10 Reasons Why Endometriosis Is More Than Just a 'Bad Period'
“I have my period too. It definitely sucks – just take some medicine.”
Raise your hand if you have heard this line from those in your life who do not have endometriosis. Now raise your hand if it makes you irritated when people say this to you. I do not know about you, but both of my hands are up. One in 10 women have endometriosis yet there are many who do not understand how excruciating it truly is. A professor who studies reproductive health said, “Period cramping is as bad as having a heart attack.” Still, so many dismiss these symptoms. Society seems to brainwash everyone into believing that painful periods are normal and part of being a woman. Because of this view on period pain, it can take many years to receive a proper diagnosis. This goes to show just how misunderstood endometriosis is.
I Am Here to Tell You: It Is More Than Just a Bad Period
Endometriosis does not just affect me once a month. In fact, it affects me all day, every day. The pain I experience is far from being normal. It physically, mentally and emotionally hurts. Some days I can hide it well, while others, not so much. Every day is a constant worry. Am I going to start bleeding? Should I wear a pad just in case? Am I leaking? Does this unbearable pain mean my endometriosis has spread? Do I even have enough money for another surgery? You see, it is more than just a bad period. Endometriosis comes with so much more baggage than you could ever imagine.
Here Are 10 Reasons Why:
1. My period is not just once a month for seven to 10 days. It is all month every month. Most days are filled with blood clots, spotting and heavy bleeding. Sometimes I may get lucky and have a few days where I stop bleeding, before the bloody massacre starts up again.
2. My period pain is not just your usual cramps. Instead, it feels as though I am in a horror movie being ripped apart limb by limb. Pain radiates to places you cannot even imagine.
3. Jeans? What are jeans? Tight clothes are no longer a thing in my life. The pressure, pain and feeling of being restricted are too much for me to handle. Yoga pants, stretch pants and occasionally jeggings are about the only pants I can tolerate.
4. Constant bleeding and pain means a strain on love life. It is a never-ending battle of not knowing when I will get to enjoy my love life again.
5. The risk of never being able to have children and the risk of miscarriages. For me, it can go both ways. It is very likely I can never have children. My left fallopian tube is just about closed shut. The small chance I do have may include numerous miscarriages. It is mentally exhausting to wonder if I will ever have a family or not.
6. The fear each time of having a bowel movement and the pain that is accompanied with it. It is almost as though sharp glass is trying to exit my body.
7. Sometimes there is a sense of embarrassment when it comes time to talking about the pain. You do not feel embarrassed talking about how you stubbed your toe and it now hurts. But to say your bowel movements, sex and period hurt is another story and a lot more uncomfortable.
8. Fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, trouble breathing, constipation an brain fog are just some of the symptoms that occur every day.
9. Endo belly is an everyday occurrence. Bloat can be so bad that it looks like I am carrying twins. The pressure feels as though there is a baby growing inside of me pushing on every single one of my organs.
10. Spiraling out of control not being able to handle hormones, moods and outbursts. You never know when my hormones will take over my body. They control my actions and thoughts on most days.
So for anyone who thinks endometriosis is just a bad period, please think again. For those who think just taking medicine will help, think again. And for those of you experiencing symptoms similar to these, listen to your body and demand a diagnosis. Pain is not normal.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Thinkstock photo via b-d-s.