Any women's health professionals?
Posted 22 October 2008 - 03:42 PM
I can get in to see my doctor...December 17th...and thought I would check the only other place I would trust...here! Someone who I might be able to ask a few questions...
Posted 22 October 2008 - 04:23 PM
I'll be back.
Posted 22 October 2008 - 04:43 PM
Posted 22 October 2008 - 09:53 PM
Anyways...the issues are these. For some, they may be too graphic, so please ... skip this post!
I was diagnosed about 8 years ago with Endometriosis. Over the last 8 years, I have become tolerant of abdominal pain...virtually constant, abdominal pain. Since my diagnosis, I have had a few episodes of cysts, some that have ruptured and shed, and some that were there, but just went away on their own. I also have chronic lower back aches, which I've been told can be related to the Endo. The only treatment that is suitable for me at this time, is the birth control pill (currently Tricyclen 28 ).
Basically, every "issue" that I've ever experienced involving discomfort, infection (uterine/bladder), blah blah blah, has been addressed and treated as side effects of the Endo. I've never really had any kind of extensive pelvic exam since the diagnosis...just prescriptions, urine tests, the usual annual checkup (pap)...and thats it.
My recent issues began Monday. This has happened once before. FI and I had intercourse Sunday...Monday morning, I woke up spotting (clotting, brownish) with incredible cramping. Now, after 8 years of what feel like menstral cramps daily, I know INCREDIBLE! If I thought there were a chance (but this had happened once before under similar circumstances), I would have guessed I was having a miscarriage. I took some advil extra strength, drank some tea, got ready for work...and went the whole day really uncomfortable. Yesterday was more of the same, only the spotting was lighter - cramping the same. Today...both have virtually alleviated, but they are still there a little bit. My period is supposed to begin on Tuesday of the coming week.
The only reason I am REALLY even concerned about this, this time, is because...FI and I have been talking much more seriously about starting a family next year after the wedding. Since being diagnosed with Endo, I've always had this fear I would have trouble conceiving...and because babies are on the forefront of my mind, besides the wedding, I decided to look up possible causes for cramping/spotting after intercourse.
The symptoms most closely relate to a condition called PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). It is THE leading cause of infertility in women...
Of course, I'm a neurotic Type A and ... although women with Endo (according to one of the articles I read) can develop PID, its most common cause is the STD Gonorrhea (sp?) Good god...I am SURE this can't be the case...but alas...here I am concerned about it...
Now, I know I'm probably just working myself up about this, but...is it possible that I could have gone undiagnosed ALL these years (FI and I have been together 6+ years)? Could all the problems I've had from the Endo have been something else my doctors have missed? I have had annual checkups each year since being diagnosed, and always have the pap done, all have come back good but I have no idea if they check for other reproductive health on those paps...and...WHAT IF
I've tried to do more research...but these symptoms could be anything, including just a more severe effect of Endo, and I know I'll probably just be told to get myself to the doctor as soon as possible...but...right now...that is not until November 19th...and...I'm trying to distract myself...have someone tell me...oh no, that happened to me and it was nothing...
Anything ladies. Thank you for allowing yourselves to share your experiences with me and for listening. I'm sorry for how I'm sure I must sound...like a headcase! I'm just nervous, and completely irrational when I get my mind twisted around something...
Posted 22 October 2008 - 10:26 PM
I am Heather, I'm a Physician assistant, though I don't work in Gyn I have worked in family practice. My sister, Shannon coincedentally has also had a lot of gyn issues.
First and foremost you didn't mention a pregnancy test and that would be the first thing easiest to check, if + you obviously need to get to your gyn as soon as possible. Second, I would definitely get tested at your doctor's for chlamydia(which causes no symptoms therefore often undiagnosed) and gonorhea, both can be tested via a urine sample nowadays. If you have never had an Ultrasound of your pelvis I would request that be done also. If it has then maybe you need a cat scan of your abd and pelvis given your new symptoms and increased pain. Keep in mind that endometriosis is a diagnosis of exclusion, i.e. rule out all other problems first. Also endometriosis can only truly be diagnosed via a laporotomy(surgery) where they can visualize the abdomen and look for the endometrial tissue. there is no specific "test" to diagnose endo. Is there any family history of Gyn problems, if so make sure you inform your doctor. Also with all your symptoms it sounds like you need to try another BCP as this one doesn't seem to be helping. Also one more thing, I have studied that women with endo. often do get pregnant and during pregnancy their symptoms usually subside. Hope this was helpful. Good luck!
Posted 22 October 2008 - 11:05 PM
I hope everything is ok! Keep us posted!
Posted 22 October 2008 - 11:13 PM
Posted 23 October 2008 - 12:13 AM
I definitely do not claim to be any medical expert, but I will be officially called doctor in T-6 months (I'm a student right now and had a strong interest in OB/GYN). I completely agree with what Nitnylyin suggested. The only one small clarification I would make is the diagnosis is usually clinical, but may be confirmed with a laparoscopy (I only make the distinction because a laparotomy is a big surgery where they cut you open, whereas the laparoscopy involves very small incisions and they look with cameras - in case you googled it and freaked).
Anyways, because you are from Canada, the best place to start is with your own GP, then she can refer you on to a gyne specialist. In terms of the pap test - it only tests to see if you have any signs of cervical cancer. It does not test for any infections.
In terms of your fertility options, this is something good to talk about with your doctor because she can ask you about your family history, your sexual history, etc. Depending on your age, keep in mind in may take up to a year "trying to conceive" (i.e. repeated, consistent, timed intercourse) before they will even start to work you up for infertility.
Another good thing to do before you see your doctor (or before you see the gynecologist) is to keep a diary of when you menstruate, and when your pain is (also what you did/ate that day, etc). It may help to identify patterns and triggers which may help with the treatment.
Hope this helps!
Posted 23 October 2008 - 12:44 AM
Erin is on it currently, not all fun, but relieves chronic pelvic pain.
Definately ask a doctor since you are bleeding, but that is a common with endo.
Here are the common symptoms for you other girls:
Not all women with endometriosis will have the same experience. In order to have a beneficial discussion with your doctor, it is important for you to become familiar with some of the most common signs and symptoms of the disease. They are:
Chronic pelvic pain
Dysmenorrhea, pain before and during menstruation
Dyspareunia, pain during and after sexual intercourse
Irregular vaginal bleeding
Painful bowel movements during menstruation
Birth control (OCs) is often the first therapy used by physicians because it is cost effective and easy, ACOG recommends that after a 3 month trial of OCs, laprascopy or medical therapy like Lupron is the best option. This option preserves fertillity while stopping your menstral flow by shutting down the estrogen your body produces- which also fuels the endo.
So, with that said, it could be that your endo is being mistreated, therefore you are just having symptoms of endo... which you already know you have. Endometriosis can affect your fertility because of the scar tissue it produces. Lupron might be a good fit for you. I am attaching the patient website for you to take a look at. let me know if you have any questions. I know from experience how frusterated you are!
Endometriosis symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, menstrual pain, irregular vaginal bleeding
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