Endometriosis is not silent. There are millions of women diagnosed with this disease of the endometrium (the tissue that normally grows as the lining of your uterus). I was such a woman just over 10 years ago. I thought my life was over, but it wasn’t. There was hope for me, and there is hope for you as well.
The doctor came back into the room after my examination to tell me that he was pretty sure I had endometriosis. I had an idea that this would be the case, because I read everything I could get my hands on when I first started hurting. I had run through every scenario you can imagine A to Z. We had gone through a long list of questions: Did I have periods lasting longer than 7 days? Yes. Did I have pain that went from my pelvic area through to my back? Yes. Was sex painful, during or after? Oh yes, yes it was. It seemed like every question he asked was another box ticked off. It’s also incurable he did add. My world started crashing around me. Pain forever, no more children, constant medication, a possible hysterectomy; these were all real possibilities of what I was facing.
My doctor ordered a Laparoscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure. They put you under general anesthesia and after filling you up with air so they can get a better look at your insides, they make a small incision, usually just inside your navel, and insert a lighted camera and look for growths on other organs.
The results confirmed my worst fears. I did have endometriosis and it was bad, really bad. The tissue had spread to both my ovaries and shrouded my entire uterus. “What now?” was all I could ask after receiving the news. I’ve heard many people jump straight to the hysterectomy solution. Not me. No way, no how.
I began taking medications to lower my estrogen level to prevent further growth of the tissue. I also opted to have a Laparotomy. Unlike the first procedure I had, this is much more invasive. The make a large incision and actually remove as much of the over grown tissue as they can. It was a success in comparison to what I went through before the procedure. The healing was no worse than to the pain I was accustomed.
After healing I look back and realize how devastating this disease could have become had I not gone to the doctor. I am also thankful that while I am not 100 percent free from pain, it is drastically reduced and it no longer controls my life.
There are options out there. From estrogen lowering medications to surgery, there is hope in any step you take to correct this disease. Don’t wait until it gets unbearable. Go see your OBGYN at the first sign of something wrong. Your health is nothing to gamble and life is too short to spend it in pain.