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hello everyone! I am Erika and I am 26 years old. I have bee

hello everyone! I am Erika and I am 26 years old. I have been suffering from pain since I was around the age of 15. My two sisters have been diagnosed with endometriosis and I believe that is what I have been suffering with. I am in the military so it has been rough fighting for the diagnostic/treatment for this disease. I have tried every form of hormonal therapy with no help at all with the immense pains or bleeding. I am bound to a heating pad and pain meds once with out being able to do anything cause the pain is sometimes so unbearable. Well I have finally been told by my doctors to start thinking about surgery or ovarian suppression and I am pretty sure I want to opt for the surgery but I was wondering if anyone in this group has gone through ovarian suppression due to the same issues and can tell me their opinion on this possible choice.

Raine14's picture
Aug 12

Welcome to our group!
I am sorry to hear you are suffering so much and have had such a hard time getting treatment. It was 7 years of undiagnosed pain before I finally found a doctor who was willing to treat me. When my two little sisters started showing symptoms, I marched them into the doctor's office myself. I didn't want them to go through the same uncertainty and long, long wait to get relief.
The hormone therapy doesn't stop endometriosis, but it can slow it down. Ultimately us ladies all find ourselves facing the same choice: is it time for surgery?
Personally, I have found a lot of relief with surgery. The first surgery was such a marked difference in pain, that I actually forgot to take my painkillers! However, surgery isn't a cure. More like a reset button, and 2 to 5 years down the road you could find yourself considering the same surgery again.
Ovarian suppression is a treatment in which a woman is put into a temporary or reduced menopause. It's a good choice for women who are on that cusp of real menopause and want to get it started early (my primary care doctor had endometriosis and opted for this route). Some women will choose it if they are considering a hysterectomy and want some idea if removing the ovaries will decrease their pain. But ultimately, it's not a good route to go. You can only use ovarian suppression therapy for 2 years max. Not 2 years at a time, but 2 years MAX, as it increases your chances of osteoporosis. Most women don't like the side effects either and some have described them as worse than the usual symptoms of menopause.
Good luck whatever you choose.

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Aug 12

@Raine14 Thank you for this insight. It has been hard and for me being in the military I am unable to just say I want this surgery. We have to go through so many different non invasive options first. I did not know that you were only allowed to use it two years max in a life time so that is really good information. It is very worrisome that infertility is a possibility with or without treatment. Like you said 2 to 5 years after surgery the very pain can come back so getting numerous surgeries increases the risk of scar tissue and infertility. I have no kids yet but I do want the chance to have some when I get through school and and have a stable home life. Do you have any tips on things that helped you in the past when it came to the pain?

Raine14's picture
Aug 12

@Morenoel1022 You are very welcome. And it's not just the military. Medical insurance companies can be ridiculous in their "non-invasive options" and "do THIS first because it costs less" approach. The hoops and tests I had to jump through before my insurance would even consider letting a gynecologist take a look internally was asinine.
Endometriosis might be the leading cause of infertility, but most women with endometriosis find they can still bear children. I think the statistic is something like 60-70% of women with endometriosis are perfectly fertile. Surgery to remove endometriosis can actually increase fertility chances. So don't lose hope.
Scar tissue can still be a problem. In fact, I have pain from internal scar tissue from my last surgery. But I have found that particular pain to be fairly stable. It doesn't get progressively worse, like the endometriosis pain. Applying heat to the area and gentle stretching can also help limber up the area. I'll take scar tissue over endometriosis any day, but some women disagree.
Tips? Lol, this could get long.
1) Painkillers. Always take your painkillers as soon as the pain starts. Don't wait until the pain is bad, because then the painkillers are playing "catch-up" and will be less effective.
2) NSAIDs are extremely effective as painkillers because they stop the production of the prostaglandin hormone, which triggers the uterine muscles to start cramping. Naproxen is better than Ibuprofen in this regard.
3) Turmeric supplements. You want the kind that doctors recommend for arthritis. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory agent and can help decrease the inflammation in your body that the endometriosis causes. As far as pain relief, I have found these better than over-the-counter Ibuprofen. They can also be paired up with other painkillers.
4) Peppermint capsules. These were designed for IBS relief, but due to how intertwined the intestines and the uterus are, the antispasmodic effects of the peppermint oil will soothe uterine cramping just as well as intestinal cramping. These won't take away the dull, persistent pain, but they will stop the cramps and the pain that comes with it.
5) Clary Sage essential oil. Whether used topical or diffused, clary sage has been used throughout history as a source of relief from menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms. I personally find that diffusing the oil at night while I sleep leads to the next day's period pain being less than it would have otherwise been. It's not a huge decrease in pain, more like the equivalent of an Ibuprofen, but every little bit can help and you can use it while taking painkillers.
6) Raspberry Leaf tea. Another historical remedy, my mom bought me a package on a whim. Turns out, there's some science behind it and other endometriosis sufferers have found minor relief with it. I find this works best if you start drinking a cup or two a few days before the period hits. Again, the pain relief is minor, but every little bit helps.
7) Find a good doctor. Not just one that is willing to perform surgery. You need a doctor that is willing to work with you on all fronts, willing to listen to your experiences, willing to prescribe adequate painkillers, AND has a good hand at surgery.

I have also heard that CBD oil has been found helpful. I haven't tried it myself. And Whoopi Goldberg has a whole thing going on with medical cannabis for endometriosis ( Many women have also found relief from following an Anti-Inflammatory Diet, or if your endometriosis is causing a lot of gastrointestinal problems, the FODMAP Diet.

Lastly, this website ( is one of the best sources of information on endometriosis I have found. It's filled with both scientific updates and blog articles. I especially like the blog articles which are written by 2 women about their daily life struggles of living with endometriosis.

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