I received this comment on the post Stage of Endometriosis and felt it much better to address the answer in this fashion. The comment follows:
I am only 16 and i have endo. I am always in a lot of pain and i have been given birth control in order to control my endo.It always make me feel so sick. Im not really even sure if it is a very serious problem and the docs have made me feel kinda stupid about it.
Any advice? – jess73
This is not the first time I have received a comment like this, and unfortunately because of the nature of this disease, I am sure it will not be the last. But, because of the overwhelming frequency, I felt making an example of this comment – thank you very much to jess73 for asking it – would be more fruitful for those who stumble upon this blog in search of answers.
First, let me tackle the birth control and endometriosis band-aid enigma. Jess73, and all the rest of us endometriosis patients, have or will learn at some point that medical science is at a loss as to what exactly causes endometriosis. Yes, they don’t know. And because they don’t know, they don’t really know how to fix it. They throw hormones at it, struggling in vain to quench the fire that feeds the implants (“quick! grab that hose of Lupron and suppress her estrogen with chemicals, there’s endo growing on that ovary!”). They slice and dice and burn and excise until our abdomens shun bikinis and begin to look like a battle has been waged with mini nuclear warheads on its surface; our belly buttons deformed from the bloodshed.
And the doctors’ first line of hormonal attack: birth control pills. Those little multi-colored, hormone packing pellets work for some and are intolerable for others. Yes, some with endometriosis swear by them. They would never be without them! They take the 4-month-on packs and relish in the glow of no periods and pain. But for others with endometriosis, a rather large portion of us I’m afraid, those tiny pucks may as well be pure poison because they bring nothing but toxic nightmares into our lives. Anything from migraines to constant bleeding and pain to violent mood swings to the woman who is hormone sensitive. Some people are lucky and get one bad symptom, and perhaps they can live with it and stick it out for a while on the BCP rollercoaster, but others hit the jackpot and life becomes unbearable.
Birth control pills can make you feel very sick. They are loaded with nasty, unwanted side effects. Anyone on any medication should familiarize themselves the with side effects. If a strange and new symptom is lingering, check it out and see if it’s something you can live with or need to see your doctor about.
Next, jess73, as to your doctor situation… you have two things working against you. In one corner, you have endometriosis. In the other corner, you are 16. Many doctors, especially males, can’t even begin to fathom how painful endometriosis is. Endometriosis is literally a silent life sentence because you feel you are living a life sentence without parole and you have no one to talk to because no one understands. Internal chronic diseases are extremely difficult for someone to connect with unless they have it too.
And finally, and not least in any way, endometriosis is very important! It’s important for it to be treated while you are young. As you age, endometriosis will continue to grow. If this grows on the fallopian tubes and ovaries, it can cause fertility problems. It’s vital that, if possible, endometriosis is dealt with before marriage and children are discussed.