Okay. I know that all women are different and the whole period experience is subjective, but
what defines a "normal" period in terms of cramps, pain, etc.? I have the whole cramps and bloating thing, but I've also been experiencing things that really concern me but don't seem to raise awareness in my doctors or family members. I can't tell if I've somehow angered the vagina-gods and now mine hates me or my concern is geniune.
Basically, four years ago I started to experience irregular periods (as in no period for months at a time) and weird symptoms: cramps and pain so bad I was passing out, vomitting, shaking uncontrollably, freezing cold, doubled over, and this on top of just bloating and what have you. Eventually I was prescribed Loestrin 24 FE, Naproxen, and told "You'll be fine once you have your first child!" (which, telling this to a then 18-year-old, was like "DUUURH THAT'S FOREVERZ AWAY!"). Things pretty much went okay, but a year or two later I went back to that plus really bad back pain. The university health center suggested endometriosis, took it back, tested me for everything in the book (which all came back negative), told me I had a yeast infection, suggested I get ultrasounds "because maybe you do have endometriosis or something!", then decided I was fine since nothing seemed off. These two nurses basically drove me crazy, made weird comments about my lady bits (one actually shouted across the hallway to the other doctor about whether mine "was normal looking"), and made me frustrated beyond relief. I gave up on Naproxen, stuck to the BC, and was okay despite the constant three weeks of cramps.
I discussed concerns with my doctor a while ago about lighter periods, but she went back to the "Babies will solve it!" thing; now I don't know if my periods are really light or I'm spotting, and whether it's the Loestrin or my body. Every time I go to the doctor I feel like she doesn't really listen to me, and I'm frustrated and wondering if this is just my variation of a "normal" period. I wasn't always like this and never had any problems otherwise - no unusual test results, got my period around the expected age, no family history - have had a monogamous relationship since before this ordeal, and have tried everything from yoga to raspberry leaf tea, and because I lack health insurance I'm always looking for alternative solutions. I don't want to be on birth control forever, but I can't just be so pained to the point of fainting when my period rolls around, especially for no reason other than I don't want a child yet.
Is this is what some (healthy) women really experience during their periods? Does birth really solve bad periods? Am I alone out there? :[