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What Is A “Normal” Period?

Before my endo diagnosis, I had painful periods. They were often accompanied by nausea, digestive distress, and fatigue. I actually started off getting “normal” periods in my teenage years, but by the times I reached my twenties, the symptoms were intense.

I didn’t know that something was wrong

Because they grew gradually over the years, I didn’t realize something was off. I just thought I was experiencing the discomforts and cramps of menstruation that everyone else complains about. Mine were no different, right? Even when I got to the point of nearly passing out, I still was in the dark about endometriosis. I truly didn’t think of it as something of concern.

I was relatively in tune with my body, and kind of prided myself for having a high tolerance of pain. I just thought I needed to “suck it up”. To top it off, I didn’t like talking about my period in general, let alone talking about how miserable I felt.

But endo symptoms are NOT normal

It wasn’t until it came up in conversation in a doctor’s appointment that I started to understand something was definitely out of the norm.

We pursued some tests, a laparoscopy, and ultimately a diagnosis of endometriosis.

I remember my periods after the laparoscopy felt like a breeze. They weren’t necessarily my peak performing days, but I certainly felt like I could function normally throughout the day.

Lessons learned

This experience taught me so much about the value of investing time in self-care, the importance of communication with my physician, and the freedom of good health.

Create time for self-care

We know there’s a link between stress and endometriosis, yet in the midst of a busy lifestyle, self-care can feel indulgent and sometimes even a little selfish.

Self-care doesn’t need to be an expensive day at a spa, however. You could take a bath at the end of your day. You could practice relaxing breathing techniques at any point throughout your day. The key is to identify something that you enjoy and can be consistent in practicing.

For me, I know I need to schedule it on my calendar or my to-do list or it won’t get done. Schedule it in your day and treat it like a nonnegotiable meeting.

Talk to your doctor

We know that we have such a short period of time with our physicians these days, that it’s easy for the time to be up before you even think about what you want to discuss.

This is why it’s important to prep for your appointment and be willing to share details with your physician – even about topics you’d rather avoid. They can help to troubleshoot any obstacles and more importantly identify when something is out of the norm.

To facilitate a discussion like this, finding the right doctor is key. Find a doctor that not only is within network and has good reviews from other patients, but more importantly find someone within whom you can have a good rapport.

You need to have a level of trust and comfort with the physician and someone who respects your role as the patient as well.

Enjoy the freedom of health

Last, but certainly not least, when you experience the freedom of good health, enjoy it! A body in motion stays in motion.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • FREDA
    3 months ago

    I had endometriosis that was severe and had a hysterectomy at 24 years old. I am 69 years old and have pelvic pain that is very severe and also I have FACTOR 5 blood disorder. That makes me unable to take hormone therapy.
    My husband is 6 years younger than I am. In the last 8 months I am not able to have sex with him due to pelvic pain and bleeding during intercourse. He is continually after me to get help. My gynecologist just says “IF YOU DON’T USE IT YOU USE IT!”
    I am worried about my marriage and I don’t know where to turn!
    CAN ANYONE HELP ME?
    FREDA

  • Jessie Madrigal moderator
    3 months ago

    @freda I am so sorry you are struggling so much. The first thing I must say, is that if your doctor is not being supportive enough, you have every right to look for a different one. You deserve a health professional who will listen to you, support you and provide you with the best personal care. I am also including some links on how some of our advocates deal with painful sex. There are no quick solutions and what work for some many not work for others, but it’s worth having a read.

    https://endometriosis.net/living/fix-painful-sex/
    https://endometriosis.net/living/healing-painful-sex/
    https://endometriosis.net/living/sex-tips/

    I really hope this helps. Please reach out to us if you need to. We are here for you – Jessie (team member)

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