08 February, 2010

you're having ovarian pain, lucas?

a receptionist asked me this question the other day over the phone and it just sounded hysterical to me. who knows what she thought - though she was very kind and professional. i was a bit surprised i didn't get a "huh, i don't understand how you, a male, could be having ovarian pain...?"

to back it up a bit, i've been having terrible pain in my ovaries, uterus, etcetera, etcetera, since this summer and it has been getting increasingly worse. i stopped menstruating after about 4 or 5 months on testosterone if i remember correctly, though even when i did menstruate it was completely terrible (and not solely based on the fact that it was just happening). i would be in agony, laid out on the couch for several days, barfing, couldn't eat, the whole nine yards. now, it's pretty much the same minus the bleeding and more pain throughout the month.

i spoke to my gp about it a while back and we talked about the pain. she told me if i was still having pain in a month to come back. a month later, still in pain, so i scheduled an ultrasound. i'm fairly positive i was supposed to have an internal and external ultrasound, though i think someone along the way was like "wtf, this dude is supposed to have an internal ultrasound...?!" and canceled it. so i had the external ultrasound done - i was a bit nervous because i thought i was having the internal and that's just no fun at all. here's the exchange the technician doing the ultrasound and myself had:

tech: so you're having pain in your abdomen?
me: yup
tech: well, this should be straight forward since you're a guy
me: (long pause)....actually i'm transgender
tech: oh okay (looks over at me, long pause), hmmmm
me: yea

i definitely caught the technician off guard! he was surprised, though continued to act in a professional manner. the ultrasound came out normal, which is good though i cannot ignore the fact that i'm still in pain. i didn't bother to make a follow up with my gp because she would just tell me to go see an obgyn or some specialist - there's not much she can tell me to begin with. so i took it the task upon myself and made an appointment with a trans-friendly obgyn. i have no idea how this will be charged to my insurance company or what chaos will ensue as a result of me, marked with a big fat M for male with my insurance policy, going to an obgyn. i'm just going to deal with it as it comes because i'm not going to sit around and do nothing about this pain.

essentially it would be nice to have a hysterectomy, oophorectomy and whatever other -ectomies they can do down there. obviously something in said region is causing my pain, i don't need the parts (i have no intention whatsoever of attempting to birth my own children) and really who wants to worry about potentially bleeding if for some completely horrid reason i have to go off of or do not have access to t? i don't...did i mention i'm in pain...



Sivko said...

Hi Lucas,

Thanks for posting about this. I've been under investigation for bad periods (heavy bleeding, a lot of pain for 2-3 weeks every month, bloating and extreme fatigue) and have been offered a TAH (laparoscopic not an option currently), but for a variety of reasons would prefer to start T first and see if that improves things. Have had scans (internal and external) and all seems OK.

Did T make menstruation less painful for you before it stopped completely, and is the pain different from how it was pre-T? I'd be really grateful to know a bit more about your experience as I'm working blind here insofar as the gyne consultants don't deal with trans issues so much (to make an understatement) and unless I want to go private, it's a question of how to navigate the system (based in the UK).

If you'd rather reply by email, then can be contacted at sivkoburko (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks in advance. Sivko.

Anonymous said...

Luke-- I am so sorry about the pain. That is never good. I hope that you can work your way through our crazy healthcare system to get what you need to get rid of the pain. Thanks for keeping your adoring fans from all over the world (like me) updated.

Sending comfort, love and hugs.

Caitlin in Kansas.

Ryan said...

Hey Buddy

Glad your taking care of this.
what you said here is perfect to bring with you to the doc.
It explains how your pain was pre T and after T.

As you know even with one ovary an my uterus removed 6 yrs ago because they found endrometreous. I still had one left.

Was told by my endro Dr that once I was on Testosterone a while it would shut down.....

Been on T 3yrs. Every month I still had symptoms of the monthly curse. Except the (bleeding) break outs, bloating, moody, tiredness, ovulating pain, but not painful cramps....

My 3rd year on T something changed... having ovulation pain monthly suddenly it felt like period cramping, extreme pain.. It went from a occasional twinge to 3 weeks of the month of unbelievable painful cramps. Mind blowing for sure.
So I called my OBGYN.
They fit me in fast an
after having the internal ultra sound finding nothing. Listening to my complaints she offered me an option of a monthly shot to shut down my ovary. OR Have laposcopic surgery an see if the endro cells had grown back, an take my ovary out.
I had the lapo surgery. When they took it out it was still a very healthy ovary tissue producing estrogen feeding the cells of endromedreous causing it to grow...

I had my ovary removed Jan 15th 2010 an the pain was bad for a while now it waxes and wains, it will stop once the estrogen is completely absorbed into my body.

So Have it all taken out.
It is the best way to go.
Testosterone does not stop ovary from producing estrogen, or stop the monthly egg release. I am living proof of it. Testosterone is not STRONG ENOUGH to shut one ovary down never mind 2 working. It can stop monthly bleeding, but does NOT STOP the monthly EGG being sent out.
It was also blocking my body and facial hair from growing in as it would have.

Now that my ovary has been removed.

My leg hair slowly started to filling in along with my Facial HAIR.....Dude
The greatest gift ever for taking care of myself, an learning the why? an the whats wrong? Then having the surgery.

This lesson in life as a transman has taught myself, my doctor, my friends an others transmen about our body's on Testosterone.

That having one female Ovary or 2 Ovary's left inside Does intro-fear
with Testosterone fully working in transmen bodies. Slowing down body changes,hair growth an also does not stop egg being released monthly.

There is a shot to stop the ovary's working, but there are many side effects.It has to be injected monthly for life......
I went with get this thing OUT OF ME......

Keep us posted Luke
Feel Better.


Dodo Bird said...

Hope you're feeling better these days!

Iara said...

Hey Lucas, reading this a month later, but curious what the trans-friendly ob/gyn had to say about all this. Sending love, iara