Firstly I would like to introduce myself. Because all of you may be new to reading my blog but secondly, though I may mention it. This post especially is going to be more in depth. So I am Melanie Kate (Mel), 29 years old, living just outside London. Five years ago I began a lengthly process that lead to 2018 when I was properly diagnosed with Endometriosis. A chronic illness that effects 1 in 10 women worldwide. That is 176 million women! Endometriosis is an invisible illness that causes pain most days, the silence of this disease needs to change and that is why March is endometriosis awareness month and I am asking you all to read this and share. We need help but also for the future. There is no cure so things need to change!
Today I wanted to talk about Endometriosis. A bit more about it in general and why we need your help. If you think about it a class of 30 girls in it. That is 3 girls with endometriosis! It is as common as diabetes but is rarely known about or heard about! Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition.
Endometriosis isn’t just bad period pain! It is 100 times worse. Pain can happen at any time, any day and for however long it wants to. You can be having a lovely day out, enjoying life and bam your in agony! There is always a niggle or itch. Always a kick in the stomach or shooting pain down your leg. Unfortunately it really is never ending.
Pain isn’t the only thing endometriosis causes. You can have pain during and after sex, bloating, ibs, fatigue and infertility problems. Cramping and swelling also. Painful bowel and bladder movements. Frequent infections and lethargy. Depression and extreme tiredness. A nap for you could be 30 minutes, mine are 3 hours. My ovaries have even flipped and stuck back down to adhesions.
The only way to be fully diagnosed is through a laparoscopy surgery. But with that adhesions grow back from scares and where ever it wants to basically! I have been to the operating theatre 5 times in the space of 4 years. My first to have an explore. Caused an umbilical hernia, belly button cut in half because there was something growing on the end. 2 nerve block injections. And finally my fully diagnosed one when my ovaries had flipped leaving me in agony for 6 months. You get the long lengthy process I guess from that.
When doctors, nurses, friends, family and anyone else that don’t get endometriosis or understand it. Will quite often say to you “ the pain is in your head” or “there is nothing wrong with you” or maybe “ it’s just your period.” Well as much I would love to say I don’t have this disease, and wish it was just a period. Unfortunately its not!
It isn’t just a period and this is why we need to be heard! Endometriosis really needs to be freely spoken about because people need to know about it. Something that causes so much pain to a girl/women, needs to be dealt with properly.
In the UK it takes an average of 7 years to be diagnosed. Most doctors will tell you you have x, y and z before they realise something is seriously wrong. Personally I have BUPA cover and mine was only 5. But I have to say it has wasted my 20s. I was pretty much sick for 5 years straight and now I have to be careful with what I do and how I approach things.
There is no cure! You have it and though some will say “ have a baby”, “have a hysterectomy”. The probability of endometriosis leaving is a low chance. In my experience endometriosis has been missed several times. So even if they were to take my ovaries and uterus later on in life. Endometriosis could still be lingering around and the surgeon could miss it! To cause you pain still.
As much as this is primarily a gynaecological problem. Endometriosis can grow anywhere internally. Sticking organs together and god knows what else. Because it’s invisible to everyone, even I don’t know what my body inside is like right now.
Doctors suggest and most of the time want you on medication and birth control. To stop your periods. Periods are part of the problem here, a period can cause the symptoms of endometriosis to appear more due to endometriosis lesions being influenced by estrogen. Progesterone effects it also but allows symptoms to appear whenever. But I can’t fully say a period allows it to grow because I haven’t had a period since 4 years ago at least and have had endometriosis appear for surgery in 2018. The thing is stopping your period or going on various medication, it will stop the period but cause other problems. Which really doesn’t give us the answer!
Endometriosis doesn’t just cause pain and a give you a disease. It causes mental health problems and other illnesses. Medication upon medication daily. Think we could rattle like a bottle of pills. You really don’t know when your endometriosis will flare up, which is why it can cause mental health problems. Try doing your weekly shop and your suddenly stabbed in the stomach with a knife! Ok its not a knife exactly but that is what it feels like. The panic to get home and feel ok.
My best friends are heat packs, hot bubble baths, my bed and comfortable clothes. Anything to be home, ok and warm. I wear maternity jeans daily, yet I am not pregnant and potentially could have trouble trying to conceive. When I try to.
I was put on an injection used for cancer treatment. Called Zoladex which pushed me into a mimic of the menopause aged 27. Told by the consultants you’ll still be ok to have children and things will go back to normal. But really who knows! We can only hope.
Celebrities that you may know have endometriosis. Such as Whoopi Goldberg, Emma Bunton, Cyndi Lauper. Susan Sarandon, Alexa Chung, and Daisy Ridley.
This is why I ask you to share this post, spread the word about endometriosis. Because we can continue to fight like a girl daily. But we want help for now but also the future. Why do we want to be stuck on medication or go through with a hysterectomy. With enough research and education into endometriosis, there could be a better life for us all. I may look “normal” but I am not, I have this and that is why I really need your help.
Why should we sit in silence and suffer? Do this for me Melanie Kate, but do it for the others, 1 in 10. Think of us and the future.