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Old 02-02-2008, 01:11 PM
 
24 posts, read 79,202 times
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Interesting video of doctors talking about endometriosis treatment:


YouTube - Lack of Endometriosis Surgery Reimbursement in the US
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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When I was a teen my mom explained "that time of month" as cramps that drove you to bed with bleeding that you thought would kill you. Believe it or not, even as a healthcare provider, I continued to accept her explaination for my symptoms.

Years later when I nearly passed out at work, I was examined by a physician friend who found a mass on my right ovary and adivsed me to see a GYN ASAP. Because the ultrasound really didn't show much, I had a laparotomy (actually open the abdomen) in case I needed extensive surgery for cancer. It turned out I had endometriosis and multiple cysts on my ovary. My surgeon removed as much of the endometrial tissue as he could, removed part of the ovary and advised me to get pregnant right away if I wanted a second child.

I opted to put off having the child and went on high dose bc pills. After a couple of years we decided we did want to try for another child. I was lucky and conceived quickly. For several more years the bc pills worked. But suddenly the pain returned with a vengence, my cramps were now the week before my period, the week of and another few days afterwards. Just standing for long periods of time could bring me to tears. I suffered constipation the week before my period and diarrhea the week of and after. My periods were light, but the pelvic congestion was unbearable. We tried more homone therapies and nothing and I mean NOTHING helped. I refused to take narcotics for menstrual pain but NSAIDS were like eating candy. My surgeon said we could do a laparoscopy and try to remove the implants again but he wasn't sure that would be enough. Faced with another surgery, I prepared myself for a hysterectomy at age 35.

I was told I could have a vaginal hyst but I awoke to learn I had to have an abdominal one. The surgeon told me that while the endometriosis wasn't as bad as it had been, there was so much scar tissue he couldn't free either ovary without an open procedure. One ovary was covered in cysts, the other had several cysts which actually ran the length of one of my tubes. There were so many adhesions (scar tissue) that the ovary wasn't even in my pelvis. It had been pulled upward near my ribcage. I am one of those unlucky people that seem to develop excessive scar tissue.

The fact is, several women in my family suffered with extremely painful periods and all accepted that was part of being a "normal" woman. Most went on to be diagnosised with endometriosis and a cousin had to have surgery to remove an ovary that ruptured due to an "endometrioma". It's kinda like a cyst but is filled with endometrial material that swelled with bleeding and ruptured spilling the material into her abdomen.

At least these days women are well informed and are less likely to believe there is little that can be done for the pain. I wished I had sought treatment sooner. I wished the meds and laparoscopy had worked. But they didn't. I remember telling my GYN that I would be his "poster girl" for hysterectomies. It truly was the best thing to happen to me. The constant dread and pain associated with my periods along with the crazy moods brought on by the different therapies nearly cost me my marriage. After my surgery and we found the right HRT, I was a different person. My husband no longer avoided me 3 wks out of the month. My kids even noticed the difference. Now, years later I still feel the same way.

I would encourage every woman to seek out a doctor who will listen to your symptoms and include you in a comprehensive plan to address your physical symptoms while supporting you emotionally. My GYN was great. He was compassionate and patient with me. And when the time came to give up on conservative treatment, he made it clear if I wanted to try something else (which at the time we had exhausted all but another lasering of the implants ) he would research clinical trials. In the end, it was my decision and one I do not regret. While it was the right decision for me, only you know your body. Do your research, be informed and find a great doc. Only then can you decide what is right for you.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 3,086,153 times
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I have used BC pills for 15+ years to control the growth and have had one lap. surgery to remove tissue. Mine is now pretty well under control. I started treatment on BC pills at 17. I have a LONG family history of Endo. All the women (up to my moms generation) ended up with hysterectomy's by 35 years old due to Endo. Things have changed now days, I believe because BC is used more now.
Definately get a Dr. that will listen to you and take the time with you to explain everything. Good luck!
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