Living with lung and colon endometriosis: catamenial pneumothorax

by Glynis wallace

Living with lung and colon endometriosis: catamenial pneumothorax outlines Glynis Wallace’s 13-year experience with pulmonary endometriosis through narrative summaries from the physicians who attempted to control this disease.

Book cover for Living with lung and colon endometriosis

The author wrote this book to share information and increase awareness of pulmonary endometriosis, where endometrial implants appear on the lung like chocolate cysts and release blood between the lung and its lining, which is known as the pleura. A flow of blood, occurring on the lung every month is a strange reality and difficult concept to fathom. This phenomenon, known as catamenial hemopneumothorax, is when endometriosis attaches to the lung, releases fluid, and allows air to move in by an unknown mechanism—all of which causes the lung to collapse.

In 1958 100 women were written up in the literature with endometriosis on the lung causing it to fill up with fluid and collapse. The catamenial pneumothorax was considered extremely rare. Now record numbers of women in 2005 have been diagnosed with this disease, and still many physicians and women, have never heard of it.

For several years, denial was the author’s coping mechanism, but after three major surgeries to remove endometriosis, seven chest tube operations to inflate and remove fluid from herlung, and extensive research, she conceded to the humbling reality.

Many medical professionals do not know about this syndrome and most standard textbooks do not mention it. The literature states that 100 people in the USA have this rare form of endometriosis, but the truth is only 100 appear in the literature. The author is convinced, along with her pulmonologist and gynaecologist, that many women go undiagnosed due to lack of knowledge in the medical world. It is her hope her story helps others suffering with endometriosis in the lungs or colon.

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