Endometriosis UK
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struggling with period pain

hi everyone im in desperate need of some help with the intense period pain I suffer with this now for about 15 days ive had this since I was 13 im now 43 the saying it will get better with age no chance im worse I have tried everything. I can only take paracetamol as a pain killer for 2 reasons 1 I have ibs my stomach cant hadle anything else and 2 I have a 10 years anxiety and panic problem so I now fear side effects of things I take after an awful experience on tablets which ended with me in hospital. so what I need now is to focus and to try and find the healthier alternative ive heard and read that vitamin b complex is good with no side effects but wanted to ask for your advise. my period symptoms consist of stomach pain level 10 or above for at least 7 days feels constantly faint sick and craving food. but its also hard as since I have had anxiety attacks I get the exact same feeling from an attack its all so much to cope with please can anyone help me thankyou

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Stop trying to cope on Paracetamol alone. I wouldn't mind betting you are taking more than the daily maximum dose too now right? That's what happened to me. I was 43 when I got my surgery that finally diagnosed endo.

During that surgery I had the mirena coil inserted and a few months later it stopped my periods completely and I am now period and pain free.

There are two pain killers Diclofenac and Naproxen which are one stage up from Paracetmol.

I was taking 4 Paracetamo every 4 hours throughout the day on super painful days. I was wretching from having to swallow them - I hate swallowing any tablets so that initself was an ordeal and still is when I need to have antibiotics or anything.

Now when I switched to new GP who had endo herself - she was convinced I did too, but months before diagnosis op she switched me to Diclofenac.

It worked a treat. It is non-addictive and I only needed 2 a day (1 in the morn and 1 in evening ) to replace that huge amount of paracetamol I was on, which quite frankly was a lethal dose.

I am surprised I didn't wreck my liver and kidneys on the amount I was taking each month.

Diclofenac is also known as Voltarol and can be bought over the counter at a lower dose.

There is not way on earth that you will find a natural homeopathic cure for endo or adenomyosis pains of a level 10 on the pain scale.

After surgery to remove existing endo - the maintenance for this condition is best done by stopping your periods.

If you don't like taking tablets - and I can understand that, then there are 3month injections as n option, or arm implants called Nexplanon which last 3 years at a time, or Mirena Coil IUD which is the best of the bunch as it lasts 5 years and is the lowest dose at about 20% of the dose used in regular birth control pills.

Vitamin B complex contains B1,23,5,6 and 12.

Do not start this supplement without having your medical condition diagnosed. Each of the B Vitamins has some risks and interactions with other medication you might need or might be on already and can affect how they work. You can check side effects, interactions and doses on the WebMD website for any supplements, but also check with your GP.

If you have diabetes, PCOs, endometriosis, fibroids, adenomyosis or any hormone sensitive condition or bleeding disorder then be very careful about what supplements you use.

Even the ones that often describe themselves as great for period pains etc are usually not endo-friendly.

WebMD supplement checker website is on


click on the USA flag option if you get a pop-up . It is a much better site than the UK version.

If you have been bravely putting up this month after month self treating - then you need to stop it. There is no need to torture yourself with this.

Speak to your GP about moving up a notch on the pain relief scale so you are not needing to take so many over the counter paracetamols. Naproxen is the likely one he/she will prescribe.

Ask the GP to request you have a pelvic ultrasound scan at the hospital to check for deformities in the pelvic organs, fibroids, hydrosalpinx, ovarian cysts and get them ruled out if they don't apply.

Once that is done - it won't see endo by the way- it rules out the easier to diagnose pelvic conditions.

Then next step is to be referred to a gynaecologist. These are surgeons, they are not there for managing your periods or pain relief which is your GPs job.

There is a drug option called GnRH which puts you in a temporary state of menopause. REFUSE this option. You are not a suitable patient for it.

If you already suffer with anxiety or panic etc or depression or a host of other issues then it is not worth the risks of taking because it WILL make those conditions worse which is the last thing you need.

A diagnostic laparoscopy or key hole operation, involves a general anaesthetic.

a tube is put in to your tummy to pump it up like a balloon with the same gas used in fizzy drinks CO2. Then a camera on the end of a probe is inserted just under the belly button which can then look all around in the tummy to see if it can spot signs of endo anywhere and everywhere on surfaces of your pelvic organs.

If there is theatre time and your surgeon is able to remove the endo that is found they may do that at the same time, but if it is severe, more likely they will do nothing and you will be deflated of much of the gas and the lap or key holes will be glued together with superglue and a single stitch on the skin to stop the glue plug popping out and you will come round from the op.

If endo is spotted your next step is to ask to be referred to an accredited endo centre and get them to do a proper surgery on you with expert endo surgeons who will do their level best to remove all the existing endo in a subsequent surgery.

If no endo is found - then that's not the end of the matter either. The next one to check for is Adenomyosis - this is a similar condition to endo and is hidden inside the muscle walls of the uterus only. There is a cure for adeno - which is to have the uterus only, removed taking all the adeno cells with it out of the body. That would stop your periods too of course.

A hysterectomy is not a cure for endometriosis, so you need to rule that disease out 1st.

And while you are under general anaesthetic for the 1st op - you can have a smear check done if you find them too painful normally, and you can have a mirena coil inserted too.

Mirena takes 4-6 months of gradually thinning the menstrual lining to the point where it stops periods or some ladies do have mild spotting but most will find they stop completely. And that lasts up to 5 years before needing to be replaced.

No tablets to take, no periods, no period pains, no PMT you can get your life back again.

but you do need to give it a chance to settle in and get working.

Mirena can be inserted without anaesthetic if you can tolerate speculums being opened up inside the vagina without much discomfort, but it is far nicer to not know anything about it going in, and the surgeon can use ultrasound to make sure it is in the correct location too. Plus if you do have endo it is better to have that confirmed as it directly affects the decisions you make on foods you eat and supplements you want to consider taking.

IBS is treatable too..... lots of us with endo have some degree of IBS. somethings irritate and cause pain. Identifying each of them is trial and error and then banning them from the diet.

In my case alchol, caffeine, fizzy pop, red meat, etc all on the banned list.

Dairy foods give me the runs - but I use those occasionally when I feel I am heading to constipation as a natural laxative in me.

We are all different and can only figure out for ourselves what specific things set us off.

It is wrong to assume because one coating of one tablet causes a reaction in your gut that all tablets will do the same - that is not the case at all. Trial and error with meds and with foods is going to have to be the way forward.

Sometimes it is worth putting up with one side effect of a drug because the benefits of taking the drug far outweigh any temporary side effect.

If one version of a drug irritates your Gut speak to the pharmacists about different generic drug options that may have a different coating on the tablets.

There is a huge amount you can be doing to improve your situation - and you have already proved how brave and resiliant you are by putting up with this for decades. Quite frankly anything else is a doddle in comparison. So do yourself the biggest favour and get on to your GP and get yourself out of this pickle of monthly hell.

Do not let one bad past experience rule your every day in the future. We all have bad experiences with medics and hospitals and reactions to drugs in our past history, but leave it there in the past and move on and do what's best for your future. The more you take charge of this the more you will grow in confidence and get back a much better daily quality of life. No one will knock on the door with the answers and a magic potion. You need to look after yourself and your own health and get the diagnosis you need, to know which path to follow to recover.

You can do this - be brave - I know you can do this...further more you MUST do this, you could have another 15 years of periods ahead of you till natural menopause. Why suffer through that if you don't have to?

It took 29 years for my endo to be diagnosed with a surgery, and there are many more on this forum waiting decades to get their lives back on track. Most of us have had endo since the 1st period. Just look on the website polls which you can access on the front page click on EndometriosisUK logo just under the green bar at the top of the page.

So many of us have had to cope for years and years struggling every month and we don't have to live like that.

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