What are your endometriosis symptoms like?
Sex was always extremely painful. But what really lead to my diagnosis was debilitating cramps, persistent nausea, backaches and issues voiding.
What was your journey to diagnosis like?
I always had bad cramps growing up, put on birth control at 15. Then sex became terribly painful in my early 20s. Like a light switch, one day at the age of 23, my main symptoms began: 3 out of 4 weeks a month I had persistent cramping, nausea, backaches, issues voiding and bloat – I was in too much pain to work most days for 2 months straight. I advocated hard, assuming cancer.. got blood tests and 2 ultrasounds. Graced with the wonderful team of in Burlington – I was diagnosed on symptoms and started Visanne within 5 months.
What has your experience with treatment for endometriosis been?
I’ve been on Visanne for 5 years. I’ve also gone vegan in the last two years. Since going vegan I’ve not had any pain, prior I would still experience the occasional flare while on Visanne. Visanne has however affected my mental health significantly, and physical health – putting me in menopause where my hair has thinned, I have extremely dry flaky skin and sex is unbearably painful without vaginal estrogen suppositories.
How does endometriosis affect your day-to-day life?
With my medication I am now able to work, but prior was not. Personal life is difficult, most people do not want to be in a relationship with someone who can’t always be intimate because it’s so painful.
How does endometriosis affect your emotional well-being?
Depression hit hard with Visanne.
How has endometriosis shaped turning points in your life up until now and looking toward the future?
What was once a dream to become a mom with my partner has turned into hoping I can afford adoption as a single parent.. working towards this as I type.
How have you found hope and support in your endometriosis journey?
Blogs and Facebook groups helped the most. Just knowing I was not alone after being diagnosed with something I had never even heard of helped so much.
What do you think healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should look like?
It should have more education and information for people. You see hundreds of pamphlets on smoking, diabetes, but never anything about Endo.