Cancer, Misdiagnosed Premature Ovarian Failure & Pregnancy

When I was 9 years old, I was diagnosed with leukemia. After many rounds of chemotherapy, I received a successful bone marrow transplant from my brother and have been cancer free since. At age 14, I did not start a period yet. My endocrinologist diagnosed me with premature ovarian failure, secondary to chemotherapy, and prescribed me synthetic birth control as a hormone replacement therapy. The first few months of starting birth control were awful. I had painful cramping, very heavy flow, and bleeding for more than two weeks at a time. When I went back to the doctor a few months later, she prescribed me a different birth control pill- the one I remained on for the next 13 years. During these 13 years, I had yearly check-ups with my endocrinologist that only consisted of “Are you happy with the pill you’re on? Okay good, we’ll see you in another year.” I returned to my appointments every year and stayed on the pill because I was told this was my only option for supplying my body with the hormones it needed.

Continue reading

The Pill, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & The Creighton Model

(Part 1)

When I was 13 years old I was put on the birth control pill for extremely heavy periods. The doctor told me that because my mom had endometriosis I probably did too, so the pill would be my only way to have kids in the future. (I’ve learned how incredibly false that statement is since then.) I didn’t really have an issue being on the pill and had no crazy side effects. I knew that once I got married I would have a moral dilemma, since the pill can cause an early abortion. Because of that, I was always open to what other options were out there.

Continue reading

Painful Periods, Ectopic Pregnancy & the Creighton Model

Although I did not start using the Creighton Model until 2017, my story began in 2010 when I was in college. My primary care doctor prescribed me birth control pills because I was having significantly painful periods that would incapacitate me at times. When I started using the pill, I thought it was great because I had no symptoms during my periods. However about 3 months into taking the pill, I started to get migraines again, which I had not experienced since high school. I went back to the doctor, who just prescribed me a birth control pill with slightly different amounts of estrogen in it. This cycle of switching to a different brand of pill continued for almost 2 years because my migraines were getting worse. I finally went to a different doctor to get a second opinion. She told me that I immediately needed to stop taking the estrogen pill because I was at a significantly increased risk of stroke being on the pill with migraines that had visual auras. Of course I was in a panic and asked the doctor what my other options were. She suggested a progesterone based pill or an IUD, never anything else. I tried the progesterone pill, but would have my period for 21 days straight. I stopped that quickly and decided that the IUD was a better option, especially since I was getting married within a few months.

Continue reading