Although I have had heavy and painful periods from the time I started at age 14, the debilitating symptoms did not begin until 1990 at the age of 25. I tell people that I had adenomyosis for 17 years; however it is highly likely that I’ve had it all along, and the pain became intense during the 17 years prior to my hysterectomy.
Over those 17 years, I ended up in the ER on numerous occasions with severe abdominal cramping that would cause me to double over. During these attacks (which always occurred toward the end of my period), I would have horribly painful gastrointestinal problems (constipation and diarrhea), severe bloating, nausea, sweating to the point of having to change clothes, and cramping pain that would nearly cause me to faint. My periods routinely were very heavy and would last an average of 10 days. As the years passed, I began to pass very large blood clots during my periods. Additionally, I would have migraines, terrible fatigue and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) prior to the start of my periods.
Over the years, I was diagnosed with food poisoning (first time), IBS, endometriosis, uterine polyp, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and even was told it was all “in my head”. I have undergone 2 D&C’s, laparoscopy, colonoscopy, hysteroscopy, endometrial ablation and finally a hysterectomy. I have been all kinds of medications – birth control pills, narcotic pain relievers, antispasmodics, antidepressants, etc. It was only AFTER hysterectomy that I finally heard about this uterine disorder. The pathology report showed that I had been suffering from severe adenomyosis. All of my symptoms resolved after hysterectomy.
I have since published a book hoping to help other women who are going through a similar experience. I hope that by telling my story I can help someone else to get to a diagnosis and proper treatment quickly. If you would like to read a detailed account of my experience with adenomyosis, my book, My Hormones Are Killing Me – Living With Adenomyosis and Estrogen Dominance by Maria Yeager, is available on Amazon. I have also published 3 additional books on adenomyosis. Please see the page about my books for more information.