I'm currently 20 and I've had excruciating gas pains, diarrhea, as well as constipation & bloating since I started my period back in 6th grade. My periods have always been heavy, sometimes (not always) lasting longer than a week. Within the two years, I have occasionally felt an aching/gnawing pain in both my legs down to my ankles when I'm on my period. My cramps & diarrhea have gradually become worse, along with the gas pains and bloating. My pain lessens when I'm not on my period, but I still have gas, cramps, and 'popping' noises coming from my stomach throughout the month.
When I was in high school, I went to several doctors to try and figure out why I was in so much pain. I went to several regular physicians, two gastroenterologists, and eventually an internal medicines doctor. The physicians labeled my symptoms as IBS, which my parents discarded. The gastroenterologist had me take a colonoscopy, but nothing was found. Through the gastroenterologist, I found out I was lactose intolerant; however, that still did not really help reduce the pain I was in. Finally, the internal medicine doctor said he believed I had endometriosis and he put me on a medium/high prescription of birth control.
When I was on the birth control, it DEFINITELY reduced the pain I was in. A couple months ago, my father lost his job and we lost our health insurance so I could no longer be on that pill I was previously on without paying almost $50 (I'm going to a 4 year university, broke college student!). Fortunately, I was able to get some health insurance through my school. I've been off the birth control for almost 3 months now, and I'm in pain again. I went to see a physician at my health center, and she told me that the gas and bloating was NOT a symptom of endometriosis and that I just had IBS. When I told her the pain slightly subsided while on the pill, she told me it was "rare" for someone with endometriosis to experience those symptoms. That it was mainly "painful periods." When doctors say 'pelvic pains' or 'painful periods', is it just stomach aches? Or cramps like I have been experiencing?
I'm so confused! I've read several stories about people having similar symptoms, but I was wondering if anyone has received the same diagnosis's between different doctor's opinions. My parents, especially my mom, are extremely concerned over how much pain I'm in. I'm back on the birth control, but still in a lot of pain. I haven't left my bed all weekend.
I'm also in love with children and plan on being a mentally challenged psychologist when I graduate. Since my symptoms are so severe, will I not be able to have kids? Does the severity of endo symptoms determine infertility? How do I check how far the endometriosis has progressed? Should I try seeing ANOTHER doctor for more opinions?