This is a post all about periods, menstruation, my flow, etc. Well, that and also endometriosis. It’s gonna be a lot of talk about bodily fluids and I’m not even going to tell you to click away now if that bothers you because PERIODS SHOULD BE NORMALIZED.
In fact! If it bothers you, PLEASE KEEP READING because the only way we are going to eradicate the stigma around menstruation and help more people who suffer from painful periods is for everyone to push through the discomfort of talking about totally natural things that 50% of the population experiences.
I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from AbbVie Inc. to write about the realities of endometriosis as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.
This is the 2nd post I’ve written about endometriosis, sponsored by Med-IQ, an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Click here to refer to the first where I detailed the symptoms or endometriosis and provided links to resources.
If you’ve been following my Instagram stories over the last few months (saved in a highlight titled Period Drama), you might recall the whole MY IUD IS MISSING drama. It coincided with I’M BLEEDING PROFUSELY, and was punctuated by a diagnosis of iron deficient anemia. I have seen A LOT of doctors since August, and I have had to fight HARD to be heard, to get treatments I feel I need, and to get relief.
My heavy periods, as of now, are not attributed to endometriosis. With my family history of endo, though, that very well could change at some point with further testing.
Look, it’s High School Jill! And her itty bitty bangs! It was totally “normal” to me to have periods so heavy and painful in high school that I would spend hours in the nurse’s office, and most of the time I’d spend the rest of the day at home.
Enough about me, though. The point of this post is empowering YOU.
YOU have to speak up. YOU have to advocate for yourself. If you suspect you have endometriosis based on this list of symptoms, we really want you to get loud. Talk to your doctor. And if they don’t seem to take you seriously? Find another doctor.
Listen, I get it. It’s a privilege to have access to medical care in the first place. It can feel impossible to make, keep, and get to a single appointment, let alone several. There are so many obstacles we face when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Please, keep going.
Periods should not hurt.
Have you seen Amy Schumer’s recent video about painful periods and endometriosis? It’s so relatable. It’s dumb that we’ve been taught to just “deal with it” when it comes to period pain. It sucks that many of us have endured for so long before getting help.
We have to keep pursuing better options, and that may not always be something the doctor you are seeing- the one who delivered your baby or who has done your pap for the last decade- can do. There are actually sub specialists who specialize in the treatment of endometriosis. You can and should look to them for help.
As someone with medical anxiety, I know it can be scary bringing things like this up with my doctor, and I often don’t even know what to say. Dr. Erin T. Carey, Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship Program Director at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, suggests not waiting for your doctor to bring up endometriosis. Instead, use language with them as simple as, “I’m concerned about endometriosis.”
And then what? What can they do to help you? If you are hesitant to seek help because you worry the only treatments require surgery, please know that there are many non-surgical treatment options for endometriosis, as well. They range from lifestyle changes to holistic treatments to non-hormonal and hormonal medications.
The timing of this campaign has felt a little like a sign from the universe to me. Shortly after I published my first post about endometriosis, I found myself in my own OBGYN’s office, questioning what was happening to me to make me bleed so much, leaving me in so much pain and so tired I could hardly function a week out of the month.
While I don’t have concrete answers just yet, I have three more appointments on the books for the coming month in hopes I’ll find some. It’s freaking HARD advocating for ourselves, and it can feel… frivolous, I guess? I have endured heavy, painful periods as long as I can remember, and I just assumed that’s normal.
It’s not, though. And I’m not going to accept it as such anymore. I’ve got too much life to live and too many kids to chase #AllWhileBleeding
While you’re here, you should totally fill out this short survey for a chance to win one of 8 $100 Visa gift cards!
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experience with endometriosis, which will help us develop future educational initiatives. Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 8 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used to randomly draw the winners and notify you of your prize if you win.
- Let’s Get LOUD About Periods - October 7, 2021
- Hard Things Make A Great Foundation| A Lodgewell Staycation - September 13, 2021
- Show Up Uncomfortably – It Matters - August 23, 2021