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If you suffer from BAD period pains please come and talk to me about how you manage them...if this is period pain that is.

(44 Posts)
panicpants Sun 16-Aug-09 18:41:16

Ok quick history...have always had painful periods but over the last year my periods have become unbearable (bleeding not a problem). The pains have become worse and worse, and no matter how many times I go to the gp, NOTHING they give me effects or even numbs the pain slightly. Have tried methanemicacid (sp), the usual pain killers and some really heavy duty ones which nearly knock me out..but nothing works.

The pain has shifted...so that instead of having pain lower down in my tummy, I have a constant soreness all over (which is fine, can cope with that) and then waves of pain high up in my tummy and to the right under my ribs...it's this pain which is unbearable.

It starts a few days before my period, and lasts for about a week.

However, since June I have also had 4 boughts of sickness/tummy bug with this exact same pain. Once it coincided with my period, but not the other times.

The last time I was sick (we are talking days of throwing up every 20 mins complete with the pain) I was admitted to hospital where they suspected gull stones or something similiar..but no diagnosis.

I have a gp appt this week..and really don't want to be fobbed off with 'It's just painful periods' again.

Any ideas? Advice?

TIA

TheProfiteroleThief Sun 16-Aug-09 18:50:45

It sounds like you have tried all my usual remedies. Could you have fibroids or similar? I thought they could have wider effect on body. ANY iBSS type thing?

KembleTwins Sun 16-Aug-09 18:51:49

I went through something very similar and had to nag and nag at my GP to get something done about it. It was before DH and I got married, and I wanted to know in advance if anything was seriously wrong. Eventually, I got appointments, via my GP for a scan, and then, when that showed nothing, an investigative laparoscopy. Irritatingly, nothing showed up on that either, but, weirdly, the pains lessened afterwards. Still no idea what caused them, but was relieved that there was nothing serious to affect my ability to conceive. Since DTs were born three years ago, have had increasingly bad pains - ended up in A&E with it a few months ago. No help from GPs/A&E at all - just stronger pain killers. Then the practice nurse at my dr surgery suggested I think about having a mirena coil fitted, which I had about 3 months ago. It was vile having it put in (had c-secion birth, so cervix never dilated, which apparently doesn't in that situation) but since then, I haven't really had any periods, and therefore haven't had any pain. I think it's definitely worth nagging your doctor to get more tests done. It was a long process as more serious/obvious things were excluded by blood tests and so on, and I had to keep going back and insisting that nothing had improved. Am glad I got it dealt with eventually though - have been suffering since I was in my early teens and it's crap that the usual advice is just to take pain killers and put up with it.

Persist! And good luck.

rookiemater Sun 16-Aug-09 18:59:13

Hi panicpants, I was exactly the same as you, ended up with a laparoscopy and it turns out I have severe endometriosis.

Periods that are so painful that you are unable to function or sleep are not normal and I would recommend you as Kemble says to keep on nagging about it until you get a gynae referral. If you have private health cover through work then do use that.

In terms of what I do now to manage the pain, I dose up on naproxen and paracetamol as soon as the pain starts, this month I took sleepeze tablets on the worst night, this really helped because the lack of sleep seems to make the pain worse, I use heat pads, mine are nurofen but various companies make them, you stick them onto your knickers and they radiate heat for 8 hours which eases the pain. Also I have made some changes to my diet around period time so no alcohol, caffeine, and avoid wheat and dairy as much as possible for those few days.

This all seems to have helped a bit, but honestly do keep harassing your GP about it, its not normal and you need to know what is causing it.

Good luck.

panicpants Sun 16-Aug-09 19:02:33

Think I have tried all the usual remedies...hot water bottles, drugs etc etc. Am beginng to wonder about an IBs type thing too as don't seem to be able to eat much at the moment and can't bare to be 'full up'.

Kembletwins, know what you mean about nagging and the your coil sounds ideal if Dh and I weren't ttc.

panicpants Sun 16-Aug-09 19:08:34

Rookiemater - is there nothing they can do for endometriosis? Or anything drug wise to help?

rookiemater Sun 16-Aug-09 19:57:28

Hi there, it depends on the extent, because mine is fairly wide spread they couldn't remove all of it without a hysterectomy which I'm keen to avoid as main reason I ended up getting investigated was because I was ttc no2 was thinking about going back on the pill as it didn't hurt then as I just took it back to back.

They took away a cyst and tidied up some of it then I was on a course of menopause injections, so hopefully that has helped somewhat but as we are still trying to ttc.

However the level of pain is sometimes not related to the extent of the endo so I wouldn't be too alarmed.There is a website google endometriosis and that provides lots of info, but do remember it could be something else.

The other thing I have done is consulted a homeopath and take lots of supplements, evening primrose oil seems to ease symptoms a bit.

If the pain is primarily around period and ovulation time then I would suspect its not IBS.

Vigilanteawarenessraiser Sun 16-Aug-09 20:17:35

Oh dear, that sounds awful. It does sound very like endometriosis, which can also cause the vomiting/IBS type symptoms and can affect you throughout the month, not just when you have your period. See here and here for more info. I feel so frustrated when I read about GPs who fob people off with 'it's just period pain' - it should never be this painful.

There are quite a lot of options for treating endo. The best, that is scientifically proven to give excellent results in terms of pain relief and recurrence rates, is for a surgeon who specialises in endo to perform excision. This is not the same as laser ablation which is a much shorter term solution. See David Redwine's site here for info on surgical excision. Unfortunately, this technique isn't widely available in the UK, although I think a couple of surgeons practise it (see Jeremy Wright's article here. I was taken ill on the continent and had this technique used on me there, and have found it very effective.

The second surgical option, common in the UK, is laser ablation, which generally gives relief but for a shorter period of time. Then there are various drug options, including GNRH analogues (these put you into an artificial meonpause that reverses after you stop the drugs), progestins and lower-level treatments such as the pill. Some people find the Mirena coil very good. These all have advantages and disadvantages but all tend to be less successful the worse you have the illness. Also, the endo often comes back fairly quickly when you stop taking them. The GNRH drugs have quite bad side effects. If you still have pain, you can ask for a referral to a pain clinic.

Many people have had success with alternative treatments - a gluten free, low sugar diet is meant to be very good. I can't try the gluten free thing very easily myself for other reasons. Some people use accupuncture. I have had a lot of success in the past with this natural hormonal treatment, which doesn't have the side effects associated with manufactured hormones.
This month's issue of ENdoLink has an article on a new centre for endo,offering a more holistic approach but including surgery, in Basildon.

Finally, a proportion of women find their endometriosis regresses of its own accord, so it's not all bad news.

Hope this helps and isn't too depressing. I find going to a support group helpful - you can find your local one through the UK site i linked to above. If I were you, I would push for a referral to someone who specialises in endometriosis. It simply isn't necessary to suffer like this, and there is no way your GP should have waited this long with you in this state.
Beware that some gynaecologists know less than they think they do about endo. It is worth trying to find out who is the most specialist in your area - a support group can help you with this.

Good luck x

foxinsocks Sun 16-Aug-09 20:24:33

rookie, the other thing to try is Buscopan. It's marketed as an IBS drug in this country but it was originally used for period pains (it's an antispasmodic). I find it far more effective than naproxen - it works quicker but it doesn't last as long (and has the benefit of not being a painkiller so not destroying your tum).

You can get it in the supermarket or in any chemist.

rookiemater Sun 16-Aug-09 20:49:43

Thanks foxinsocks, will try the Buscopan next month, I have started using progesterone cream as well as recommended by vigilant, I do hope it helps.

Panicpants, you do need to be persistent to get a diagnosis. I find it quite funny ( in a not so funny way) because now at the doctors surgery I'm quite a local celebrity as apparently I'm the only patient they have ever seen with severe endo hmm, whereas I suspect they propbably see one or two every day and just send them off with pain killers.

If you do get a gynae referral you might find the waiting lists to be very long. If you can afford it it may be worth knowing that an initial private consultation costs around £100 - 150 and you can still get referred back onto the NHS list for an op if required. I just mention this because in my part of the world, it would have been 3 -6 months before I got an initial appointment if I hadn't been fortunate enough to have private medical cover through work.

Vigilanteawarenessraiser Sun 16-Aug-09 20:57:34

Rookiemater, I meant to ask, how are you getting on? Was wondering how you are doing [waves].

rookiemater Sun 16-Aug-09 21:02:10

Hello vigilant waves back ( sorry panic pants for hijack)

I used the progesterone cream from day 10 -28 and this month has really not been too bad. As I said I did a number of things differently and taking the sleeping tablet was so fab because lack of sleep makes everything worse.

I did appear to have a lot less clotting than last month so hoping this is down to the cream and it will be better next month.

Thanks for the advice.

Vigilanteawarenessraiser Sun 16-Aug-09 21:09:46

(yes, sorry for hijack, will be over soon!)

Glad you're a bit better, Rookiemater.
Hope it continues to be useful.

panicpants Mon 17-Aug-09 18:32:48

Thankyou for your replies everyone...I'm definitly not going to be fobbed off this time. I'm still in a lot of pain, even though my period finished days ago.

Will let you know how I get on, the appointment is on wednesday.

Vigilanteawarenessraiser Mon 17-Aug-09 18:40:51

Good luck, panicpants. Do let us know how you get on.

Sorry I can't think of anything much useful for pain relief - but rookiemater's suggestions look useful and I'm storing them away for future reference.

Don't forget, if the GP refuses to refer you, you are entitled to a second opinion.

mummatoone Mon 17-Aug-09 22:26:15

Im so glad Ive found this site - thanks Vigil for pointing me in the right direction.

In a nutshell, from out of the blue in May I had a funny turn, felt dizzy, sick and pain in my stomach was intense. Following month nothing, next month same thing started my period and the pain came from nowhere - was literally clinging onto the work surface in kitchen trying to keep upright pain was that intense.

Went to Dr's as this really, really frightened me - she said it may of been ovulation pain, had a full internal but she couldnt feel anything and it wasnt that uncomfortable, checked my blood pressure etc which was fine. She told me to monitor my periods etc... and to come back if it happened again and she would refer me immediately to a gyno. Following month period fine just a bit of pain 12 days prior when ovulating.

Then last Sat started period all ok, Sunday noon I thought I was dying, the pain again just came without warning, I felt sick and thought I was going to pass out with the pain. Had to lie down for 3 hours. I remember thinking that when I was in labour with ds labour pain was ok and I could stand but this was excruciating.

Went back today and Dr said that she thought it was endometriosis - she has referred me immediately to get checked over with scan or a lapo, she said during the lapo if they found anything they would blast it there and then.

The pain only comes during my period time and sometimes when ovulating - Dr said it was the blood from the period falling on the inflamed areas
Rookie - do you think this is what I have???

panicpants Tue 18-Aug-09 18:55:52

I've been noticing that the pain tends to alternate monthly...is this normal for endometriosis?

rookiemater Tue 18-Aug-09 20:26:43

Hi Mummatoone, it is really good news that your Doctor has referred you so promptly.

Only a laparoscopy will show if you have endo or not, a scan may not as I was misdiagnosed as having a "very small cyst" by the really snooty lady doing it and for that reason endured another 4 months of crippling pain as I thought I was making a fuss about nothing. Turned out it was cauliflower shaped and she could only see one bit of it.

Anyway sorry don't mean to talk on about myself, but a lap should let you know one way or the other.

becaroo Tue 18-Aug-09 20:31:27

erm....gall stones??

TheOnlyDailyMaleForMeisDH Tue 18-Aug-09 20:32:38

Nefamic acid should be combined with Transxemic acid for best effect for bad period pain. Also if you are through with having children, ask for a laporoscopy and request laser treatment at the same time for any endo patches.

Pain which stops you functioning does require a referral as others have said. Perhaps the answer is to stop your periods entirely (minipill or coil will probably do this) for a period of at least six months?

blinks Tue 18-Aug-09 20:37:01

took me 11 years of horrendous crippling pain to be diagnosed with endometriosis.

not one GP was helpful.

mummatoone Tue 18-Aug-09 21:18:17

thanks Rookie gosh dont apologise for talking about your problems I think its brilliant to hear how others get through this awful, awful condition.

Im so surprised at other posts that GP's feel unsympathetic and it takes so long to get referrals - my GP at the very first appointment mentioned referal and the 2nd time I went did the letter and sent it there and then....do GP's honestly think we just go in for a moan and groan and enjoy endless internals by every tom, dick and harry?!

Im still very unsure if this is what have as like Ive said before its comes usually 1st full day of period bleed then goes the next day. Anyway will hopefully soon know, if they say they will go for the scan Im going to refuse as endo doesnt show up so whats the point?

rookiemater Tue 18-Aug-09 21:30:58

Mummatoone it may be worth going for the scan anyway. Although it may not show up endo, if its something else such as fibroids then that might show up.

I didn't mean to give the impression it wasn't worth going for the scan, it has the advantage over the lap of being non invasive and not surgery. So if thats being offered first with the lap dependant on the results of the scan then that makes sense.

panicpants Tue 18-Aug-09 21:37:14

I was going to ask about the scan...I've had a few over the last 6 months or so due to ttc and it has never been mentioned. If I had endometriosis wouldn't it have already been picked up?

mummatoone Tue 18-Aug-09 21:46:27

yes youre right Rookie makes sense.

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