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Ever since I was 13, I’ve experienced very painful cramps with body aches and bloating

Ever since I was 13, I’ve experienced very painful cramps with body aches and bloating. I’ve been pretty in-tune with my body so I could tell when my cycle was about to start, as I would get migraines. The pain would be so bad that I would cry myself to sleep writhing in pain. I would not be able to walk for the first day or so. I would experience very bad fatigue. It was vey difficult for me to have a bowel movement or to avoid, as it was very painful during my cycle. Around day three of the cycle, I would experience abdominal pain after eating or drinking fluids. No one was able to tell me what caused this abdominal pain. The only relief I had was taking advil around the clock along with a heating pad.

What I didn’t know was that these painful cramps would cause me to miss at least one day of school a month. I experienced the same situation in college where I would miss classes and my life revolved around my cycle. In college I started to take birth control pills but they never really helped the pain I experienced in the first two years of my cycle. I tried different types of anti-inflammatories, antispasmodics, and symptoms management medications, but nothing really worked.

Now that my husband and I have been married for five years, we decided to try and start a family. We tried for a year on our own, but we were unsuccessful. We then started to receive treatment from our reproductive endocrinologist. We tried oral medications, IUIs and two rounds of IVF but are still unsuccessful and I’m still experiencing painful cramps. I’m hoping that laparoscopic surgery will shed some light as to why I have experienced painful cycles my entire adult life and perhaps why I have been unsuccessful in starting a family.

Amy M.

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