After all the nervousness and relief and knee-jerking has calmed down from our RE consult, I’m left with a) continued relief and b) righteous anger.
The relief is obvious. We’re starting to get answers after a year of this, we’re being taken seriously, and we have a plan going forward.
The anger is also obvious, at least to me. The consult really finally rubbed in what I had always suspected was the case, but never got to see so obviously: our health system does not give a fuck about women unless we’re trying to reproduce.
How many doctors have I seen over the years who I’ve told I have super irregular cycles, explained the 2-3 times a year thing to them, and had them say absolutely nothing about it? How many doctors have I purposefully made an appointment with about this, only for them to take my blood pressure and do a pap and say there was nothing out of the ordinary? The first OB I went to did an ultrasound, saw that I was about to start my next cycle, and sent me on my merry way. Even the OB I went to last year listened to me tell her about my irregular cycles and say it was probably just stress.
Then I talk to the RE doctor and what does he tell me? No, it is not normal, that irregular cycles are often a cause for concern because they are a risk factor for uterine cancer. After discovering that my lining is super thick (15mm when it should be 5-6mm, btw), he was even more concerned about getting that cleaned out because again, really thick linings can sometimes turn cancerous if nothing is done about them.
I no longer take anything a doctor says at face value, so of course I had to do my own research the next day. Sure enough, he’s right. It’s not a very high risk, but it is way higher than I am comfortable with and furthermore, why did no one else bother to mention this?
I get that irregular cycles happen and are common. But every single doctor I have spoken to about this, I have been absolutely clear this has been going on forever. I thought it was fine. Funny, even. But long, irregular cycles are what cause the lining to thicken and thicken and cause pain and discomfort and hormonal imbalance.
I’m angry because no one has mentioned this to me before. I’m angry because it took going to an RE – a specialist in getting pregnant – before I was taken seriously. I’m angry because it took over a year of trying unsuccessfully for someone to say hey maybe something’s wrong when I have been to so many doctors about this. I’m angry because if I hadn’t been TTC, I would never have gone to an RE and I would never have found any of this out.
I’m angry because my health should be important whether or not I’m trying to reproduce.
I’m angry because how many other women out there are going through the same thing and are being dismissed because they’re not TTC?
I’m angry because this is 2015 and our health system sucks.