Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Messing with the Hormones

Up till 2 weeks ago, Auntie Flow has not visited even after 9 months post- surgery. When Mum knew about it, she said I could’ve delivered a baby already! Well, to be frank, I was not worried at all and I truly enjoyed the whole pain-free 9 months! (period-pain free). How could this happen you may ask? Well, right after the surgery I was put on a 6-month Lupron Depot treatment. Every month, for 6 months, I was given an injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). It’s a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to decline its production of estrogen. And with that, I reached the state of menopause after the surgery and was down with menopause-like side effects for 6 months.

I was prescribed with the hormone as advised by the gynae to cure my endometriosis and to certain extent, lower the probability of recurrence of the endometriosis, fibroid and cysts. Lupron immediately stopped the bleeding and whatever pains and cramps I was suffering with before. That was really cool, ay? The gynae told me that the benefits of the treatment could last me for 3-5 years. What?? Five years of pain-free period? SOLD! The idea of being pain-free delighted me and that was the exact selling point that made me agree to the gynae’s pitch. Well, there’s a BUT. The start of the injection means the onset of unbelievable hot flashes. Sometimes I would have to hold my breath because the heat fully surrounded me. To me, it’s truly a sneak peek to what’s menopause is all about! The gynae forewarned me of the side-effects such as hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, headaches, nausea, fluid retention, joint pain, loss of sexual desire (really?), dizziness, nervousness, and breast changes (huh?- such as tenderness and pain). But Alhamdulillah, I suffered from only hot flashes.

Anyway, last 3 weeks, after almost 9 months of enjoying the pain-free state, I realised that my period has still not come. It’s roughly 3 months delayed bcoz I was told that I’ll be free from menopause after the end of the 6-month treatment. I wanted to just wait and enjoy the pain-free state but with my pending Umrah trip (yes, am visiting the Holy Lands in 2 weeks time) I wanted to be sure that Auntie Flow does not visit while I’m there because I plan to spend a lot of time talking to the Almighty in His and Prophet’s mosques. So, popped-in the gynae’s clinic last 3 weeks and she said that the time of Auntie Flow’s visit after Lupron treatment is varied between individuals but in ensuring that I’ll be period-free during the Umrah trip, she could prescribe me with some medication. After scanning my ovaries and saw that my womb is ready for menstrual flow, she gave me Duphaston to induce my period. Yes, there was a really bloody flow last 2 weeks and it was painful! Earlier, while expecting my period, I tried making mental notes to be prepared for the kinda pain I might face. But I kinda have forgotten how painful my period-pain was after 9 months. But when it finally came after a week being put on Duphaston, of dear, it all came back to me and the pain became so very familiar. Well, I was pretty disappointed because it wasn’t as pain-free as what it was supposed to be, but then again, that’s what I had to endure for messing with the cycle by inducing it, kan? Let’s hope the next ‘uninterrupted’ cycle will be painless. And when I saw the gynae again earlier last week, she gave me Norcolut to be taken in 2 weeks time for the 2 whole weeks of my Umrah trip. This is to delay my period for the upcoming cycle. According to her, right after I stop taking it, I should be getting my period again and the cycle will continue normally in the next one. And I’ll update you whether Lupron really works for me, ay?

Well, that’s the deal between me and my hormones. And the take-aways for you guys? Hmm..

1) Those trying to cure endometriosis, fibroid and the likes, you may check out Lupron Depot
2) Those planning to induce your period, find out about Duphaston
3) Those planning to delay your period, read about Norcolut

Happy Googling!

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