By Motlagae Konyana
When I was first diagnosed with Endometriosis I had mixed feelings. Of course, I was relieved – after years of being in excruciating pain during my periods and having no idea why, there finally was a reason for the pain that I had been experiencing since my high school. But I was also left wondering what Endometriosis is and what it meant for me. There were a lot of questions going through my mind. Would I ever have children? Did I need another operation? Would the pain ever go away?
I had tried all sorts of remedies to alleviate the pain. From popping pain pills, being on the contraceptive pill to vanilla ice cream, hot baths and sleeping flat on my stomach on cold surfaces. My doctors were even recommending pregnancy.
No General Practitioner would diagnose my condition and I had been to a few doctors. I had been referred to a gynecologist and only managed to get an appointment after a month, (imagine being in pain and having to wait weeks before you can get help) however before I could go to the gynecologist, I had to be rushed to the hospital as I had been on my periods for 10 days with a heavy flow and had lost a lot of blood. The gynecologist on call recommended laparoscopy to determine if I indeed had Endometriosis as he had suspected from my symptoms.
The only way the gynecologist could give an accurate diagnosis was through a small procedure call laparoscopy – during laparoscopy they insert a fibre-optic instrument through the abdominal wall to view your womb. The instrument is inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall. As it moves along, the camera sends images to a video monitor
After the minor surgery, I was healed of the monthly pain. Or so I thought. After a couple of months, I was back to being in pain and seeking pain management remedies, which only helped for a couple of hours. I’ve learnt that this is a pain that I will have to live with.
The post-laparoscopy recovery may differ from women to women; other women may be lucky enough to never have pain after laparoscopy. There is no cure for Endometriosis; as the endometrium may grow again outside your uterus.
Listen to Boitumelo sharing her menstrual health journey
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