The Pain of it All

by Angi Ingalls
PCOS in ConnecTion

When you live with endometriosis, you expect pain at the most inopportune times. Once I was walking down the aisle of a store and was immediately impeded by sharp stabbing pains in my leg and vagina. Imagine me leaning against a display of paper towels trying to regain composure; now imagine most of them all on the floor and my ‘whatever’ expression.

Sometimes I’d be sitting at work, doing my job and it would hit – in the middle of a phone conversation – and would find the phone hanging from my desk. Once I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in awhile, literally, from the immense amount of pain that took my legs away. The expression on that woman was priceless. She didn’t know what to do or say. “Well, next time I see you, I promise, no concussion.”

I wonder how many other women with endometriosis have to keep on hand some witty comebacks for times like these, i.e. “Oh, man, sorry, I was so mesmerized by your presence it threw my feet off their train of thought.” I mean, how do you recover from something like that while saving face and protecting the other person from feeling awkward? Ok, I have my note pad and pen in hand…. I’m ready and listening!

As a women with endometriosis (Stage 1), I can empathize with women who share this diagnosis. Not only do I suffer with endometriosis but I also have some residual nerve pain from a past episode with Shingles. I live with pain, partially from the Shingles, that is amplified by my endometriosis. In my case it was discovered during a laparoscopy in 2001 that my endometriosis has attached itself to my uterus, rectum and nerves around my vagina as well as some other nerves leading to other areas of the body. During the laparoscopy I also had an ovarian drilling and all of the endometriosis removed. I am happy to say that I had no excess pain for a few years.

But, slowly over the years, I have returned to my previous state.

Endometriosis is a serious disease that develops in 5-20% of reproductive age women [1] and many women with PCOS also suffer from endometriosis. The severity of the disease does not determine the amount of issues one might have. Endometriosis is a disease that affects each person in a different way. There are four stages of endometriosis: stages 1 to 4, referring respectively, as minimal, mild, moderate and severe. Your staging does not determine the amount of pain that you may feel. Women in any stage can experience no pain at all or mild to severe pain.

Not only can endometriosis create pain, it can increase scar tissue that can affect the function of reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries, increase issues with cysts as well as other surrounding structures including the bladder and bowel. Endometriosis can even leave the reproductive area and attach itself throughout the body.

There are a few options [2] and like dealing with PCOS, with every patient, treatment success varies. It is important to do all of your homework and research on what might be or what might not be an option for you. Also, consider how these treatment options may affect PCOS. Having both endometriosis and PCOS may be difficult to deal with and not yet completely understood but with the power of information and a doctor well-educated in both of these conditions, you can come out a better, healthier you.

Angi Ingalls; PCOS in ConnecTion
Guest PCOS writer
pcosinct@yahoo.com
Educator for over 18 years
Diagnosed in 1985 at 12, living with PCOS since 1981
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article/reply and the Insulite Labs website is for the sole purpose of being informative. Information obtained is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endometriosis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endometriosis

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endometriosis#Treatments; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endometriosis#Treatments; http://www.endometriosis.org/treatment.html http://www.endometriosis.org/treatment.html

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