I have a disease. I don’t look sick. I don’t have a handicap. I don’t have any outward signs that something is wrong. Most people in my life don’t even know I have this disease. I am 25-years-old, and I have endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue in a woman’s uterus grows outside of her uterus, such as on the bowels, ovaries, and pelvic region. A life with endometriosis is different for everyone. There are no rules or commonalities as to how it operates. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The severity of your pain isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of the extent of the condition. Some women with mild endometriosis have extensive pain, while others with advanced endometriosis may have little pain or even no pain at all.”
I was diagnosed with stage 1 endometriosis during a laparoscopy two years ago. Unfortunately, I have more symptoms of the disease than other family members with stage 4. Symptoms include pelvic pain, painful intercourse, and infertility, to name a few. I started having symptoms not long after I was married. I don’t remember a time in my married life that didn’t involve stomach pain at least every other day, or a time where I didn’t double over from stabbing pain. I don’t remember the last time sex with my husband wasn’t dreaded. I don’t dread it because I don’t love him. Words can’t describe the hurt and anguish I have because our sex life is non-existent. But the pain is so severe, we cease to be intimate. Most days, I wonder if this pain is worth it. Will I even be able to have children? Or is this a sign from God that there’s a little boy or girl out there that needs the love only my husband and I can provide when we adopt them as our own.
I don’t tell you this for a pity party. I tell you this for awareness. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 girls and women in the U.S. and 176 million women worldwide. These women are your family, friends, co-workers, and your community. They live with a disease that has no cure. A disease that is often brushed off because you can’t tell we are “sick.” I can tell you from experience, it’s hard to go through each day with a smile when you are in constant pain that no one else understands.
Be compassionate to everyone. You never know who is fighting a battle you can’t see. Help these women not to fight the battle alone.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
Elizabeth: I am 24 and was not diagnosed with endometriosis until I was 20. Although I have had the symptoms since the first day of my first menstrual cycle at 14. After 2 doctors and 3 surgeries, my husband finally started searching for a specialist. I called to make an appointment and by the grace of God they got me in same day. The facility was 2 hours away, but we left immediately after finding someone to cover for work. She was the sweetest most comforting dr I have ever known. She did an ultrasound in the office, talked with my husband and I and immediately scheduled surgery in 2 weeks. I expressed my concerns with her about having 2 prior surgeries in OR and 1 outpatient. She verified the difference between the surgery an OBGYN does compared to a specialized OBGYN. After surgery, I took pain pills 2 days knowing all along I would be reaching for them a couple days later. This is the first time in 10 years that I can truly say I am pain free. My surgery with the specialist was July 14. I have never gone this long without pain. We went from thinking about adoption due to the severity and dr telling us we couldn’t have kids to have a 95% chance of conceiving within the next 6 months. Feel free to ask me any questions. I am overly excited and will gladly share my story with anyone and provide any guidance.
Hi my story is very similar to yours. I am 24 and was diagnosed at the age of 19. I have been to two doctors since my first surgery in 2011 and tell them that I experience so much pain and discomfort. A lot of what I feel is pressure in my pelvic area. Is that something you experience. Any ways back to the doctors they just always do a ultrasound to see if they see any cyst because f my pain but I truly don’t think it is cyst that are my problems. I think the endometriosis has come back worse then before and that’s what I see but all they tell me is to stay on the birth control pill to level out my periods and bleeding and it will help. Well that’s not the case. I hurt every day and people just don’t understand why I hurt so bad at such a young age. My lower back has pressure on it to. But thanks for posting about your story. It’s nice to know that there are people my same age experiencing this and that I’m not the only one.