Article by WNDU

More than six million American women and girls struggle with endometriosis, a chronic condition that causes pain before and after their periods. It can also cause infertility. In some cases, endometriosis is difficult to diagnose, but a new imaging method may shed light on difficult to detect cases.

Twenty-eight year old Susie Veech has spent more than half her life in the kitchen. She’s a food service consultant and a budding caterer.

Susie also spent more than half her life trying to figure out the source of the monthly, searing pain in her side. Veech told Ivanhoe, “Eleven, on a scale of one to 10, the pain.”

Veech had endometriosis. The tissue normally lining the inside of her uterus was also growing on the outside and blocking other organs.

Gynecologist and co-director of the Endometriosis Center and the Minimally Invasive Surgical fellowship program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Kevin Audlin, MD, is studying a new imaging technique designed to help gynecologists detect endometriosis. Traditionally, doctors use a minimally-invasive tool called a laparoscope to look for tissue.

“Full spectrum light looks just as if we would see. If you’re looking into a belly, you’ll see organs, most everything is either a yellowish or a pink,” Dr. Audlin explained.

In addition, Dr. Audlin is testing special lighting called narrow band imaging. When he presses a button on the laparoscope, the light changes, making endometriosis stand out.

Dr. Audlin said, “The red hue tends to be the endometriosis, the green we see tends to be the actual vasculature.”

For Veech, finally a diagnosis followed by a procedure to keep the endometriosis at bay. She said, “When everyday pain goes away, you have tons of energy. You don’t realize how much it’s weighing you down.”

In a study of 150 women undergoing the laparoscopic procedure for endometriosis, researchers found the addition of narrow band imaging improved detection by 20 percent. Dr. Audlin says the narrow band imaging offers another avenue for women who have had chronic pain but are not showing signs of endometriosis with traditional screening.

To read the research summary, click here.


You Are Not Alone – Offering Support

I know that Infertility Awareness Week has come and gone but when I read the raw emotions described in this post, it was as if I was there feeling them too.

My fellow blogger’s beautiful and painful words seemed so real to me because I WAS there; I AM there; A little piece of my heart will always BE that woman, fiercely grieving, in such unimaginable pain for something she has never experienced and someone she has never met and a part of herself that feels so infinitely broken.  A loss of that magnitude doesn’t fade away.  Perhaps God has a purpose.  My heart will always bear the scars.

💜 I love this beautiful post 💜

From My Plan To His

I have a track record of not being able to stand by and watch someone suffer. While shadowing a nurse when I was in high school I nearly fainted watching a girl with a fractured pelvis get a bed bath because of the pain she was in. My first clinical day in nursing school I had to be hauled out of a room before I passed out watching the patient get an nasogastric tube inserted. I cannot tolerate people hurting.

Watching someone in the midst of infertility grief is hard for me. Part of me wants to run away and pretend that it does not exist, but I cannot. I know it exists; how terrible and lonely it is; and how few people understand the roller coaster. I know how many platitudes are offered by people who have never walked this journey.

I know I am not alone in this…

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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. Continue reading