PELVIC AND PERIOD PAIN INFO FOR TEENS
Periods are normal, but periods that stop you doing stuff are not normal.
The good news is, you’ve come to the right place to work out what to do next. There are a few reasons why you may experience pelvic pain, but one of the most common reasons is period pain. Bad period pain could mean endometriosis but read a bit more below to find out about it.
Endometriosis is a very common condition that affects 1-in-10 girls and women around the world, and 600,000 Australians.
It can be tricky knowing what to do next if this sounds like you but there is lots of information on this website. Perhaps the best thing to do is read this FREE pelvic pain booklet. You can even save it to your phone or tablet and read it in private.
But what is endometriosis?! And what are the symptoms?
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) is found in places outside the uterus where it shouldn’t be. It can affect girls and women from the onset of puberty, meaning you may experience symptoms as a teenager.
You can read more about endometriosis here.
There are lots of places you can get further information and support, including on this website. The best thing to do is talk to someone you can trust about your symptoms. A GP or health nurse can be a really good place to start. Plus, a GP can help you get these symptoms under control.
There are lots of GP’s out there who will help, you just have to find the right one.
We also have a book called “Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain” which you can buy here [insert link]. You can get it in both hard cover or digital format which you can save to your devices. Check with your school library and health nurse first though, as they may already have a copy you can borrow.
Your health nurse may also have one of our cute period trackers, which can also be really helpful if you want to keep a track of your symptoms or things that worry you.
Plus, give us a like on Facebook [insert link] to keep up to date, and subscribe to our newsletter [insert sign-up form link].
These FAQ’s have been borrowed from our New Zealand partner: Endometriosis New Zealand. They have some more great FAQ’s which you may like – just click here to see them.
Can teenagers get endometriosis?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES. It’s really common for symptoms to start in the teen years, sometimes from the very first period. This is particularly so if there’s a family history of endometriosis or menstrual pain and troublesome symptoms. It’s really important not to delay seeking help as early intervention is vital to improve quality of life, relieve suffering and avoid the possibility of fertility being compromised down the track.
Paracetamol is not helping my pain. What else can I take to help give me some relief?
Paracetamol belongs to a group of medicines called simple analgesics and helps alleviate mild-moderate pain. Taking an anti-inflammatory either in combination or instead of is sometimes recommended. Codeine is a stronger pain reliever and blocks pain signals from nerves in your body. It can be used alone or in combination with Paracetamol and anti-inflammatories. ALWAYS seek professional advice
I have been told that if I go on to the ‘pill’ it can help relieve some of my endometriosis symptoms. How can a pill used as a contraceptive do this?
The contraceptive pill is often used as a first line treatment to regulate periods and reduce symptoms. There are many different types of ‘pills’ and some are much better suited to help with period pain and endometriosis. Taking the pill continuously decreases the number of periods per year however it can also mask symptoms and the progression of endometriosis. For this reason, recent thoughts are that prescribing pills ‘back to back’ may not be wise if there is no diagnosis. The pill is not suitable for everyone for many reasons (age, cultural, health, choice etc).
One Teen’s Story of Pelvic Pain
My name is Georgia, I’m 14 years old and I suffer with endometriosis. It started with just cramps everyday, back pain, nausea, heavy periods, headaches and dizziness. It started getting a lot worse, so we went to doctors, and a gynaecologist. This went on for about a year, in and out of hospitals, and the pain kept getting me more depressed everyday because I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with getting a diagnosis. I started to think all this pain was in my head.
My anxiety was getting worse because I stayed in my room pretty much all day. I missed so much of my last year of Primary School and didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t see my friends much either.
A doctor then referred me to a new gynaecologist – one who understood about pelvic pain. When I walked out of my first appointment with her, it was like a breath of fresh air, even for my mum. We finally got a plan in place and I had my first laparoscopy, I got a mirena in as well. I was really glad that I had a diagnosis, because living with chronic pain everyday and not being diagnosed really gets you down. People think ‘she doesn’t look sick. Why isn’t she at school?’
At first that really go to me because I cared so much what people thought of me but now it doesn’t even cross my mind, because I know that I’m in pain, it’s just invisible. Because of this experience, I feel like I’ve matured a lot, I am finally getting my anxiety handled and I feel like I am getting my life back on track and that is all thanks to my doctor and my mum.
I just hope that other teenagers out there that have symptoms like mine get some help because it really does get you down and there is help and support. Don’t live a life in pain, being a teenager is hard enough!
These drawings show me and my pain. The first one is me as I was, tied up by my pain and anxiety. The second one is me now. I still have some pain, but when it’s only this big, I can handle it.