How best to explain my problem to my doctor?

Hi, I have a doctor's appointment later. I don't know if I have endo but I suspect I do, and I want my doctor to take my concerns seriously, but I've read that it's common for sufferers to be dismissed as whingers and given pain relief. I am trying to conceive, and do not want to be taking strong painkillers, but more importantly, I want to get to the bottom of what causes me such pain. I have always had painful periods, but they've been getting worse, to the point where I can't go to work as I can barely walk for the first three days. I also get diarrhea throught my periods, my periods are quite heavy and last 7 to 8 days. I also have pains in my right ovary a lot (throughout the month). Until last week, I thought all this was normal! I'm just worried that my doctor will tell me I just have painful periods and am being a hypochondriac. Do you have any tips for dealing with doctors with these symptoms? Thanks x

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  • Try taking in exact details of when you experience what symptoms. A lot of the time people just say things like "all the time" or "the other month", or "I don't know".

    I printed off a blank outlook diary for 6 months (page a month style) and highlighted (just a line, not the whole box) days I had been off work, days I had been bleeding, and days I had been in excessive pain. I also wrote a list of my symptoms and scored them out of 10 rather than saying it "really hurt". Also, it helps to say what you have done to try and help the pain, and what yup would like to get out of the appointment.

    Don't be surprised if they first try and look at pain relief or bleeding control (tranexamic acid or mefanamic acid). Give it a try if they suggest it as it does help lots of people, but do agree with the doctor to try for a pre-agreed amount of time only, and also try and get them to suggest the "what will happen if it doesn't help" next step.

    On a side note they should definitely do an examination and a smear test and probably swabs and blood tests: this should be done as standard practice. Also, if you have been ttc for over a year I would recommend considering asking for a fertility referral rather than a gynie referral. This obviously depends on what your priority is, but in my personal experience a fertility consultant could have done my lap and identified endo and refered me for having it treated, but my gynie consultant couldn't treat us for fertility. Because of this we have been ttc for 5 years, and still waiting for fertility referral (even though we know our next step is ivf) because I went through the gynie route for treatment, rather than direct to fertility. I don't know if I've explained myself well there, hope it makes sense!

    Good luck x x x

  • Hi the only time I felt my doctor really listened was when I said this is not normal and listed pains! She agreed to send me for a scan to check for ovary cysts and think that's normal first step and pills for pains. Once that showed all was ok was referred to gyni so as long as the doctor listens and tell them the worst pains that are not normal period pains! I also suffered diareah during period but was so used to it forgot to mention it. I have wondered if that's why ibs has never been mentioned as many people seem to get told this. The main thing is to make it clear your pains need investigating and it takes a while to rule things out with scans blood tests etc but as long as they're looking into it that's the main thing. You can always sugest endo and tell them the symptoms that relates to this and see what they say. My doctor sugested endo once everything else was ruled out and she was right! Good luck and the best advice is to be honest and if is interfering with your dailey life tell them! Hope all goes well x

  • I would suggest you keep a diary of symptoms for at least one month to give the doctor a snap shot of your pain and symptoms to work with. It is a clear and specific way to show your doctor what you are going through.

    Get a list of endometriosis symptoms and make sure that if you experience any of them that they are noted accurately in the diary along with any other troubling symptoms

    Good luck xxx

  • even if you are seeing a doctor today I would still keep the symptom journal. That way if the doctor refers you to a gynaecologist you can show the gynaecologist the journal and if the doctor doesnt take you seriously you can take the diary back again next month to reiterate the point x

  • Deal with one issue at a time. First of all start with getting your pain identified/diagnosed.

    It might be endo, it might mean tht the endo will make it nigh on impossible to naturally conceive, so that should be the first thing to do.

    Keep a symptom diary. Where is the pin? how strong is it? how mny pin killers and what kind are you taking and how often?

    How re your bowel movements? How much bleeding re you getting? Are you in lot of pain and/or bleeding when you ovulate? Can you feel the precise moment you ovulate?

    how long hve you been trying for baby? Hve you managed to conceive before now but lost it? In other words does tht tell you that your tubes are probably clear.

    Is sex painful? either during or after the event?

    Is you pain throughout the month? generally all over the tummy region or site-specific.

    You will probably need to hve a scan to check for ovarian cysts or endometriomas or rule them out, though not everyone with endo will hve cysts, and not everyone with cysts will hve endo.

    You do need to try and find out wht's causing the pain. if it is endo then the only sure way to find out the extent of it and the likelyhood of being able to conceive without IVF is by hving lap op to check what's going on inside you, and how much the endo nd scar tissue are getting in the way of the ovaries and tubes to the uterus.

    Meanwhile you don't have to be a martyr to the pain.Strong pain killers will not stay in you for very long at all. Take them if you need them while you are waiting for a diagnosis.

    Once you know wht you are dealing with and want to try to concieve, by then hopefully if you do hve endo nd hve had surgery to clean you up inside, you might not need any strong pain relief for a good few months and it is the best time to try for a pregnancy then anyway.

    Stressing yourself out doesn't help, so break it down in to dealing with one issue at a time, and first things first is finding out the cause of the pain and if that is going to affect your method of getting pregnant.

    Best of Luck

  • sorry my letter 'a' keeps misfiring on the keyboard. time for a hoover.

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