It is really important to us at YFJ that our team has a good understanding and empathy of fertility issues. That doesn’t mean that they have necessarily had personal experience but that they have insight through supporting friends or family. YFJ team member Amy shares her journey with endometriosis.
My endometriosis journey started as a teenager, around the age of 13, where I was really struggling to manage my periods as they were so heavy. They were making me extremely ill and meant that I needed to take time off school. I would go through the highest absorbency pad and tampon within a few hours. The amount of blood loss would make me tired, and I was prone to fainting at school. I had cramps but they were more of an annoyance than extremely painful. My Nan took me to see the doctor and we tried everything from tranexamic acid to taking the contraceptive pill at a very young age. Unfortunately, menstrual problems run through the family starting with my nan with fibroids, polyps, and a hysterectomy at the young age of 36, my mother with heavy periods and cervical cancer, so it did not come as a surprise that I was suffering.
Fast forward to 17 and that is where my endometriosis started to get worse, and I suffered several miscarriages for nearly two years. In 2017 I had an ectopic pregnancy and after this, my periods became more uncomfortable and lengthier. Commencing contraception seemed to help with the blood flow but even though the flow was greatly reduced, my bleed was lasting for around 6 weeks at a time, but the pain was manageable. I had accepted the fact that this was normal, and I continued to carry on with my life.
Over the past few years, the pain has become unbearable and any normal pain medication like ibuprofen and paracetamol did not help at all. I have been admitted to hospital 3 times in the past year because the blood flow and pain was so bad. I have recently been diagnosed with Endometriosis, but I still don’t know the extent of the condition as I’m waiting for a laparoscopy to understand more.
Last week I attended a charity ball for Endometriosis UK to raise money and to raise awareness for the condition. It was a fantastic event where I met loads of women who were in the same boat as myself and others who spoke about their experiences with endometriosis and how it affected their fertility and daily lives. It was interesting to listen to all these experiences and know that I’m not alone. I now know that there is support out there for me and I’m excited to get involved more with Endometriosis UK as my endo journey continues.