I've had horrible menstrual cramps on the first day of my period since I was about 15. I was on the pill to treat them for a while in my teens/early twenties. I still have them at age 35. They're not as bad as when I was a teen (so bad that I could not go to school and could barely move.. I sobbed the whole day). But, I still have them. Is this normal? Or, does it sound like Endometriosis?
pomelo / 5000 posts
Hard to say! Endo can be marked by other things like pain during sex, heavy bleeding, and more. My doctor said simply given my strong family history of endo, I have a 60% chance of having it myself! My mom had to have a hysterectomy due to it, and she said she never felt a lot of pain when she was younger, but more like a tugging sensation if she carried something heavy. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell unless they actually take a look inside you.
GOLD / squash / 13464 posts
I had horrible periods just like you described and when I told my primary care physician I was going to TTC she suggested seeing her OB first to check for Endo. The OB basically said that just painful periods is not enough to warrant invasive testing and we should just try for a while and see what happened. Well we got pregnant on the first try twice (first was an early miscarriage) so I guess the OB was right!
wonderful grape / 20453 posts
The only way to definitively diagnose endo is with a laparoscopy. Usually there are other symptoms besides painful periods. You could have a cyst or something. Very painful and heavy periods were my symptoms. Only one day of pain isn't indicative enough for endo (usually). But endo can present without pain.
papaya / 10473 posts
My endo was diagnosed via laparoscopy. My symptoms were painful and extremely heavy periods... Like, couldn't leave the house heavy. It's hard to say without checking with your OB!
GOLD / pomegranate / 3688 posts
I had the type of periods you describe before I went on BCP at 18 - cramps so bad I couldn't move and *extremely* heavy bleeding. I'd wear two super tampons at the same time and have to change them every hour. (TMI?) Every single woman in my maternal line has endo, so I was always told that my leriods were normal. While on BCP, my periods were significantly better - probably "normal" for what most women experience. I was on the pill for 11 years. About two years before I went off, I started having small amounts of burning and twinging pain on my right side in the middle of my cycle. I didn't think much of it, but it got gradually worse every cycle after I came off the pill. Within 4-5 months, I was having significant pain nearly every day. Interestingly enough, my periods were light and I did not have much cramping. The pain - which feels like a slow, intense burn - became intolerable and I went to see a doctor. U/S was clear, so were all my fertility tests. I finally decided to have a lap. My doctor found endometriosis scar tissue on both my ovaries and my left tube and new endo growth in my right tube. The pathology report shows that the type of endo I have is genetic and very fast growing. Luckily, an HSG was able to clear my right tube. I did not have any endo pain while pregnant, but the burning pain returned about 7 weeks pp. I went back on BCP and only recently stopped those to TTC #2. The pain returned immediately, so I live every day knowing we are trying against the clock.
Other symptoms of endo: spotting before your period starts, burning pain when you pee or have a bowel movement, infertility.
Ways endo causes infertility: growth on ovaries or in Fallopian tubes, cysts obstructing egg-sperm unions, etc.
Growth *inside* your uterus is different - that is called andometriosis and can also cause fertility issues because scar tissue mars the inside of the uterus, impeding implantation.
If you are having symptoms, you can ask your doctor what he/she thinks. But if your HSG came out completely clear, it's unlikely that endo would be keeping you from getting KU. Depending on where you are in the TTC journey, I would not recommend the lap unless you are out of answers or in unbearable pain. It's serious surgery and the recovery is not fun.