Monday, September 9, 2013

Endometriosis Awareness; My story.

I finally got a confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis today. I'm not sure what stage yet, the doctor will tell me more at my post-op appointment. I was told that he removed quite a bit of endo spots and scar tissue during my laparoscopy this morning. I am moved to write about this after doing some (more) research and realizing just how common endometriosis actually is, and just how many women suffer in silence.

Your period should not cause dehabilitating pain! You should not have pain with sex, urination or bowel movements. If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor. I suggest seeing a gynecologist rather than discussing this with your family doctor. Do not be ashamed. Do not feel as though you are overreacting or the pain isn't really that bad. Your quality of life is at stake here, and possibly even your fertility (if that's important to you). Many women are misdiagnosed. If you have chronic pelvic pain, consider endometriosis as a possible cause, even if you have another diagnosis (especially if treating that diagnosis hasn't eased your pain). My symptoms have gradually worsened over time and I spent years ignoring them, thinking it was normal or that I was just a big wuss when it came to periods. No two cases of endometriosis are exactly the same. These were my symptoms, and I strongly suggest you contact your gynecologist if you are experiencing any of these:

  • Severe abdominal cramps that were the worst a few days before my period started, and the first two days of my period. As time passed, the length of time I had these cramps gradually increased, until I had cramps most of the month.
  • Pain with sex. Sex is not supposed to hurt! It typically hurts worse the deeper penetration is. Some women think this is normal if their man is "gifted". No, it's not normal! Also, cramping after orgasm. There have actually been times that I have avoided an orgasm because I knew that afterwards it would be very painful from the cramping.
  • Sharp pains in my abdomen. In either side, or down the middle. It was random, sudden sharp pains that literally felt like somebody was stabbing me.
  • Bowel issues. I would get constipated right before my period started and typically didn't get relief until at least a couple of days after it started. Bowel movements that I was able to have were very painful. Sharp pains would shoot through my abdomen during the bowel movement and then afterwards I would have more severe cramps.
  • Painful urination and a "pressure" on my bladder. I don't mean burning when urinating or a constant urge to urinate as is typical with a UTI. But more sharp pains through the abdomen during urination, and more cramping afterwards. I felt like something was pushing on my bladder, almost how it feels when you're really pregnant. 
  • Infertility. Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of infertility in women. I have been unable to get pregnant for the last 4 years, only one of which I was actively trying. 

These are not the only symptoms of endo, these were just my symptoms. If you have even one of these symptoms, I suggest doing more research and finding out whether you have any more symptoms, and talking to your doctor.

If you believe that you could have endometriosis, do not let it go untreated. Untreated, your pain is going to intensify over time. How you treat it is another thing you need to do your research on. Be educated! Don't let the doctor convince you into a treatment plan that you don't want to do. I did years of depo, went off it and my symptoms just returned and were worse than ever before. I did not feel like more hormonal therapy would be beneficial to me and I was convinced that I wanted a laparascopy. When my gynecologist refused, I saw a new one, and he agreed with me. Advocate for yourself! Nobody knows your body better than you do, not even the doctor.

Don't ignore your pain. There is help.

No comments:

Post a Comment