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I've had endometriosis for about 10 years now. (I would explain this condition in greater detail, but I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence...please feel free to message me if you're unfamiliar with endo.) I have been told over and over again by my gynecologists that the most effective way to manage endometriosis is through suppression of ovulation, i.e. hormonal contraceptives. After trying six different types of pills, I found that the only type of BCP that fully suppressed ovulation for me was Seasonale. I took that from the time when I was 18 to 23 (I turned 23 in February of 2009).
Early this year, I started to notice that Seasonale wasn't as effective anymore because I was spotting so much that I basically had a period every other week. That's when I decided to have a laparoscopy to determine which steps I needed to take from there on out.
So last month, I had a laparoscopy to "officially" diagnose my endo and remove any tissue growth. The results of the surgery showed that I had three significant patches of tissue growth, one of which was NOT removed because it had adhered to my urinary tract.
I got married in June 2009, which is when I stopped taking BCP due to its ineffectiveness. DH and I were using condoms until we decided to start NFP, as a religious and natural decision, a couple of weeks ago.
Yesterday I finally had my post-op appointment for my lap, because the surgery itself was on September 11th. I was really scared to talk to the doctor about my decision to use FAM, because she's not my primary care physician, she's someone I was referred to and was assigned to my particular case. Let me add that, before my lap, the entire women's health unit was convinced that I should NOT have a lap and should simply switch to a higher dose of BCP (something I was not comfortable with).
During the post-op I discussed my choices with the doctor. I knew that it would be a bit disrespectful to tell her that, even though she had just done surgery on me, I was choosing to ignore her advice in regards to condition management. So I talked to her about the various side effects of BCP and told her that I was encouraged by the fact that the areas of tissue were small. She listened to my various reasons for trying FAM and understood that even though I was thwarting conventional advice, I was pursuing a treatment plan that would be highly interactive and help me gain a greater understanding of my monthly cycles.
She also told me that she has no idea how fast my endo will progress this time, and so it would be silly to steadfastly endorse a particular path. Instead, I could continue to track my symptoms and switch back to hormonal treatments if my condition gets out of hand. I told her that I would continue to listen to my body and respond to its needs appropriately.
Even though this is an epically long post, I guess my point is that I'm pleased that I found a doctor who will stand behind me in my choice to engage in FAM. I don't necessarily need the approval of the medical community, but the fact is that they are the people who will treat me if I have any emergencies. It's good to know that my doctor "has my back" when it comes to FAM.
As for the endo, have you tried Lupron or any of the natural approaches - especially diet? My aunt was all ready to have a hysterectomy this past April, due to severe endo. She tried a diet specifically for endo and was able to cancel her surgery.