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to find trying to deal with my GP surgery a complete nightmare?

(81 Posts)
greygeese Mon 03-Nov-14 13:48:16

Nearly 6 months ago went to GP for advice re contraception and was encouraged to go for the depo injection. First one was ok, since the 2nd I have bled constantly, anywhere from slight spotting to a full on period. I've had one day's grace in the last 3 months. Went to GP after the first couple of weeks who prescribed tranexamic acid (didn't stop it) and suggested I should wait for 3rd injection which should resolve problem, or I might need to go on the pill as well. Last few weeks it's been getting worse so last week I went back and saw another GP at same practice who has put me on Norethisterone (finally stopped bleeding, hurray!) and said no, that's nonsense you can't be on pill and injection at same time, you have to choose, but that my best option would be the coil, and that to have that I have to a) come back for a swab in the next 7-10 days once the bleeding had stopped and b) that I have to go to another surgery 7 miles away for the coil to be fitted…


Wasn't impressed with this, but in talking it through with my partner he is of the view that I don't want another 3 months like the last 3, and it's better to get the coil now than risk a repeat, and having to wait 3 more months post injection to try another method.


So, I have an appt with GP booked for Sat, I originally booked this 3 weeks ago (before I managed to get an emergency appt next week) so rang up today - now the bleeding's stopped - to check it was ok to use that for the swab.


Apparently not. GP's can't do swabs, only the nurse, and her next appt is 16 days time. By which time I will almost certainly have started bleeding again, and my injection will have run out (currently have an appt for injection 3 in 2 weeks time, which is nearly 13 weeks since my last one).


GP never mentioned I needed to see a nurse not a dr! and was well aware when my next injection was due, but didn't seem to see any problem with getting the coil before then, although clearly it's going to be impossible. Am a bit at a loss now, and feel like all I can do is have the injection, which I suspect will just put me back to Square one sad


There are no other local surgeries with spaces (otherwise I'd take my chances) and the family planning/contraceptive advice clinics in our area are only for under 25s (I found this out prior to seeing my GP back in May when I spent weeks waiting for an appt…)_

Purplepoodle Mon 03-Nov-14 14:06:33

Wow can't believe family planning is for under 25 only that's a bit strange. Change dr surgery?

Graciescotland Mon 03-Nov-14 14:22:08

I'm pretty sure it's nonsense that Dr's can't do swabs, our surgery refers you to the nurse for bloods but my doctor has organised for me to go in and see him to have blood taken when the next appointment with the nurse was to far away. Can you arrange for a telephone consultation with the Dr?

HappyAgainOneDay Mon 03-Nov-14 14:26:14

It's about time men had medical contraception. Are condoms no good for you and your DH?

redexpat Mon 03-Nov-14 14:27:39

That does sound shit. Have you spoken to the practice manager?

Im a bit confused - how many appts do you have coming up and with whom?

wobblyweebles Mon 03-Nov-14 14:39:19

The problem is that the nurse's next appointment is in 16 days.

Call the practice manager and point out that this is unacceptable.

Espii Mon 03-Nov-14 14:40:39

change drs! I have to change mine, I keep going with MH problems and they won't help me. I was bleeding for 9 months straight on Cerazette and they wouldn't do anything! change asap, OP.

greygeese Mon 03-Nov-14 15:18:36

As mentioned in my op, changing surgery isn't really a possibility as no other local surgeries are taking patients.

The practice manager is based at the other surgery. The nurse is going to call me back tomorrow or Weds apparently, that's all they could suggest when I asked to speak to someone else.

As for appts,I have one with the GP this Sat. And another for my 3rd injection (if I go ahead with it) in a fortnight.

grumblepuss Mon 03-Nov-14 15:38:12

Are you sure the contraceptive clinics are only for under 25s?
I think ours are promoted to under 25s but anyone can go. I'm 30 and have used them. Give them a ring as ask... They'd rather you didn't get pregnant by mistake.

StarlingMurmuration Mon 03-Nov-14 15:44:19

Can I ask why being on the pill isn't an option for you? Is there any chance you could just go on the pill for a month while waiting to see the nurse?

greygeese Mon 03-Nov-14 15:50:44

The clinics are definitely u25 only, I tried to make an appt for one and was told I couldn't.

The pill is an option. When I saw gp originally she was very pro the injection. Which I then had. GP I saw last week said I'll prob still bleed with the pill but not the coil. And i cant have the pill until after my injection wears off as i can't use 2 forms of contraception at once.

StarlingMurmuration Mon 03-Nov-14 16:14:39

It surely would depend on the pill? I've been on logynon, cileste and cerazette and didn't bleed other than during "breaks". In fact, I didn't bleed at all on cerazette, which is progesterone only. You could by a prescription got they'll and start it as soon as the injection wore off?

Disclaimer, I've never had the injection so I don't know whether you'd know when it stops working...

lampygirl Mon 03-Nov-14 16:14:54

GPs are literally the height of useless. They wrote to me to get me to book an appointment, I went in and booked the appointment as requested, and today (a week later) they've rung me to say I need a longer appt to allow for blood tests and they don't have any that day and it must be in the morning.

Only I can't drive following a blood test, I can't afford to take the time off work and I've now missed my half term appt so my DP could accompany me (he works in a school) so now I'm stuck. If they'd got it right first time round of have been dealt with last week, yet somehow this is being made out to be my fault.

Hedgehogging Mon 03-Nov-14 16:44:25

What a mess!

Just thought I'd throw in my tuppence worth:

You can use the pill and depo at the same time- not as a long term solution, but for women having troublesome bleeding with the depo (a common enough side effect) a course of up to three months of the pill along side the depo can sometimes settle the bleeding, following which you would stop the pill and carry on with injections.

For some women this just doesn't work, in which case you'll need an alternative. Hence, presumably, the coil option. Only problem is you have to actually attend to have it fitted, and have to have swabs taken beforehand to outrule cervical infection. All of this you know.

My first thought in all of this was why you weren't just offered the pill first off, unless there's some reason you can't have oestrogen (but in that case there's cerazette as an option). Assuming you are good at remembering to take them every day they really are very handy and much less likely to cause the bleeding some women get on the depo. Plus if you get a side effect they don't take 3 months to leave your system.

I'd say maybe go on Saturday and ask for the pill. At least then you're covered and don't have to put up with more bleeding or hanging about without decent contraceptive protection (though condoms are of course an option there). If you continue getting breakthrough bleeding on the pill then perhaps think about getting the swabs and a coil in?

It sounds like a nightmare trying to get appointments and timings right! I'm in Ireland so it's slightly different here (though obviously a bit shite in its own special way).

Hope you get sorted.

StarlingMurmuration Mon 03-Nov-14 17:10:08

You could by a prescription got they'll

I'm afraid I can't remember what this was meant to say before autocorrect got at it. Probably that you could get a prescription for the pill and start it as soon as the injection wears off.

CPtart Mon 03-Nov-14 17:19:48

Our GP does swabs immediately prior to coil fitting in the same appointment to check for infection. Is that an option?

greygeese Mon 03-Nov-14 17:22:10

No reason that I know of why I can't have the pill. I have rather ended up thinking the 2 gps I've seen so far (sat appt us with yet another) all seem to have their own agenda. First one was very clear injection was best (though I do have a history of heavy continued bleeding in recent years -no real cause found other than age, I am early 40s. It cleared up eventually and I've been fine for last couple of years til this injection). Second one was v pro the coil as apparently it would 'see me through to menopause' etc.

No doubt gp on Sat will tell me something different! I think the idea of asking for the pill on Sat is a good one (thanks!) hopefully they wont insist I have to come back once the injection has run out. I'm happy enough with the pill so long as I don't keep bleeding.

brujo Mon 03-Nov-14 17:22:53

Wow can't believe family planning is for under 25 only that's a bit strange.

True in my area as well. In fact I know a 24 year old Mum who went to them - but they were very very off with her despite her fitting their criteria - though the did in the end treat her.

My GP just offers coils and that it - apparently my only choice is the type of coil - so we are stuck using condoms as I don't want a coil. I'm over 35 so they don't offer the pill despite there being benefits for over 35's.

tobysmum77 Mon 03-Nov-14 17:27:52

yanbu and gps definitely can take swabs that's bs.

Eastwickwitch Mon 03-Nov-14 17:28:45

Speak to the Practice Nurse. IME they're sensible & will help you find a solution.
I expect she'll squeeze you in as extra for swabs.

greygeese Mon 03-Nov-14 17:31:59

Its definitely not an option to have swabs and fitting in same appt. According to the receptionist I spoke to today the swabs have to be sent away, and you can't book a fitting appt til you have the results. And of course it's further complicated by the fact there's only one nurse st my surgery, and the GPs can't / won't do swabs, plus none of them can do the fitting for which I have to go to another surgery miles away.

plummyjam Mon 03-Nov-14 17:32:34

That's pretty average. And I say that as a GP.

Unfortunately bleeding on depo is common and annoying. The general management would be either to give the 2nd injection at 8 weeks rather than 12 or failing that add in the combined pill taken continuously for 2-3 months. Sometimes that can stop the bleeding. If the bleeding isn't settling then after examination and usually swabs to rule out other causes is needed followed by an alternative such as the coil.

All GP's should be able to do swabs. Having said that sometimes they're not done on Saturday extended hours surgeries depending on your practice as there might not be a path lab collection until Monday.

Hope you get it sorted soon!

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Nov-14 17:39:46

My local family planning clinic are brilliant They gave me the Mini Pill (im 41) Used to have depo years ago but ive been very overweight in the past (i lost ten stone) so they didnt recommend it again. Seems like age discrimination to me if they wont treat the over 25s. Is it a Brook clinic? I remember reading about them in magazines when i was younger and they were specifically aimed at the under 25s.

I developed impetigo last week and needed to see a doc to get some antibiotics. I phoned and they asked me on the phone to come in at 4.30 then they said on the phone.....oh no 5pm would be better. After i got there they changed it AGAIN to 5.30 which meant i was sitting in the waiting room longer with a contagious skin infection. Finished the antibiotics this afternoon but its not completely healed so i still have to be careful. At least i was seen on the same day though.

Kellie1991 Mon 03-Nov-14 17:41:18

Why can't you just not get the next injection and use condoms until you can get the coil in? Sorry if this sounds harsh but you haven't given it a chance to work can take 6 months for contraception to get into your body and the bleeding to stop... I know it's annoying but it's likely to be the same if you get the coil fitted. I've been on quite a lot of different things and all give heavy bleeding at the start. And I understand it's unpleasant I have endometriosis and bled heavily for months and months was in hospital verging on transfusions on a few times

landrover Mon 03-Nov-14 17:48:28

That happened with me and depo jab, the gp just gave me another jab and that sorted it out straight away? (I guess it doubled the dose, but obviously sorted it no prob) I was fine afterwards, in fact I think its a great contraception xx

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