The problems I'm having started about 10 years ago when I first began menstruating. I've had numerous diagnoses, none of which seem to be right. I'm really tired of getting the run around from doctors, and I think the fact that they can't figure out what is wrong with me is intensifying my anxiety about this.
So here's the details:
The basics: I'm 24, 5'3", 125 pounds, and moderately active (exercise about 3 times a week, mostly cardio). I also eat a pretty healthy diet, lots of fruits and veggies and rice. No caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or other substances.
I first started my period when I was 13, and it was extremely irregular, only coming about every 2-3 months. I also had severe acne. When I was 15 I started BC pills (Ortho tri-cyclen low). It regulated my periods, but I still had a problem with acne. I also had severe pain in my lower left abdomen right before my period started. After four years of religiously taking that pill, one month (April 2004) I had a period and didn't stop bleeding for 3 months. During that time, I was put on several BC pills to stop the bleeding, but nothing helped. My frustration grew; the doctors didn't understand why I wouldn't stop bleeding. Eventually I said "forget it!" and went off all the pills on my own. Within a week, I stopped bleeding, but I also didn't get my period again for the rest of that year. The pain went away as well.
In January 2005, I started the Nuva ring. This seemed to cure all my problems. My periods were extremely punctual. My skin cleared up and was nearly flawless. However, the bleeding and pain were more intense, but I dealt with it because the other benefits were so amazing. I used the Nuva ring for the following 3 years.
Then in January 2008, I became pregnant while on the Nuva ring even though I had ALWAYS used it properly. Unfortunately, I didn't know I was pregnant until February 22, 2008. On the previous Sunday (2/17/08), I had taken out the ring for my period to start, but it didn't come that week. On 2/22/08 I began having severe pain in my lower abdomen and started bleeding heavily. The pain was so excruciating that I couldn't even walk. I was also continuously vomiting and dehydrated. I was taken to the ER, and it was there that I learned that I was pregnant. An ultrasound was performed, and it showed that I had a miscarriage. I didn't have a D&C.
At that time I didn't have a regular OB-GYN, so I followed up with a doctor recommended by the hospital. She didn't do anything except put me on a new BC pill, Femcon Fe, that I was to start taking immediately. Basically, I stayed sick for the next month and followed up with my regular doctor. Despite being on BC, every day I had spotting. My HCG levels did not return to 0 until nearly two months after the miscarriage. The spotting finally stopped when I quit taking the pill, but then I didn't have a period again until August. In July 2008, I was hospitalized again for a kidney infection that nearly killed me. A week after that, I again experienced intense abdominal pain in the same location, and after another ultrasound, it was discovered that my ovaries were covered in cysts, some of them quite large, and one had ruptured, causing the pain. I started another new BC pill (can't remember the name) and started having normal periods again in August. I began having other side effects though, like nausea, and in November 2008 I decided I was done with BC and decided to stop it altogether. I haven't been on any form of BC since then.
In January 2009, I had my first post-BC period. It was extremely light and only lasted 4 days. This continued until April. I finally saw a new OB-GYN at that time. She did an ultrasound and told me that I have PCOS. After that, I learned that there are other tests she should have performed to confirm this diagnosis. Instead, she told me she would see me next year. Frustrated with the traditional medical industry, I turned to more natural approaches. I began using Arbonne Prolief progesterone cream. It regulated my periods, but they were rather heavy. I thought this was a side effect of the cream, so I stopped it in August 2009. I saw another new OB-GYN in November 2009 for a second opinion. He also did an ultrasound as well as several blood tests. My PAP and ultrasound all came back normal, no cysts this time. My thyroid was also normal. My testosterone level was within the normal range, but a little on the high side. He concluded that I most likely have endometriosis. I'm not quite comfortable yet with getting the surgery to confirm if this is my problem. He started me on Aldactone to help with my acne and hair loss. I'm not sure when the hair loss problem started. I think my hair falls out at a normal rate; it's just not growing back. Now I'm balding at the front of my hairline (bangs area). He also gave me Napralean to manage the pain I get with my periods.
I keep very close track of my cycles. In 2009, they ranged from 25 to 45 days, with periods lasting between 8-10 days. Most of the time, the bleeding is very minimal, usually just spotting. Generally I just use a pantyliner for the entire course of my period.
My period skipped in December, came in January, and appears to be skipping this month as well. My last period was January 5, 2010; I started spotting this past Sunday, but that went away already. When my period is very light, or doesn't come at all, I do not experience any pain. The pain only occurs when I'm actually bleeding. My acne and hair loss have not improved either since starting the Aldactone.
On top of all this, I, supposedly, have gallbladder disease. Whenever I eat, I get incredibly nauseous. Sometimes I vomit, but most of the time I'm able to keep it down and will just have a lot of gas and bloating. An ultrasound showed that the wall of my gallbladder is too thick. Today I had a HIDA scan test to measure how much my gallbladder is functioning. My doctor said I'm most likely going to have to get it removed, and the thought of this completely terrifies me.
I'm completely overwhelmed by all of this. I'm young and should be more healthy. Dealing with all of these problems in my downstairs regions is really upsetting me. My primary MD and GYN both want me to have the test for endometriosis. I just don't know because I'm not convinced I have it and don't want to go through an unnecessary procedure. I'm also panicking that I won't be able to have kids. My husband and I are not ready for kids right now but really want them when the time is right.
If anyone has insight as to what may be going on with me, it would be greatly appreciated! I feel it's evident I have some type of hormonal problem, but can't pinpoint what it could be. I'm really lost and don't know where to turn. Thank you in advance to those who took the time to read this and try to help me out.