Hello my name is Lois, i am 27 year old female and 9 years ago i was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Despite the fact 176 million women are estimated to suffer from this horrible disease it is still very unknown and too many women are still being dismissed with “women’s trouble” so I am writing this blog to raise more awareness!! So lets start with a brief but fact filled description of what exactly endometriosis is.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (the endometrium) is found outside the womb.
These pieces of tissue can be found in many different areas of the body, but they are most commonly found on the ovaries, on the lining of the pelvis behind the uterus and covering the top of the vagina.
The condition is estimated to affect around two million women in the UK. Most of them are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40.
Endometriosis is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes painful periods or heavy periods. It often also causes pain in the lower abdomen (tummy), pelvis or lower back, as well as fertility problems. It may also contribute towards a lack of energy and depression.
However, the symptoms of endometriosis can vary significantly and some women have few symptoms or no symptoms at all.
There is no known cure for endometrosis although it is suggested that pregnancy stops the growth of the endometriosis cells, great, well it would be except a large % of women with endometriosis have fertility issues and may not be able to fall pregnant or carry a baby.
I was diagnosed with endo in October 2006 taken to hospital with suspected appendicitis, and it was discovered during the keyhole surgery (thankfully i still have my appendix). I was not given much information about the disease i had been diagnosed with and was sent home to be followed up by my gp, who instead of explaining the problem to me just insisted it could be dealt with by using medication. I was given several types of medication over the next few years to try and help control the pain that came with the endo but alas none helped enough for me to have a normal daily life. After a few years had past continuing to suffer and try to make my gp see that i needed more than just drugs pumped into my system everyday i was finally listened to and re referred back to the hospital i had been diagnosed at, where i underwent keyhole surgery for the second time to have the endo cells lazered off of my womb. I was found to have endo cells elsewhere in the pelvic area and they had tried to lazer away as much as possible, this was unsuccessful and less than a year later i underwent the same operation again which was unsuccessful a second time as the endo cells were regrowing and i also had cysts on my ovaries. Not long after that i was referred to a specialist at a hospital in London, i had MRI scans, blood tests, ultrasounds and it was reviled the endo had spread further and my bowel and bladder had now fused together due to the amount of endo stuck to my pelvic region which brings its own set of problems and even more pain.
In 2009 i was admitted to a hospital in London to have more keyhole surgery to try and remove endo cells from my fallopian tubes as the were now blocked from the cells. The operation was a success and the tubes were unblocked, i was then told that although the tubes had now been unblocked i would not be able to conceive children naturally and would have to undergo IVF if i ever wanted to have a child but they could not guarantee success of any %. After accepting the fact i would not have children naturally i was back on the painkillers to try and help cope with the pain, on Friday 13th November 2009 just 3 months after my surgery in London i fell ill and was taken to hospital expecting the endo to have caused further problems you can imagine my surprise to be told i was 7 weeks pregnant. Due to the fact i had a bicarnate uterus which in laymen’s terms means two horns/two wombs i had to be monitored very closely and have extra scans and was told i wouldn’t be able to reach full term and the baby would be born at approx 30 weeks. I will not bore you with the details of the long 9 months but my little fighter of a son was born at 38 weeks and 5 days surpassing all expectation and stunning everyone involved with my care. I had my son by c section due to the complications and he was born a healthy 7lb on 30th july 2010.
I hope that people who are told they cannot have children can take some hope from my story and remember that nothing is impossible just because 1 person says it is. In October 2013 I was rushed into hospital again with severe bleeding and pain to the extent i could not move and was rushed to surgery where i underwent a bilateral salpingectomy (both of my fallopian tubes were removed). From July 2014 i was put onto injections with a type of hormone replacement that would switch off my ovaries and therefore stopping my menstrual cycle and in theory stopping the growth of endo cells, it is now October 2015 and i am still currently on these injections which are to a major extent are controlling most of the pain.
On 30th October 2015 i will be admitted to hospital again for a total hysterectomy in the hope that removing my reproductive system completely will take the majority of the pain away without the need for injections and drugs any more and leave me to have a semi- normal life with my son and husband. I will be updating my blog daily to let people know the preparation procedure etc. and if the operation does in fact help with type 3 endometriosis.
If you made it this far thank you for reading and i hope this made you more aware about endometriosis and maybe it helped you or someone you love 🙂