This has been ongoing for about 10 months now. I started Depo back in January, and am now on my fourth shot. Before I went on it, I had periods that were extremely irregular, varying from heavy, extremely painful bleeding to a very very light period. More often than not, my periods would leave me unable to do anything for the first day or two that I was on my cycle (being physically sick from cramps and basically unable to move, pain meds would hardly help at all.) On top of that, my periods would usually last longer than a week, sometimes up to 12 days, and I would only go for two weeks or so before my cycle would start again. Sometimes I'd go several weeks without a period.) I had been told by my doctor that Depo could stop a person's periods altogether, so I thought I'd give it a try. That was extremely misleading, to say the very least. Depo kept me off my period for a couple of weeks, but then it came back. Since then, it hasn't really left. After telling my regular pediatric doctor (I started Depo when I was 18, and I turned 19 in June.) that Depo had caused me to bleed continuously, she told me to just be patient and wait for my next shot because it might make them stop. Two shots later, I began to get extremely tired of that answer, so back in September I went to an ObGyn for the first time. She started me on another type of oral birth control, to take along with Depo. (I can't recall the name of it, but it was a progesterone based birth control at a low dose.) I took it, and within a day and a half my period had stopped. A week later, as I continued to take the pill, it came back in full swing, and the cramps were worse than they'd been when I was bleeding on Depo alone. I took most of the rest of the month-supply I'd been given (but quit towards the end, as I could see no changes in my cycle.) and I returned to the ObGyn to get my 4th Depo shot, along with Crysell which she told me was a stronger dose of the oral contraceptive she'd given me before. (As a side note, both medications made me physically sick with stomach-bug like symptoms for the first few days I was on them, Depo did the same when I started it. I'd wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot and cold, and would be sick, get up, throw up, and feel better.) The Crysell, after a few days of taking it stopped my period too. It stayed stopped this time, that is, until I ran out of the month's supply about a week ago. Ater I stopped taking the medication, my period came back within a couple of days right after I had sex with my boyfriend, and has been in full swing until today. The bleeding is heavy, and the cramps are much, much worse than when I was on the first oral contraceptive, and Depo. I really feel like I'm running out of options, and I would love to know if anyone else has had these experiences, and if so, what they did. No one should have to suffer on their period for 10 months straight. I'm sick of it, and am open to any and every single suggestion.
I used to be exactly like you. My PMS was horrendous & my bleeding irregular or sometimes constant, & frequently very heavy with terrible cramping.
I went through all of the medications, & even had several D&Cs to try to reset the body's menstrual cycle, but they only lasted a couple of months before the bleeding returned.
Being on Depo kept the bleeding at bay, but I was frequently having to have it at 9 week intervals, rather than the normal periods, in order to avoid interim bleeding.
My periods without Depo were so bad, that I ended up staying on Depo of best part of 18 years, with a couple of breaks.
I also have quite a lot of other health conditions, & as I've grown older, I've started looking to complementary therapies, nutrition ,& natural health, to try to heal my body, rather than just treat the symptoms of the problems.
It's still a long learning curve, but what I have proved to myself, via a combination of the above treatments & the subsequent symptoms, is that the hormones are governed by the liver. The liver is responsible for so many bodily functions, & yet it is typically full of toxins & totally over-burdened. By supporting the liver, our body's processes can be completely improved.
I began by taking a herbal tincture called Agnus Castus & another called Milk Thistle. These herbs are known to balance hormones naturally & aid clotty, heavy periods. They sorted out my irregular & heavy bleeding within a couple of months.
The downside is that because these herbs work to naturally balance your hormones, you cannot use them with any hormonal birth control, because hormonal birth control works to create an imbalance in your hormones, to prevent pregnancy, & so the remedies could work against the birth control, resulting in pregnancy!
I have got around this by using natural family planning, but there are methods of non-hormonal birth control you could use whilst getting all the artificial hormones out of your body & trying the natural remedies.
If you're still on Depo, you'd need to start judging the effectiveness of the remedies from a couple of months from the point at which the next shot was due, as starting them whilst on Depo wouldn't give an accurate perception of the trial. The Depo would be working against the remedies, & you wouldn't know if the herbs would have worked once in your system for a couple of months, without any other added hormones.
I use the A. Vogel brand of herbs, because of the quality. They are tinctures, & you put a few drops into a little water, twice daily.
The other thing you can do is look at other ways to support your liver. Have an internet search on the liver & its functions, & you'll see what I mean.
I don't often talk about the natural health route on this site, given the title of the site! However, I honestly don't think that more orthodox (regular) medicine is going to be helpful to you, & believe the same thing that happened to my Mum is likely to happen to you! They'll end up suggesting hysterectomy & sticking you on Hormone Replacement Therapy, if you let them. My Mum really regrets having this done.
Given the misery you are going through, I don't see that it can cause you harm to give the natural route a try. If you can bring yourself to stop all artificial hormones, & listen to your body, then at least you'll know you tried everything, before any drastic action is taken. I certainly wish I'd tried it before the laparoscopies & D&Cs!
If you want to know more about methods to support the liver & free it from toxin build up, just let me know. I don't want to give unwanted advice, especially if you are not open to natural health.
Hope that helps a little.
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.
Updated 18 Jul 2018 • 6 answers
Updated 13 Nov 2013 • 2 answers
Updated 21 Sep 2015 • 1 answer
Updated 30 Nov 2015 • 1 answer
Updated 24 Sep 2018 • 1 answer