One of our readers, Jocelyn, emailed me this question:
Thanks for doing this! I was diagnosed with Endo in May 2017. After of course many ultrasounds, bladder scans, colonoscopies… you name it. The laparoscopy in May only revealed 2 very tiny cysts on my ovaries. My doc was able to get a tiny sample sent it off and then after much debate, they gave me the Endo diagnosis. My pain was very severe. I could barely complete normal activities without taking either 800 mg of ibuprofen every 2-4 hours, tramadol, rest, etc. With that being said, my question is even if the Endo is so small can it still cause a great deal of pain? I’ve heard women who have Endo all over their bodies. I tend to question myself because the cysts were so small. I apologize for the ridiculously long response. It’s just been very heavy on my mind. Thanks for listening and all that you do!
One of our readers (who shall remain anonymous) asked if we could look into a topic: “Pudendal nerve pain-when is it endo and when is it not? Or is there even a way to know?” So, here I go off to learn things and hopefully share a bit of that newfound knowledge. And since this blog entry is Endometriosis-related, I’m going to keep the anatomy female (although men have a pudendal nerve and can also suffer from these symptoms).
Where’s the Pudendal Nerve?
The pudendal nerve is located back by the tailbone, and extends along the pelvic floor and around the pelvis, toward the rectal, gluteal, and clitoris areas. There’s two: a right and a left pudendal nerve. One or both pudendal nerves may cause issues, which we’ll get into right now!
One of our local EndoSisters has recently been diagnosed with endometrial polyps, something I know absolutely nothing about. So what happens when I know nothing? I research!
What is a polyp?
A polyp is an abnormal overgrowth of tissue, usually a lump, bump, or stalky growth (hence the mushrooms above). They’re most commonly found in the colon, but can be found in the uterus (known as uterine or endometrial polyps), cervix, stomach, throat, nose, and ear canal. There can be just one polyp…or there can be lots.
Have you heard of pelvic floor dysfunction? I hadn’t; not before meeting women who suffer from it. And I’d never heard of a pelvic floor before that, either. We’re going to focus today on pelvic floor dysfunction in women (although men can get it). But what is it?
The pelvic floor is made up of a lot of little muscles, nerves, and tissues all working together for your body to function. Imagine it as a tightly-woven basket at the underside of your pelvis, sweeping from front to back, and side to side. Not only does it support the organs of the pelvis, but it also wraps around the urethra, rectum, and vagina. When these muscles, nerves, and tissues stop working properly (they are too tense or too lax), it’s called pelvic floor dysfunction. It can cause pain and difficulty with urination, defecation, intercourse, and lower back pain.
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.
I was contacted by one of our readers who shall remain anonymous. She suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Bipolar Disorder. Her OBGYN suspects she has Endometriosis; however, she had to return to college out-of-state and wasn’t able to have her diagnostic surgery. In the meantime, her physician is encouraging her to remain on birth control pills to suppress the possible Endo symptoms. Her symptoms are worsening…
She had heard that there may be a link between Endometriosis and Bipolar Disorder, and that it may be difficult to treat both at the same time due to complications with the medications interacting with each other, or even cancelling the medicinal effects of the pills.
It’s a New Year! Time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and resolutions! And time time for me to start writing again 🙂
Today’s question is from one of our Readers, and she asks, “Do you have any advice on how to find a local or local-ish doctor who ‘specializes’ or at least is studied in endo more so than your averge ob/gyn? I’m looking for someone like that, but no luck so far.”
So, how do you go about finding a specialist in your area? It will take patience, research, and balls. That’s right : balls. And, I want to make it clear that I am not endorsing any of the physicians identified in this blog, or any of the links provided. Just hoping to point you folks in a direction…hopefully the right one for you.
A lot of people have trouble becoming pregnant, whether or not they have Endometriosis. The question has been raised : if you have Endometriosis and are undergoing frozen embryo transfer (FET), which treatment regimens and protocols have the highest successful pregnancy rate?
I myself have never considered IVF and had to do a bit of initial research on the differences between fresh and frozen embryos, IVF, etc. I am so grateful an EndoWarrior asked this question; brought this struggle to my attention. So if you already know about these, please bear with me as I learn. Otherwise, skip passed these first few categories to the knitty gritty below 🙂