Surgery and hormone patch has reduced symptoms

Surgery and a hormone patch has reduced the symptoms for Helen but she feels that it has grown again on the bowel and may need more surgery soon

This is Helen’s story ....

I just had to write a story after reading so many story's about endometriosis hardship. I guess my story starts off pretty typical. I started getting painful periods in my late teens and just figured I was one of the unlucky ones. As did my family and friends. I wouldn't be able to do anything for the first full day of my period. The pain would be (as many of you have also experienced) so bad that I would vomit and often have diarrhoea.


I never really thought of telling my doctor that I had painful periods, I honestly thought I was a normal period sufferer. I do know now that there is no such thing as severe pain and being normal!


About 4 years ago (when I was 32 years old), my doctor became concerned about a growth on my cervix, which she observed during a pap test. She sent me to a specialist at Saint Michael's Hospital which is located in Toronto, Canada. He did a pelvic exam and took some tissue samples.


All of the tissue samples that he took came back as benign. Thank God! However, he then told me that he suspected that I might have endo. He gave me options, but said he really wouldn't know for sure unless he did the laparoscopic surgery. About a month later I went in for the surgery. After the operation my doctor told me that the endometriosis had been pretty extensive.


One of my fallopian tubes was 98% blocked the other one was about 80% blocked, I had endometriosis on my bowels and ovaries, as well as a couple of cysts on my ovaries. He said he removed most of it and told me, "if you want to have children do it soon!" Okay then, that's a little bit difficult when you are not even in a serious relationship!


He put me on the Evro-Ortho Patch (which I was told doesn't have the same amount of hormone in the Canadian version as the U.S. version) and I had been on that patch up until 3 months ago. I took the patch off a month before my marriage. Now that I'm settled and in a relationship I would love to get pregnant. I have a feeling I might need to go back in for another laparoscopic surgery before that will happen??


The surgery and being on the Patch did help me quite a bit. I still don't get cramping anything near what I used to get before the surgery. I used to get horrible aching pain over my ovaries around the time of ovulation, and I don't get that any more as well. I do get cramps (that sometimes take my breath away) during a large bowl movement.


I suspect the endometriosis is back on my bowels. I guess that is a small price to pay to not be completely debilitated during ovulation and menstruation. Right now I am praying that my ovaries and fallopian tubes are okay. Bowel pain is a small price to pay to be able to get pregnant!


I know not everyone lives near Toronto, Canada, but if you can save the money I would highly recommend coming to Saint Michael's hospital if you are not getting the treatment that you need where you are.


Saint Michael's is a woman's hospital that specializes in women's reproductive issues etc. The people there will do what you need to have done to help you and they won't pat you on the head and say "there, there young lady, it's just cramps, take this pain killer and try to be a little stronger".


I hope all of you can find some relief. I thought I was so unfortunate because I am only now at a point when I can try to have children (I'm 36 years old now!), but it appears that I have received very good medical help up to this point. The right doctors are out there, don't give up. Remember, it's NOT NORMAL TO HAVE SEVERE CRAMPS WITH YOUR PERIOD! And don't let anyone tell you differently! God's love to all of you.

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