Guess how I started my day today? With a spontaneous endometrial biopsy. Which is awesome. Aside from the pain part.
It actually is awesome. I’ve now seen three different gynecologists, two of whom are at Stanford (and I would have gladly seen the same doc both times, but she didn’t have any appointments available). One appointment was at PAMF, and that doc was quite nice, but also quite rushed.
I like PAMF. I get, for the most part, excellent care there. But one of the things that the Stanford docs have over PAMF is simply time. Stanford is an educational institution. Which means, sure, you may get a resident instead of a practicing physician, but it also means they have more time. And they’re more up to date on the newest tests and treatments. And they ask more questions. And they’re willing to run more tests. And they like exploring strange symptoms and conditions.
My first appt. at Stanford Gyn. took an hour, and in that time they did a thorough family history, did a pelvic exam, did a urine test, and gave me a sonogram. Right then and there. They wheeled the machine in and proceeded to show me my ovaries and point out my cysts. They also appreciated that I wanted to see those things.
At PAMF, the doc prescribes the sonogram for me and then I have to schedule with Radiology. Which usually means the actual sonogram will happen in another two weeks. And the sonogram tech can’t show me my ovaries or point out where my cysts are, because only doctors are allowed to do that (which makes plenty of sense). But the doctors don’t have time, there, to do these tests themselves.
Today was a follow up to talk about my irregular menses, most likely caused by PCOS. (I find the term “irregular” ironic in this case, since I bleed quite regularly — every two weeks). The treatment I’d tried (which actually was prescribed by my endo at PAMF) hadn’t worked. It helped, a bit. Gave me a few more days between periods. But still.
The gynecologist who saw me today went over my options: birth control pills (this is always the first option, but one I don’t want to take), a hormonal IUD instead of the copper, Nuvaring, or a stronger dose of the prior treatment (progesterone pills, taken to provoke a full shed of the uterine lining). But, she said, I want to do an endometrial biopsy and we can discuss options after we get the results.
And she did it right then, right there.
This is the first time anyone has biopsied my endometrium. Considering my history of excessive/irregular bleeding, you’d think that would already have happened.
It wasn’t fun. In fact, it hurt quite a bit. Somewhat akin to the uterine sounding during IUD insertion. Except, in that case, I was already doped out on painkillers and other medications, so that probably actually hurts a lot more in reality.
But. I’m really glad my doctor did it.(Also – I get that a lot of guys get squeamish talking about female biology, and some of my guy friends will complain about me talking so publically about it. But really, deal. Female biology, and medicine, needs to be more openly addressed. Making it a taboo subject promotes ignorance, misunderstanding, and poor medical care.)