Kylie Flaherty – Endometriosis

“I’m 34, and have suffered with endometriosis from the of age 15 – but I have a beautiful 3 year old boy Jack…”

Since the age of 15 I have constantly suffered from abdominal pain.  Ten years after being originally diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and many, many trips to doctors and emergency rooms in chronic pain I decided to try an alternative on advice from a friend and went to see a naturopath. Within ten minutes he diagnosed me with Endometriosis and I was referred to a gynaecologist where I have been under his care for the past 8 years.

I have had six laparoscopies to remove the endometriosis and ovarian cysts, some that had grown to around 6cm in diameter. On operation number four I lost my right ovary and fallopian tube.  On track for a hysterectomy at the age of 35 I made many changes in my life.  With only one ovary and a history of endometriosis I was told my chances of falling pregnant were significantly reduced, and maybe not even possible.

The challenged I faced was that to control the endometriosis and pain to some degree I needed to stay on the pill.  Determined not to let this beat me I began preparing my body and mind for a pregnancy through good diet, alternative medicines and plenty of exercise.  Thankfully I fell pregnant 3 months later. Although I had a hard pregnancy for nine months I suffered none of the pain that I had been experiencing since becoming a teenager and the felt the healthiest I had for my whole life, followed by the birth of our beautiful healthy baby boy, Jack.

A year on from the birth my pain returned.  Two further operations have revealed that the endometriosis doesn’t appear to be present any more; however I have damage to the underlying organs from adhesions and unfortunately still suffer from many of the symptoms.  Although I continue on my journey of discovery determined to find the answers I feel very blessed.  Blessed that I was able to have a beautiful son and that I have a very understanding and loving husband to support me.

I have met many wonderful and inspirational women in my short association with GAIN and it has given me a whole new outlook and confidence in dealing with my condition.

I enjoy working with GAIN in the community and the opportunity to give other women and their families the information and support that I wish I had known for the last 19 years.