Not a Fibroid

I dutifully trotted off to Warwick Hospital this morning in order to let the Radiologist play Hunt The Fibroid. I had complained to PhiloGynae of debilitatingly painful periods, occasional jabby-pain during sex, and tsunami-like menstrual flow – two uteri notwithstanding – and so we agreed it was worth another look-see around the old place(s). I’ve seen this Consultant Radiologist a few times before but not for a while, and we spent a little time catching up and agreeing that, what with close on 100 ultrasounds under my belt – kind of literally, too – I could probably have a fairly successful attempt at working the damn machine myself.

He hadn’t had the dildocam in place a minute before he candidly informed me that things weren’t looking right. His phraseology, in fact, was ‘There is some very clear abnormality here’. For a horrifying second or so I thought he meant I had grown some tumours, because I could see a collection of lumps on the screen.

As it turned out: I have pronounced adenomyosis in my right uterus, and a  reasonable helping of the stuff in my left, too. While not actually a major pisser on the fertility parade, it certainly won’t help. And – it seems to be found in increasing amounts in women over 35, probably because their progesterone level – ie, their fertility – is falling.

He told me frankly that the only cure for this condition is hysterectomy – was I planning any more children? I said Yes, but also that my periods have always been so dreadful that I have been happily looking forward to my eventual hysterectomy for the last 23 years. It doesn’t change my planned end game at all.

But it does change the here and the now. I am suddenly panicking and thinking that if we want another, we need to bloody get on with it before my uteri pack up completely. I’m struggling uphill here, people. I have two uteri, of which the left has a decent lining but has smugly finished off 3 foetuses and the right has crappy lining and tried its level best to exterminate Harry. I have a virtually dormant left ovary. My endocrine system appears continually up the spout. And now it appears that my uteri are trying to convolute themselves into solid lumps of rebellious bleeding muscle.

I have (possibly) ovulated 4 times this year – early February, end of March, mid May and early July – which is astonishing and unprecedented regularity for me and a comforting sign that early menopause may not actually be lurking as close as I fear. Despite the 8 silver hairs I have extracted from my head this week. 8! The other bit of bad news is that no pregnancy has resulted, and our original plan of Lets-See-What-Happens now looks a bit lame. I am 35 in February. 

But I am a lousy, lousy subject for fertility drugs. I respond quite comically contrarily, whether stimulation or downregulation be the aim, and I felt the resulting hormonal chaos played its part in extinguishing at least 2 of my 3 lost pregnancies. But (another but) I really don’t want another pregnancy in my right uterus. I want to give the left another go this time. Which does rather dictate IVF – which I swore I would never, ever do again. I don’t mind the needles or the procedures or the constant travelling, or the waiting room tedium, or any of the associated crap – I just don’t think it’s right for me and the unusual and idiosyncratic collection of organs I term my reproductive system.

So I’m sat here, head swirling, with thoughts of natural cycle IVF or IUI bobbing madly around in the current. I need to get my paws on a doctor that I can have a meaningful conversation with about what the bloody hell we do now. Consequently, I shall be asking my GP next week to refer me back to the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at Coventry; if the wait is months and not weeks I shall see one of the consultants privately to figure out a game plan, and be ready to go with actual treatment when the NHS catches us up – assuming that they’ll fund anything at all. I rather think I’ve already had my treatment allocation prior to Harry.

I’m not sure which consultant to ask for and I shall ask my Counsellor when I see her this coming Tuesday what she thinks – she still works at the unit and is more in touch with who does what these days. The chap I saw previously is a prominent and exceedingly senior Obs & Gynae – reassuring when you’re as weird as me – and is dry to the point of dessication. He did come downstairs specially to congratulate us both when we conceived Harry with no help from him whatsoever, which he absolutely didn’t have to do, so I know the chap does have a heart, though. And then there was the time he was walking past the nurses’ station and picked the incoming line up because it was ringing its tits off – another thing you don’t have to do when you’re the boss. It was obviously a wrong number – audibly an exceedingly voluble woman on the far end – and I treasure his eventual remark after the shrill squeaking subsided. “I’m afraid I am personally unable to assist you with your erroneous electricity supply final demand, as you are not, in fact, speaking to TheElectricityCompany. You are speaking to Coventry and Warwickshire University Hospital Centre for Reproductive Medicine. If you would like to get pregnant – I can help you. Otherwise, I suggest you re-dial.”

We’re back on the Merry-Go-Round, peeps.

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