Endometriosis & the Diaphragm

Courtesy of Wikimedia

If you’ve been a long-time follower of the blog, you may remember in 2014 when my surgeon found Endometriosis on my diaphragm. Several years later, it had completely disappeared (yay!). And it hasn’t been found in any of my subsequent surgeries. This research has been a lot of fun because of my own personal journey.

We’ve previously shared Endo Lady UK‘s experience with her own diaphragmatic Endometriosis, as well as a surgery to remove diaphragmatic Endo. We’ve even had a few brave readers, Lyndsay and Tabitha, share their own stories about endo on their diaphragm.

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Inguinal Hernia & Endometriosis

Inguinal canal in female courtesy of https://www.slideshare.net/vernonpashi/surgical-anatomy-of-the-inguinal-canal

Recently, a study hit my inbox about Endometriosis mimicking an inguinal hernia. So, of course, my interest was piqued and research had to take place! Be warned, though, it’s considered VERY rare. In all the literature I’ve read, only 42 cases have been referenced as being documented inguinal Endo. But when has rarity stopped me from sharing something about Endometriosis? Yeah. Never. Here we go!

What is AN inguinal hernia?

An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia (about 70% of hernias are inguinal) and usually manifests as a small lump in the groin area. Both men and women can get inguinal hernias, but it’s apparently more common in men. It occurs if there’s a small hole in your abdominal cavity which allows fat or intestines to seep through, which can a lump or swelling to occur.

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Have you Seen the Endometriosis Commercials on TV?

Speakendo.com webpage banner
Screenshot of SpeakEndo.com; 1/30/18
Updated note (July 25, 2018): Orilissa (Elagolix) was approved by the FDA on July 23, 2018

I don’t have TV, but I’ve had a lot of friends and loved ones excitedly tell me that they saw a commercial about Endometriosis recently! I think that’s awesome! A wonderful way to spread awareness to so many people!

Like one friend said, it took me 20 years for a diagnosis – maybe it wouldn’t have taken so long if I had seen a commercial similar to this one. If it can help just one woman begin to search for answers, it’s awesome.

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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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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 : 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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My two cents : sexual abuse and Endometriosis

A group of women standing next to each other
1 in 5 people born with a uterus were sexually abused as children; 1 in 10 have Endometriosis

As you may recall, last week I shared how I have heard a lot of recent buzz about sexual abuse and Endometriosis sharing a causal link.  As promised, I did some digging to figure this out for myself.  Curious on my opinion?  Read on!  But, please remember : it’s only my opinion.

According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are a victim of child sexual abuse.  In 2012 in the United States alone there were 62,939 reported cases of child sexual abuse.  That same year, there were 346,830 reported rapes or sexual assaults of persons who were 12 or older.

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Frozen Embryo Transfers & Endometriosis

Frozen embryo transfer medical tubes

A lot of people have trouble becoming pregnant, whether or not they have Endometriosis.  The question has been raised : if you have Endometriosis and are undergoing frozen embryo transfer (FET), which treatment regimens and protocols have the highest successful pregnancy rate?

I myself have never considered IVF and had to do a bit of initial research on the differences between fresh and frozen embryos, IVF, etc.  I am so grateful an EndoWarrior asked this question; brought this struggle to my attention.  So if you already know about these, please bear with me as I learn.  Otherwise, skip passed these first few categories to the knitty gritty below 🙂

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Is there a link between Endometriosis and Endometrial Hyperplasia?

Bloomin' Uterus logo surrounded by question marks

One of my readers recently contacted me asking if I could do some research for her.  Her physicians suspect she may have hyperplasia.  What is that, you may ask?  It’s the changing or enlarging of cells or organs which may develop into cancer.  Specifically, she is undergoing tests to see if she has endometrial hyperplasia.  Now what’s that?  It’s when the uterine lining (the endometrium) is too thick.  Her question?  Is there a link between Endo and hyperplasia?

I found this to be very interesting as I had an MRI before my diagnostic surgery which found I had abnormally thick uterine lining.  The first part of my surgery last year was to go in and perform a D&C (dilation & curettage) to remove some of the thick lining.  So now I’m not only researching for my reader, but for myself (although my D&C biopsy came back normal).

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