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When You’ve Been Bleeding for a Year With No Diagnosis

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I’ve had issues with my menstrual cycle off and on for my entire life. Longer periods here, practically non-existent periods there. Nothing too bad. But one year ago everything changed.

My cycle was drawn out to awful levels. I was bleeding all the time. It seemed like as one was ending, the next was beginning. Finally, I went to a doctor who put me on birth control. When that didn’t work I was sent to another for more pills — then another, then another. No relief. It just seemed to get worse each time. The pain from cramps worsened as well. It got to the point where I could hardly walk without wanting to just sit and cry. I thought this would be what the rest of my life looked like. What about children? I’ve always wanted kids since I was little and helped my mom take care of my brother. I fell into a depression.

After an ultrasound, one doctor finally found two small uterine polyps that could cause the bleeding and pain. I was estatic! Sign me up for the surgery! Which is what happened a month later — but no relief. If anything, it seemed like the surgery made the bleeding worse. Now, I’m off all the birth control until further notice and am bounced around to more doctors for more tests to find a probable cause. Almost a year of bleeding and no answers. My life hasn’t been the same. I was training for my first 5K before this happened. Now I can hardly walk around the block without bleeding and intense cramping.

I used to go on dates with my fiancé all the time. Now we stay home and just watch movies. He is a trooper for that and I love him, but I feel awful. What if this is the rest of my life? What if I can’t have kids? What if it gets worse? I’m hopeful that no matter what the answer may be, they find it soon so I can finally go back to the life I love. I hope no one else has to ever deal with this experience.

My words of advice to anyone searching for a diagnosis are: Don’t let yourself get lost in trying to find an answer. Life is too short to get caught up in something like that. As unfortunate and hard as it may be at times, you have to have a steady support system, even if it is just one person you can count on. Don’t let this be your life. As a human being, a unique individual, there are so many other amazing qualities you have that need to be emphasized far more than the issue that continues to be undiagnosed.

And most importantly, stand up for yourself. Against doctors, against those who may belittle you or look at you with pity, and even more so against those who believe you may be faking it. An answer is out there — fight for it, but never lose yourself to it. One day it will all work out.

man and woman wearing glasses smiling
Kaitlynn and her fiancé.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s the hardest thing you deal with as someone with a chronic illness, and how do you face this? What advice and words of support would you offer someone facing the same thing? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: January 27, 2016
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