Some women living with endometriosis have described their pain as “someone who crushes their reproductive organs” or “worse than giving birth.” Not everyone with endometriosis will experience pain in the shoulder and chest area. It's a symptom of endometriosis in the diaphragm, which is thought to only affect 1.5 percent of women with the disease. In my case, this pain starts around the right shoulder blade, spreads down the side of the neck and down the arm. The best way to describe this pain is to compare it to a toothache.
It's a dull, persistent pain that makes me feel nauseous. It seems to me that sticking your fingers into the shoulder muscles relieves it momentarily, like sticking your tongue into sore gums. Chest pains don't affect my breathing as such, but rather my chest muscles, which in turn makes it difficult to breathe deeply enough. While normal menstrual cramps can usually be controlled with over-the-counter medications, the pain of endometriosis can be so severe that it affects daily activities, and these pain relievers are usually not enough to control it.
It causes me fatigue, extremely painful abdominal distention, fever, irregular periods, pain during sexual intercourse, and much more. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include faster recovery times, less pain, and a lower risk of infection. With this, I feel a sharp, burning pain deep in my buttocks that then spreads down the back of my leg. Some only get mild cramps from time to time, while others have extremely painful cramps that can last for days with each menstrual period.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, heating pads, and gentle exercise can relieve mild to moderate cramps. Mr. Currie has extensive experience treating menstruation, pelvic pain, infertility, endometriosis, and cysts. Sometimes it's a dull, persistent pain, and other times it's a sharp, throbbing pain in the lower abdomen.
If you feel constant pain the week before your period starts and continues throughout your period, it may be due to endometriosis. Unfortunately, endometriosis can be difficult to detect, as the symptoms can resemble heavy and painful menstrual periods, leading to late diagnosis and serious pelvic health consequences. Schedule an appointment at The Woman's Clinic to find out if the pain and bleeding are due to endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus (womb) begins to grow outside the uterus and in other parts of the pelvic region.
In my case, it's like rubbing sandpaper on the inside and I have sharp pains that go up to my abdomen. That's why we spoke to Mr. Ian Currie, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist who lives in and around London, to explain the differences between painful periods and endometriosis.