Do you know what to do if you think you may have endometriosis?
First of all, what is endometriosis? Bloody painful for a start, it can be debilitating and is often misdiagnosed, as it was in my case.
For almost thirty years, I was backwards and forwards to the doctors with upset stomach’s, sickness, heavy and painful periods and not once was endometriosis mentioned. I was in my early 40’s requiring a new mattress before I even heard of it. The doctors had diagnosed IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome,) told me to stop eating spicy food and stop stressing but, that didn’t stop the sometimes chronic pain for three out of four weeks every month.
When I met the gynaecologist (the fourth over the years) who would perform my laparoscopic surgery to determine whether I had endometriosis and if so, how far advanced it was I was shocked and so was he.
After I described my symptoms, before I even had the opportunity to say boo, he asked, “Were you by any chance diagnosed with IBS?”My response. “Yes about twenty-five years ago.” Alongside that, I was put on the pill at 15, given pain killers and told to get on with it. Still, I had no respite.
In 2016, after even more thorough examinations, many scans and the blood test they should have done eighteen months, if not eighteen years previously, I underwent the investigative surgery.
My options: continue to suffer or have a hysterectomy.
I have no children and was 42 at the time of my surgery but, to me, it was a no brainer. I had suffered long enough, so I opted for the hysterectomy. Drastic you may think but, I have no regrets.
So, What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Endometriosis?
The main symptoms are listed below, you may experience one or more of these symptoms:
- pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
- period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
- pain during or after sex
- pain when peeing or pooing during your period
- feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
- difficulty getting pregnant
You may also have heavy periods.
For some women, endometriosis can have a massive impact on their life and may sometimes lead to mental health problems and feelings of depression.
Are There Treatments For Endometriosis?
Yes, there are although none are guaranteed to work, here are the suggestions offered by the NHS:
- hormone medicines and contraceptives – including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, an intrauterine system (IUS), and medicines called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues
- surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue
- an operation to remove part or all of the organs affected – such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy)
What to do if you think you may have endometriosis:
- Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out and ask to speak to a specialist.
- Don’t be fobbed off by a diagnosis of IBS or a dismissal by your GP.
- Try holistic therapies such as crystals or crystal therapy. Rose quartz and lapis lazuli are excellent stones for supporting your mental health which often suffers alongside your physical health, especially if you suffer from depression. Try moonstone and carnelian for the physical symptoms. I carry my crystals down my bra but, when I had my operation, I taped them to my tummy around the area of my sacral chakra. It’s a personal choice. Keeping them in your pocket is just as effective.
- Ensure you eat a healthy and varied diet. There are certain foods which should be avoided or reduced, such as red meat, wheat and dairy.
- As and when you can, try to get plenty of exercise.
- Ensure you get a good nights sleep and rest.
- Speak to your GP regarding the options available to you.
- Do your research and ask others who have had similar experiences by joining a support group.
- Try to relax as much as possible. If you would like to try the meditation from my debut novel, please click here.
If you do opt to have a hysterectomy, you can read my blog, Preparing For a Hysterectomy And Adapting To Life Through The Menopause, here.
Disclaimer. None of the information in this blog is to replace medical advice. Please consult a professional before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
All the medical information in this blog is taken from nhs.uk
I wish you well with your journey. If you would like further support and to work with me, please book a discovery call here or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org