Would I Know If I Had Endometriosis

Would I Know If I Had Endometriosis – Melissa Kovach McGaughey sat among her peers on graduation day 17 years ago, waiting to be drawn. But instead of fully enjoying the big moment, something less popular came to mind: pain.

Fearing that his previous cures would wear off during the ritual, he planned ahead. “I kept a purse under my prom dress—it had a small bottle of water and a bottle of pills—so I could take the next painkiller without getting out of bed,” she recalls.

Would I Know If I Had Endometriosis

It is not the first time, and it will not be the last, that she is afraid that endometriosis will be in the center of attention. Gynecological conditions that result in the growth of endometrial tissue in relation to other organs are primarily and especially characterized by pain.

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McGaughey, a former board member of the Endometriosis Society of Wisconsin, spent decades dealing with her painful symptoms. This goes back to the onset of adolescence in early life.

“The first suspicion was around the age of 14, when my periods were much worse than my friends’,” she says.

However, after years without ibuprofen, the doctor prescribed hormonal birth control pills to ease the pain. But the pill has no such effect. “I was going through different treatments every three months,” recalls McGoy, 38, who said some of the treatments even resulted in depression and mood swings.

After months without a solution, the doctor gave her an ultimatum: she could either continue to suffer from chronic pain without knowing why, or she could undergo surgery to find out what was wrong.

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Although the laparoscopic surgery was minimally invasive, “it was hard for a 16-year-old girl to swallow the surgery to get the diagnosis,” she recalls.

With no other options, McGaughey ultimately decided not to proceed with the surgery. He would later regret this decision, he said, because it meant many more years of severe, undertreated pain.

It wasn’t until she graduated college at the age of 21 that she felt ready for surgery and a possible diagnosis.

“The surgeon found the endometriosis and removed as much of it as possible,” she said. But surgery was not the cure he had hoped for. “After that, my pain level decreased significantly, but every year the pain returned as the internal organs grew.”

The Differences Between Endometriosis And Ibs

This disease, which affects an estimated one in 10 women of reproductive age in the United States, is a familiar game of cat and mouse. However, unlike other diseases for which there are clear answers, there is no known cure for endometriosis.

When Kristy Curry, founder and CEO of Flutter Health, was in her 20s and menstrual cramps almost made her pass out in the shower, she knew something was wrong.

Although he was no stranger to long, agonizing periods, this time was different. “I couldn’t go to work or school for a few days and stayed in bed,” the Brooklyn resident recalls. “I think it’s normal because you can’t compare your period to [other] people.”

“Reproductive disorders in women seem to overlap with other problems nearby,” said Curry, who for years has visited the emergency room for pelvic pain that was misdiagnosed as IBS or another GI-related problem.

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Because endometriosis causes trapped tissue to enlarge and spread beyond the pelvic area, affected organs such as the ovaries and intestines undergo hormonal changes during a woman’s period, causing painful inflammation.

If your symptoms are complex and present in parts of your body other than your reproductive system, you should see more specialists now, Curry said.

The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown. But one of the earliest theories suggested that this leads to what is known as retrograde menstruation, in which menstrual blood flows back into the pelvic cavity through the fallopian tubes rather than the vagina.

Although the condition is treatable, one of the biggest challenges in the early stages of the disease is not diagnosing or treating it. There is also uncertainty and fear that never finds relief.

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A recent HealthyWomen online survey of more than 1,000 women and 352 healthcare professionals (HCPs) found that pain during and between periods is the main symptom that prompts most women to see a healthcare professional for diagnosis. The second and third causes include gastrointestinal problems, painful sex or painful bowel movements.

Researchers found that while four out of five undiagnosed women had heard of endometriosis, many knew little about the symptoms. Most people think these symptoms include pain between and during periods and during sex. Few people know about other symptoms such as fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, painful urination and painful bowel movements.

However, it is even more astonishing that almost half of undiagnosed women are unaware that there is no cure.

These results highlight a major problem with this condition. Although endometriosis is better known than ever, it is still often misunderstood, even when diagnosed in women.

Why Does It Take So Long To Diagnose Endometriosis?

A study by a British research group suggests that while several factors may play a role, “delay in diagnosis can significantly contribute to disease progression”.

While it’s hard to say whether this is due to a lack of medical research, as symptoms can often mimic other conditions such as ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease, one thing is clear: diagnosis is not easy.

Dr. Philippa Bridge-Cook, a Toronto-based scientist who serves on the Canadian Endometriosis Network’s board of directors, remembers being told by her family doctor in her 20s that there was no point in diagnosing it because endometriosis can’t be caused. solved anyway. “Of course it wasn’t true, but I didn’t know that at the time,” Bridge-Cook explained.

This misinformation may explain why nearly half of the undiagnosed women in the HealthyWomen survey were unaware of the diagnosis.

Getting My Period At 10 Should Have Been A Sign Of My Endometriosis

Later, after multiple miscarriages at Bridge-Cook, she said four different OB/GYNs told her there was no way she could have the condition because if she did, she would be infertile. By then, Bridge-Cook had a successful pregnancy.

Although fertility problems are indeed among the most serious complications associated with endometritis, it is a common misconception that it prevents a woman from getting pregnant and giving birth to full term.

Bridge-Cook’s experience shows that some health workers not only suffer from a lack of awareness, but are insensitive to the condition.

Given that only about 37 percent of the 850 women surveyed said they had endometriosis, the question remains, why is the diagnosis so difficult for women?

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Although a quarter of the women surveyed said endometriosis regularly interfered with their daily lives – and a fifth said it always did – those who reported their symptoms to health professionals were generally neglected. The survey also found that 15 per cent of women were told it was “all in their head”, while a third were told “it’s normal”. Additionally, another third were told “it’s part of the woman,” and one in five women had to see four to five health professionals before receiving a diagnosis.

This trend is not surprising, as the medical profession often ignores or openly ignores the suffering of women. One study found that “overall, women reported more pain, more frequent pain, longer duration of pain, and less aggression than men.”

Because of prejudice against pain, many women do not seek help until their symptoms become unbearable. Most respondents waited two to five years before noticing symptoms of HCP, while one in five waited four to six years.

“I’ve heard of a lot of medical patients who don’t take pain medication,” McGaughey explained, saying he understands that doctors don’t want someone to become addicted to opioids or have anti-inflammatories injure their liver or stomach. drugs. “But it causes excruciating pain for many women and girls,” she said. “It’s so bad you can’t walk, [many] think they should take two Advils.”

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McGaughey added that part of the problem is trusting women and girls. She remembers telling the doctor that she had very painful periods, but she didn’t understand it. Only when he explained that because of this he had to miss several days of work every month, the doctor listened to him and took it into account.

“I’ve since quantified the pain I experienced during the days I missed work as a professional,” he says. “It is more than simply believing my account of the days of suffering.”

The reasons for ending women’s suffering lie in cultural gender norms, but as the research reveals, “the general lack of endometriosis as an important female disease

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