As I sit here looking at my engagement ring, I realise that there is still hope.
I have been fighting Endometriosis since I was 19, I am now almost 25. During this time in my life I have been a normal young woman, well to some extent. I had boyfriends, I partied, I had sleepovers with my girlfriends, moved out of my parent’s home and most of all had fun. What isn’t normal or fun is excruciating period pain more than once a month. I remember times where I would be just relaxing at home on the couch with my boyfriend and I had to crawl up into a ball with a heat pack (not that he knew what was going on.) You can try and explain period pain to boyfriends but they just screw up their nose and not see you for a few days, but this was honestly the last thing I wanted because 9 times out of 10 it wasn’t actually my period, it was just pain and I wanted comfort.
I would spend days upon days sitting at my desk at work smiling and acting normal when I swear World War 3 was happening in my insides. Boyfriend after boyfriend, relationship after relationship I tried my best to function like a normal woman, hugging, kissing, sex and all that lovey dovey stuff. But when it got to the point where I would rather just lay in bed and do nothing, that’s when I started to realise something about this was not normal.
I’ve had 3 surgeries since I was 19, all finding Endometriosis, cysts and most recently a benign tumour that had wrapped itself around my fallopian tubes. This has now got me worried about my fertility. I always had the belief of having babies after marriage. But now that doesn’t faze me one bit – I want kids. What man, wants to be in a relationship with a woman that has constant period pain, mood swings, occasionally doesn’t want to have sex just in case it will hurt? I’ll tell you, no man. So for me, finding someone who would stick with me, through the fun times AND the pms, I always knew was going to be a hard task.
Luckily for me, 4 years ago a man came into my life that would hold me when I was in pain, bring me chocolate when I snapped at him and would take me to the hospital at stupid hours of the night. In April we are getting married and very soon after going to try to have some children, fulfilling my lifelong dream of being a mother.
My advice to any young woman out there would be to really take notice of your body and go with your gut feeling. If something isn’t right it usually isn’t. Go see your doctor and get their opinion. Not only about things like period pain but other female health issues. Get regular smear tests, exercise and most importantly – treat yourself like you deserve. If you aren’t happy I can be sure that your friends, family and loved ones won’t be too.
One in ten women suffer from this disease, so you are not alone. Reach out, I did and now I have endless support from my family and friends.
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