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First period after laparoscopy for endometriosis: How to deal with it

Those who have periods can understand that it is an agonising experience. Every month, women have to deal with aggravating pain, cramps and discomfort. The usual menstrual cycle is already painful enough. Now blend it with additional post-operative recovery and what you have is unexplainable distress. This is especially the case for the first period after laparoscopy endometriosis, a condition that affects more than 2 million women in India. 

In this article, Dr Anjali Kumar, a leading gynaecologist at the CK Birla Hospital, will explore how a woman’s first period after laparoscopy surgery endometriosis treatment is like. 

Facts about endometriosis in India:

  • Nearly 2.5 crore Indian women suffer from endometriosis. 
  • Endometriosis affects every 1 in 10 women in India
  • This condition can impact any age group but the most prevalence is found in women ageing between 26-30 years old.

What happens during the first period after laparoscopy endometriosis?

Laparoscopy is an advanced key-hole surgery to treat endometriosis. The surgery can temporarily affect a woman’s reproductive health. 

Before we look at the changes that occur during the first period after laparoscopy endometriosis, let’s understand what these terms mean.  

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which similar tissues that line the inside of the uterus begin to grow on the outside. These tissues generally develop in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It is a painful disorder that impacts a woman’s overall health including fertility. 

Common symptoms of endometriosis include:

What is laparoscopy for endometriosis?

Laparoscopy to remove endometriosis is a surgical treatment. It is a minimally invasive method in which surgeons make small incisions in your abdomen region. 

Through these incisions, they insert a thin tube attached with a tiny camera called a laparoscope. Surgeons utilise the laparoscope in viewing the insides of the uterus. They continue to remove the tissues that have grown on the outer uterus lining. 

How does the first period after laparoscopy endometriosis look like?

The recovery of laparoscopy is different for each woman. Due to this, the first menses after surgery and their effect also vary. 

Your first menstruation will happen after 4-6 weeks of surgery. Your body is in the healing phase at this moment. So your periods will be heavily bothersome. 

You can expect the following during your first period after laparoscopy endometriosis treatment:

Why is the first period after laparoscopy endometriosis painful?

The reason why you will feel additional discomfort is that your body is still healing internally. Laparoscopy to remove endometriosis is a surgery that directly takes place at the ovaries and fallopian tubes. 

Due to the surgery, your ovaries will still be very tender. Additionally, the tissues in your ovaries and fallopian tubes would be swollen. The standard discomfort of periods overlaps with this tenderness causing excruciating pain during the first periods.  

How do I cope with the first period after laparoscopy?

Though the first menses during recovery will be distressing, you can still cope with it. Here are some expert-approved ways to deal with the first period after laparoscopy endometriosis:

  1. Take a diet rich in iron: You will be losing plentiful blood during your first periods after laparoscopy. You should aim to compensate for all the lost iron by gorging on healthy food.  It is the best time to fill your plate with iron-loaded dishes. You should eat dark leafy vegetables like spinach, meat, lentils, pumpkin seeds, eggs, chicken, beans and fish.
  2. Load up on Vitamin C: Only intaking iron is not enough. Your body will require something to absorb the abundance of iron. Food rich in Vitamin C is your go-to item. There is a wide range of fruits that have a high quantity of Vitamin C. These include pineapple, kiwi, oranges and mangoes. Other food products include broccoli, tomato juice, sprouts, strawberries and more. 
  3. Drink loads of water: Heavier periods can leave your body dehydrated. You will have to make up for the lost amount of fluids. You should drink plenty of water to help you endure the period pain. You can also consume other types of healthy fluids including soups, juices, energy drinks and more. 
  4. Take pain relief medicines: You should not be surprised if the first period after laparoscopy is tremendously painful. If the pain is unbearable, you can consult your gynecologist who will prescribe the suitable pain relief medication. It is suggested that you do not consume any medicine without a doctor’s approval. 
  5. Take supplements: Understandably, you may not be in a condition to cook food or go to the market. However, you can arrange vitamin C and iron supplements to help you cope with the discomfort of the first period. These supplements are easily available with a verified pharmacist. 
  6. Utilise herbal remedies: You can alleviate the period pain with the help of herbal remedies. There are several traditional recipes that you can choose from. You can drink vegetable soups loaded with ginger, chamomile tea, add cinnamon and fennel seeds to your dishes among other things. 
  7. Avoid foods that cause bloating: During your first menses, what you consume would be of high importance. You should completely avoid drinking or eating anything that can add to your pain. It is recommended that you do not drink excessive caffeine, carbonated drinks like cola, alcohol or consume fatty foods. 
  8. Take plentiful rest: Needless to say, your body would be struggling with so much pain that you require extra rest. If it is possible, stay in and sleep as much as possible to help your body rest. 
  9. Use heating pads: Heating pads are saviours during heavy menstrual cycles. During your first period after laparoscopy endometriosis, you will be experiencing consistent cramping and pain. You can apply little heat to the cramps, however, you should cautiously avoid touching or heating the surgical areas. You can use the heat pads on your back and thighs to find comfort. 
  10. Do light exercises: If your body allows you to move, you can do certain yoga exercises to ease the pain. There are some very simple positions like child’s pose, bound angle pose or forward fold pose. If yoga is not your cup of tea, you can also choose to go for a walk around the neighbourhood or do light aerobics. 
  11. Talk to a counsellor: Your first period after surgery for endometriosis is likely to take a toll on your emotional and mental health too. You should consider speaking to a therapist or a counsellor about how you feel during this time. 

The concluding Note

Your first period after laparoscopy to remove endometriosis will be, undoubtedly, exhausting. You can use the above-given tips to endure the pain and let this stage pass. The intensity of pain will subside gradually in the subsequent periods. You can seek instant medical support for your first period post laparoscopy surgery treatment

You can book an appointment with Dr Anjali Kumar, the best gynecologist in Gurgaon at CK Birla Hospital, for more information or personalised guidance on endometriosis treatment

FAQs

Ques: How soon after a laparoscopy can I have my period?

Ans: You can expect your period after 4-6 week of laparoscopic surgery. 

Ques: Can my first period be delayed after laparoscopy?

Ans: Yes, it is not unusual to miss or have a delayed period after laparoscopy. It can happen due to both, physical and psychological stress. 

Ques: Is bleeding after laparoscopy normal?

Ans: Yes, some amount of vaginal bleeding after laparoscopy is normal. You may experience bleeding for up to a week post-surgery. 

Ques: How long does it take to recover from laparoscopy?

Ans: Your recovery period depends upon your age, overall health and severity of the condition. On average, you can expect to fully recover from a laparoscopy for endometriosis in about 6 weeks. 

Dr. Anjali Kumar
Author: Dr. Anjali Kumar
Dr. Anjali Kumar specializes in developing patient protocols to increase normal delivery rates and VBACs (Vaginal Births After Caesarean). Her key areas of expertise include advanced minimally invasive procedures to treat ectopic pregnancies, ovarian cysts, fertility enhancement and endometriosis.
 
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