SO. I have endometriosis, but I’ve also had ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. If you are a male – you should probably stop reading now. It’s about to get all girly up in here.
Severe cramps/painful periods – or “dysmenorrhea” for you medical types – can often be blamed on any one of those three issues. I tend to blame it all on the endometriosis because there are millions of women who suffer with endometriosis so it gives everyone a point of reference. I have had severely painful cramps for 10’ish years or something. They were so bad through several points in my life that I found myself having to take sick days off work at least once a month. This causes problems since most businesses only give you 5 days a year. AND I MENSTRUATE EVERY MONTH. Which, you know, seems excessive to me. But whatevs.
But since I started REALLY running, I think I’ve only had to miss 2 days related to my girly bits. The cramps have REALLY subsided. Now, I still have bad days and I still over-indulge in ibuprofen every month, but I rarely am actually incapacitated by it. UNFORTUNATELY – my suffering was always 2-part. And this is where any males who stuck with this entry should REALLY turn away now.
I also suffer from menorrhagia and menometrorrhagia. Basically? I bleed a lot. And it can be all month. And with the subsiding of the severe pains, it seems the bleeding has increased from “A Lot” to “OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO HAVE TO LIVE IN THE BATHROOM FOR 72 HOURS EVERY MONTH.” And I’m not exaggerating. Whatever “method” I choose to use to deal with this, NOTHING keeps me away from a bathroom more than an hour. And let me tell you – THIS IS AN AWFUL WAY TO LIVE. It also creates a lot of dirty laundry which is the most depressing part. Screw the hormone fluctuations associated with my cycle, you know what makes me the most batshit insane? The constant need to change my pants due to MENORRHAGIA. It’s embarrassing and it makes me feel about as awesome as you can IMAGINE it would make me feel.
So, yeah. Things are BETTER with running. But they still SUCK ROYAL DONKEY BALLS.
I did plan to get some “cleaning up” done last April. They were going to go in and burn some of the endometriosis off my girly parts, and they were going to give me a D&C (For Fun! Not for miscarriage! Who knew?) to just get everything cleaned up so that Donnie and I could maybe still try to have another kid someday. But then the tornado came and took out power to the entire city for 5 days and I haven’t rescheduled. I will reschedule, but we’ve actually been wondering if we’re done having kids or not. If we’re done having kids, they can do a lot more to “treat” me. So, you know, I suffer with excessive bleeding and tolerable cramps as long as I run, until we decide.
But I really do think the running has helped with the cramps. I think I’m probably at a “normal” level of monthly pain now, with periodic “severe” days where I used to be the opposite. Will running help your cramps? I don’t know. But I know that I’ve heard from a lot of sufferers who run, the same thing. Now, if only I could find something to stop the other joys associated with my wonderful reproductive system. Something other than ripping it all out, of course.