The end of the end came when I said something snarky on Twitter. Snarkiness is common for me. Also common is what happened next: someone took my playful jabs at Prometrium (and the inconsistency of unequivocally opposing the pill for hormonal therapy, while utilizing Prometrium) seriously. She started questioning my questioning, and I started questioning why on earth I was doing something so stupid.
I just heard a presentation by a nurse who argued that it is foolish to utilize the pill as treatment for conditions such as endometriosis, because it is an off-label use (rather than what the pill was designed for) and because it increases the likelihood of several types of cancer. Interestingly enough, this is also the case for Prometrium.
NFP-promoters tell me that I must ignore what doctors say about the pill and instead focus just on what the pill manufacturer says. But somehow everyone expects me to listen to my doctor when my doctor tells me to ignore the warnings of the manufacturer of Prometrium.
In any case, it is all very mockable. So, after I took my little yellow pill I took to Twitter and mocked–mostly myself.
I was shocked by the childlike faith of my interlocutor. She believed that this drug was really different with a trust that was beautiful. I wish I had a doctor whom I could trust as perfectly as she trusts hers.
And then I realized the absurdity of the situation: I did not trust blindly, and I knew the distinct lack of evidence for the superiority of this drug, so why on earth was I taking Prometrium?
I was taking it because, short of going back on the pill, it was the only thing I had to take.
I ignored the fact that it showed no sign of helping. It never raised my BBT, changed my bleeding, or extended my luteal phase. Instead, it not only recreated my experience of being on the pill, it added in headaches and insomnia along with the expected subsequent increase in fatigue. In short, it took what would typically be my “good” 10 days of the month, and made them feel a whole lot more like the “bad” days.
I was motivated to take Prometrium by fear. Progesterone supplementation is presented by a certain group as something of a cure-all. Many say (without evidence) that you need to take it faithfully in order to see results, that if you don’t take it you will miscarry. They promise that if you take it you will not need to take the pill, and the implication is that if you fail to take the “good” medicine (Prometrium) then it is your own fault when you have to turn back to the “bad” (the pill).
Fear is powerful, but it is not conducive to making the wisest decisions. There is no evidence that Prometrium helps me, not even in something as simple as improving my hormone levels after a low-quality ovulatory event. Perhaps other forms of progesterone supplementation would help, but that is not what I was doing. And I knew that what I was doing was stupid.
So I stopped. And it was clearly the right choice for me. In each of the two cycles since then I have gotten over a week of happy days, days where I feel, and it feels good.
I am very thankful for the insights of people with whom I disagree online. So often they make me realize how stupid I am for behaving in a way which would only make sense if I did agree with them!
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