Ask the Nurse

I am a 43 year old woman with a 4 year old child delivered by c-section. In 2007, I had a myomectomy for uterine fibroids (in order to help with infertility) and an appendectomy in 1981. For the past year, I have had some terrible upper abdomen pain that only comes during the first 3 days of my period (however, not every month). It is a constant mild pain for those few days, but comes in very severe waves of pain after I eat anything, even water. I become nauseous and my stomach becomes very bloated and painful when even mildly touched. Curling into the fetal position is the only thing that has helped ease the pain. My gynecologist did an ultrasound and found no cysts on my ovaries, but did find some new small fibroids and said my uterus was slightly larger than normal. She said all looked normal, though, and suggested I take ibuprofen during my period to help with pain. Do these things have to do with menopause approaching?

This sounds like adenomyosis: lining of uterus endometrium growing into the muscle of the uterus or ’endometriosis of the uterine muscle’. It can present as very painful menstruation and with just a slightly enlarged uterus. A pelvic MRI may be able to diagnose this as does hysterectomy - the definitive treatment. Some women get relief with the Mirena intrauterine system.

You should see an experienced gynecologist.

For more information on endometriosis, download our free Endometriosis Treatment Guide.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

April 7, 2014 at 11:14am