My Health Story: Living with Endometriosis
Ellen - 22 years old
I first noticed symptoms when I was in my mid-teens. I was constantly tired, unable to concentrate and frequently a victim of brain fog! I had heavy periods as a young teen, so was put onto a variety of different versions of the pill to combat this. Despite not having periods, I was still suffering with painful bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, and cramping.
At my first doctor’s appointment, it was confirmed to me that someone of my age (18 at the time!) shouldn’t be experiencing these symptoms. It wasn’t normal. After trialling a few different diets to discover whether this could have an impact on how I was feeling (it didn’t), I was referred for an ultrasound and to a specialist gynaecologist. The ultrasound didn’t show a great deal, but the consultant suggested exploratory laparoscopic surgery to see if they could find anything going on in there.
They discovered a selection of cysts that were confirmed to be endometrial cysts.
Since the diagnosis, I have had the coil inserted to manage periods, and experimented with a combination of both the pill and the coil. I’ve found that a combination of the coil and hormonal injections (Depo-provera) work for me, to reduce my symptoms and ensure I can live as normal life as possible.
Diet, exercise and getting as much fresh air is also very important to me – I run, swim, hike and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. I find this helps both physically and mentally.