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.
Marixsa is a fellow blogger and Endo advocate. She was diagnosed when she was 28 years old. Now 33, her story is a heartbreaking, yet encouraging, one. Almost two decades of suffering without a diagnosis, being told she was exaggerating, living in fear of intimacy, missed diagnoses (not misdiagnosis…but literally doctors not seeing her Endometriosis while in surgery), followed by a myriad of additional surgeries, emotional rollercoasters, fertility treatments, and miscarriage. Although scarred, Marixsa is truly a strong and beautiful Warrior, rich in faith and determination. She continues to fight, for herself and for other EndoSisters. And I hold her among my heroes.
Marixsa’s Journey: Like so many women, endometriosis affected me years before I was diagnosed. It’s been quite a journey, which is why this section is so long. Here’s where this road has taken me:
Last night, my boyfriend and I were talking about Endo’s “weirdness” how it can pop up in strange and unheard of places, and he popped the question (no, not THE question…), “Are there any reports of men having Endometriosis?” I remembered reading somewhere that there were a few rare cases of it, but hadn’t read them deeply enough to understand their situations, diagnoses, and prognoses. So, we have our topic for today!!
In rare cases, cis-men develop Endometriosis. Transmen also suffer from the disease. But we will focus on cis-men for this blog: it appears many have been treated with long-term or large doses of estrogen therapy, but some are healthy men who have no history of cancer or estrogen treatment. Here’s what I could find: