These are some of the more commonly asked questions about endometriosis. (From Endometriosis UK)
I am not depressed so why has my doctor suggested I take anti-depressants? Does he think it is all in my head?
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the body that help to regulate messages to the brain. These messages include: pain, pleasure, anxiety, panic, arousal, and sleep. Although anti-depressants are produced to treat depression – they also have a side effect of helping to block neurotransmitters carrying messages of pain into the brain. Anti-depressants are often prescribed for the management of chronic pain.
Although they are effective for some, they don’t work for everyone, and have side effects, so please discuss this treatment in full with your doctor and make sure that you have understood all the aspects.
How long should I feel soreness/pain for after my laparoscopy?
Everybody will feel differently after a laparoscopy. Some people may feel okay after a day or two, others may take up to a week or two to get over the effects of the anaesthetic. If you have had surgical treatment at the same time as your laparoscopy this may mean you will take longer to recover. If you are concerned about how you are feeling, or have severe pain or other symptoms – please contact your GP or hospital.
Where can I get advice about benefits and disability?
There are different definitions of disability and endometriosis is not automatically classified as a disability. However, each case is judged individually. It is helpful to keep a diary of your symptoms and pain, and how these affect day-to-day activities and your ability to work.
DIAL (disability information advice line) is a useful source of information visit www.dialuk.info for more details.
My friends, family, or partner are having difficulty in understanding how I feel or why I can’t join in. How can I help them to understand?
Each of the above will have different reasons for not understanding. It may help you to try and think of what they might be. They may feel helpless or blame themselves. They might not know how to act around you. They could be worried about how to talk to you and what to say. They may feel shut out, neglected, or miss doing the things you used to do together. The key to any good relationship is communication. Being open and honest is the best way to move forward. If you are happy to discuss your illness, let them know what is happening, tell them how you feel and how the condition is affecting you. If they do not know what is happening, they don’t have the chance to understand. It is hard for people to understand something that they have not experienced themselves. You could give them the number of our free Helpline 0808 808 2227 because our volunteers would be happy to talk to them or attend a local support group, partners are always welcome to attend the meetings.
How do I get a second opinion? Can I be referred to another consultant?
It is important to feel able to communicate with your healthcare professional. They should check your understanding of the condition, explain any medical terms and let you ask questions. If you are not happy or don’t feel comfortable with the advice or treatment from your GP or consultant, do ask for a second opinion. Before you get a second opinion it is worth considering whether this is due to a breakdown in communication. If you do not understand an explanation you have been given, you could ask your doctor/specialist nurse to explain it to you again. Your GP will be able to give you advice on getting a second opinion from a consultant. If you wish to see a different GP, you can make an appointment with another GP in the practice or try to change practices.
How common is recurrence of endometriosis after having a hysterectomy/menopause?
This is not common. It is more likely after hysterectomy if the ovaries have been left behind or if there has been some disease left behind. This can happen sometimes because endometriosis surgery can be very difficult. Endometriosis after the menopause is thankfully rare but can occur when HRT is used.