Giving Hormonal Treatments Another Chance

Giving Hormonal Treatments Another Chance

Dachshunds & Duvets – a column by Jessie Madrigal-Fletcher

Since my diagnosis, I’ve attempted to manage my endometriosis as naturally as possible. I aimed to avoid heavy hormonal treatments and further surgery, but recently I had to give in a little and get back on the pill. 

I was on several contraceptive pills for years before being diagnosed. I took them for birth control, but also because they eased my periods just a little. However, they negatively affected my mood and libido and gave me headaches.

So, after being on the pill for more than eight years, I decided I was done. Life without hormonal treatments proved to be lighter on my mental health, and my period pain only slightly worsened. In my mind, I thought that was it: The pill wasn’t for me, and I was OK with that. That was almost six years ago.

A few weeks ago, I underwent some tests to determine the cause of the discomfort I’ve been experiencing since my last surgery. I have also been living with intermittent bleeding, which is a huge annoyance. My doctor confirmed his suspicions that some scar tissue buildup could be the source of the discomfort and that the occasional bleeding could be down to a small polyp. To provide some relief, he proposed a progestogen-based minipill. 

If he had suggested this to me six months ago, I probably would have said no. However, I was about to embark on a two-and-a-half-month trip through the United States, and with endometriosis, the thought of suffering crushing flare-ups in strange places seemed like a bit too much. 

I said yes, and picked up my prescription. I have now been taking it for more than two weeks, and quite frustratingly, I am very unhappy. It turns out bleeding is a common side effect. I have spoken with other members of my endometriosis support group, and many have experienced the same. Half of them said the bleeding stopped after a while and the other half admitted giving up because it went on and on.

So here I am, traveling through the U.S., and still bleeding.

Traveling with endometriosis
My new favorite spot for lunch. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

At this point, I am not sure what I’ll do. I wanted to have some degree of control over my periods to avoid the messy side of this illness. Essentially, I wanted to live more or less pain-free for a couple of months. I’m taking all precautions, feeding myself appropriately, making sure I get enough iron in my diet, meditating, and doing yoga when it all gets too much.

Yet, I feel deflated, and on some days, extremely frustrated.

I will probably give the minipill two more weeks, but if this doesn’t improve, I may go back to square one and face the alternative: no control over my periods. And more worryingly, I’ll open myself up for flare-ups far away from home. I will keep you posted.


Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.