I am 51, and have always had regular (28 day) periods which have lasted 7 days and have been getting heavier the older I've got.
I didn't know whether I would have a baby or not, so when I conceived at 36 I was in two minds about it. As I was trying to decide what to do however, fate took over and I miscarried.
Then soon afterwards, a month or two after I had had a hystosalpingogram (a procedure to test whether your tubes are clear by firing liquid up into the tubes at high speed, which incidentally was agony), I then had an ectopic pregnancy in my left tube. I always have blamed the ectopic on the hystosalpingogram as I believe it damaged the delicate tubes which then caused the pregnancy to implant in the tube.
The surgery in those days was a full cut across the belly like a caesarian cut. I always felt I wasn't stitched together properly afterwards, and soon after the healing had settled down, I remember feeling a new kind of pain around the scar which I hadn't had before, like a really deep pain. Now looking back I realise this was probably the start of the endometrioisis.
From then on it has slowly built up gradually over the years. I tend to get pain day before period then through period, very heavy bleeding, then I get a few days relief, then on approx day 7 the pain starts slowly building up again up to day 14 (ovulation), (although now I'm perimenopausal my cycle is shortening).
I was anaemic for many years before realising it - I just always thought I was pale! I've realised the pain emanates mainly from the left ovary which I think is all gummed up with scar tissue.
I never plan to go on holiday, or commit to any future arrangements because of my pain, so it has severely limited my life and affected my decisions, I feel I'm just waiting for the menopause and I can't wait!
Anyway, don't want any more medical intervention either to diagnose endo or treat it.
The story with my diet is that I have always been allergic and have been described as 'atopic'. I was already avoiding wheat, barley, oats and rye, gluten, milk, cream and pre-prepared foods.
But now I have for the last couple of weeks been changing my diet further and following the diet plan set out in Carolyn Levett's book Recipes for the Endometriosis Diet. Apart from craving crisps/cheese/beef etc., I am already feeling better physically and sleeping better etc. but I won't know whether it has helped with the endo/period pain etc until next month. If it works then I will have to follow this new diet permanently as my body simply will not tolerate what most people consider a 'normal' diet!
So watch this space :-)
Stay strong xxxx