Halfway through last year, I suffered unbearable menstrual pain. When I asked around, I was told that it was normal to have menstrual cramps and was advised to rest. However, next month, I faced the same problem again. Up until then, I had been having very normal periods.
I didn’t take a single day off from work during my menstruation. My period days were just like any other day. But when the pain started I had to take 2-3 medical leaves every month. I wasn’t worried. On the contrary, I was happy that I could catch up on the TV/web shows that I had missed. Months passed.
I realized that I was putting on weight. Firstly, I was happy because I love curves. But later on, my weight gain was uncontrollable and I was no longer under the limits of my Body Mass Index (BMI).
My stomach bloated and I thought it was because I wasn’t eating on time. I started to make sure that I ate something at regular intervals of 2-3 hours. But that didn’t help much.
During my periods, I couldn’t sit for a long time. I couldn’t walk. I was literally in bed. Obviously, no Multi National Company will give five days’ medical leave every month. So to be there in office, attending video conferences and meeting project deadlines, seemed like hell to me.
I had a hard time controlling my mood swings. It was one of the biggest challenges for me to not let my mood affect my work space.
This kind of stabbing pain started to occur at other times of the month, yes, even when I was not on my period. Sometimes it stayed for 15 to 20 days around the menstruation time. This irregular pain didn’t let me sleep. It didn’t let me go out with my friends. Basically, I was shrinking shutting all doors.
I started taking pain-killers every 4-5 hours. My doctor advised me to go for a CT scan. We found that there was a cystic lesion on the ovary. The condition was diagnosed as Endometriosis. That was the first time I heard that word.
Endometriosis is caused by endometrial cells. Normally, these cells are found inside the uterus. What causes Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of these cells outside the uterus.
The major symptom of endometriosis is severe pain during menstruation. It can occur at other time of the month may be due to ovulation, due to adhesion or due to inflammation. The intensity may vary from person to person. Some can deal with it while others find it extremely difficult.
The emotional stress that occurs because of this condition can damage you to the core. I owe it to my friends, who made sure that I was all right. They were at the hospital keeping a check on me even on the day before Christmas. When I flew home, my family did the same.
The cause of endometriosis is unknown. And there is no cure for it. But the growth of cells can be controlled and minimized through pain medication, hormone treatment and laparoscopy.
I am on treatment now and slowly getting back on track. Most importantly, I am happy now. To the women out there, please don’t ignore menstrual pain and to the men out there, please take care of the women around you.
About 30% to 40% of women with endometriosis have problems conceiving. So you can’t simply ignore it. Please go and get a medical checkup if the menstrual pain is consistently severe, and take treatment on time to avoid troubles in future. Eat healthy food. Find time for regular exercise. And most importantly make peace with your mind.