Having Endometriosis is uncomfortable, painful, annoying, and depressing. Common symptoms include painful periods, heavy or prolonged bleeding, painful intercourse, pain with ovulation, lower back pain, and pain with bowel movements. Other symptoms are nausea or vomiting, weight loss, and random bouts of diarrhea or constipation. Ladies oftentimes see many doctors before finding a doctor who understands Endometriosis and is able to help.
Some of our patients respond very well to less aggressive forms of treatment like inserting the Mirena IUD. Other ladies need laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial implants. Some ladies will find the disease comes back and will need an additional surgery down the road. In more severe cases, repeat surgeries will continue, and a hysterectomy may be the best option for long-term treatment.
In any case, it is important for or patients to have support from our staff and support at home. If you have a loved one suffering from Endometriosis, here are some things you can do to help:
- Learn as much as you can about Endometriosis; read pamphlets or go to credible websites like the Endometriosis Association
- Offer to come to appointments as a note taker, or just as support
- Listen to her, even if there is nothing you can do to help
- (for partners) If intercourse is painful, be willing to try other forms of intimacy
- Validate her feelings by acknowledging her pain/symptoms
- Avoid invalidating phrases like “it’s not that bad”
- If surgery is necessary, offer to come or stay with her afterward
- Encourage her to make follow up appointments/consultations if symptoms become problematic
Having a good support system is important to everyone, especially when you’re dealing with health issues. Be a good friend and a good partner and be there for her!