Pearline Pearl, Endo Warrior
"Do not think heavy menses flow is normal. "
In 2020 I had a sudden increase of menses that flow super heavily from 3 days to 5 to 7 days in a menstruation cycle. Experiencing pain in my left pelvic and went to see a GP for a few months didn't help. I was referred to see a gynaecologist where I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Immediately the gynaecologist removed my left ovary and inserted a Mirena in me to stop the menses. During the surgery, I had to undergo a blood transfusion and a complicated process. I recalled going into the OT at 7 am and out at 2 pm. Then my nightmare began.
After the surgery on 31 Dec 2020, I had an unexplained fever and did all scans and check however the infection indicators show nothing. I was hospitalized a few times and was referred to an Infection Diseases doctor where I had to be on a 35cm long PICC plug and every day my daily morning routine was to report to the hospital for my antibiotics drip to control the fever. I was even hospitalized in a public hospital yet no one can tell me what went wrong.
Four months later my unexplained fever subsided and back to the usual temperature. I managed to put a stop to the daily antibiotics drip. But sadly it's not the end for me.
My menses suddenly came back with terribly heavy flow and lasted more than 12 days. My sanitary pad usage increased from 10 a day to 15-20 a day. It was a nightmare. My pelvic and back pain increased. My gynaecologist then prescribed me two types of hormone pills which did not help me at all. Not only my problems did not stop, my weight gained horribly fast and I faced terrible mood swings. I hated myself and had to manage three younger children as well as manage my moods and my work. The pain and flow affected my daily life and work so badly. Feeling so frustrated I went to see several specialists and couldn't find an answer. One of the specialists even prescribed me with artificial menopause injection to reduce my pain and made my body regulate the state of menopause. The feeling was terrible.
In October, I decided to see Prof Fong and finally my unexplained fever and understand what is going on in my body. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. It was found to spread to my bowel as well resulting in Bowel Endometriosis too. He immediately roped in a Colorectal Surgeon and did an Endoscopy. From there they determined that Endometriosis was severely spread in the womb as well as the bowel.
On 8 Dec 2021, I had to undergo another surgery to remove my womb and some parts of the bowel. Thank god everything went smoothly. Prof Fong and Dr Ng CY did everything they can to help me. No words can describe what I have been through and how I have felt throughout the year 2021. Thankfully my pain is gone now and everything is back to normal slowly.
From my experience, I will like to tell all my friends: do not think heavy menses flow is normal. You will know your body well. Two to three days of heavy flow is normal, but more than five days of heavy flow is not. Having to change more than 5 pads a day isn't normal as well. Don't take this lightly. It is not like cancer where there is a treatment to cure. Endometriosis has no right cure and you will have to find ways to live with it and manage it. It's never too late to see a specialist, ladies.