“A Little Bit Pregnant”
I have known way too many women who have been on psychiatric medication and who have also had various reproductive diseases to think for one second that there is no correlation. I know – correlation does not mean causation, but give me a break. I’m sure the APA would love to claim that this connection functions backwards – that women with reproductive “issues” are more prone to psychiatric disorders – it could open up yet another market!
“If you have anything wrong with your ovaries or uterus, you may be at risk for depression, bipolar disorder, or even psychosis…”
(I can just hear the commercial narrator right now…
Entering search terms into your preferred search engine, for example “psychiatric medication” + “reproductive problems”, only brings up industry propaganda. However, more detailed searches I have done in the past in more particular places do bring up the stories of many women who have experienced psychiatrization and have later had reproductive “issues” – most commonly endometriosis. Effexor comes up again and again – no surprise there. Since the “SNRI” affects every chemical in your brain, I would think it probably affects the body in more ways than other antidepressants as well! Then, there are the stories of women whose condition(s) and their symptoms have been masked by atypical antipsychotics, thus when they get off one of these dopamine blockers – surprise! You no longer feel like a zombie but you have another physiological problem that has grown quite out of control…
In my own case, however, aside from the other issues I have with my reproductive system, things are starting to make sense.
When I made my appointment at Everywoman’s Health Centre, back in early December, the operator asked me a series of questions so quickly that it felt like I was making a sneaky deal with a street drug seller or a corrupt financial adviser. This didn’t seem too bizarre – back when I was seventeen and had a “therapeutic abortion”, I had to have a cash payment on hand, which was really fun to get together in the span of a few days. I digress. One of those questions was, “have you had an ultrasound?”
I answered yes – I’ve had several ultrasounds. But I did not have an ultrasound in November or December to confirm that I had been impregnated when my copper I.U.D. was removed, but only a blood test. In retrospect, it makes sense that this was what they were asking me.
Looking at the Everywoman’s website, they state that “if necessary, they can provide an ultrasound on a day previous to the procedure.” I don’t know what the standards are at most abortion clinics, but at the Morgentaler Clinic in Montreal where I handed over the $400 I had managed to amass by telling my dad I needed to have emergency dental surgery and my coverage wasn’t going through, the first room I was brought into was an ultrasound room. It was very important to look at where the fetus (barely, I was only five weeks along that time and Josh was the potential “father”…I prefer “grouping of cells” was.
Indeed, this would be important. If a woman happens to have an ectopic pregnancy and you stick a vacuum up her cervix, especially if she is 12 weeks along (as I was when I went to Everywoman’s), it could cause some serious damage.
Recall: I screamed throughout the entire procedure. I certainly did not when I was seventeen, and I’ve never heard of any other woman screaming throughout her’s.
The doctor and nurse seemed incredibly panicked and just kept shooting me up with more Fentanyl.
The doctor failed to remove all of the pregnancy tissue – this I know now, as I was literally “a little bit pregnant” when I entered the emergency room the other night. There were remains from that screaming day, and I bet one would scream if a 12-week sized fetus was being yanked out of one’s fallopian tube instead of one’s uterus. And I bet a woman who usually hardly bleeds during her painful period (symptom of endometriosis) would suddenly bleed a LOT, trying to flush out the remaining pregnancy tissue.
I am not a medical doctor, but this makes sense to me and my body.
When I called my GP from the hospital to tell her that I had been “a little bit pregnant” for almost five months now, she asked, “Where did you have the procedure done again?”
Thus, I recommend to all women in British Columbia (or that are visiting from elsewhere) to go to one of the other three clinics that are very nearby. I don’t know if they give each woman a mandatory ultrasound before they are taken into the operation room, but I think any clinic that doesn’t should be temporarily shut down. I will probably send a letter to the Georgia Straight about this. Since this will probably be way to controversial to print, I hope some women read this warning before calling to make that dreaded appointment. Along with my other reproductive/pelvic issues, this disgusting botched procedure could have easily killed me.
A freaked out young woman (I feel like I should have thought twice about the ultrasound question, being 25…but I was trusting…and freaked out…and depressed out of my mind…and more nauseous than I’d ever been in my life… cannot be held responsible for arranging an ultrasound, which costs an extra $200 (over and above Everywoman’s $500 fee, refundable if you manage to get MSP coverage, which I now have, thus I have to return to the place to pick up a refund check…oh jesus, indeed…, and requires forethought and footwork.
I’m lucky that the abortion itself didn’t cause a rupture of one of my tubes. Who knows what irreparable damage has been caused, although my organs now “look healthy”, from the pictures taken internally after my surgery.
Thus, Everywoman’s, I’m afraid I’m going to have to give you the first grade I’ve been able to hand out in a long time, since I haven’t been able to work since I visited your clinic – a big, fat, pregnant even (and not just “a little bit”…