I got my first period when I was 13 years old, my family and I had just boarded a cruise ship that was getting ready to depart from FL. My mom went to the gift shop to buy feminine products and I remember being mortified.
For the first few months my periods weren’t that bad, but I remember being 14 when they started getting HORRIBLE! I could hardly get out of bed, I slept on beach towels to avoid bleeding through the sheets, and I had to change my pad every hour. My doctor put me on birth control pills to ease the symptoms and the bleeding, but they didn’t help.
Ten years later, I’m still sleeping on beach towels and changing pads every hour. That was my first clue that something was wrong, because my girlfriends didn’t have to do any of this.
Problems Getting Pregnant
My first miscarriage was in July 2012, just one month after my husband and I had gotten married. I was devastated. We weren’t ready for a child, but that didn’t make the pain any easier.
In December 2012 we started “officially” trying for a baby. After six months of trying with no luck, we bought the ovulation kits and I started taking my temperature, and very quickly our sex became a chore. We were miserable.
In August 2013 during a routine checkup, my Gyno discovered a lemon size cyst on my left ovary via an ultrasound. She scheduled surgery for September to remove it, and said she was going to check for endometriosis while I was in the OR.
I remember saying to her, “Check for what?!” I had never even heard of this disease before! She said that endometriosis was probably the reason, combined with the cyst, that we weren’t getting pregnant. My husband and I both thought that this was it, we would become pregnant easily after the surgery.
We were looking forward to the future.
September 11, 2013 I had surgery and my Gyno burned off several layers of endometriosis from both ovaries, but mainly my right. She also removed the cyst from my left ovary.
For a few months after the surgery my periods weren’t AS bad, even though I still had to sleep on beach towels I wasn’t changing pads every hour. And I could count on my period coming on Day 28 at noon. It was like clockwork, which they had never been before.
Fast-forward to January 2014
We still weren’t pregnant. We underwent two rounds of IUI (intrauterine insemination) in January and March, but still no luck. I was panicked, surely my endometriosis hadn’t come back already… I just had surgery a few months ago… I was terrified.
We decided to wait a year before undergoing IVF, and we also switched fertility doctors.
In August I started having so much pain where my right ovary is, and I knew… my endometriosis had returned. I also couldn’t wear jeans or dress pants, sleep on my right side, or do my daily exercise of Zumba and running. When I described my symptoms to our fertility doctor, he agreed that indeed the disease had returned and it was time for surgery.
On September 25th of this year, just days after the anniversary of last year’s surgery, I will have surgery again. Although I’m scared, I’m mostly angry. I am 24 years old, I’m perfectly healthy, I’ve never smoked and I don’t drink. My husband and I are ready to have a family, but instead I’m going through another round of surgery. Meanwhile everyone, and I do mean everyone, around us is getting pregnant or having their babies.
After the surgery our fertility doctor is going to put me on Luperon Depot in hopes it will keep my endometriosis away, so that we can undergo IVF in July 2015 and my body will accept the embryos that we transfer back. My biggest fear is not being able to get pregnant, or not being the one that carries our child. But I’m not giving up… I’ve been through so much pain and heartbreak, I can’t quit now.
I’ll continue to fight.
Do you or someone you know have endometriosis?
Please consider sharing your story. The more stories we share, the more awareness we raise, and the more quickly the next woman may find an answer.
Share your endo battle story here >>