‘I am 31, and I am getting a hysterectomy. I waited 10 YEARS before I did anything. I’ve finally had enough.’: Woman details years of suffering through PCOS and endometriosis

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“Everyone has an idea of how their life is going to turn out. I always pictured mine so much differently, but I have finally accepted that life can be amazing and awful all at the same time. And that’s okay. So, here is my story. I am 31 years old and I am getting a hysterectomy.

I never had any children although I always desperately wanted to be a mother someday. I hope to still be one, but in a different way. I’ve been dealing with horrible periods my entire life and always thought they would get better, but unfortunately they have only gotten worse through the years. I was hiding all of my symptoms for the longest time from everyone because I was embarrassed and thought I was just being dramatic, but that was only until the day I met my husband – who loved me for everything I was, and everything I wasn’t.

Girlfriend and boyfriend smile in selfie on beach
Courtesy of Amelia Pinto

We met my senior year of high school and I knew then he would be my forever. What I did not know was how our life together would go. My husband has cystic fibrosis and has had his fair share of procedures and hospital stays, but somehow he always manages to keep his head up and stay positive in the most difficult times. I always tried to make myself seem that I had it all together and I was a happy person, but the truth is at around the age of 21, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) and endometriosis. For those of you who do not know what PCOS is, women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes them to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant. However, in my situation, I did not skip my periods – I had prolonged periods, and by that I mean they lasted for months. That’s because I had endometriosis on top of the PCOS, and a hormonal imbalance, so everyday my uterus continued to shed its wall with no real reason at all.

After seeing numerous amounts of doctors and being put on all kinds of medication, I had my first D&C at the age of 24. Unfortunately, it was not my last. I’ve had 4 of them in my lifetime. Things always seemed to get better after the procedure, and it would last a short while, and I’d think to myself, ‘Okay, this time it’s going to work.’ But it never did. The pain was finally gone and I could live a normal life, but what I did not know was I was just putting a bandage on a much bigger problem. Being on all of that medication came with its problems. I gained so much weight and no matter what diet or exercise plan I tried it did not seem to help. Not to mention, some days it was hard enough trying to get out of bed, so exercising was out of the question.

After my failed D&Cs, I’ve taken more birth control than I can count and I’ve probably kept the woman’s feminine products in business for many years now. I’ve seen 7 different doctors for this issue and tried to keep myself sane through this whole ordeal. I’ve gone for 3 sessions of iron infusions because with the amount of blood loss I’ve had, naturally my iron levels were completely depleted. I almost lost a few of my jobs because of all the sick time I’ve had to take. I’ve only been going on for this long because I didn’t want to give up hope, and all the doctors I have seen told me I was too young to make any rash decisions, so I’ve waited for years before I did anything. 10 years to be exact! I finally had enough!

Woman diagnosed with PCOS smiles in selfie
Courtesy of Amelia Pinto

I finally made the decision to do something more drastic that would enable me to carry children of my own. Just recently I had my first ablation which seemed to help, but yet again, sadly it did not last. The bleeding came back and so did the pain. My doctor also told me I have pre-cancerous cells, which he discovered from the tissue sample he took from my ablation, and I could easily develop endometrial cancer in a few years. After thinking about what he said to me, I knew something needed to be done. My mother had breast cancer and carries the BRCA gene which is a gene passed down from generations that puts you at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. I asked him what my next step is and he told me a hysterectomy. He said, ‘Although you are still very young, it will help you more than hurt you.’

I am making this decision to move forward because I need to take my life back. I know this will come with its fair share of problems, but I am so tired of having to say no to activities with my friends and no to being intimate with my husband because I am in so much pain. I’ve always wanted children and everyone who knows me knows it’s always been a life goal of mine, but I have finally come to terms with it not being my destiny. Maybe God has a different plan for my life that I haven’t seen yet, and maybe there is a child out there who needs our love. So, we are moving forward with this procedure and the adoption process. We have taken the first steps of meeting with an agency and are also considering becoming foster parents in the near future.

Groom and bride with PCOS look back smiling on wedding day
Courtesy of Amelia Pinto

I am sharing this story not to give you all the details of my issues, but to tell you that no matter what I’ve been though in life, I am still lucky because I have an amazing support system. It starts with my incredibly understanding husband who puts up with all my crazy emotions and outbursts and all the times he has had to awkwardly buy my feminine products at the store and tell me I was still beautiful and enough for him when I felt like I wasn’t. My family and my friends who taught me I am so much more than I think I am. I am an aunt to my amazing nieces and nephews. I am a sister and a daughter. I am a wife and I am a friend. And although I may never get the chance to say I am a mother, I am still meant to be here and I am still a valuable person. My husband said to me once, ‘We are both a little broken, but somehow put together we fit perfectly,’ and that is one of the reasons I keep pushing forward.

Husband and wife who always wanted to be a mother but had hysterectomy
Courtesy of Amelia Pinto

You know your body and you know what’s best for it no matter what some people might say to you, so you have to do what’s right for your needs. Just be kind to everyone you meet because you have no idea what they may be going through. You have no idea what they are hiding behind their smile. Be careful with your words, especially the, ‘when are you having children’ and ‘you are always tired, drink some more caffeine.’ You have absolutely no idea what anyone has going on in their life, but if you are like me and can see the good in the situation, always try to remember that no matter what you may think of yourself, you are so much more than what you think you were meant to be.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amelia Pinto, 31, of Woodbridge, New Jersey. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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‘We usually tell women at this stage to complete their families.’ I was only 17. That wasn’t an option. I had no idea how unlucky I’d be.’: Woman battles stage 4 endometriosis, 2 miscarriages, and hysterectomy

‘A 27-year-old woman asking to have a hysterectomy is extremely troubling. My choice has been difficult to understand.’: Woman fights addiction, endometriosis, ‘This is not a decision I’ve made lightly’

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