Ovira: A device for menstrual pain

Ovira device in the box

As you know, from time to time we get offers to review products that manufacturers may feel are useful to our readers. I like to extend those review opportunities from time to time to other Warriors in my local support group. So, today, we’re publishing another review by Nicole. And the one condition I make when accepting a product is our reviews will be unbiased and 100% honest; no sugar-coating anything.

Ovira reached out to use with their new product, a discreet device that may help with menstrual cramps. But without further adieu, I’ll let Nicole take it away:

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Share Your Story: Jazz

text that reads: "don't be afraid to ask for help. Always trust your gut. Don't be afraid to ask stupid questions."

Diagnosed in 2017, Jazz shares her Endometriosis story with us today.

Jazz’s Journey:   I am 23 and was born in Northampton, UK where I continue to live with Cerebral Palsy and Stage 1 Endometriosis. I was born with my disability and I was diagnosed with Endo in November 2017. At 16 I started the pill, Femodette, because my periods were really heavy and really painful. I was given Mefanamic Acid to help relieve the pain and it did nothing. I was taking Paracetamol and Ibruprofen and was even told to stop crying in school because “it sounded like I was giving birth.” I was given another pill to take after Femodette failed to work called Regevidon.

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Share Your Story: L. George

Text that reads "I am not sure what to do next."

L. George was diagnosed when they were 25 years old. Today, at 52, they share their arduous journey with us.

L.’s Journey:   This is really tough to tell, as I have suffered with this awful disease for so long. I barely used to notice my periods in high school. Then, around age 21, the pain became so unbearable, but I just thought it was normal period pain. I never believed in going to doctors or taking any kind of pharmaceutical medication for pain. My mom raised me to never take aspirin or go to the hospital, no antibiotics for the frequent ear infections and bronchial infections I seemed to get a lot growing up. It was not uncommon for me to have a high fever (over 105F) as a child and ‘sweat’ it out, after dealing with it for at least a week wrapped in thick blankets to make me sweat. I never took any aspirin, or other OTC for the pain I felt at age 21.

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The good news, the not-so-good news, and the plan!

A sheet of paper with the word PLAN written on top

Yesterday was horrendous to get through. My pain was almost always an 8 to 9 out of 10. It was SO bad I reminded me of my periods during my 20s. HORRENDOUS. In a ball, crying, and couldn’t find any relief in any position. I barely got five hours of sleep last night, but I’m at work today with my pain down in the 4-level. I can do this.

I met with my gyno/surgeon yesterday to discuss my recent ultrasound: my left cyst is shrinking! It’s down from a 2.3cm to a 1.2cm. Both he and the radiologist feel it’s a simple cyst that is resolving itself. No more need for another ultrasound in two months! YAY!

My explosive pain on Day One of my period yesterday was met with options. He cannot prescribe Tramadol (which is the only thing that works for me when Naproxen doesn’t) because it’s an opioid. So, back to those options:

  • Lupron Depot: no
  • Orilissa: no
  • Birth control pills: no
  • IUD: no
  • Depo Provera: no
  • Surgery: maybe
  • Acupuncture: I can’t afford it
  • Pelvic floor therapy: I can’t afford it
  • Pain Management doctor: yes

So, the plan: Get the referral to a pain management doctor (he recommended one and I already emailed my PCP for the referral) and see how that goes. Head on back to Dr. Kurtulus in February to discuss how things are going.

If still desired at that time, discuss another excision surgery and a hysterectomy to remove at least the cervix and uterus (they still suspect I have Adenomyosis), leave both ovaries if both can remain; remove one if one appears it needs to be removed. And excise any Endometriosis he may find, as well as adhesions an restore anatomy to its rightful place.

I was in so much pain in the appointment that I just cried. I felt like such a boob.

Today’s pain levels are much more manageable. And I just received word that this Friday’s colonoscopy is approved by my insurance, so I’m glad I didn’t take any NSAIDs yesterday.

Having a plan, even one that is so far in advance, helps with the mental aspects of coping. And I’m grateful for even that much. And thank you to everyone for your support yesterday!

PS – I love my doctor and his staff. Even though I wasn’t in my best mood and form, they were all so super supportive and positive and loving.

Share Your Story: Erika

Woman smiling with Snapchat filter of cat ears an nose

After suffering from horrible periods and cramps since 13 years old, Erika 18 years old when she diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Living in Ireland, she shares her tale with us just three years later:

Erika’s Journey: This is just a short story of the life and pain I’ve been living in! My name is Erika, I’m 22 and was raised in Dublin.  I still live at home with my mother and brother seeing as its so hard to find a home at this minute in Ireland. It all started when I had my first period, I was in a lot of pain and had no clue of actually what was happening to me? All young girls oh I can’t wait for my periods to come so they would feel more mature ‘grown-up”. Where with me it was a different story completely, from my first periods all I remember was pain, very severe pain and didn’t know how to control it. 

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Today’s visit with my Gyno

Dr. Mel Kurtulus,recipient of the 2009 Patient's Choice Award
He’s absolutely earned this award.

So, today I had an appointment with my gynecologist and surgeon, Dr. Mel Kurtulus.  It was to discuss my Endometriosis symptoms, which I felt have been worsening.  My (two) July periods, and my August period were horrendous.  Going through my 2017 Pain Diary, March and April were also up there on the pain scale.  I was all prepared to go on in and ask for another surgery…and possibly a hysterectomy just to rid my life of periods (since that’s when most of my pain is present).  I know it’s not a cure, but it would most certainly help some…

Then, last Thursday evening I started my period: the night before I was to leave for a family camping trip…I was devastated.  I expected to be fully-medicated the entire weekend.  I packed my Naproxen Sodium, my Tylenol 3 with Codeine, my Tramadol, and my Zofran.  BUT…surprise surprise…my period cramps NEVER rose above a 1 (on a scale of 1-10) for pain levels!  I didn’t even have to take an Ibuprofen…the ENTIRE weekend!  (Insert elated exclamation here)

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When do you decide … it’s time?

So, I have a very important question for you, my Readers.  I value your input and feedback. I always have.  But now I need your advice…

When do you know when it’s time to go back to your doctor and let them know that your pain is returning, that you’re afraid your Endometriosis is back with a vengeance, that it may be time to begin pursuing yet another surgery?

Yet, here I sit afraid that it’s still all in my head.  That I’m blowing my pain out of proportion.  That I’ve lived without it as intense for months and am now not used to it and am labeling it as large, debilitating pain.

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New Case Study: Endo … in the buttcrack

Buttcrack

A study published online in June 2017’s edition of the Journal of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Human Reproduction discusses a case of Endometriosis in a very peculiar and very extra-pelvic location: the buttcrack!.

A 24-year-old woman in France went to her doctor because over the past 2 years, a spot in her buttcrack would bleed during her period. She also suffered with painful periods, painful sex, diarrhea, and constipation. Upon examination, her doctors found a 3mm blue nodule in her buttcrack.  They immediately suspected cutaneous Endometriosis because of her pain, symptoms, and the fact that it bled during her period.  An MRI seemed to confirm their suspicions, but the patient refused excision of the lesion and no biopsy was conducted.  Instead, she opted for hormonal treatment.  Her choice of treatment offered her some relief.

They authors stress that any blue-ish nodule with similar symptoms be suspected of Endometriosis.  And they also stress the uncertainty with theories on how it ended up…there.  A very interesting thing…and just one more weird place on the body that it can manifest.

Resources:

Journal of Gynecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction (Abstract; Oct. 2017) – Spontaneous Intergluteal Cleft Endometriosis

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Share Your Story: Stephany

After suffering with horrible periods and cramps since 13 years old, Stephany was 31 years old when she finally received answers: her Endometriosis diagnosis.  Two years later, she shares her story with us.

Stephany’s Journey: I was 13 the first time I had a “bad cramp”. From then on they never went away & just got worse. I would double over in pain, movement in general while having a cramp just made it worse like a nerve being shocked in my abdominal area. I would just have to stay still until the cramp passed. I would ask to stay home from school during the first day or 2, and luckily a few times my grandmother let me. I tried things like Midol & other off the shelf pain meds but they didn’t do a damn thing. It was like I just ate a skittle to try to manage my cramps, no relief.

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