Do you know how you can go so many years with mystery pain and no Doctor seems to give you a diagnosis? Well, this happened to me. I want to share My Endometriosis Diagnosis Story and bring Endometriosis Awareness to the light.
Each month, I find myself glued to my heating pad for the first 1-2 days of my menstrual cycle. Sometimes you find me in the bathroom throwing up or sweating from my low blood pressure. But, often I am crawled into a little ball in my bed, hugging my heating pad and in so much pain. I never knew pain like that before and it happens each month during my period. I always had irregular periods and my cramps were never as severe as they became after I lost my right ovary in 2006. I’d often tell myself, “I don’t get it, I don’t have my right ovary and how can my cramps be so unbearable, especially on my right side.” The doctor said my severe cramps were due to scarring tissue from losing the right ovary, so I just thought Id deal with this pain until I’m done menstruating. I’d always get very anxious and scared as my period got closer each month. I’d monitor closely and plan my life around the days I’d get it. I’d not be able to go to work or go out. I never knew the impact it had on my quality of life each month.
Twice I went to immediate care out of pain, but it was useless. They leave you 2-3 hours dealing with your pain while they try to make sense of it. In my 2nd time, that’s when they did my first ultrasound and found out about my Uterine Fibroid, but it was less than 2cm. They only gave me ibuprofen for pain and I was sent my way. Well, fast forward to 2017 when I found my Uterine Fibroid Tumor grew to 8.1cm in diameter and in addition, I also had an Endometrioma Cyst on my left ovary. Did I mention it’s my only ovary left? I had my Myomectomy surgery to remove tumor and cyst on February 9th and it was all a success (read the story here).
I had my post-surgery appointment on February 13th. I thought Doctor was just going to remove the tape and tell me 6-weeks recovery and all was going to be fine. I thought he was just going to tell me I am finally healed from all my issues with my reproductive organs. Well, I was wrong. I was very wrong! “Mary, you have ENDOMETRIOSIS!” I froze and was numb and forgot even ask the questions I needed, such as “when can I go back to the gym?” “am I fertile?” “How did this happen?” I couldn’t think of anything else but the word Endometriosis. I knew exactly what it was because a few friends had it. I just never thought I had it for a few years without having a diagnosis. It is one of those conditions that are hard to diagnose unless they operate on you. Often it can be misdiagnosed as something else. However, he did mention they cleared all the scar tissue caused by endometriosis and that it had spread to my left ovary and fallopian tube, hence why I had an Endometrioma Cyst
It hasn’t been an easy journey lately with so many things in my head, but I’m super resilient and positive.
Now, I want to share with you the most common symptoms of Endometriosis to bring Endometriosis Awareness.
Endometriosis Diagnosis Symptoms:
- Pain with pelvic examinations.
- Irregular or heavy menstruation.
- Severe menstrual pains.
- Spotting or bleeding between periods.
- Throwing up during menstruation.
- Periods that last over 7 days.
- Pelvic pain that may worsen during menstruation.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- Cramping during intercourse.
- Painful bowel movements or urination (when Endometriosis has spread to the urinary bladder).
- Infertility. Women who experience infertility could be suffering from Endometriosis, but it does not cause it.
- Need a heating pad or something warm to help with cramp pain.
- High estrogen levels can make symptoms and condition worst.
- Diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
Other symptoms associated with Endometriosis Diagnosis could be
- Lower abdominal pain
- Lower back pain
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
- Chest Pain or coughing (when Endometriosis has spread to lungs)
- If Endometriosis has spread to any visceral organs, then those organs can start malfunctioning.
- Bloody urine during menstruation
- Ovarian Cysts (specially endometrioma cysts)
- GI issues, such as IBS
- Allergies/autoimmune diseases
- Ovarian and breast cancer
What is the cause of Endometriosis?
The root cause of Endometriosis is not known.
How does it happen?
Hormones signal the lining of your Uterus to thicken, the lining is called Endometrium and it’s build up of Endometrial cells and tissue. It’s meant to prepare the Uterus to receive a fertilized egg. When fertilization does not happen, the uterus sheds the lining through the vagina, hence why we have our menstrual cycle (period) and we bleed. Normally, Endometrial tissue grows inside the uterus cavity to prepare the lining of the womb (Uterus). Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of the lining of the Endometrial tissue similar to that which lines the interior of the uterus but in a location outside of the uterus. Basically what should happen inside the Uterus, happens outside of the Uterus! The Endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus and spreads to other organs and we bleed on the outside causing endometrial tissue to build up, grow and attach itself to the exterior of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, visceral organs, lungs, bladder, etc. Now, since there is no way for the blood and endometrial tissue to scape, it stagnates and becomes scar tissue, which can trigger pain, inflammation, and be a huge cause of infertility if adhesions (scar tissue) happen in the fallopian tubes and causes them to close. Lastly, it can develop Endometrioma Cysts, otherwise known and “chocolate cysts” and this is what I dealt with and were surgically removed (read about it here).
What is the cure for Endometriosis?
There is no cure for endometriosis and to eliminate it completely. There is a surgical procedure to remove the Endometriosis scar tissue, but it will most often come back. In my case, it was removed from my left ovary, left the fallopian tube and the exterior of my uterus.
Here are some common cures for Endometriosis that Doctors usually suggest, yet I don’t feel strongly about any of them given it does not really cure it.
- Induced menopause preserving your reproductive organs.
- Pregnancy, yet it will come back after pregnancy.
- Birth Control
Honestly, since I live a holistic lifestyle and it’s the reason why my symptoms aren’t as worst as other sufferers and mine are only the first 2 days of my menstrual cycle.
These are the holistic practices I’ve taken to start healing my Endometriosis Diagnosis.
- Endometriosis diet, which is anti-inflammatory, alkaline and gut healing too.
- I don’t take hormones and will not take Birth Control as it ruins your gut flora (gut bacteria) and digestive system.
- Exercise and Eat Healthy
- Drink a lot of Water.
- Essential Oils
- Heating Pad
- Don’t use tampons or pads. Use a menstrual cup (Diva Cup)
- Avoid any product that can cause Estrogen levels to elevate.
- Stress relief activities such as yoga, meditation, and journaling.
- Natural supplements
- Coffee enemas
- Castor oil packs
- Herbal teas
Please seek Medical advice for any of the symptoms, this information is just for awareness and not intended to treat or diagnosed anyone with Endometriosis Diagnosis.
Do you know anyone that sufferers or think it could suffer from Endometriosis? Share this information with them to help with Endometriosis Diagnosis.
How do you heal or make you Endometriosis pain better?
Resource used: Endometriosis
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