Thank you Edelweiss Study for sponsoring this post. Be sure to visit the Edelweiss Endometriosis Study landing page to see if you or a loved one qualifies to participate.
What’s going on “down there” was not a typical topic of conversation when I was growing up.
My Endometriosis Story
I don’t remember my mother ever talking about it much until the first time I got my period. I was around 12 and we were staying with a friend. I was mortified because my mother and I had to go out and buy pads. She was actually excited. She said, “welcome to womanhood.” That was the last thing I wanted to hear. That’s the day she took this picture.
After a few months, my period was both painful and heavy. Within a year, I had pain during ovulation too. This pain was not, “take an aspirin and you’ll feel better pain.” It was often stabbing and throbbing pain that lasted for hours at a time sporadically over the 7-8 days of my period. Yup, my period was that long and sometimes longer.
I found it difficult to concentrate in class. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and lay down. I felt too embarrassed to talk to my friends about it. I never mentioned it to my doctor.
My mother told me that she had similar pain issues before having children. She never explained more than that. I just thought I drew the short straw when it came to period pain. My mom would give me over-the-counter painkillers to try to muddle through. When the pain was bad, they didn’t help all that much.
Learning more about Endometriosis
In my early 20’s, my doctor suggested that I should try using the birth control pill to minimize my monthly pain. She never really explained why I was having severe pain or what might be causing it.
When I learned more about endometriosis, I had no idea it was quite common. I’d likely known other women with it, but we never talked about it. Endometriosis can affect any woman who has menstrual cycles. Symptoms can include:
- severe menstrual cramping
- heavy menstrual bleeding, or spotting between periods
It wasn’t until my husband and I tried to have children that a doctor suggested that I probably had endometriosis. What? Why didn’t anyone tell me this before?
Endometriosis and Trying to Conceive
After having trouble trying to conceive, I learned that I not only had endometriosis but that it could be the cause of our fertility struggles. Luckily, with the help of fertility doctors, I was able to conceive and now have 2 amazing kids. Here we are with our first born.
Since endometriosis can be genetic, I’m glad I am better informed so that my daughter will not suffer in silence. We will make sure to speak with her doctor and consider treatment options if needed.
Clinical Trials, such as the Edelweiss Study, may help research move forward so that women living with endometriosis can have more successful treatment options.
If you are living with pain associated with endometriosis, please don’t suffer in silence. We are warriors and we can help researchers come up with new ways to treat our pain. Learn About a Study for Women with Endometriosis here.