Necessary uterine biopsy--or anxiety driving doctor shopping?

Posted , 11 users are following.

I have 2 GYNs because I never can trust anyone in the medical profession, and as many of you ladies know, medical providers can be less than helpful during peri. . I have been having some irregular bleeding for the past 5 weeks. I had 3 periods in August, one that started on the first, the second on the 14th and the third on the 30th. I had a small spot of blood yesterday. Up until now my period was still pretty regular at about 30 days.

So I called my first GYN. She had lost interest in me in July after I told her the prozac wasn't helping the peri brain fog. But she gave me my pelvic exam this May and everything was fine. Her nurse said not to worry and, that at nearly 53, irregular bleeding was to be expected. Only that if the bleeding was ever very heavy to call back.

Well, my health anxiety wouldn't let go. I have a friend who had stage 2 uterine cancer and all I could think of was her. So I called GYN 2. I haven't been in to see him in about a year and half. And his nurse said to come in for a pelvic exam and likely uterine biopsy as well. I go on Friday the 13th. 😉 I've had this procedure before, so I know what to expect in practice. But that isn't calming me down.

My question is--do you ever feel like health anxiety drives you to seek over-treatment? Or seek a practitioner that feeds the anxious googling you've done? Today, as I hyperventilated and planned my funeral I thought "maybe I should have believed Dr. #1's nurse instead of seeking out an opinion that validated my anxiety."

What do you think?

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  • Posted

    I think I don't blame you when OBGYNs don't have a clue how to help us, how to manage our hormone, or to take peri and menopause symptoms seriously. I think if we could find good doctors you wouldn't feel like you had to keep double checking. I have 2 obgyns too and don't trust either of them as they've both failed me in multiple various ways. Still looking for a good one.

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    • Posted

      So true! Thank you so much for putting into words what I have been feeling! I have a dermatologist who I trust completely. So when I see a spot or a weird skin blemish I don't panic. I think "my derm saw this and it is ok."

      You are right--if a doctor can't map obvious symptoms to a drug whose sales rep just left their office--they do not have a clue what to do.

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  • Posted

    I definitely feel like my anxiety makes me want to ask my doctor more questions than the average person. I don't know how else to calm my worry other than to seek professional advice. I've tried to remember each symptom of peri so that I can recognize them and not over think...it's a work in progress. Good luck on friday!

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    • Posted

      And doctors do not like it when we ask more questions!

      I am scared about Friday. But I am also not sure how mad to be at myself for letting anxiety drive me to this point. Because, knowing me, the reassurance will be very short lived. My last uterine biopsy they missed the benign polyp that was eventually discovered on the ultrasound and removed. So I am sure I will question whatever results come from the test. Ugh.

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  • Posted

    Trust me when i say this...this Menopause Health Anxiety is for the birds!!!! i have spent my inheritance from my parents going to specialists, naturopaths, nutritionists, spiritual gurus, drs, drs, & more drs, every diet/fitness clinic etc. What i should of spent this money on is taking an amazing vacation, drinking lovely wine & eating delicious food & enjoying life...i am not sure why some of us have to struggle thru this, but get your tests done & really truly start living life, because this menopause thing just sucks the living life out of most of us - i just went thru a battery of blood tests because i tested positive for auto immune - when i told the Rheumatologist, ok, what caused all this achiness & extreme leg pain - he said "i dont know" guess what? i know...MENOPAUSE!!! this site has given me more info than any dr!!! good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Debra,

      This site is amazing! I was so grateful to wake up to all the replies from all of you wonderfully supportive women. I do not know how I would have functioned the last 4 years without it. I am truly grateful and so relieved to have all of you as a resource!

      I should have done the same--a great vacation and just a relaxing time where I could just be and put the anxiety down. I am a medievalist and peri has allowed me to understand why 12th century people thought they were possessed by demons. The anxiety takes over like an outside, diabolical force and completely takes over. I truly feel sometimes I am not in control of myself.

      Love to all of you! You are all so wonderful!!!

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  • Posted

    wow!!! I am going through the sanething!! my health anxiety is through the roof!! i also have terrible hip and leg pain!!! you are not alone! hugs!!

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  • Posted

    To me it sounds totally normal to have all the irregular bleeding at this time. This is how I started.

    I was so convinced I was dying of something awful when all the symptoms hit, I spent a small fortune going from doctor to doctor trying to get an answer. An entire year of nothing but doctors. Just to find out that I had nothing.

    If it makes you stop worrying then go to the second doctor. I'll be you a million bucks he wont find anything either.

    I know what you mean though about what ifs. It's hard not to believe something was missed.

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  • Posted

    have you thought about speak to a therapists to talk over the anxiety . i know it was very helpful for me.

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    • Posted

      Hi Rachel,

      You are right. I am going to ask my GP if she can recommend a daily med. I take ativan as a PRN, but in the last 6 months I feel like I have needed more support. I'm going nuts.

      I have had a number of therapists; I have a life long anxiety disorder and the anxiety needs to find a host. It used to be my relationship, (got dumped), my job (got tenure), my house (learned enough to be a contractor), and so it has settled on the various perimenopause symptoms as a signal that I am clearly dying. The health anxiety is the absolute worst! It is probably enabled by having good insurance. Otherwise, like Debra, I would have spent every penny.

      I did find a good health anxiety article on the Anxiety and Depression Soc. of America that I'm going to keep open. It talks about how the healthy body can produce unexpected, unwanted, and uncomfortable symptoms. But that not dangerous. That is being human.

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    • Posted

      the British NHS website also as really get resources on menopause and lots of other stuff. The world health organisation has lots of resources to . Also scientific papers can be great but you do a basic to go understanding of biology and medical stuff. the brain is a wonderful and weird , it make you think your ill and give you symptoms. Hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    Yes, I feel that my health anxiety drives me to seek over treatment. To make it worse I had a great Dr who decided to quit her practice and now works at the VA hospital and out of my reach. Her temp replacement only works two days a week and is booked through Oct. The full time replacement starts Sept 30. He is an MD, My other female doctors (my preference) are D.Os. does it matter in the long run? Probably not. But I am am introvert and I just don't need some new male Dr that I didn't pick to handle my health issues. So now I temporarily forced to use the NP who is worse than Google. So that just amps up my health worries. I am 51 and two years post meno.

    I have chronic armpit pain that has me snappish and worried. Google says likely lymph nodes and could be a sign of cancer. I am sure NP will say the same thing. I have left ovary area pain. Had an ultrasound that GYN says is normal. Except small fibroids in uterus (I knew about) and what she says is cysts on my ovaries that from past ovulation. (didn't know about that.) She also says it is normal and it wouldn't cause me any pain. She said I will have to find something else to worry about. Some Drs can be complete jerks sometimes. Why didn't she just hold up her fingers in the shape of an L at me for LOSER. She ordered ca 125 cancer screening to validate her findings. It came back normal. No help there. I still have ovary area pain. Now I am wondering if it could be colon cancer. I have chronic pain in my right leg, that my husband mentioned dvt. So where did I end up? The ER because I was afraid if it was a blood clot it would travel to my lungs. ER Doc looked at me like I was insane because I don't have a history of blood clots or dvt. What!!!??? He ran a d dimer blood test. No blood clot. Went home unconvinced. Saw NP she was said those test could be wrong and ordered a ultrasound on my leg stat. No blood clot. Supposed to see a vein dr. They haven't called and it's been over two weeks. Sigh...

    I have to look for a new Dr and it is slim pickings in my area to find a good one. I am now thinking of getting a new GYN. It required some discussion to get in to see my GYN in a month for my pain. My pap had to be booked over 5 months out and separate than this issue.

    So yeah I am pretty sure that my health anxiety drives me to seek over treatment, that and medical personnel who makes the anxiety worse.

    I am my health anxiety. I stopped being a real functioning person long ago.

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    • Posted

      I so feel your last sentence. I am my health anxiety too. Where I used to be a whole person, I am now a basket case who googles obsessively.

      So sorry you aren't getting any answers. Pain is meaning. Pain is the body's language of distress. I only wish doctors knew this.

      (If it helps, I have chronic armpit pain that radiates from the side of my breast down to my elbow. I've had the pain for years on and off and it has never been dangerous. Just terrifying and intrusive.)

      We are all here for you and love you!

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  • Posted

    Hi Maddysmom,

    You aren't the only one thinking in those terms, my dear. I literally thought just today, as I was again retching and gagging in the morning, as is my new custom apparently, "I really should go over these accounts with Dear Husband again... if this is it, at least he'll know where everything stands".

    I am sure my GP would say my health anxiety makes me seek overtreatment.

    I know better... what my health anxiety makes me seek is an answer from someone who should know, or at least know how to find out, what is causing these intense symptoms.

    The symptoms are real physiologic things... shouldn't an MD be able to come up with the range of diagnoses that fit the symptoms, and test to eliminate or confirm something?

    I know Drs are not Gods, but it makes me feel hoodwinked every time I get the answer "I don't know what is causing that. Take a xanax and come back if something else develops".

    To be fair, my GP has never said this out loud because he is a professional, but he has hinted that he doesn't have as much flexibility now as he did when we first met.

    I also am awaiting a referral to a 2nd gyne.

    Hang in there, Sister. We're here with you all the way.

    Sara

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    • Posted

      Can you image a doctor telling a middle aged man that it's all in his head, to take an anti depressant, and go away? That idea is laughable. But it happens to me, you, and the women on this forum all the time. It is absolutely enraging.

      The good news today is that Dr. #2 did not want to do the biopsy after all. He wants an ultrasound; and he's scheduled out to the end of October. So I feel better that he's not alarmed. He said what Suzanne said above, that at the beginning of the end periods can come more frequently.

      Sorry you are throwing up in the morning. Is it acid reflux? That's common in peri. Have you tried taking a zantac or pepcid before bed?

      Love you! Thanks so much for all the support in a really rough time and for a fantastic discussion!

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    • Posted

      Oooohhhhh, yes, don't get me started on men being the "standard" when it comes to medical treatment.... my head will spin, I'll speak in foul tongues, and it'll scare everyone away!!!

      So happy your Drs appt was reassuring!! I've had the ultrasound, it's no big deal, and I have faith the results will be right in line with hormonal transition, nothing sinister for you too.

      I have tried tums at night, but not zantac or pepcid... I'll give that a try.

      Your reply also reminded me of something I had forgotten... when I first started on bcp's in my 20's, I had the same problem... I remember sucking on peppermints and candy canes for months... Think I'll give that a try, too!!

      Hope you can rest and recharge a bit this weekend, honey!!

      Take care,

      Sara

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