Reader’s Choice : Oophorectomy & Endometriosis

A plushy ovary by I Heart Guts
Plushy ovary available on iheartguts.com

When I was getting ready to get wheeled into the Operating Room back in 2014 for my cystectomy, my Doc tells me that if he gets in there and there’s extensive damage, he may need to perform an oophorectomy (pronounced oh-uh-fuhrek-tuh-mee).  I signed the permission slip/waiver without blinking and off we went.  Luckily, he didn’t have to perform one.  And this turned out to be my Endo diagnostic surgery.  Quite the day.

One of our readers & fellow blogger, SnowDroplets, asked the other day if I could look into the pros & cons of oophorectomies, when to have them, and hormone replacement therapy after the ovary(ies) is removed (especially how it may affect with with Endo).  You know how I love to learn about new things, so here goes!  And thank you, SnowDroplets, for asking this question.  I learned A LOT today.

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Endometriosis & the Spine

human spinal column

Endometriosis and THE WHAT?  You mean to tell me that this disease can be found on your…spine?  A disease typically diagnosed by gynecologists can grow there?  Okay, now this is like some bad sci-fi horror film…But alas…it’s true.  A girlfriend dropped the bomb last week that she has it on her spinal cord.  So now it’s time to pick my jaw up off of the ground and hit the books.  What the hell, Endo.  Really? Is nothing sacred?

Spinal Endometriosis:

Endometriosis on or in the spinal cord, vertebrae, or nerves is considered extremely rare.  However, it has been found to be wreaking havoc for many women.  It can cause symptoms of back pain, weakness, incontinence, sciatica pain, radiating leg pain, groin pain, and monoparesis (weakness to the point of near-paralysis), just to name a few.  These symptoms may always be present, may only be present during your menstrual cycle, or may worsen during your menstrual cycle. On top of those symptoms, the Endometriosis also does it’s usual thing: inflammation, scarring, creates pain, etc.

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Age Doesn’t Matter!

five-generations4

So I was curious.  I’ve been reading that the usual age women are diagnosed with Endometriosis is in their 20s and 30s, sometimes after years of misdiagnoses and tests.  But, what’s the age of the youngest and oldest person ever recorded to have been diagnosed with Endometriosis?  Aaaaand….Google!

Youngest:

There are conflicting sources for the youngest age:  I’ve seen 8, 10 (diagnosed just after her second period), 11, and 13 years old.  Even though the vast internet has conflicting ages, I’m very shocked at how young these girls were.  I didn’t even start my period until I was about 13 or 14 years old (I should find that date in my old diaries…). I cannot imagine being that young and suffering with this disease.  And imagine the psychological and social effects it must have on those poor girls at that age.

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