“I have my period, too. It definitely sucks, just take some medicine.”
Raise your hand if you have heard this line from others in your life who do not have endometriosis. Now raise your hand if it makes you irritated when people say this to you. I do not know about you, but both of my hands are up.
Many women suffer from endometriosis, yet there are many who do not understand how excruciating it truly is. A professor of reproductive health at University College London says that period cramping can be as “bad as having a heart attack.” Still, so many dismiss these symptoms. Society brainwashes everyone into believing that painful periods are normal and part of being a woman.
Because of this view on period pain, it takes on average 10 years to receive a proper diagnosis, sometimes longer. This goes to show just how misunderstood endometriosis is.
I am here to tell you: It is more.
Endometriosis does not just affect me once a month. It affects me all day, every day. The pain I experience is far from normal. It physically, mentally, and emotionally hurts. Some days I can hide it well, others, not so much.
Every day is a constant worry. Am I going to start bleeding? Should I wear a pad just in case? Am I leaking? Does this unbearable pain mean my endometriosis has spread? Do I even have enough money for another surgery?
You see, it is more than just a bad period. Endometriosis comes with so much more baggage than you can ever imagine.
10 reasons it’s not just a bad period
- My period is not just once a month for seven to 10 days. It is all month every month. Most days are filled with blood clots, spotting, and heavy bleeding. Sometimes I may get lucky and have a few days when I stop bleeding before the bloody massacre starts up again.
- My period pain is not just your usual cramps. Instead, it feels as though I am in a horror movie being ripped apart limb by limb. Pain radiates to places you cannot even imagine.
- Jeans? What are jeans? Tight clothes are no longer a thing in my life. The pressure, pain, and feeling of being restricted are too much for me to handle. Yoga pants, stretch pants and, occasionally, jeggings are about the only pants I can tolerate.
- Constant bleeding and pain are a strain on one’s love life. It is a never-ending battle of not knowing when I will get to enjoy my love life again.
- The risk of never being able to have children and the risk of miscarriages. For me, it can go both ways. It is very likely I can never have children. My left fallopian tube is just about closed. The small chance I do have includes the risk of numerous miscarriages. It is mentally exhausting to wonder if I will ever have a family.
- The fear each time of having a bowel movement and the pain that is accompanied with it. It is almost as though sharp glass is trying to exit my body.
- Sometimes there is a sense of embarrassment when it comes time to talking about the pain. You do not feel embarrassed talking about how you stubbed your toe and it hurts. But to say your bowel movements, sex, and period hurt, that is another story, and a lot more uncomfortable.
- Fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, trouble breathing, constipation, and brain fog are just some of the symptoms that occur every day.
- Endo belly is an everyday occurrence. Bloat can be so bad that it looks like I am carrying twins. The pressure feels as though there is a baby growing inside of me pushing on every single one of my organs.
- Spiraling out of control not being able to handle hormones, moods, and outbursts. You never know when my hormones will take over my body. They control my actions and thoughts on most days.
So, for anyone who thinks endometriosis is just a bad period, please think again. For those who think just taking medicine will help, think again. And for those of you experiencing symptoms similar to these, listen to your body and demand a diagnosis. Pain is not normal.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.