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Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids? Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

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Unread 03-04-2011, 12:13 PM
Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

Hi All,
I am new here and feeling so greatful to find a website where I can connect with other women going through the same experiences I am.

Has anyone tried continuous BCPs to help control increasingly heavy bleeding and pain? I am struggling through the first six months of this now and have made it through four months.

I have a 4-5cm fibroid and have been suffering from progressively heavier bleeding over the last 9.5 years. I have tried the Evra patch, triphasal BCPs, and now this. The triphasals worked for about 6 years at least in controlling the worst of the symptoms (flooding, and super heavy bleeding) but I was back to flooding and being stuck at home for a week each month for the last 18 months. I didn't have pain at first but over the last year it has been intensifying. The pain comes with the clots.

Gyno says I don't qualify for an embolization, ablation or myectomy as they will not work. If I had a myectomy, I might as well have a hysterectomy. He says that the symptoms might not be due to the fibroid at all. I would probably never find out for sure what was causing it all.

I am waiting (I've been told it will take about 7 months) to see a female gyno. I didn't care for the first gyno as he didn't ask a single question just told me given my age I shouldn't have high expectations of improvement - I could go on continuous BCP or Mirena but nothing would solve my problem. I would be trading a few days of really heavy bleeding for many days of lighter bleeding.

Thinking that at least I would be able to live my life, I opted to try the continuous BCPs. I've been on Minestrin continuously for 4 months. First seven weeks were great (no spotting, pain, bleeding) then I had four weeks of spotting and bleeding two of which were very painful. I also had clots. The bleeding was not as heavy as before where I couldn't go out of the house so I continued.

I went three weeks with no problems then spotting for a week and then bleeding again although sometimes it stops and then starts up the next day all over again. It's like a roller coaster - bleeding, then no bleeding, pain, then bleeding, then no pain...the only constant is that it is not constant.

I am now on Day 14 of bleeding daily (or at least part of each day) not including the week of spotting. Two days ago I was up all night in pain and bleeding quite heavily. I passed two egg sized clots (they actually looked more fleshy than clots) and bled fairly heavily the remainder of the night. I took Advils every 4 hours to control the pain and try to stop the bleeding. The next day I was sore but not bleeding heavily any more and it stopped in the afternoon. Today the pain came back and so did the bright red blood although neither is as bad as two days ago. It had actually felt like early labour pains. I am now not in pain.

I am trying to make it to the six month mark where things are supposed to improve but keep questioning whether I ever will see improvement.

My GP is pushing (and I mean pushing) Mirena but I am not sure I want an IUD since my cramping feels like early labour and it usually ends in passing large clots. I am afraid that I will just expel the IUD during one of these episodes. I also don't like the idea of having an IUD at all.

I told her I was so frustrated after 9.5 years of this (it started after the birth of my daughter) that I wanted to see a doctor about a partial hysterectomy. She told me that they take the cervix as standard operating procedure in Canada but I could keep my ovaries. Can this be true? She then proceeded to tell me all sorts of horror stories.

I am feeling so alone as I don't feel that I have my GP's support unless I agree to Mirena (she says she can insert it). I am trying to wait it out until I see a new gyno. My husband and friends are very supportive but they do not really understand how awful this experience is.

Does anyone have any experiences with the continuous BCPs or Mirena that they could share?

I am still hopefully optimistic for this to impove.

I am 45 with 2 kids and no plans to have any more.
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Unread 03-07-2011, 11:45 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

I asked this question here just the other day when another poster's doctor was also pushing the mirena for her heavy periods. She didn't want the mirena either and so I said why can't you take bcps continuously instead? She's going to ask her doctor. It's the same hormone in the Mirena as the minpill. And I agree with you, if you periods are that heavy it could just fall out and you might not even know. Also the mirena dose is quite low so it may not be enough for your situation. And if you have a fibroid, will that get in the way of the mirena?
The other common complaint that a lot of women have over the mirena is that they get a lot of spotting in the first 6 months, so why would you want that?
I'd find another GP.
In my opinion if you do want a hysterectomy keep your cervix. Maybe she doesn't know anyone who knows how to do a partial hysterectomy but I don't believe that all over Canada they only do one type.

PS I just checked out some Canadian health websites. it appears all types of hysterectomies are available in Canada.
Unread 03-08-2011, 12:08 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

Thank you for your response.

I also looked on the Canadian Society of OBGYNs website and saw that all types of hysterectomies appear to be available in Canada. I am not sure why my GP had to scare me so much.

She is referring me to a female Gyno (this will take about 7 months from request to appt date). Hopefully I can get in sooner because I feel that my life has been on hold for so long that this has taken it over.

I will look for a new GP as soon as the appointment is made. It is very difficult to find a GP who takes new patients here in BC (never find if you want a female doctor).

This has all been so frustrating.

The only thing I know for certain is that this whole "wait and see" attitude toward fibroids is not doing me any favours.
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Unread 03-08-2011, 12:30 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

Colleen doctors can always squeeze you in if things are important. If you complain how much it's affecting your life they'll get you in quicker. Your GP sounds like she's not interested in helping you because you wouldn't take her "advice". Who made the specialists appointment you or she? If it was your GP it doesn't sound like she's trying too hard. I've never heard of anyone waiting 7 months for an appointment. Calling them up and a few tears might help.
Unread 03-08-2011, 01:19 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

I did everything I could to let her know how intolerable the situation has become. This is why she agreed to make a referral. Who knows, maybe she was exaggerating how long it will take to get an appointment so I would agree to the Mirena. I don't know anymore.

The GP's office has to make the appointment as you cannot make an appointment with a specialist in BC without a referral. Hopefully I will hear when my appointment is going to be in the next week or two.

You also only tend to get a quick appointment if cancer is suspected.

Once the gyno's office calls I intend to call them weekly (daily if necessary) to ask if there are any cancellations that day. As insane as it sounds this appears to be standard operating procedure around here.
Unread 03-08-2011, 02:25 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

Hi Colleen! I am sorry to read your thread because it brings back alot of unhappy memories for me. There are many things here that I can relate to.

For starters: never quit asking questions and listening to your instincts. You're doing a great job of information seeking and self-advocacy....don't give up!

Second: has anyone mentioned Cyklocapron to you as an option to help with your heavy bleeding? I had to stop using BCP, then I tried progestin and nearly drove off a cliff I was so hormonal...and then finally a new doctor and Cyklocapron. I was told to only use it during the heaviest flow. The first month I didn't notice a huge difference but then WOW did it ever help me after that. It is definitely worth asking about.

Third: I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy in BC, from a highly skilled/LSH experienced surgeon. And yes, I kept my cervix. The first surgeon I consulted with told me that neither of these procedures (the laparoscopic part, and the supracervical part) were options for me. It's so important to keep pushing for second/third opinions when the first one doesn't feel right. So good for you for seeking another opinion.

Lastly: my second consult was a man, he was an amazing listener and is who ended up leading my surgery. When I saw him, I was on a wait list with a female gyno, so I kept my appointment with her. She confirmed what he has said, and prescribed Cyklocapron. And in the end, she assisted with my surgery to learn....it's a long story with a great ending. You may wish to try getting in with another male gyno with a shorter wait list but yes, it can get tricky with the referrals.

I can send you information about the surgeons I consulted with, and how I went about it all if you are interested, given that we are both BC girls.

In the meantime, hang in there! You WILL get through this, and you will reclaim your life. Keep believing it. I'm sorry it is taking so long but unfortunately the facts are you have to be your own best advocate. You're doing a great job, you just have to keep it up a little longer.

Sending you thoughts of strength and perserverence, and
Unread 03-08-2011, 03:20 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

Thank you so much for the hugs and the response. I can't tell you how much it meant to me.

My instincts were telling me that the GP couldn't have been right when she said that the cervix is removed no matter what but it is a relief to have another BC girl confirm that this definitely isn't true.

No one has mentioned Cyklocapron to me. I will look it up. I am reluctant to go back to my GP to ask because I am losing trust in what she tells me. Now I am just staying with her long enough to get the referral before I go somewhere else.

Please do send me the name of the gyno you went to.

Thank you again.
Unread 03-08-2011, 03:29 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

I did continuous BCPs for years and it worked like a charm before I bore children. After pregnancy, however, the various brands/dosages no longer worked, neither did progesterone. I did lots of "try its" -- but never Mirena. I think any time a dr is pushing for a procedure, it could be a cause for pause. Is the dr getting a kick back, and does that influence their recommendation? I've seen & read the commercials, the "risk of perforation" always scared me...back when I had a uterus anyway! Good luck to you as you make your decisions.
Unread 03-08-2011, 03:29 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

I just looked up Cykloapron and found out it is transexamic acid. It wasn't offered to me because my GP has been trying to use BCPs to control the heavy bleeding - I've been told you can't take it and BCPs at the same time.
Unread 03-08-2011, 03:44 PM
Re: Has anyone tried continuous BCPs for fibroids?

You took the thoughts out of my head - I was wondering about kick backs given that there was such a strong push for it when my GP knew I didn't want it but then I chided myself for being paranoid LOL.

I was on BCPs for years too before kids with zero problems. It was only after the birth of my second child that I started to have all these issues. No doctor so far seems to be able to answer whether this is just a coincidence or not.

I really am against getting a Mirena implant - I really don't think it will work given the BCPs are not solving the problem so far. I feel like I have been trying to use bandaids to stop a river.

Thanks for your comments.

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