Because of period pains
Diagnosis of endometriosis: “I cried – with joy!”
“Period pain is part of being a woman.” A saying we’ve all heard before. However, severe pain during the day can also have another cause, which unfortunately is still recognized far too late: endometriosis. In order for that to change, Vivian wants to enlighten. She herself is affected and describes her path of illness to us.
My name is Vivian and I am 25 years old. In February 2020, after more than 12 years of uncertainty, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I had my first symptoms when I was 12 years old. There I got my first period and with it my first pain. I would regularly faint from the pain or vomit. I have been terrified of my periods and all the recurring pain all over the years. Every month. Over and over again. Over the years I have visited around 20 gynecologists – with the hope that I will finally get answers about what is wrong with me. But despite the constant pain, I was persuaded that severe period pain is normal: “That is part of being a woman”.
Endometriosis is one of the most common abdominal diseases and, above all, in countless cases the cause of unwanted childlessness in women. Affected women usually suffer from severe abdominal pain for years without knowing what is causing it. It takes an average of 10 years until it is clear that endometriosis is present!
The pill should take care of it
I was regularly passed with a prescription for the pill. In the meantime, of course, I also doubted myself. Am i too sensitive? Am I just imagining it? In December 2019 I contacted my current gynecologist. He immediately expressed the suspicion that it could be endometriosis and shortly afterwards my laparoscopy in an endometriosis center was due. The planned 45 minutes turned into a three-hour operation. Diagnosis of endometriosis. My entire abdomen was full of endometriosis. So I haven’t imagined the pain for all these years. I cried with joy.
Endometriosis is a permanent disease. It can only be cured in individual cases. The symptoms usually go away on their own after the last menstrual period. Treatment is only necessary if you want to have children or if the endometriosis is causing symptoms. Which treatment comes into question depends on the complaints and the living situation of the person concerned. Since endometriosis is a recurring disease, the treatments are also often repeated. It is not uncommon for endometriosis foci to be removed surgically. This has been shown to reduce pain in most women.
Finally a diagnosis
Because finally I had an explanation for all the pain. With endometriosis, cysts and inflammations (endometriosis foci) occur, which settle for example on the ovaries, bladder, intestines or outside the abdomen. The tissue is similar to that of the lining of the uterus and the foci can grow and bleed with the hormonal cycle. This can often lead to severe pain, even outside of your period. It can also lead to intestinal problems, bladder problems, pain during intercourse and / or unwanted childlessness.
The symptoms usually begin between the ages of 20 and 30 or, as with Vivian, with the first menstrual period. Endometriosis has many faces, and the way it manifests itself is therefore very individual. Some have little or no symptoms. Others are so affected by severe pain that they can hardly go about their work or everyday life.
Severe period pain is never normal
Especially not when you have to take pills to get through the day. Should you recognize your symptoms or suspect that you have endometriosis, I recommend going straight to a certified endometriosis center. I am chronically ill now, but still happy!
Vivian sits up with her participation in Miss Germany and Instagram for the education about endometriosis and takes her followers with her into their everyday life with the disease.