdomen and lower back but also radiates to my bottom and tops of legs. It varies between crampy, shooting and dull.
I had an ultrasound on Friday and the radiographer said everything looked normal and the Mirena was in place. This is so frstrating as I've been in pain for a decade with no apparent cause.
My G.p. agrees that my next move would be to have my Mirena replaced early (it's not due until January 2011) because I had similar symptoms when the last one "ran down". If that doesn't help I'm going to seriously lobby for a hysterectomy.
Any ideas on how to cope/ Painkillers seem to do very little: I've tried paracetamol / codeine, paracetamol / ibuprofen and Tramadol to no avail. Endless cups of tea and heat pads offer only limited relief.
Posted to vaginapagina and iud_divas.