Helping someone with endometriosis surgery. A husband’s guide for male partners.
The importance of helping someone with endometriosis surgery!
Endometriosis has a significant impact on the quality of life not just for women but also for their partners. Helping someone with endometriosis surgery isn’t different. It affects both of you.
Neither of you knows what is going to happen, especially if it’s her first diagnostic laparoscopy.
I still remember my wife’s surgery that was meant to only determine if she had endometriosis or not and because no ultrasound, no MRI has shown anything on her scans.
It rarely shows and you shouldn’t trust them, as they aren’t accurate.
But at the time, I knew absolutely nothing about it, which naturally, made me a bit worried about her.
Not knowing how the operation looks like, what your partner is going to feel and how long is she going to be under the knife, can be stressful not only to the woman that is affected but also to her male partner.
So here are my tips on helping someone with endometriosis surgery:
- Prepare an endometriosis surgery checklist.
- Have a female companion.
- Take time off work for her.
- Take care of yourself.
Help her prepare a checklist for the surgery to know what she will need to take with her.
She needs a female by her side. As a male and her partner are great that you’re there but bring a female to accompany her because men aren’t allowed beyond a certain point.
You will need to take some time off work to help your partner recover from her surgery. She will need your physical and emotional support.
Self-care is extremely important. You have to think of yourself.
Remember, surgery doesn’t cure endometriosis. There is a chance of its reoccurring someday. If you don’t take care of your own needs, you will be no help to her.
I cover lots about endo surgery plus more in my “Endo-Tool, Endometriosis for Men” e-Book. I wrote it with help of my beautiful wife, and I give you the 1st chapter FREE! You will find in it 20 pages filled with value, including:
- What is endometriosis?
- What are the symptoms?
- What causes endometriosis?
- What does endometriosis look like?
- What are the stages?
- What are the types?
- What is adenomyosis and how is it related to endometriosis?
- Why do some women develop severe endo and others don’t?
- Does endometriosis cause infertility?
- How is endometriosis diagnosed?
- Do types and stages affect the treatment?
- Recurrence of endometriosis after excision surgery.
Get FREE “Endo-Tool”
Endometriosis for Men e-Book
Planning of helping someone with endometriosis surgery…
Helping someone with endometriosis surgery requires planning ahead.
Your partner will be most overwhelmed with emotions and she may not be focused enough to remember what to take.
Your head will be clear of worries my friend. You will have to keep it together to help her organize everything she might need. Ideally, making a list is the best thing you can do.
Firstly, you should educate yourself about what diagnostic laparoscopy is all about, how is it performed, and what to expect.
There is a lot to think about, and as a couple for whom their first surgery brings a lot of questions, you may feel overwhelmed not knowing where to begin…
Luckily for you, I’ve got you covered!
The following paragraphs explain step by step the reasons for the surgery and the types of endometriosis surgery.
You need to know this because endometriosis pain will have a big effect on the quality of your partner’s life. It will be especially frustrating if her medication won’t be helping.
For some people, including my wife, the operation may be an option, but it’s difficult to know what to expect from the surgery and whether it’s the right decision for her.
In most cases, it is.
Below are the answers to the questions about helping someone with endometriosis surgery…
The reasons for the surgery!
Pain, discomfort, medication doesn’t help, a lack of sex, or trying to get pregnant to name a few… these are the most important.
She has severe pain because the endometrial lesions grow where they don’t belong, impacting surrounding tissues. That leads to inflammation and pain. Endometriosis pain can be severe and significantly interfere with her daily activities.
If medications such as hormones or painkillers don’t work, even though can often help to relieve symptoms in some stages of endometriosis, it is time to think of the surgery.
Some stages of endometriosis don’t respond well to medications. My wife suffers from stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis, and she is better off not taking hormones, painkillers, or antidepressants.
If she tries to get pregnant, she should know that endometriosis can cause damage to sperm and eggs.
In severe cases, like my wife’s, scar tissue from endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes and make it harder for someone with endometriosis to conceive.
Luckily for her, I wasn’t desperate for kids. I just want to love her, she deserves that!
Types of endometriosis surgery…
Laparoscopy – it’s a type of minimally invasive surgery. It requires the use of a small, slender camera called a laparoscope, causing usually three small incisions to see into her abdomen.
It’s performed under general anesthesia. This means that she’ll be asleep while the procedure is being performed and she won’t feel anything.
Laparotomy – it’s also called “open surgery” but is considered major abdominal surgery, using a slightly larger incision than laparoscopy.
In the same way, laparotomy is performed under general anesthesia, again, she will be sleeping and won’t feel pain during her surgery.
Laparotomy for endometriosis is rare but may be used when her endometriosis is extensive or can’t be seen well-using laparoscopy.
Hysterectomy – it’s a procedure used to treat severe endometriosis when preserving fertility isn’t an issue.
In contrast to the other surgeries, the surgeon will remove your partner’s uterus, possibly her cervix, sometimes her ovaries (oophorectomy), and even fallopian tubes (salpingectomy).
If she has this surgery, she’ll no longer be able to get pregnant by herself. But if her ovaries are preserved, the eggs could still be used with IVF.
It’s important to discuss such surgical options carefully with an expert before deciding to have a hysterectomy.
However, hysterectomy in my opinion this isn’t the best option because the endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, so removing it doesn’t solve the problem.
Endometriosis surgery checklist.
Every woman is different and every patient finds comfort through their own means.
My wife and I did not know what to do and what to take with us.
So, I recommend you create with your partner a list of groceries, items, etc, as they will provide her comfort and eliminate stress as she will be prepared for the surgery, even if it’s diagnostic.
Below is a checklist of items that helped many women to relieve some of their stress.
However, bear in mind not to over-pack, unless you have a car and give her a ride.
She will mostly wear PJ’s, and may not want to wear anything that is tight. Ideally a skirt or a dress. She’ll thank you for it later!
If possible, try to organize for her the following:
- Heating or cold pack.
- Sanitary pads.
- Lots of water.
- Light foods like soups.
- Comfy, loose clothes.
- Books, magazines, headphones, etc…
- Phone or tape recorder to record conversations after the procedure. My wife had to rely on my memory, as she was out of it. Your partner may feel the same.
- A little pillow for car rides and don’t let the seat belt touch her tummy! Again, she’ll thank you for it later!
Aside from that my man, clean the house as you don’t want her to worry about it, you know women, they like it clean.
Prepare the house for a comfy place to recover. Make sure there’s easy access to the toilet and the bath, help her avoid using stairs.
Eye mask, earplugs, anything she needs to help her sleep would be a great help.
A female companion.
It’s great that you support your partner and all, however, there will be an area at the hospital to which only women are allowed to enter.
That was the case for me and my wife.
We had a nice coffee and I was able to be there for her to reassure her. We went to the reception where I sat to be called. I was able to keep my wife company.
When the time of the surgery got closer, a nurse called my wife to come in, however, I wasn’t allowed to go with her.
It made my wife pretty upset, but rules are rules, and at that point, we got separated. My wife did not show it but she was extremely emotional and cried a lot on the other side.
She feared the operation as this whole situation was something she never experienced before.
I also got worried about her worrying so much. I knew she was in good hands but it caught us both by surprise.
Later on, I found out that if she had a female companion, that person would be allowed to go with her to keep her company and take her mind off things.
So, however helpful and amazing you are, there must be a woman who can go all the way with your partner to prevent unnecessary stress since it is going to be a new experience for her.
Take time off work for her.
I understand that this may seem impossible, but if you know the date of her laparoscopy, you can book in advance your time off work.
To be on the safe side, take two weeks off rather than one.
You’re might be caught up in a situation similar to mine, if your partner gets an infection, which has a possibility to occur after any operation.
But don’t get alarmed! It happened to my wife, but it’s pretty rare so your partner most probably is perfectly fine. My M seems to have a lot of bad luck in life. The infection was one of them…
Life happens and you have to prepare yourself for it. Take longer than you normally would and she will thank you for it.
Remember, physical recovery takes time, but emotional even longer.
The shock of the endometriosis diagnosis may cause her to feel very anxious, even though she won’t realize it at the beginning.
You, my friend, will have a lot of time to think, as she’ll be fatigued and sleepy in the first 24 to 48 hours after the op.
You may get bored, you will also think about your finances.
But here’s my advice – you can begin a journey to something amazing and kill two birds with one stone – start a blog. Do what I do. It’s going to change your life forever.
Furthermore, it is going to improve the life of your partner too…
Start a blog.
You’ll be able to get busy whilst keeping a close eye on her, and aim towards financial freedom that you can reach in a matter of three years of blogging.
If you want to know more, check out this article for more details!
Take care of yourself!
Helping someone with endometriosis surgery means thinking of yourself too. You have to take care of your needs too.
If you don’t, you’re most likely going to burn and be no help to either of you.
Practice self-care, meaning, do whatever makes you happy. Caring for someone is rewarding, but it can be challenging and tiring too. You need to recharge batteries.
So think of yourself a little.
Understand that endometriosis is a long-term chronic illness. Your partner may receive more than one surgery, and still, have endometriosis.
Endometriosis can grow back at any time, more intense and more painful, or less even a month or years after surgery.
Accepting that endometriosis may always be there and becoming a good supporter for your loved one is the best thing to do to help her get through this difficult journey.
Endometriosis can have a significant impact on quality of life, not just for women with the condition but also for those who are close to them…
You are that special person. So take care of yourself in order to avoid caregiver burnout.
But remember, that despite all the difficulties that endometriosis can bring to a relationship, will make both of you stronger as a couple.
There is no shame in taking care of yourself.
So now you know that helping someone with endometriosis surgery will bring a variety of challenges, and if you don’t take care of yourself no one will do it for you.
Take care and I keep my fingers crossed for both of you!
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…