Marie's Journey From Fibroids And Blood Transfusions To A Happier Flo
Name: Marie McQuitta
Location: Vacaville, CA
Length of time on My Happy Flo: A little over four months
Marie McQuitta had tried it all. The patch. Multiple brands of birth control pills. An IUD. The NuvaRing. No matter what birth control methods her doctor prescribed to ease her flow, they did nothing to alleviate her fibroids or the heavy cycles that came with them. What’s worse, her doctor didn’t even take her health concerns seriously until she ended up in the hospital with an emergency blood transfusion and myomectomy.
Not only were periods keeping her from enjoying normal activities with her girlfriends, it was impacting every aspect of her life. So instead of settling for subpar solutions she started speaking up for herself. Thanks to her openness about her journey, she was introduced to My Happy Flo, and within weeks her moods and her periods have become lighter.
With her life back on track and no longer feeling the need to track her periods, Marie is ready to share her journey of getting back to optimal menstrual health.
How old were you when you started your period?
I was probably about 12 or 13.
What was that experience like for you? Do you feel like you were prepared?
Not really. I feel like the education system didn't talk much about periods and then at home, it wasn't a topic of conversation either. So it was kind of like, what the heck do I do? It was a learning experience.
How would you say your relationship with your period has developed over the years? Has it gotten better? Has it gotten worse? Do you feel like you're more informed about it?
Definitely more informed. However, that came after I had a medical issue that forced me to do a lot of research on periods. So I kind of educated myself.
Let's talk a little bit about that. I understand that you were going through ultra tampons and nighttime pads within 45 minutes?
Yes. So in 2018, I started having heavy periods. 2019 rolled around, and my doctor pretty much said that by me being in my 30s, these were my baby-bearing years and that my periods were going to change. I took my doctor’s word for it because I felt that they knew what they were doing.
But then I started bleeding excessively and ended up changing OBGYNs. They did an ultrasound and saw that I had a fibroid. From there, they tried putting me on an IUD, but my body rejected it within a few months. So they put me on birth control pills to try and alleviate my bleeding.
In September of 2019, they did a procedure to shave down my fibroids but nothing worked. And in 2020, I was just defeated. I was like, it is what it is, I'm just going to deal with it.
However, in September of 2021, I got really sick with heart palpitations, shortness of breath, extreme exhaustion, elevated heart rate all the time, dizziness, and blurred vision. I got some blood work done and my doctor instructed me to go to the ER for a blood transfusion because my red blood cell count was critically low and I was severely anemic. Basically, my organs started shutting down because I wasn't getting enough blood supply.
I had a myomectomy scheduled, but my red blood cell count was too low for them to operate. So I was then put on birth control to stop my bleeding, but it didn’t do anything. In November of 2021, my doctor gave me a Lupron shot which helped. It didn’t stop my bleeding completely, but it did slow it down.
The thing with Lupron is, it sends your body into an early menopause. At the time, I was also taking pills called Aygestin to help balance out my hormones. Those helped because I thought I was going to be super moody. But I did have menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and hair loss. It was a horrible experience.
"I remember being at work and suddenly getting really hot. It was so uncomfortable, I felt like I was burning and just wanted to take all my clothes off. "
The night sweats were really bad too. Like, my sheets and sometimes my shirts would be drenched. Then the hair loss was just devastating because my hair is already not long, so to lose even more hair took its toll on me. At one point, I stopped washing my hair because this huge clump of hair came out while I was shampooing it. It was just so sad to already be going through so much and then have hair loss on top of that. It's like I just couldn’t win with anything at that point.
But I only had the Lupron shot once. You can get it every three months but after that first round and everything wore off, I was done. I needed to get it to prepare for surgery and it did help with increasing my red blood cell count. But after that experience, I didn’t want to get it again.
Did you end up getting the myomectomy?
I had my myomectomy in February of this year. For me, removing the fibroids was like having a clean slate. After I posted about it, one of my friends asked if I heard of My Happy Flo supplements. And as soon as I finished taking my medications following surgery, I started taking them.
I do still feel like I have a little PTSD from my period because of how I would go through an ultra tampon and a nighttime pad within 45 minutes. There was even one time when I went through both within 20 minutes. So I'm always preparing myself. I still can't believe that my periods are the way they are now after taking these supplements. It's insane. It’s almost like it’s too good to be true.
When you said that you had to change doctors, do you feel like your initial doctor wasn’t hearing you or that had to advocate for your body more?
Absolutely. And honestly, I dislike her. I feel like if she had actually listened to me rather than disregarding my concerns as just “baby-bearing years”, I could have avoided a lot of stuff like having to go to the hospital. I just feel like things could have been handled better.
When you were experiencing your heavy bleeding, did you have any open conversations about your period with family and friends or anyone outside of your medical care team?
My mom knew. But honestly, this made me reevaluate some friendships.
I would tell my friends that I couldn’t participate in certain trips or activities or outings because of my heavy periods, and they would just tell me that I was fine or that, “we all have heavy periods”. No one understood how serious it was until I had to have surgery.
So because I kept getting brushed off, I didn't talk to my friends about it because they didn’t understand. That and, because they downplayed it, I felt like they weren't being supportive. I needed people around me who actually understood what I was going through as opposed to trying to pressure me when I couldn’t go out because I had to be by a toilet every 45 minutes.
How would you say your periods have been since taking My Happy Flo?
My periods have been very light. Before, I would have to buy a 48-count box of Ultra tampons and a 24-count box of pads. But since February I haven’t had to buy any more. I did prepare myself for after surgery, though, just in case things didn’t change.
Since taking My Happy Flo, I haven’t had any bloating or hormonal acne. And my hormonal acne got really, really out of control. But it's kind of crazy. It's like I don't even know when my period is coming. Before, I would get bad cramps and be super moody. But now I'm so even-tempered.
Did you have any skepticism about it?
I did. I honestly did. My doctors had me on so many different birth control methods throughout the years to alleviate my periods, and nothing worked. I've been on the patch, two sets of pills, an IUD, and NuvaRing. But I also think that’s why I had a little skepticism at first.
In addition to those different birth control methods, what else did you use to manage your symptoms?
Heating pads for sure. I tried Midol, but it gave me really bad cramps and that’s because I have an allergy to iron in pill form. So the iron in Midol gave me really bad side effects.
Do you feel like your periods affected any other areas of your life? Like intimacy, vacations, job performance, mental health, self-esteem, body image, etc.?
All of that. So I’m in law enforcement and there were some days where I had a male supervisor and had to tell him that I couldn’t do it. Luckily, he was very understanding. But if it wasn't for him, I couldn't imagine having to tell someone who didn't understand. There were just certain things I couldn't do on certain days.
Mental health, for sure. I struggled with depression. Just because I felt like, when is this going to end? Or is it going to end? It messed with my mind a lot.
I wondered if it was just my normal. Was this what I had to look forward to for the rest of my life? One thing that always came to mind was what's going to happen if I get married, and I have my period on my wedding day.
Dealing with these heavy periods, I also struggled with feeling alone. I couldn't relate to anybody. I feel like my friends didn't understand what was going on or care to understand what was going on. So it definitely messed with my mental health a lot.
How was your overall relationship with your period, and your body changed?
Now it's good. I don't dread having a period anymore. That's probably the most significant factor because I remember having to check my calendar first if something came up. But I'm saying yes to everything now because I know my periods are not going to be that bad.
Are there any other lifestyle or maybe nutritional changes that you have made in addition to taking My Happy Flo?
Not really. I feel like I eat pretty clean as it is. I don't really eat fast food. I don't drink soda. I'm very active. I go hiking. I work out. I don't smoke and I don't drink. So I haven't made any lifestyle changes.
In addition to lighter periods, what are some other personal wins that you’ve had or are having?
Honestly, just having my life back. Being able to just get up and go, not having to carry pads or tampons with me. That was the one thing in my life that was compromised the most. Having those heavy periods was an annoyance and an inconvenience.
What do you wish that you had known, say 10 to 20 years ago, that you know now about your periods?
I wish I would have known about Fibroids in general. What they are, how they affect people, and how common they are. So that when this came up, I could have brought that to my doctor's attention and suggested it.
Also, I wish people talked more about fibroids. I'm to the point now where I'm very open about everything that's going on with me and I talk about it all the time. So I wish people would be a little bit more open.
I remember you saying your mom knew what was going on. Did she ever share any stories about her periods? Or do you know if you have a family history of fibroids or other reproductive issues?
Yes. My mom’s a nurse. So after my issue happened, my mom told me that she also had fibroids. She told me stories about working in the ER and bleeding through her scrubs. So she understood the embarrassment and how sad or how devastating it can be. That's also when I found out that she ended up having a hysterectomy.
Do you wish she'd had those conversations with you when you were younger?
Oh, for sure. Absolutely.
So what is some advice that you would give others who struggle with their periods?
Advocate for yourself and get checked out. After I found out about fibroids, I did a lot of research. I even joined a fibroid support group. And it frustrates me to hear all these stories about how these doctors are so dismissive.
I would tell people that it’s okay to get multiple opinions and to continue advocating for yourself until you find a doctor that’s going to listen. Because it’s crazy that people live with heavy periods thinking that it’s normal when it’s not.
Interested in My Happy Flo for period relief? Get 15% off your first bottle of My Happy Flo using coupon code MARIE.