Abigail, 26, is the focus of today's Awareness Week case study. Her story outlines how endometriosis has had a devastating effect on every aspect of her life.
I had never had regular periods, but this hadn’t really caused me any problems until my early twenties. I started what I thought was a period. As the days continued, my bleeding became heavier and heavier, until I finally reached the point where I couldn’t stand without assistance. I was admitted to hospital where I remained for two weeks. I was given every test they had multiple times but nothing showed up. I was having internal examinations multiple times a day but was eventually discharged without any answers. I was prescribed morphine to try and control the pain. My symptoms included extreme heavy bleeding, excruciating pain, painful bowel movements and anaemia, to name a few.
I had a laparoscopy which diagnosed my endometriosis along with multiple adhesions, the worst on my bowel.
I then tried a number of different treatment options including the Mirena coil, Depo provera, variations of the contraceptive pill & Zoladex. While some people find relief by using these treatments, they did not work for me and I continued to bleed for years.
I was referred to a specialist based in Manchester. I underwent another laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. My endometriosis was deemed severe with adhesions.
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for three years now with no luck. I have been advised that I don’t ovulate and so our chances to conceive are next to nothing. So now we have been referred to a fertility specialist to start on Clomid to try and encourage my body to ovulate.
The physical, mental and emotional effects of endometriosis are debilitating. I cry often and some days I physically can’t get out of bed. It has no cure and, somedays, I feel there is nothing that I can do. Endometriosis affects my relationship, friendships, work life and family, but it is invisible to those around me.