Name: Victoria Q.
Location: Springfield, IL
Length of time on My Happy Flo: 12 months
For Victoria Q,, periods weren’t just inconvenient, they were downright debilitating. At her best, from sun up to sun down she’d find herself running to a bathroom or bent over a trash can suffering from 12-hour vomiting spells. At her worst, she’d end up in the hospital where they encouraged her to take the Depo shot, resulting in unusual pain shooting through her body and her feet turning blue. And then there was the endometriosis diagnosis and autoimmune disease developed from years of being on birth control, making her uncertain if having children would ever be a realistic option for her.
For years Victoria suffered with what she thought was her fate. With little support from friends and family, she settled into the idea of pain and infertility being her long-term prognosis. But just months after trading in birth control for My Happy Flo, her new norm will soon include motherhood, despite what the doctors told her.
A real-life reminder to never let others decide your destiny for you, our latest You Flo Girl shares her story of going from painful periods to pregnancy thanks to My Happy Flo.
How old were you when you started your period?
I was 15.
What are some things you experienced?
When I first started my period, I bled heavily. I used to get really severe cramps and would throw up for like 12 hours straight. I typically ended up in the hospital every single month.
You threw up for 12 hours straight?
Oh, yeah. That was one of my symptoms. I would go on for 12 hours straight. So if my period started at 7 am, then I wasn’t going to stop throwing up until 7 pm.
And how long did that go on?
Up until I started taking My Happy Flo. My first month on the supplements, I didn’t have any pre-period symptoms like nausea, back pain or acne, but I did have cramping. The months after I didn’t even know I was on my period unless I went to the bathroom and I had more energy.
What were ways that your doctor addressed your period concerns before taking My Happy Flo?
I think I had my period for about two years before being prescribed birth control. I did a Depo shot and it took away my periods completely.
But when I turned 20, I decided to get off of it and bled for three months straight. I was instructed to take birth control pills because my bleeding and pain were hormonal, but I still experienced pain.
So my doctors put me back on the Depo shot, but I discontinued it. I’ve pretty much dealt with severe pain my adult life.
Do you know why you were you put on birth control in the first place?
Because my periods were so bad, I was told there was no way to control them. Tylenol wasn’t helping and I couldn’t keep going to the hospital every month. So the only way to stop the period pain was to take the Depo shot since it would stop my periods.
Did they ever get to the root cause of what was causing your painful periods?
I was told that I had endometriosis, but they didn't want to do anything about it. The doctors said that if they performed surgery, the tissue would grow right back. And since I didn’t want to have kids, there were no other treatments they could offer me.
You mentioned you had a bad reaction to birth control. Can you tell me more about that?
So the reason I stopped taking birth control started in January of last year. In December of 2020, I got my Depo shot, and a month later, I had shooting pains in my eyes for three months straight. I went to the eye doctor five times and was told there was nothing wrong with my eyes.
The next time I got my Depo shot, I started getting shooting pains from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. That happened for three months. And then the next three months, following my Depo shot, my feet turned blue and they were cold. My feet stayed blue for three months and were always cold. They never changed colors.
The doctor ran tests on me and everything came back normal. I told the doctors that the only medication I was on was the Depo shot. I didn’t take any other medications or have any other lifestyle changes.
At the time, I couldn’t walk a block without my feet cramping. That's how bad it was and the doctor didn’t believe me. So I decided to prove to them that it was the Depo shot. I canceled my next appointment and shortly after began taking My Happy Flo. My symptoms went away in a month, but I tested positive for autoimmune disease.
What autoimmune disease were you diagnosed as having?
They couldn’t specify what type of disease I have. So they ran tests. I tested negative for lupus, Crohn’s disease, and Graves disease. Every single test came back negative.
And you felt like it was the result of birth control?
Yes. They did the test while I was still on birth control.
You mentioned in a Tweet that there was a time when you had to be picked up off the ground?
Oh, yeah, there's been multiple times where that’s happened
Like when I say my periods were bad, they were bad. Once it started, my legs would go numb, I would throw up for 12 hours straight, I would go in and out of consciousness, and couldn't walk.
One time at work, I told my boss who happened to be a woman that my period was starting and that I needed to go home. She told me that I couldn’t leave because there was no one else to cover my shift. She also handed me Tylenol and said that I would be fine. I told her that I needed to go to the hospital and she didn't believe me.
I ended up going into the back room and was balled up in a corner. They had to call the ambulance and my brother carried me into it so I could go to the hospital. While there, the doctors dismissed my problems, saying, “It’s just your period,” and discharged me. Meanwhile, I was still throwing up while signing my discharge papers. My brother had to carry me to the car and up the three flights of stairs to my apartment.
And that was when your periods were the absolute worst?
Yes. A moderate period for me was just throwing up for 12 hours and being at home in bed able to function but unable to eat. Severe is when I would have to go to the hospital, or somebody had to call the ambulance. I never knew when that was going to happen. Some days would be good and some days would be bad.
But also, I never knew when my periods would come. It could happen at a friend’s house or out of town, and I would freak out because nobody would believe my whole body would shut down.
What kind of support did you receive?
I didn't have any support, because nobody knew what was going on. Everybody was like, “You're just having a period.” Because they saw me grow up with it. It’s been like this since I started my period. So I didn’t know if it was supposed to be normal.
Besides my grandmother, I’m the only person in my family that ever had these issues. My mom, aunts, and sister never had these problems with their periods. My grandma once said her periods were so bad, that she bled for three months and later had a hysterectomy.
Everyone else I talked to didn’t have any answers because they didn't know what to do and they had never gone through it. They felt that if the doctor said it’s okay, then that’s what it is.
How was dating for you?
It wasn't a problem because most men understood.
But I would say the only thing is that when I was on birth control, I didn't have a sex drive or feelings. So that caused an issue in my relationships because I would just be neutral about everything and it made sex hard.
If I was off the Depo shot, then my periods became a concern. My partners worried about my safety and didn’t want me to be alone for a couple of days. Some have even taken off from work to stay with me.
So you’re pregnant right now, congratulations! How do you feel?
I'm excited! My boyfriend and I have a crazy story. So technically, we have only been together for four months. Two weeks after dating, we decided we were going to have kids. We picked out names and everything. And we’ve decided to get married before the baby comes.
How did you find out you were pregnant?
My sister wanted to hang out with me one weekend but my stomach was hurting and I wasn’t feeling well. I felt like something was wrong, so I told my boyfriend that I was going to take a pregnancy test. And we found out on June 13. We got to celebrate his first Father's Day together.
That’s so sweet! How did you break the news to him?
So I took a picture of the pregnancy test and had it printed out. I put it inside of a Father's Day box and on top of it was a Father's Day card. And then underneath was a baby book with the baby's names in there.
I love that! How did he react to it?
Oh, he loved it. He was so excited.
How are you settling into pregnancy?
I'm just taking it day by day. It’s so funny, before I got pregnant, I said that I wanted to change my lifestyle and try to make 90% of my meals vegan to slowly cut out meat. But my baby doesn’t like meat or dairy. So it’s basically telling me what not to put into my body.
Are you taking it easy right now?
I am. So I quit my job. My partner agreed to take over the finances so I can focus on my health and the baby’s health. And then if I want to go back to work, I can, but he's making sure that my life is stress-free. He cooks, cleans, and does laundry. He works, he drives. Because I live on the third floor, he doesn't like me going up and down the stairs. He's really taken a lot of stress off my plate.
Earlier you said that you didn’t want kids, what were some concerns you had about getting pregnant?
I had a few. For one, I was told that because I had endometriosis, I had a low chance of getting pregnant. There was also a fear of coming off of birth control to try and get pregnant, and possibly having to suffer for three months. That really scared me so I never planned to have children in the future.
Was your doctor shocked to hear you were pregnant?
Yeah. Based on their studies and my issues they were really concerned about my baby's health. They wanted to make sure I was past the red zone and I’m 10 weeks now, so I’m out of the red zone. My doctors are taking more precautions just to make sure my body can maintain my baby's growth.
Have you been experiencing any issues with your endometriosis?
A little bit. I still have some cramping because my tissue is still growing, but it's at a slower pace because I'm pregnant.
Also because I’m only taking prenatal vitamins and not My Happy Flo, my energy is shot. So I'm still working on things to try to get my energy up.
That's the one thing I do miss. At least on My Happy Flo, I always had energy. But since it’s not a part of my regimen, I'm trying to find other ways to supplement that energy.
Are you worried about your periods after you deliver the baby?
I'm at ease because I have something I can return to. I know that once I have this baby and my periods resume, I can start back taking My Happy Flo to help get my periods back on track.
What kinds of conversations are you planning on having with your child about periods?
My boyfriend and I have talked about periods because one thing I worry about is if I have a girl and her periods are like mine. Which I am fearful of. So the conversations I would like to have with my future daughter are about being comfortable.
I want her to be comfortable with me and let me know when her period starts and what her symptoms are so we know what her options are. I would want her to know that birth control isn’t her only option. We can get her levels checked for any vitamin deficiencies or if we need to make changes in her diet or incorporate more exercise. I would explore all other options before settling on birth control.
Aside from your pregnancy, what are some other wins you’ve experienced since taking My Happy Flo?
So I graduated from community college with an associate's degree in business. I got my Salesforce license too. I’m trying to get into the tech field and taking My Happy Flo has helped in so many ways because I'm able to dedicate my time to work, dedicate my time to my partner, and dedicate my time to extracurricular activities without having to worry about or plan around my period.
How's your relationship with your body now that your periods aren’t as bad and are pregnant?
I love it.
Because of My Happy Flo, I’ve learned so much about my body. I’ve learned what my body likes as far as food intake, what makes my body happy, and what gives me energy. But overall, my body is 100% better than it ever has been before.
What do you wish you knew back then about your period that you know now?
I wish I knew there were other options. Honestly, I wish I had never gotten on birth control. You know, I wish I knew what my vitamin levels were. I wish I knew about the different ways that food can affect my cycle. And also wish I knew how to maintain my period. I didn't know that heavy bleeding was a sign that something was wrong. I thought it was normal. So I wish there was more education in my household and at school about it.
What are some other things that you would advise women with disruptive periods?
I would advise women to keep a diary of their periods to track their symptoms and when they appear. This keeps a track record and helps to look for red flags. If your periods are too heavy, that’s a sign. If you’re experiencing cramping before your period starts, that’s a sign. If you’re having mood swings and experiencing depression during that time, that’s a sign.
These are all things that I would tell women to look for and have a diary of. So when you have that meeting with your doctor, you have something to reference. Also, it helps with calling out things to take a deeper look into.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’m just thankful for Necole and what she has done. My Happy Flo came at the perfect time and it saved my life. I don't know where I'd be if it weren’t for her creating this product. It really has helped me and so many other Black women.
Interested in My Happy Flo for period relief? Get 15% off your first bottle of My Happy Flo using coupon code Victoria.