Pre-Ovulation pain that is taking away my life

by Jennifer

Hello Wray,

While I am so happy to find your website, I am so sad it took me so long as I have been suffering with what I call “ovulation pain” for over 8 years. I will try to be succinct…

I am 48 years old. I have had heavy periods my whole life and was on birth control to help minimize bleeding from age 16-36. At 36 was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and an integrative doctor said I must stop the birth control pills at once. I had hair loss as a side effect for about 6 months, but that is all I can recall.

I had 3 surgeries to remove fibroids from around 36-44. Around age 40 I started to have a sharp stabbing unexplained pain on my lower left abdomen. I got married at age 40 and when we started to try and have a baby I realized this pain would occur 2-3 days before ovulation and like a switch, the pain would stop as soon as I got the positive sign on the ovulation stick.

My cycles have always been pretty regular (28 days) although because I was tracking ovulation I noticed I would ovulate closer to day 12 than day 14. The pain would start each month with a great big lion roar of a belch… and continue to feel as if gas or stool was trapped somewhere in that lower left abdominal area. Sometimes the pain would shoot around to my back, and sometimes down to my anus. OTC gas relieving products and IBS products would help some, but I would still get to the point of nausea and crying the pain was so intense. Due to trying to get pregnant, I did not want to take pain medication or even use a heating pad, so it was a really difficult time. I had a colonoscopy due to the gas and possible intestinal connection, but nothing wrong was found.

I underwent surgery with an endometriosis specialist who said I had a little bit of endometriosis in my uterus but he felt better to leave it due to wanting to start a family than remove and risk scar tissue. Multiple GYNs only responded with “Yah, some women suffer from Mittelschmerz.” After 3 months of trying to get pregnant, I did at age 42. But miscarried at 8 weeks. The next pregnancy a year later also ended in a miscarriage but at 6 weeks. At 44 I had a successful pregnancy giving birth to a perfect baby girl (albeit 6 weeks early due to placenta abruption) at age 45. I did not experience any “ovulation pain” during pregnancy and even my RA pain subsided. About 8 months after giving birth, both came back however with a vengeance. I have refused RA drugs over the past 12 years. I was able to control it about 95% pre-pregnancy with diet and healthy lifestyle choices.

What I use to do no longer works however so I am really struggling with RA pain on a daily basis now unfortunately and also desperately searching for the root cause and relief on that front as well. For my ovulation pain, the past 2 years I have basically been experimenting pain medication, an infrared heating pad, and massage. It is as if my Psoas and/or QL muscles clamp down on my intestines during these days of exasperating pain. The massage therapists cannot believe how tight these muscles get in my lower left back and around to the front as ovulation approaches, and sometimes 2 to 3 massages before the pain hits has helped. I see a pain doctor who prescribes 6 oxycodone pills a month… sometimes they help, but sometimes they do not.

The pain leaves me an empty shell. My period starts, which in itself is depleting due to painful cramping and excess blood loss (I take Tranexamic Acid the first 3 days of bleeding to stop the bleeding). Then depression sets in because I know that ovulation pain is coming in 10 days. I cannot make any future plans as I have to make sure to not be away from the house on period days or pre-ovulation days. On top of this, I am suffering with the RA pain and inability to use my arms (elbows and hands)… so the pain on top of the pain is just overwhelming. I cannot take it anymore. I am writing today out of desperation. I am currently on Day 4 of my period. The ovulation pain struck on Day 2 this month and I am so afraid it is going to last until my ovulation around Day 12. I came across your website researching birth control pills and hysterectomy as I am giving up. I spent 2 hours in the bathtub today crying… the pain is so so so so bad. Family and friends…no one understands.

A couple of last pieces of information… I started taking 100mg of compounded bio-identical progesterone every night 4 months ago. I had 3 fibroids, one was 8 cm that we have been watching for 2 years because I did not want to have a surgery if they weren’t growing, and they weren’t, so we were just monitoring them. My ultrasound in February showed these 3 fibroids we have been monitoring. A repeat ultrasound and MRI in June showed no fibroids. Other than the progesterone, I was meeting with a nutritionist doing a whole body cleanse that involved juicing and herbs. In particular were 3 liver cleanses around that time. So I don’t know what would have gotten rid of the fibroids? Unfortunately though it has not helped my periods or ovulation pain. In July I had a hemoglobin scare as it had dropped to 6.5. I am usually in the 9’s and it is back up in the 9’s now, however this month’s period has been so heavy with a lot of clots, and since the ovulation pain came so early, I stopped taking my iron because I was afraid it was causing constipation and possibly aggravating the intestines and pain… so it might be dropping again? :(

My question… I did read that oral progesterone is the worse form to take as even though I might be taking 100mg, possibly only 40mg are being ingested after going through my digestive tract. Could my miserable period and pain this month be due to the low progesterone triggering Oestrogen dominance? I am willing to try one more thing, but am really at the end of my rope… GYNs have been pushing birth control pills and hysterectomy for years, but I have declined hoping menopause will happen soon (my mom had menopause at 48 and I just turned 48 in June) but I just can’t live like this. This is no life and I am so depressed the impact it has on me being a mom and enjoying my 2 year old daughter right now. Please let me know if you have a plan for something like this?

Thank you so much Wray… I intended to be succinct and am sorry I did not do a good job :(

Comments for Pre-Ovulation pain that is taking away my life

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Aug 29, 2019
The following might be helpful to add...
by: Jennifer

I spent many hours on your website last night and after reading more about O/Estrogen Dominance, thought the following might be helpful to add... At age 21 I started having a monthly "pre-period" which entails brown spotting 3 days before my actual period. This has happened every month for the last 27 years but now it can sometimes last 3-7 days before my actual period comes. In my early 30’s I had needle biopsies and was diagnosed with benign fibroadenoma in each breast. 10 months ago I had my thyroid, hormones, and Vitamin D tested. The doctor shared that the thyroid results looked good. Estrogen and Progesterone were each in "normal" ranges, but the ratio was low. Testosterone was low. Vitamin D was 40, so I will work on bringing that up. I do believe this lab work was the more trusted version of these tests, done by a functional medicine doctor.

Estradiol = 72.1
Estrone = 62
Progesterone = 9.4
Progesterone:Estradiol Ratio = 130:1

Bioavailable Testosterone = 0.726
Free Testosterone = 0.0317
Serum Testosterone = <3
SHBG = 71.9

While going through posts last night I was so sad to read of Wray's passing. Wow, what an amazing body of work and legacy she left behind. I am so grateful to all of the contributors who have kept the website going. Any feedback from others who might be experiencing something similar and/or pointing me in the right direction would be very much appreciated.

Thank you, Jennifer

Sep 01, 2019
Helpful books on hormones
by: Anonymous

Biochemist Jeff T Bowles books on sex hormones and vitamin D have been a huge help for me.
Finally getting my life back!

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