Let me first start with the backstory.. I had been bleeding for 16 months straight. It was awful--cramps, clots, having to excuse myself from work functions, staining my clothes, running to the bathroom--my period never ended. Not to mention I was straight up exhausted after doing anything that took an ounce of energy. About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS and a tilted uterus and I’m not sure if that had anything to do with why my bleeding had turned into such a fiasco.
January/February 2016 I didn't get my period. Not being on any form of birth control, I took at least ten home pregnancy tests which were all negative and decided it was a good time to go to my OB/GYN to find out what was going on. His pregnancy tests (two blood tests, two weeks apart) both came back negative as well. After an ultrasound he said to wait it out, that it could be due to stress but everything looked fine and there was no reason to worry just yet. A couple weeks later, in March 2016, I finally got my period.
It went on past it’s normal 7 days and continued on and on and on. It never stopped. I had cramps that made me double over in tears, sharp shooting pains that would stop me in my tracks and I would have to catch my breath, and clots the size of my palm. Some days were worse than others as far as pain and flow, but on the bad days I was changing my super tampon or menstrual cup every 1-2 hours if I hadn't already leaked through before then.
I went back to my doctor and after vaginal ultrasounds and blood tests he says "well your lining is on the thick side so your options are 1) lose some weight to see if it will correct itself; 2) birth control, but this is not something I want to do just yet because it could make you gain weight; or 3) a D&C procedure."
I knew that I didn’t want a D&C procedure because I had already had one back in 2012 due to heavy bleeding and I knew that it wasn't something I wanted to do again. It was expensive and I didn’t want to deal with the side effects and possible complications. My only other option was to try to lose weight. As someone who has PCOS and struggled with weight her entire life being a stress binge eater, I knew this was going to be difficult for me.
Months went by and I tried so, so hard. I started to see some change in weight but nothing drastic and no change in the bleeding. It had been one year straight. I went to my OB/GYN one last time and he gave me the option of doing a pill form of the D&C procedure. I had to take the pills for 14 days straight. Without any other options I gave in.
The pills successfully stopped my bleeding and then was followed by a period that stopped after 7 days. I thought I was back to normal periods. This was shortlived. When my next period came, as it had been before the pills, it never stopped. The clots were even worse this time. I was pretty distraught and I was over dealing with my doctor. This time was especially difficult on the relationship between my boyfriend and I because I've never been comfortable talking about periods and being intimate was off the table while I was bleeding. I finally had to open up with him and he supported me in looking for another route.
After a couple months of researching natural options (while continuously bleeding) I came across vaginal steaming. I sat on it for a while because I was a skeptic...if my doctor couldn't cure me how could something natural cure me? My boyfriend, although supportive of holistic options, thought it was bat sh*t crazy. After I’d had enough of the bleeding, I finally sent Keli from Steamy Chick an email asking if steaming was something that could help me.
She told me I had to get my bleeding to stop first and pointed me in the right direction for a Chinese herbal fromula called yunnan baiyao. It took me a couple days to get it but when I did MY BLEEDING STOPPED IMMEDIATELY. Keli then advised me to steam with her gentle steaming herbs every other day for 10 minutes to keep the bleeding from returning. During this month of steaming my boyfriend and I both noticed how happy I was starting to become again and we were both ecstatic I wasn't constantly bleeding anymore. My next period started one month later on the full moon. During this period the cramping was minimal and I only had to use a menstrual cup. I only had minimal clotting. The best part? The period only lasted four days. This was the first time in my life that I ever had a period that short. My periods have stayed regular since.
The only thing I wish would have been different was knowing about this option sooner so that I wouldn’t have lost those 16 months of my life to bleeding. I am forever thankful and I hope that other women will be able to benefit from my experience.
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