Living with endometriosis - Steph's story of coping with endometriosis
Endometriosis sufferer Steph spreads some words of advice through her story
Steph was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 18 and has lived with the chronic condition for 11 years.
At the age of 14 Steph could tell there was something wrong, but it would be another four years before she would know what was truly going on.
Luckily, Steph’s Dad had private health care, which extended to the family. Aged 18 Steph would see gynaecologists and consultants, via the private health care service, who would carry out tests including a laparoscopy to diagnose her with endometriosis.
Steph was unaware of what endometriosis was prior to her diagnosis, which took only six weeks to diagnose due to the help of the private health care service. Endometriosis can take over seven and a half years to diagnose therefore Steph’s diagnostic process happened quite quickly.
Having learnt to cope with the condition Steph keeps a positive attitude towards the life changing condition.
“It is quite life changing but it’s how you approach it and how you handle it. I feel like I’ve gone through most stages of it, of being frustrated, and now I just try and be positive.”
Since her diagnosis, Steph has undergone five surgeries, including two Mirena Coil surgeries – a device inserted into the uterus to prevent periods, which can add fuel to the fire for endometriosis sufferers.
Steph has had the Mirena Coil surgery on two occasions, as the device lasts between three to four years, and has not had a period in eight years.
Chronic pain and chronic fatigue are two things Steph has to deal with on a day-to-day basis, which affects her social life and work, as well as seeing her hair fall out at one stage. Steph manages her pain though medication such as Tramadol, a strong painkiller, and Omeprazole to battle indigestion - a side effect from taking Tramadol.
In addition, Steph regularly goes to the gym and has a Personal Trainer who helps strengthen her core, something to help with her endometriosis.
“I do it to get active, and it’s really good for my mental health - You feel good because you’ve not let it become in the way of something, so you feel better about yourself and that you’re achieving something.”
Finally, Steph would provide some words of advice for those dealing with endometriosis.
“ You have to go through all that process but eventually you will find something that makes it as manageable as it can be – get to the point of thinking I’m not going to let this determine my life. - It’s like a grief in a way, you go through all the motions of what you do with a grief, and that sounds dramatic, but you have got to adapt to it and you have to find out what works for you.”
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