When I was getting ready to get wheeled into the Operating Room back in 2014 for my cystectomy, my Doc tells me that if he gets in there and there’s extensive damage, he may need to perform an oophorectomy (pronounced oh-uh-fuh–rek-tuh-mee). I signed the permission slip/waiver without blinking and off we went. Luckily, he didn’t have to perform one. And this turned out to be my Endo diagnostic surgery. Quite the day.
One of our readers & fellow blogger, SnowDroplets, asked the other day if I could look into the pros & cons of oophorectomies, when to have them, and hormone replacement therapy after the ovary(ies) is removed (especially how it may affect with with Endo). You know how I love to learn about new things, so here goes! And thank you, SnowDroplets, for asking this question. I learned A LOT today.
The Oxford Dictionary defines inflammation as, “a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury and infection.”
An article which is slated to be published in June 2016’s Frontiers in Bioscience reviews previous studies and literature which discuss how inflammation may cause Endometriosis to develop. It states, “…inflammation is crucial in the pathogenesis of endometriosis…” Pathogenesis is the development of a disease; the cellular events and mechanisms that lead to a disease.
As you may know, Endometriosis is not limited to just your reproductive bits & pieces. It can implant, grow, and fester in many places; the bowel included. But what does that mean? How do you know if it’s on your bowel? Today’s blog will go into that…Read on, dear Reader…read on. Word of warning : I will be using words like fart and poop! Why dance around the subject with flowery words when I feel like I’m a giggly 12-year-old girl?
It is estimated that between 5-15% (and some even doctors guess it’s actually between 3-34%) of women with Endometriosis suffer from Endo on their bowels. Bowel Endometriosis may affect the colon, the rectum, the large intestine, the small intestine, the colon, or the sigmoid colon. The implants may be physically located on the bowels, or even just located adjacent to them in areas like the Pouch of Douglas, uterosacral ligaments, or rectovaginal septum. The close proximity of the inflamed and irritated lesions may be enough to induce bowel Endometriosis symptoms. And these symptoms may also be caused by adhesions pulling or twisting the bowels.
As you may recall, last week I shared how I have heard a lot of recent buzz about sexual abuse and Endometriosis sharing a causal link. As promised, I did some digging to figure this out for myself. Curious on my opinion? Read on! But, please remember : it’s only my opinion.
According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are a victim of child sexual abuse. In 2012 in the United States alone there were 62,939 reported cases of child sexual abuse. That same year, there were 346,830 reported rapes or sexual assaults of persons who were 12 or older.
So this entry’s going to get a bit personal. And possibly full of Too Much Information. But it is a topic that needs to be addressed. Not only for myself, but for countless otherssuffering from the same issues.
One of the symptoms of Endometriosis for a lot of EndoWarriors is painful sex (either during, after, or both), and it’s estimated that more than half of the people with Endo suffer from it. The fancy name for pelvic pain during or after sex is Dyspareunia. It’s common and it could have a myriad of causes and factors. Some of those factors can be vaginal dryness, herpes, Endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, Adenomyosis, uterine tilt, bowel tenderness or fullness, pelvic inflammatory disease, infections, or bladder issues. The pain can be limited to the vaginal opening or canal, or it can extend deeper into the pelvic region and thighs. This pain can stop as soon as sexual activity is stopped, or can last for hours, or even days afterward. It can be a dull ache, a sharp pain, stabbing sensations, and can range from barely there to excruciating.
A friend asked me to look up any connections between Endometriosis and Cesarean Sections. So, here we go. Lots of science in this one! Some studies show that less than 1% of women who undergo a cesarean section end up developing incisional Endometriosis (Endometriosis in or along the c-section scar). However, that tiny little 1% number has a staggering amount of studies involving a lot of women who suffer from this form of Endo.
Ginny was diagnosed when she was 31. Now 37, Ginny lives in Arkansas with her wonderful husband. Despite this happy ending, she continues to suffer from the pain and effects of Endometriosis, and continues ongoing treatment…and a hunt for answers.
Ginny’s Journey: My first hospitalization for severe abdominal pain happened at age 16. The intensity of the pain and internal bleeding had caused my blood pressure to drop to 70/30 and my body to go into shock. It was the first of many ER visits for similar symptoms but the only one taken seriously enough to admit me to the hospital overnight.
A lot of women who suffer from Endometriosis also have adhesions. You may have heard the term “adhesions” but just don’t know exactly what they are, or what they do. Well, I’m here to help!
After my first excision surgery in June of last year, I was told that I had adhesions which needed to be cut and/or removed. What the heck? My doctor described it as scarring which acted like spider webs, stretching from organ to organ, entangling my organs, or even stitching two organs together. These restrictions are known to cause intense pain if the organ’s movements or function are limited in any way. They may also cause infertility if the Fallopian tubes are blocked due to the woven-web of adhesions, preventing the egg from traveling to their wonderful, spongey, wet, warm home.