It can manifest as painful bowels or even painful bowel movements. Some people describe the bowel movement pain as broken glass or barbed wire moving through their guts. It may be Endometriosis on, near, or inside the intestines, or interfering adhesions.
Carole was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 25 years old. Now 65, she shares her Journey with us. And quite a journey it’s been!
Carole’s Journey: Suffered excruciating pain ever since I started my periods at age 11. Trying to describe the pain, I can only compare it to a vacuum trying to suck my uterus out of my body. I could not even walk, and everybody (even my parents) thought I was faking…Until the day I did not go to a dance because of the pain. I saw a few doctors, who all ordered D&C. Finally (thru a friend’s recommendation to her gynecologist) I was able to get an appointment to see her gynecologist at age 25. He suspected it was endometriosis and ordered a laparoscopy and it was confirmed. Finally there was a reason and a name for all my pain! I was prescribed the painkiller “Talwin” – very strong and I was somewhat “stoned” and even “hallucinated” – which rendered me unable to function for 1-2 days each month at work (better than 7 days of pain without it). Married, I was trying to get pregnant, and even with fertility pills I could not. Exploratory surgery found I had endometriosis that had squished both my ovaries and a lot on my uterus: One ovary removed; then second ovary removed; and finally uterus removed. I was 27 years old. Although most of pain was gone I still had pain with my bowel. At 35 years of age I had 6 inches of my bowels removed as endometriosis was found squishing my bowel. I was so happy to see a commercial on television that talked about it. After all those years people are finally going to believe that ENDOMETRIOSIS is real !!! Thank you.
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!
So, surgery took place on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. It’s main intent was to take a look inside to see if my Endometriosis had returned, to excise any lesions and free any adhesions. The official list of procedures to be possibly done that day, “Robotic Assisted Right and/or Left Ovarian Cystectomy, Excision of Endometriosis and Lysis of Adhesions, Possible Enterolysis, Urethrolysis, and Cystoscopy.”
The surgery took a little over two hours. I did not get to meet with my surgeon afterward, unfortunately, but did have the pleasure of speaking with him on the telephone before I left the hospital that day. What I remember:
Alexandra is a fellow blogger out of Brisbane, Australia. Today she share’s her Endometriosis journey with us. She was diagnosed when she was 20, and now five years later here she goes, starting us out with a *bang*:
Donna lives in Britain and was in her early 20’s when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Nearly 20 years later, she tells us her story…including something that happened to her eyes about 10 years ago. She continues to live with Endometriosis and her eye-issue.
Donna’s Journey: Hi my name is Donna, it all started when I was nine years old when I started my periods. My childhood was ripped away from a very young age. I never had normal periods my cycle was every 14 days. When I would bleed I would often drench the bed with blood. My Mum took me to my doctor and he decided to put me on hormone replacement tablets to begin with. The pain I would experience was unreal yet no one really understood. Year in and year out my periods stayed at a 14 to 19 day cycle.
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.
Here we go again! Discussing taboo topics that nobody ever really wants to talk about.
You may remember a few months ago I met with a gastroenterologist to discuss my complaints of pain before, during, and after bowel movements. Anyway, he referred me to a colorectal surgeon here in San Diego for some further testing. A few months later and my insurance finally approved the appointment! And *poof* my very first visit to a colorectal surgeon took place last week (nearly five months after my initial visit with my PCP to discuss these complaints)…
I realized that I’ve asked you to share your story, but haven’t actually put mine out there in one place (maybe a snippet here or there)….time to get everything out on paper so it leaves my head and heart (sorry it’s so loooooong…I couldn’t stop!). I was diagnosed when I was 35 years old in 2014.
My Journey: I started my period when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember them hurting (but not as devastating as they have in my adult years), but figured it was normal. I grew up hearing we were cursed because of Eve’s decision to sin, punished into pain and childbirth. I also heard that some of my family members had really painful periods. So again, it was normal. Classmates said they had cramps, too…so I figured mine were just normal. I became that girl in Junior High and High School that would walk around with a hoodie tied around her waist every month because I’d almost always overflow. I had classmates come up to me during the really hard cramps, ask if I was okay, that I was white as a ghost and sweating…and I’d spend time curled up in the Nurse’s office after taking an Ibuprofen. But it was normal. Every girl went through this. Right? My family physician had wanted me to go on birth control, but just to prevent “baby accidents” from happening, which I quickly dismissed since I had no intention of having sex. Little did I know BCP may have helped with the pain…
Angela was 29 when she found out she had Endometriosis. Now 32, she continues to have pain and problems, despite several excision surgeries. She lives in Darwen in the United Kingdom and she and her fiancé are the proud and happy parents of their fur-baby, Alfie. They continue to push on and live, despite these difficulties.
Angela’s Journey: I’ve always struggled with painful and heavy periods since the age of about 14. I was used to going months without one and then the floodgates would open and the Hell would start again. When I was 18 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. To be fair I was quite lucky with my symptoms. Yes I put on weight but thankfully I didn’t develop excess hair. It was manageable. I was prepared for potential fertility issues but I wasn’t overly concerned. And then it all went wrong. So so wrong.