This problem has been plaguing my girlfriend for about 2 years now.I will be as precise as possible and hope I get everything right.
I've been with my girl for about 11 months now, and this problem has been prevalent in our relationship from the get-go. She is 5'10" 115 lbs (vitals if they're necessary).
For the past two years she has had extremely irregular periods. Usually they occur too frequently and are extremely heavy,painful,ect. In an attempt to remedy this problem, she got on the birth control pill Aleesa (i think i got the name right)in March of last year. This helped with the pain and heaviness associated with the periods, but it didn't stop the irregularity. After six months of use with the pill she visited the doctor again and was switched to the birth control shot Depo-Provera. She's been on Depo since October, and hasn't stopped bleeding since...Not for one day. Also, since using Depo, she's had a pelvic infection and lymph nodes in her groin area swell on occasion. She was treated for the infection, but the lymph nodes are still there. While on Depo, she was also given hormones (can't tell you what particular name) in order to try and end this six month period (this was back in January). The hormones were of no avail, and the problem still persists to this day. Her parents have pretty much given up on the issue and figure since it hasn't killed her yet, it probably wont...I know this sounds insane, but I almost feel that her mom views a period that never ends as a 'safety measure' to keep her daughter from sleeping around.
That's the physical aspect of the problem. On the emotional side of the coin, my girlfriend is a wreck. Before she started Depo, anyone would describe her as "one of the sweetest, nicest girls I've ever met"...Now she's sad,depressed,prone to violent mood swings and nothing seems to make her happy.I've talked her out of suicide on at least one occasion. Personally I haven't seen her have a good day in at least 4 months, and as long as her parents continue to sit on their haunches about this...I can't see many good days for her in the future.
I'm especially worried, since now she wants to leave me. I would be able to accept it and let her go if I knew it wasn't this depresion talking and if I didn't worry so much about what she was going to do when there was no one to talk her out of crazy things like suicide...I care about my girl, very much. I think any guy that deals with a problem like this everyday for six months and never thinks about leaving can say that and actually mean it. I can't stand seeing her as a small depressed shadow of her former self, and I'd give/do anything to see her normal and happy again.
Scarleteen...is there anything you can do to reply to this that can serve as rock solid proof that can scare the sh*t out of her parents and make them realize what they're dealing with here? Can you provide any info on Depo-Provera besides what I find in pamphlets and on WebMD? I know she should probably seek out a specialist immediately, but why? Is this nothing? If the physical side of the problem is nothing, what can she do to deal with the depression?
Please help me out guys...this is a wonderful girl and It'd kill me to not see her get through this.
[This message has been edited by OnePost (edited 03-02-2003).]
Everything is most certainly NOT all right if she has had five solid months of bleeding.
Before I can really give you more info, can you answer a few questions for me?
The doctors who have been putting her on the various methods, are these OB/GYNs or GPS? Because in every piece of basic info about Depo it is made clear that women with unusual vaginal bleeding should NOT be put on Depo, and it sounds very clearly like she had such before it was prescribed -- and Depo is not intended to alleviate heavy periods, to boot. In other words, I am earnestly questioning the medical choices which have been made for her.
Have any of her doctors suggested or looked into her potentially having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? Because for starters, that sort of unusual bleeding can be a symptom of PID, PCOS, uterine or endometrial cancers, hormone/adrenal problems and other possibilities that may indeed be very serious and should NOT be dismissed -- conditions like those cannot be left untreated.
Her low weight alone -- given I don't know what her frame is like -- is pretty troubling.
Has she also seen a therapist about her depression?
Have you told her what you've said here in the third-to-last paragraph?
Let's see what we can do, okay? Bless you for caring like you do, especially in the face of your relationship terminating. That's a very difficult spot to be in, and clearly you care really deeply for this girl.
It's an OB/GYNs...I know what you're thinking. I've thought the same thingabout this particular doc from the get-go. the OB/GYn is young and is lacking in experience..I've suggested an older doctor from the beginning...but what do I know?
PID I know has been looked in to. I'm not sure about the cancer thing. The Ob/GYN she sees now (and has seen from the beginning) seems to blame her weight for the irregularity, but would her weight really cause five months of nonstop bleeding?
Her weight has always been low. She's very skinny and has tried for years to gain weight. It's something she can't do. She's currently using weight gain to try and put on some pounsd but it isn't happening. She is not bulemic or anorexic, and hates the fact that she's so skinny.
She has not and will not see a therapist and links most of her depression to problems in her daily life (like me)..and not some physical problem or the shot.
She knows how I feel..Lately it seems to be falling on deaf ears. I would rather not discuss the relationship problems as I feel they are only here because of the deeper issue.
I think that covered all of your questions.Another one of mine, is there anything she can take over the counter (a good multivitamin, maybe Super B complex?) to perhaps get a control on her emotions...I know it sounds far fetched, but I'm willing to try anything with her at the moment.
Thanks alot for such a prompt response...You truely are a Godsend.
Low weight is most likely to cause the total cessation of menstruation, not a proliferation of bleeding. Here's the thing: that constant bleeding is NOT likely to be constant menstruation. It's more likely it's bleeding caused by something like a cyst or a polyp or another condition (and her having had PID/a pelvic infection before does indicate that is a strong possibility). technically, you simply can't "menstraute" for months on end. What she's got is unusual vaginal bleeding for months on end. And no, low weight can't cause that -- in fact, if her weight is/goes low enough, she can't menstruate at all, so again, this bleeding may not even EVER be menstruation, and since it hasn't stopped, who knows if she's menstruating or not.
Understand that I'm not a doctor, I'm just a layman pretty well versed in sexual health. That said, I'd gander that her doctors haven't looked at ALL of her symptoms combined -- including the low weight she has not luck with, which would indicate a hormonal or glandular issue, possibly, as would the swollen lymph nodes. I'm guessing she's looking at more than one condition at this point, and between ALL those health problems, AND all the influx of hormones -- some of which may actually be worsening her initial problems -- it's no wonder she's depressed on top of it, chemically or situationally.
So, what I'd suggest is that first, she lose that doctor. From what you've reported here, he's making some odd and hasty assumptions. If she can get to a new general practitioner to start with, who can look at ALL of the symptoms and her whole history, she should do so. If thatt's a problem with her parents, drop me a city and state and let's see if we can't dig up a low-cost clinic system for her. At the very least, she needs an ultrasound, she needs someone to look at her thyroid and adrenal glands, she needs some hormonal tests and to have her TSH and LSH levels checked. Ideally, it'd be best for her to see a GP and an endocrinologist at this point.
There really isn't anything OTC I can suggest (save an iron supplement -- she's likely anemic at this point) because mainly, she needs to find out what is going on first. She can though make sure she's doing basic care for herself which will help the depsreesion some: getting enough sleep and activity, eating healthfully, staying hydrated, reducing her stresses as much as she can. And counseling really can be a help -- after all, it's likely some of the depression could be situational. if she's having relationship problems, and if her parents approach is leaving her feeling uncared for, and she's scared about her health -- all valid feelings -- those things alone could cause depression that's situational, not chemical. However, Depo and other hormonal contraceptives DO worsen depression, so yes, those are likely making it all worse.
Please also make sure you're talking care of YOU. I hear you when you say the relationship issues are secondary, and can understand that what's going on with her is the most pressing thing right now, but you're also likely in need of care and some TLC, so please remember to give that to yourself.
A city/state is in your inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject heading "Concerning 'Depo,Girlfriend,and Six Month Period' topic (from OnePost)" as well as a reply..I apologize for the lengthiness of it, but all the required info is in the first paragraph...Feel free to skim/ignore the rest.
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