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Endometriosis Symptoms the DR’S don’t tell you…
Today’s post is going to be about my health condition endometriosis. I hope it helps other people to know endometriosis is a very complex condition and there’s a lot more to it than just ‘period pain’ and ‘heavy bleeding’. Some women don’t even experience heavy bleeding yet it’s listed as one of the main symptoms EVERYWHERE. If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about I’ll give you a little bit of a back story. If you know my story, please scroll down to the next paragraph. After around 7/8 years of doctors and hospital appointments I was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis in August 2017. I’ve had two laparoscopies as of yet. A laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen (tummy) and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin. This procedure is also known as keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery unless you have endometriosis removed via incision or laser. Large incisions can be avoided during laparoscopy because the surgeon uses an instrument called a laparoscope.
Now, a lot of women are misdiagnosed with IBS as symptoms like diarrhoea and constipation can be caused by Endometriosis as well as IBS. Some of my symptoms weren’t described on lists when I researched Endometriosis so I want to bring awareness to other symptoms which may be experienced with this deliberating condition. If you think I have missed any please let me know and I will edit the post to add your comments.
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THE ‘USUAL’ SYMPTOMS LISTED ELSEWHERE
PAIN DURING OR AFTER SEX
PAIN WHEN URINATING OR POOPING DURING YOUR PERIOD
DIFFICULTY GETTING PREGNANT
OTHER SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE (Endometriosis Symptoms the DR’S don’t tell you) :
SHOOTING PAINS IN YOUR LEGS
SHOOTING PAINS IN ARMS
DEAD / HEAVY LEGS
THROBBING PAIN IN THE OVARY AREA
PAINFUL BOWEL MOVEMENTS
LABOUR CONTRACTION TYPE PAINS
LOWER BACK PAIN
BLEEDING IN BETWEEN PERIODS
PAIN DURING INTERNAL EXAMINATIONS
STABBING PAINS / ELECTRIC SHOCK TYPE PAINS
Before an episode of ‘endo belly’.
Me suffering from ‘endo belly’.
After my second laparoscopy.
Read more | My endometriosis story
If you experience any of these symptoms I urge you to go get checked out. I’ve had some girls message me concerned that they don’t have all the symptoms listed and that they don’t feel like they’re in as much pain as other women with endometriosis. Don’t compare yourself to others too much, it’s good to talk and share our stories but remember that endometriosis is very unusual. Someone who had A LOT of endometriosis could be in minor pain compared to someone with a small amount of endometriosis and visa versa. There are different stages of endometriosis. These are as follows:
Stage 1: Minimal
In minimal endometriosis, there are small lesions or wounds and shallow endometrial implants on your ovary. There may also be inflammation in or around your pelvic cavity.
Stage 2: Mild
Mild endometriosis involves light lesions and shallow implants on an ovary and the pelvic lining.
Stage 3: Moderate
Moderate endometriosis involves deep implants on your ovary and pelvic lining. There can also be more lesions.
Stage 4: Severe
The most severe stage of endometriosis involves deep implants on your pelvic lining and ovaries. There may also be lesions on your fallopian tubes and bowels.
GETTING SPECIALIST HELP
This is one thing I learnt from doing my research. If you go to your GP with symptoms and they suspect you may have endometriosis chances are they will send you to the nearest available gynaecologist. There are around 40 Endometriosis specialist centres across the Country. These are known as BSGE centres. You can look up where your nearest one is (if you’re based in the UK) HERE. The sooner you get referred to a specialist centre the better. When I compare my most recent gynaecologist appointment with a specialist Centre in Manchester to previous appointments there’s no contest. I’ve often left appointments in the past feeling extremely deflated, lost and uninformed. Before appointments I do a lot of research and so going into previous appointments I felt I gained no extra information from the surgeons. A lot of my questions were unanswered. That’s until I had my specialist appointment. I left feeling completely satisfied that I could trust my gynaecologist. He knew exactly what he was talking about and answered all of my questions professionally. In the past I’ve felt uncomfortable especially when having internal examinations, maybe save that for another post ey!
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REMEMBER TO GET YOUR SMEAR!
This is vital! As soon as you hit age 24 in the UK you will start receiving letters from the NHS about booking your smear test. I know it may seem like it would be awkward especially if you’ve not experienced anything like this before, but I promise you it’s fine. It takes seconds. If you’re worried about the fact you have to strip off in front of a DR just think about how many times that DR has performed these examinations. As soon as you leave the room they will forget all about examining your vagina lol! We as women ALL have to go through with it, so you’re not alone 🙂
TO THE ENDO LADIES OUT THERE
You are amazing. You truly are. And I completely understand how lonely it can be at times. People who haven’t experienced this deliberating condition may not understand what you’re going through but there are so many of us out here that do. Health Unlocked is an amazing platform to chat to others and ask for advice. YouTube is filling up with ladies stories on endometriosis. If you are in the process of getting a diagnosis; hang on, keep fighting, write all your symptoms down, buy hot water bottles, communicate how you’re feeling, believe in yourself and lastly…you know your own body so trust your instinct and try not to doubt yourself! I know how hard it is to abide by the last one. I really did doubt myself throughout getting diagnosed mainly because I had people around me that didn’t believe me. They don’t experience the pain you’re suffering so you do you!
Lots and lots of love,
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