19 Things People With Endometriosis Are Pretty Damn Sick Of

“Maybe the pain is just in your head.” ER CAN YOU NOT?

People who say “it’s just period pain” drive you crazy.

People who say "it's just period pain" drive you crazy.

It's really not. Endometriosis is when the tissue that lines the womb, called endometrium, grows outside of the uterus. It can cause scarring and severe pain when it tries to shed, just like the lining normally does during your period, but the problem is that it has nowhere to go. Plus, sometimes your organs fuse together due to the scar tissue, called adhesions. You can find out more here.

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It can take a long, long time for endometriosis to be officially confirmed by a medical professional.

It can take a long, long time for endometriosis to be officially confirmed by a medical professional.

And misdiagnosis is common. It takes an average of 7.5 years to receive a formal diagnosis, as many people think (at least at first) that level of period pain is normal. Also, many of the symptoms are similar to other common conditions. My symptoms started at the age of 10, but I didn't get an official diagnosis until I was 23.

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And doctors often don’t take you seriously.

And doctors often don't take you seriously.

This is especially true when you're young and try to get help, with doctors saying unusual period cycles will settle, that the pain is just “in your head”, or that severe pain is normal. The only official way to be diagnosed is through a laparoscopy, i.e., a camera through your belly button, operated by a skilled specialist who knows what to look for.

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Keeping a diary can help you to get diagnosed.

Keeping a diary can help you to get diagnosed.

Specialists recommend it, as it can identify a pattern of the pain or highlight if anything (food, exercise, sex) is making it worse.

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Here’s What You Need To Know About Asking Your GP For Contraception

You don’t need to have periods if you’re on the pill.

Before you go to see your doctor, have a think about exactly what you want from your contraception.

Before you go to see your doctor, have a think about exactly what you want from your contraception.

Before you head in for your appointment, it's worth having a think about these two questions:

1. How reliable a method do you want?
2. Do you want a method you're in constant control of, or something you can forget about?

To put the first question another way: “How unpregnant do you want to be?” says Dr Anne Connolly, vice president for the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Health and a GP who specialises in contraception.

“Some women will want something that's going to last for years, some will just want something for a short time,” she says.

And, says Connolly, if you want to be in control, you should think about if, for example, taking a pill at the same time everyday is something you’re going to be able to realistcally do.

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And also think about what you don’t want.

And also think about what you don't want.

The first thing your doctor will want to know is what you know about different forms of contraception, especially any you've tried before and not got on with.

“Sometimes it's about understanding what people really don't want,” says Connolly. “Some women will come in, they've tried something before and they're really not going to go down that line again.”

If you have any specific concerns or worries about anything contraception-related, bring those up at the start too, so you and your GP are on the same page, and so that you don't forget to mention anything.

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Your doctor will probably ask you about condom use.

Your doctor will probably ask you about condom use.

“Obviously contraceptives are good at stopping you getting pregnant, but they don't stop you getting sexually transmitted infections,” says Connolly. “So we're often advising people to use condoms as well as something else.”

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Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history.

Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history.

After figuring out what you’re looking for, your doctor will need to assess the clinical risk for you of using whichever form of contraception you want to use.

It might be helpful to have with you a list of your current medications. “Some of the medications you take will interfere with some hormonal contraceptive methods, and some of the hormonal contraceptives will interfere with treatments for other things,” says Connolly.

Your doctor will also ask you questions about whether you get migraines, if you have any family history of blood clots, or if you've had adverse reactions to other methods of contraception before.

“Most methods of contraception are absolutely fine for anybody and everybody, but some methods do have a risk behind them,” says Connolly. “So we have to ask a few medical questions.”

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What Do You Do To Stop Yourself From Thought Spiraling?

How do you stop yourself from going down ~the rabbit hole~?

A “thought spiral” happens when one concerning thought or event triggers a chain of linked thoughts that keep going until you’re overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, sadness, or stress.

A "thought spiral" happens when one concerning thought or event triggers a chain of linked thoughts that keep going until you're overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, sadness, or stress.

Here's an example:
I got that question wrong on the test → I failed the test → I'm going to fail the class → It will bring down my entire GPA → I won't get into grad school or get the job I want → I'm going to be unsuccessful in life and let down everyone = stress, anxiety, panic, etc.

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And if you tend to spiral regularly, you know how much time and energy it can take away — which can be frustrating.

And if you tend to spiral regularly, you know how much time and energy it can take away — which can be frustrating.

Sometimes the pattern of thinking during a thought spiral is so habitual, we might not even realize we're doing it. You might spend ten minutes or you might spend an hour spiraling — and in both cases, you're removed from the present and consumed with negative thoughts.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Even though it may make you feel out of control, it's possible to stop a thought cycle as its happening and disrupt the pattern of negative thinking.

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Maybe you get up and go on a walk outside or change up your environment to remove yourself.

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15 Useful Tips That Will Help You Stop Biting Your Nails

From people who’ve managed to quit the habit.

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

Follow nail artists on Instagram or Youtube for inspiration.

“My journey with stopping nail biting was a weird one. I firstly watched nail art videos on YouTube which inspired me to actually grow my nails which eventually stopped me biting them. When they grew long, I'd give myself a nice little manicure and then cut them whenever I thought I was in a potential biting mood. Nothing special but that's my way haha. WATCH NAIL ART VIDEOS PEOPLE.” – foridak

“I used to be a HUGE nail biter. What worked for me, personally, was that I spent hours doing a nail art design and then I felt too bad to ruin it. Now my nails are long and beautiful and I've never been happier!” – tiffyknox

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“I was a thumb sucker from infancy, and when my parents finally broke me of that at age 5, I immediately transferred over to nail biting. I would bite every nail down to the quick, so they would literally bleed on top from how short they were. When I went to get acrylics for my wedding, my nail lady had a really hard time, because my nailbeds were sunken in because of how short they were. This is just to give you an idea of the severity of my habit, and the damage I did to myself. I managed to get the acrylics, with a lot of hard work from her. If I had acrylics on, I wouldn't bite, but when I could no longer afford them, then I was back to biting, and even worse than before, because of how thin/damaged the acrylics made them.

My prompt for biting was the jagged edges, and they could never grow out, because every time they'd start, there'd be an edge I could feel, and zonk, there I would go.

So, on to the cure! I decided I would bite all of my nails except my left pinky nail. It took several months, but it finally grew out, and I could file it, and keep it nice. Then I added my left ring finger. I continued one finger at a time, for probably close to a year, when I was down to just my right index and thumb, and did both of those at once. It's been 10 years, and I haven't bitten since!” – AmyKatscher

Use cheap press-on nails to help your nail heal and grow.

Use cheap press-on nails to help your nail heal and grow.

“I began by putting on those cheap glue-on nails! They stay on for about a week, and after that my nails had a free edge that I felt guilty about biting.” culturedclarinetist

Buy these on Amazon, £5.99

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Lady Gaga Has Confirmed That She Has Fibromyalgia

“I wish to help raise awareness & connect people who have it.”

So, you’ve probably heard of Lady Gaga, which means you’ve probably also heard that she has a documentary about her life coming out on Netflix on Sept. 22.

So, you've probably heard of Lady Gaga, which means you've probably also heard that she has a documentary about her life coming out on Netflix on Sept. 22.

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Last week, a trailer for Gaga: Five Foot Two dropped, and it showed her struggling with chronic pain.

Last week, a trailer for Gaga: Five Foot Two dropped, and it showed her struggling with chronic pain.

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She also talked about her pain at the Toronto International Film Festival, saying, “It’s hard, but it’s liberating, too.”

She also talked about her pain at the Toronto International Film Festival, saying, "It's hard, but it's liberating, too."

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What Is It Like Being Medicated For A Mental Illness?

Not all experiences are black and white.

Taking medication for mental illness is a common treatment option, and no single experience is the same.

Taking medication for mental illness is a common treatment option, and no single experience is the same.

One in six U.S. adults reported taking a psychiatric drug in 2013, according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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So we want to know: What has your experience been being medicated for a mental illness?

So we want to know: What has your experience been being medicated for a mental illness?

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Maybe you only take medication as needed, rather than a daily dose.

Maybe you only take medication as needed, rather than a daily dose.

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Or you’ve actually never felt better since going on medication, and it’s really benefited your everyday life.

Or you've actually never felt better since going on medication, and it's really benefited your everyday life.

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Do You Feel A Sudden Urge To Poop When You’re Shopping For Books?


If you've ever noticed that walking into bookstores makes you suddenly — as if by magic — need to poop, you are not alone.

Michelle Rial / Via buzzfeed.com

As it turns out, it's a common enough occurrence to have been named: the Mariko Aoki phenomenon. Allegedly, the naming dates to 1985, when a woman named Mariko Aoki wrote a letter to the Japanese book-themed magazine “Han no Zasshi” about the connection between bookstores and her bowel movements. The editor printed her letter, and was surprised to receive many responses to the effect of, “Same!!”

Those responses echo still, especially on Twitter.

Strong evidence of causation doesn't exist, but some (weak) hypotheses include a laxative effect of the smell of ink or paper, an association between bookstores and reading on the toilet, and the likelihood that people drink coffee in bookstores. But even if science can't explain it, that doesn't mean some book browsers don't experience it.

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But how prevalent is it, really?

Happy browsing!

16 Times The Sanderson Sisters Were 100% You, If You’re An Introvert

“Bye.”

When your friend invites you over but fails to mention there will be other people there.

When your friend invites you over but fails to mention there will be other people there.

Strangers, even. #shudder

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When you get in your car alone after a long day.

When you get in your car alone after a long day.

Disney

When people can’t fathom that you declined plans when you when you had nothing else to do.

When people can't fathom that you declined plans when you when you had nothing else to do.

What part of “need to refuel alone” do you not understand?”

Disney

When you have to give a presentation. In front of people. In person.

When you have to give a presentation. In front of people. In person.

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What Was It Like Being Hospitalized For Mental Health Treatment?

Anything and everything you wish people would just get.

There’s no shortage of depictions of in-patient mental health treatment in pop culture.

There's no shortage of depictions of in-patient mental health treatment in pop culture.

Some of those portrayals might be kinda accurate, others might be outdated and way off base.

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And maybe being hospitalized for mental health treatment is the kind of thing you only really understand if you’ve been through it.

And maybe being hospitalized for mental health treatment is the kind of thing you only really understand if you've been through it.

(Or know someone who has.)

ABC / Via giphy.com

So, tell us: What is in-patient mental health care really like, and what do you wish people understood about it?

So, tell us: What is in-patient mental health care really like, and what do you wish people understood about it?

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The Stories Of Women Who Have Had Mesh Implants Are Heartbreaking

“This is, I believe, one of the greatest medical scandals and abuses of mothers in Australia's history,” senator Derryn Hinch said before an ongoing Senate inquiry into transvaginal mesh implants.

Urogynaecological meshes, sometimes known as transvaginal meshes, are inserted into women as a treatment option for pelvic organ prolapse (when the connective tissue securing the vagina and uterus to the pelvis gives way after childbirth), or urinary incontinence.

Queensland associate professor of urogynaecology Christopher Maher has estimated more than 200,000 mesh implant surgeries have been performed in Australia to date.

The inquiry, which reports in November, was set up to find out exactly how many women have had transvaginal mesh implants and, of those, who had experienced adverse side effects.

More than 100 women have written to the inquiry. Their stories share much in common.

Every submission claims there was no informed consent or awareness of the possible complications. And every submission details a complication after the mesh was inserted.

These include: chronic and constant vaginal pain, visceral pain with bowel movements; dyspareunia (pain during sex); vaginal bleeding; inability to sit for more than an hour at a time; the granulation of vaginal tissue; pain through the glutes; inflammatory reactions; “offensive discharge”; incontinence; leg weakness; and haemorrhages.

Dozens of women described “erosions” — when the product enters surrounding tissue, protrudes out of a body structure or tissue and into surrounding organs causing holes or even haemorrhaging.

One woman had more than 12 operations to treat erosions and attempt to remove parts of her implant which were threatening to puncture surrounding organs.

Not one woman claims she knew the device, which is polypropylene and non-absorbable, acted as a permanent implant.

There are few surgeons in Australia trained to even partially remove the implants.

In May, patients told BuzzFeed News they had flown to the United States at huge financial cost to attempt surgery to remove their implants.

Any discomfort borne of the initial urinary incontinence — which in some cases was as minor as some leakage when running down hills — pales in comparison to the daily, debilitating and finance-draining reality of life the women who wrote to the inquiry say they experience after an implant.

Most of the submissions detail devastating mental health challenges women have faced having to negotiate newfound pain and ongoing sexual, urinary and bowel dysfunction; the toll this has taken on their finances; the forgone holidays and relationships; the inability to play with their kids; a complete loss of a sex life and for some, divorce.

Here are some of the most heartbreaking stories.

Just weeks after her transvaginal mesh device was inserted in 2009, this woman was having sex with her husband when he screamed.

“His penis had been cut,” she wrote in her submission to the inquiry, explaining that the device had eroded through to her vagina.

“The second time the mesh came down into the vagina wall I was in great pain and bleeding and the third time they removed the mesh and put in a mesh sling.

“I have extreme nerve pain in the vagina and it is now impossible for me to have intercourse with my husband anymore.”

The New South Wales women said she had been offered various remedies by doctors over the past seven years including physiotherapy, painkillers and anti-depressants.

“Who is answerable for this medical disgrace?” she asked.

“My life is never going to be how it should be.”

In 2009, a 62-year-old former registered nurse had a mesh inserted and sutured to treat uterovaginal prolapse.

Her muscles spasmed for years after the operation, she said — “it felt like the front of me was being pulled to the back.”

Her mental health deteriorated.

“My GP wrote a mental health care plan so that I can deal with my anger about the dodgy surgery, not being able to nurse and the effect on my sex life.”

The pain was so unbearable she planned her own suicide.

“I had decided 20 to 30 years of severe pain was more than I could bear,” she wrote. “I had started to collect the medications I thought I would need and had decided on the beach I would go to for my last swim.”

She had three operations to remove the mesh and the third was successful in removing enough that she decided not to “carry out her plan” to kill herself.

“I still have chronic pain but at a level that I can have a reasonable life. I am fortunate that I only need paracetamol every day and ibuprofen when I overstep what my mesh allows me to do.”

“My children have grown up with a mother who has spent so much of her time in bed, and my intimate relationship with my husband no longer exists,” a 58-year-old Victorian woman wrote in her submission.

Since the insertion of a transvaginal mesh implant for a bladder and vaginal prolapse in 2000, the woman has spent thousands of dollars for 12 subsequent surgeries including the last one which cost her $8,000, she wrote.

“I’ve had severe abdominal pain, erosion of the mesh through the vaginal wall twice … ongoing pain, bladder problems, bowel problems, vaginal problems.

“It has been over 16 years and I was 38-years old at the time of my initial surgery.

“I have been told by doctors that what has happened to me has been 'a disaster', 'a bloody mess' and 'should never have happened'.

“This is my life now and I can only imagine what life would have been like had I never had the mesh sling put into my body.”

“May they rot in hell!” one 65-year-old woman ended her submission addressed to the “pretty disgusting human beings” who manufactured and sold transvaginal mesh implants.

In 2008 she had a transvaginal mesh implant for a bladder prolapse and was left in “excruciating pain”.

“It incapacitated me at a critical time as mother of three young children and as a wife.

“There are many things I can no longer do … lost opportunities, horrendous medical expenses, bouts of depression, chronic pain and discomfort and continuous bladder prolapse issues.”

The adverse side effects she said she suffered included bladder dysfunction, nerve pain, mesh erosion, inability to exercise without pain or discomfort, a “ruined sex life” and “an almost failed marriage”.

She had three surgeries to remove the mesh over the next two years.

“They should have told me that class actions were already starting in the United States before I allowed them to put this rubbish in my system.”

A now 60-year-old Western Australian woman said she was told a mesh implant “was the only option other than a hysterectomy” to treat her uterus prolapse.

Since the surgery she has ongoing urinary tract infections, back pain, pelvic spasms, faecal and urinary urgency and painful sexual intercourse

Her relationship at the time fell apart “due to the anguish, stress and the inability [for her to participate in] sexual relationships” and her following relationship ended for the same reasons.

She said she wasn’t told of any risks or complications associated with the device.

Three surgeons have told her that they can’t remove the mesh as it is “entwined with the tissue”.

“I feel I no longer can have a sexual relationship, which has left me feeling depressed and alone.”

One 61-year-old NSW woman had a mesh implant inserted for a vaginal prolapse at the same time as her hysterectomy was performed in 2006. Just 11 months later she had to have another operation to “correct the prolapse”, yet the device continued to erode.

“I suffered severe lower abdominal pain and a very unpleasant discharge which forced me to wear sanitary pads both day and night for eight years due to the odour,” she wrote.

“I have not had any sexual activity for over eight years … as it was too embarrassing to explain and as the mesh continued to erode, it was exposed and rough so I avoided intimate situations at all costs.”

She had an operation to remove part of the mesh.

“I no longer have the discharge but I still live in fear that the remaining mesh may over time erode and as it is located so close to my bowel and other internal organs they may perforate and be life threatening.”

In one of the most recent submissions, a woman who had a mesh inserted into her vagina for a prolapsed bladder in 2007 says she has since had 12 procedures to correct subsequent complications.

The woman said she spent months on morphine for the pain from the initial insertion and had multiple surgeries to deal with parts of the device which had protruded through the vagina and bowel.

She was dismissed from her job for being “unreliable”, which she wrote was because she had to take so much time off for appointments, surgery and recovery time.

“After 10 years of constant pain and 12 procedures and visits to [a doctor] for check-ups and operations, my life has been quite miserable,” she wrote.

“Not to mention that my husband has had to have time off work to look after me and our quality of life has been severely diminished.

“I feel that this mesh was not tested enough.”

“The doctor did not tell me about any side effects or complications,” one woman wrote in her submission.

“I was advised it would be day surgery and I was in hospital for two weeks.”

The complications — sleep disturbance, bowel dysfunction, urinary incontinence and pain — have left her feeling like the only thing she wants to do is to “crawl back into bed” in the decade since her 2007 operation.

“I have been unable to be intimate with my partner of 40 years since the operation and this has put an enormous strain on our relationship.”

The health problems had led to “mood swings” that caused her to snap at her family.

“My quality of life is low, I had plans to travel to Ireland and see where my ancestors lived but that dream has been taken away from me.”

A 62-year-old South Australian woman said she had a mesh device inserted in 2010 for a prolapse and incontinence issue and has since had four operations to remove it.

“My life turned to hell [and I suffered] daily pain and discomfort,” she wrote.

The one thing she wished women were told before receiving a transvaginal mesh implant?

“Don’t use this product, ever.”

One woman had a transvaginal mesh implant in 2008 and has spent almost a decade treating paraesthesia (pins and needles), piriformis muscle pain, groin pain, sciatic pain and foot pain.

“[My surgeon] didn’t inform me that the mesh could not be removed by himself or any Australian surgeon if I developed any complications,” she wrote.

“He failed to tell me that complications such as foreign body response, pudendal nerve entrapment syndrome, painful sex, nerve pain, faecal incontinence, bladder incontinence or mesh erosion would be likely after surgery and would impair my life forever. I have had all [of these] complications.”

She “felt isolated and alone”.

“My husband said it was like I was flatlining,” she wrote.

“I didn't care if I lived or died.”

Her favourite activities — “road trips, reading and knitting” — were no longer possible because she can’t sit for too long without pain.

“I increased my alcohol consumption and put on 15 kilos due to depression and then was diagnosed with fatty liver disease.”

One woman wrote a submission on behalf of her mother who she said had suffered vaginal bleeding, “constant urinary tract infections”, “chronic groin, hip and leg pain”, gluteal tears and bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled pads — bursae — that act as cushions at the joints).

“I have lost count of the number of times I witnessed my mother cry out in pain from leg spasms and cramps,” she wrote.

“I believe that my mother’s legal rights and ethical rights of informed consent, fidelity and do no harm were dismissed and ignored by the medical company that produced her device, the surgeon who implanted the device and the Therapeutic Goods Association [sic] who approved this device for the Australian market.”

A single mother from Western Australia was fitted in 2007 with an implant, since removed from Australia's market by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, for a vaginal prolapse.

“I have suffered with chronic pelvic and rectal pain, reoccurring prolapse, loss of sex life, clinical depression due to emotional trauma for numerous surgeries and pain, chronic fatigue, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, constant sweating just to mention a few long term side effects,” she wrote.

The 54-year-old said she was never provided with any information about long-term health issues or possible side-effects.

This woman described herself as a “fairly active” wife and mother-of-four before she had a mesh tape implanted in 2010.

“I was told at the time that this was the gold standard in treating stress urinary incontinence and that it was a day procedure, very safe and came with only minor risks associated with all surgeries,” she wrote.

What started as a “dull ache” turned into a pain so severe that she “could barely sit” by 2016 when a surgeon operated to remove part of the mesh.

“Almost immediately I began experiencing severe pain in my vagina,” she wrote.

“Some days it felt like a hot knife in my vagina and the pain also started to migrate to my bottom and my legs.

“This was attributed to the mesh eroding through the vaginal wall.”

Her mesh was removed by a surgeon in Melbourne in March this year.

“While feeling better … I am left with pudendal nerve damage, fibromyalgia, inability to sit or stand for any length of time, inability to be intimate or have sexual relations with my husband, inability to pursue an active lifestyle and the ability to attend sport practices, events, movies, dinners or parent/teacher conferences due to the pain in my vaginal and gluteal areas.

“I now spend most of my days lying on one side or the other as to avoid direct pressure on my vagina and my bottom.”