I just got home from seeing my obstetrician/gynaecologist and I still have his words ringing through my ears: “The endometriosis is everywhere; it even took over your appendix. You’re in trouble”
For people who aren’t aware of endometriosis, it’s to do with endometrial tissue that resides outside the womb. To put it simply, it’s basically big round balls and small dots that cause a shitload of pain for women, often crippling them. Endometriosis causes inflammation and can lead to valuable baby-making parts and other organs fusing together, making it almost impossible for eggs to fertilise naturally, rendering many women infertile.
I am one of those women. I have been told that I will not be able to fall pregnant naturally.
I have Stage 4 endo and my patches are everywhere.
Endometriosis has been with me since I was 17; it sadly runs in my family. I have kept it at bay for 10 years by being on the pill.
I went off the pill recently to try for babies. And now, just like when I was fist diagnosed at 17, I feel every ounce of pain my endo brings every month. I go into self-lockdown for 24 hours at the start of each cycle; I can’t move, every step I take I’m in severe pain. Ironically the pain feels what I envisage childbirth to be: absolutely horrific.
Since going off the pill, what I’ve learned is that while the pill took away the pain, it didn’t take away the endo. The endo grew for 10 years while I was on the pill and completely took over my bowel and uterus; I had major surgery in March 2013 to detach my ovary from my bowel, which had become joined from the sticky Endometriosis patches.
I was lucky the doctor could save my bowel and ovaries after doing a small resection. The doctor cleaned me out and said I had six months until it would all grow back. One year later I’m getting ready for more major surgery after it did grow back (and decided to bring its army with it.)
My next surgery will be my worst and it could see me lose my ovaries. To say I’m devastated would be an understatement. It makes me feel like I’m a not a real woman. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but when you think about how children come into this world? It's hard to believe that I can't make that process happen. But that’s okay - it doesn’t change the way I will love my children or how I will be as a mother.