This cycle may have been the worst I have ever experienced. From start to finish it’s been bad. I wasn’t aware that your body can try and fail at ovulation, it’s amazing what you can learn from tracking your cycle alongside your BBT (basal body temperature). Basically I got really excited as I thought I had once again ovulated on day 21 of my cycle. I had the irritability, the acne, the change in cervical mucus (oh that sounds nice!), my temperature increased - the works. Then my temperature dropped after two days of it being elevated. In simple terms, after ovulation your BBT rises and stays high until your period arrives. It took a further week for ovulation to happen successfully and along with it come more acne and more irritability. There is little to no information regarding failed ovulation on the internet which isn’t helpful but all I can do is keep eating the right foods, trying to not stress so much and stop over exercising in the hopes that my hormones will start to balance out. After ovulation everything calmed down again until my period arrived and my God did it hit hard. Usually, days 2 & 3 are the most painful and with heaviest bleeding. However, with this cycle, the first five days were horrendous. I was crippled in pain, I felt like I was going to be sick multiple times, I felt constipated and bloated, I had severe trapped wind that kept me awake for 3 hours one night, the bleeding was heavy and by day five I was in tears. I decided I couldn’t take this any longer and rang to speak to a different doctor after my failed attempt at help the week before, you can read about that here.
This doctor I spoke to was lovely, she was so much more helpful and suggested that I have an ultrasound to check my ovaries for cysts (THAT’S WHAT I WAS ASKING FOR!), she then went on to tell me that if my ovaries are healthy and everything looks normal that the next step would be to get the copper IUD removed and see how that affects my cycles and symptoms. I know the side effects of the copper IUD can include heavy bleeding and worsened cramps but I did not experience any of this initially. It’s only within the last 10 months that my periods have become unbearable (I’ve had the IUD for almost three years). A part of me is still apprehensive about getting the IUD removed as it’s so convenient. You don’t need to think about it and it’s kept me baby free for almost 3 years! If I have the IUD removed then we’ll have to go back to using good old fashioned condoms which I haven’t used in so long! Hopefully, if it does come to this, my periods will start to regulate and I can track when I am most fertile and only use condoms on those days. Did you know that you are only actually fertile for around 5 days a month? That’s ok if you can successfully track your cycles and you are regular, for a while I would be too scared to risk it!
The hardest thing is that, despite eating the ‘right’ foods, my symptoms are not lessening in severity. While I was off work I started thinking, we were actually sitting outside a pub. Matt had a beer and I said no to a glass of wine which made me miserable. Was I trying too hard? Was I causing too much stress trying to eat the right things and eliminate the ‘bad’ things? I started looking back to the previous years where I was drinking without guilt (not in excess might I add), where I was eating cookies or cakes at the weekend without stressing over the impact it would have on my hormones. I realised that I had taken everything too far and was just leading a miserable restricted life. When I was drinking the wine and eating the cookies I never did it in excess, I was sensible and relaxed. I honestly believe that through trying to do the ‘right’ things I was making my symptoms worse by adding a truck load of guilt, worry and stress. I am not saying I am just going to blow off the healthy eating and exercise, what I am saying is that if I want the odd treat I can have it and not worry. I cannot live my life stressing over what I should or shouldn’t eat.
It’s interesting learning about my body and for a while it will be trial and error when it comes to balancing my hormones and living my best life. The thing that does not help is all the information, or misinformation online where people are saying you should follow a keto diet, or a paleo diet or become a vegan. For me, I am going to include all foods, the processed foods in moderation, and just try and chill the fuck out and let my body heal from the inside out!