Share Your Story : Tara

Man and woman standing next to a christmas tree

Tara Langdale-Schmidt lives in Florida, and was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 11 years old! She also suffers from Vulvodynia.  Now 32, Tara invented a treatment that is helping women who suffer from pelvic pain all over the world. Today she shares her story and struggles, but also shares her victories.

Tara’s Journey: It started when I was 11 with my first surgery. Doctors did not know what was causing my abdomen pain so they the scheduled exploratory surgery. They found a huge cyst which had cut off the blood supply to ovary which killed it. They removed that ovary and tube. This was the first of many surgeries for cysts and endometriosis over the next 20 years.

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Reader’s Choice : Endometrial Polyps

Tiny mushrooms growing on a log

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.

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Reader’s Choice : Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

A birdseye view of pelvic floor musclse

A bird’s eye view of the pelvic floor muscles

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.

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2nd Surgery pending…

operating room set-up with da vinci surgical machine

This morning I found out Surgery No. 2 is imminent, thanks to my Endometriosis. The date will be sometime in September; I’ll know more in a few days. I met with my doctor today to discuss my ongoing symptoms and worsening pain.  After a long talk and history, an a transvaginal ultrasound (OUCH), and another looooong talk in his office: he felt it’s time to peek under the hood.  I knew going in today that the surgical option was likely it. I wish we could tell if it was present in other ways.  But nope.  My CT was normal.  My US was normal.  But, as you and I both know, it may not always show up on imaging studies.  My symptom history is what convinced him:

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Cervical Endometriosis

Sprinkle-covered donut
…not really a cervix, but you get it… 😉

So, WordPress shows me a lot of the searches that people run that lead them to my site.  One has recently come up again and again.  “Cervical Endometriosis” and “Endometriosis on Cervix.”

Seeing as I’ve never touched up on that particular location, I figured I would today!

What are the symptoms? How are you diagnosed?  What’s the treatment?

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Share Your Story : Alexandra

Woman with brown hair wearing a shirt that reads "Fight like a (yellow ribbon) girl."

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*:

Alexandra’s Journey: “Uterus.” There, I said it! Uterus! Periods. Ovaries. Fallopian Tubes. Bleeding. Tampon. Rectum. Hormones. Bladder. Cervix. Menstruation. Vagina. Discharge. Pelvis. Pads. Endometriosis. Awkward.

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Adenomyosis

The word Adenomyosis covered in little spots and lesions

April is Adenomyosis Awareness Month.  Ado-what-o?  A disease, similar to Endo; some say Ado is the cousin to Endometriosis.  And many people with Endo also suffer with Adenomyosis.  So, I figured I’d spread a bit of awareness of Ado during this month and learn something in the process.

A few folks who attended our Endo walk suffer also from Adeno.  And one who showed up to our last Endo support group meeting suffers from Ado (but not Endo).  It’s a term I’m beginning to hear a lot more about.  But, what is it?

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Share your Story : Kyla

Text that reads "I don't know how to proceed at this point..."

Kyla is 34-years-old.  Nine weeks ago she had a total hysterectomy and is struggling with a potential diagnosis of Endometriosis and needs our help…

Kyla’s Journey: Hello everyone .. I recently had a total Da Vinci hysterectomy with bilateral tube removal due to several years of horrible pain with my monthly cycles and irregular bleeding with painful intercourse. I have had a very rough recovery, suffering 2 large hematomas and am still slowly recovering at 9 weeks post op. I have suspected for a long time that I had/have endo. My Dr. Has not discussed her findings during my hysto. ..she has only told me that she removed extensive scar tissue.

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Endometriosis & The Bowel

Diagram of human bowels

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.

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