Share Your Story: Kat

An IUD and scalpel with text that reads: "I have a decision to make: mirena or hysterectomy?"

Kat was diagnosed this year with Endometriosis at 47 years old.

Kat’s Journey:   Over the last 2 years my cycles that were getting very light and very spread out (I almost went 11 months) have been getting worse. My cycle is never the same… it will go 50 days one month and 35 the next. Sometimes I get the incredible cramping but no bleeding. When I do bleed I soak a tampon in 30 minutes. It has been like this for the last 6 months.

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Endometriosis & the Appendix

Diagram of the appendix

Here I go again, once more intrigued by Endometriosis growing in odd places inside the body.  Today I’m going to focus on the appendix.  I’ve read that many women have their appendix removed because physicians may confuse Endometriosis pain for the symptoms of appendicitis.  But on Tuesday an article hit my email about Endometriosis growing on the appendix…and I became obsessed.

Please remember: I don’t write this to scare you, or freak you out, or say that all of your right-sided abdominal pain is from Appendix Endo.  Take a deep breath – I like to document these things in case anyone would like to discuss it further with their healthcare providers so they may be aware during surgery.  Appendiceal Endometriosis is considered extremely rare and it is suspected that only 1-3% of all cases of Endometriosis involve the appendix.  But…knowledge is power.

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Share your Story: Nathaly

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Nathaly was diagnosed with Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, and fibroids when she was 26 years old.  A year later, she shares her story with us.  And, Nathaly will be walking on March 25th with friends and family at our Endometriosis Awareness walk! Looking forward to meeting her ❤

Nathaly’s Journey: My story starts when I was only 11 years old. I often found myself curled up in a ball waiting until I would finally pass out so the pain could be over. My mother was very strict growing up so birth control was out of the question, even if it was for medical purposes.

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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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October’s Winner!

drawing of a woman wrapped in a towel

Congratulations, Debbie of New Jersey, for winning our October Coloring Contest!  You’re automatically entered to win our Grand Prize: having your design printed on a t-shirt next year!  All profits of the t-shirt sales will go to the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

If you’d like to enter our contest, a winner will be picked every month until April 1, 2017.  And the best part?  Spreading Endo awareness and having fun at the same time!  Who doesn’t like coloring?!?

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Share Your Story : Melinda

Guyanese woman in a blue shirt and necklace

Melinda lives in Guyana in South America and was 35-years-old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Now 40, she has started an Endometriosis Support Group in her country.  May she bring the government, the women, and the medical professionals together to raise Endo awareness and improve healthcare for the Guyanese citizens!

Melinda’s Journey: 

🌅 Let me begin by thanking Lisa Drayton from Bloomin’ Uterus for giving me that little nudge I needed to start this Endo conversation in Guyana. My journey with Endometriosis has been a long and very painful one.

During the latter half of my teens I started having severe pains, heavy bleeding, bloating, lower back pain and constipation during my menstrual cycle. The pain was so intense I would sometimes faint.

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Guyana : Endometriosis Care & Treatment

map of guyana

**Updated 10/29/16: If you live in Guyana and have (or think you have) Endometriosis, there IS an online support group created by a woman living in Georgetown:  **

Guyana is a small English-speaking country located on the northeastern coast of South America, next to Venezuela and Brazil.  For a size-comparison, it’s slightly smaller than the state of Idaho.  It’s estimated that 736,000 people live in Guyana, most of whom reside in or near the capital, Georgetown, .  The majority of the country is covered in dense tropical forests.  The rest is grasslands, marshes, and cultivated urban areas.  Guyana has an 11% unemployment rate, and 35% of the population lives below the poverty line.   Unfortunately, nearly 155,000 residents live without electricity.

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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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