MY PERIOD Story! Living with Endometriosis | Infertility Awareness by Stephanie St. James

Don’t be fooled by the title of this video.  For many women, including me, Endometriosis is light-worlds away from a disease that is only problematic during menstruation.

My experience started out in my teenage years, with intermittent but agonizing pain during my period, however the severity of the pain was so intense that I never even associated the two.  It took years for me to realize that the excruciating and debilitating pain flare-ups, which would bring me to my knees or curled up in the fetal position, sometimes causing loss of consciousness and sending me to the emergency room, had anything to do with my monthly cycle.  My pain was so profound during those times that I could not even tell where it was coming from, which makes sense now knowing that peritoneal quality pain can encompass so much of the lower body.

It really wasn’t until my late twenties and early thirties, when infertility became a factor, that I started to connect the dots.  Honestly, I suspected Endometriosis before that time (and even mentioned that suspicion to my doctors), but as far too many women experience, my symptoms were not taken as seriously as they should have been and were often dismissed by doctors, leaving me to suffer in silence with no answers, diagnosis, or treatment.

Through persistence and the need to surgically investigate the cause of my infertility, I eventually received my diagnosis of Endometriosis, along with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Endosalpingiosis in 2009.  Since that time, my symptoms have progressed and my pain and fatigue have increased from intermittent to daily and often constant and debilitating, having a dramatic impact on my daily life.  I had a 2nd surgery in 2012, where more Endometriosis was found and removed via ablation along with pelvic adhesions.  That surgery, like the first, provided approximately 1 year of partial relief and I have once again found myself suffering and anxiously awaiting the opportunity to have another surgery, in hopes of at least another short period of relief.

Next time, ideally, I would like to have an Endometriosis specialist perform excision surgery, which is really the gold-standard of treatment and offers the best chance for long-term pain relief.  There are not many of these experts in the world and many do not participate in health insurance networks.  Unfortunately, our financial situation is such that excision surgery may be more of a dream than a reality for me.

I wanted to share this video, created by Stephanie St. James to help spread Endometriosis and infertility awareness.  For more thorough, detailed, and accurate information about this disease, I recommend visiting Endopaedia, which provides a wealth of knowledge based on the work of world-renowned Endometriosis expert Dr. David Redwine.

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