Imagine that you're 18 years old and 100lbs and your belly is so bloated people ask you if you're pregnant on a regular basis.
Imagine every month bracing for pain that is so intense that it causes you to vomit or leaves you bed ridden.
Women often describe endometriosis as feeling like barbed wire is being wrapped around their reproductive parts and pulled tight. Yes. It’s THAT painful. That was me for 15 years. Except I couldn’t and didn’t stay home. I TOOK a ton of NSAIDS and Tylenol by the handful to cope.
I just didn’t know what else to do, AND I thought it was “normal” to have period pain. It took me -15 years to understand what I was dealing with and get diagnosed. By then it was stage 4 endometriosis. This is what I wish I knew...
1) Stop covering up symptoms with over the counter medicine. Pain relievers and NSAIDs affects your liver and kidney function which affects your hormones
2) Don’t wait for your doctor to diagnose you. Ask your doctor for the new blood test (not always accurate but indicative). Doctors are Literally NOT allowed to diagnose without surgery. This tripped me up for years because I didn’t want to further hurt my fertility chances with scar tissue when “I wasn’t sure” I had endometriosis.
3) Schedule your surgery. Don’t wait to get a laparoscopy to diagnose endometriosis. If you are having period pain so intense that it's keeping you from performing daily functions it’s likely endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
4) Be real with yourself about how your diet is contributing to your potential endo. Endometriosis IS affected by what you eat. Focus on reducing your exposure to proteins that contain hormones (go organic if possible) and eat a diet low in inflammatory foods. Limit the amount of unprocessed foods you eat. There are tons of great resources for endo diets. Find one and try it. Today.
5) In addition to changes to your diet add anti-inflammatory supplements to your routine. Turmeric, dark fruit juices such as tart cherry, pomegranate or wolfberry/goji berry juices help with inflammation as do bio-flavonoids from citrus fruits.
I learned about this whole process is no one knows your body better than you do and the infertility journey is full of what if’s and risks. Overall health is the goal and pregnancy is the outcome. If you are determined to get to the bottom of your infertility diagnosis here's another checklist that I put together to help you on your path of infertility.