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Meet Our #COTW Jeanina Joseph – ‘Don’t Stop Until You’re Content With What Your Doctor Tells You’

Meet Our #COTW Jeanina Joseph – ‘Don’t Stop Until You’re Content With What Your Doctor Tells You’

Jeanina Joseph

Before our #WCW Jeanina Joseph received an official Endometriosis and Adenomyosis diagnosis, she was a student, women’s healthcare advocate, and an administrator at Mount Sinai in New York.

“I’m in the multiple sclerosis division in the department of neurology…I work with female doctors, so I felt really comfortable disclosing my health issues, even though I did not have to. The support was amazing,” Joseph said.

The diagnosis was a long time coming for Joseph, who said she began experiencing symptoms at the age of 16. She was plagued with debilitating cramps, heavy bleeding, and clotting. And like many of the #EndoSisters we know, she thought she was just unlucky when it came to her cycle.

“I thought, like many women, I was just the one in my female group with the ‘bad period.’ For years I didn’t think much of it.”

She tried to ignore her symptoms until she was forced to have a colposcopy after receiving an abnormal pap smear. (It was 2007; Joseph was 21 at the time.) The colposcopy caused Joseph to develop unbearable pelvic spasms. Rectal spasms followed, but her doctors brushed it off, so she did, too.

“I developed pelvic spasms after a colposcopy back in 2009… I eventually started having rectal spasms as well,” Joseph said. “I would mention it here and there, but no one ever seemed to look into it or think much of it, so I didn’t either, I just lived with it.”
That is until May 2017, when Joseph began spotting between periods. She wasn’t on birth control, so she started to worry – Joseph immediately asked for an ultrasound.

“All they found were some small cysts,” Joseph said. “I was prescribed medicine for my heavy periods and was told it wasn’t anything.”

Unsatisfied with her care and treatment plan, Joseph took it upon herself to find out what could be happening to her body.

Her search led her to NYU. After her physical exam provided no clues, her doctor decided to do a pelvic MRI, which that eventually revealed Adenomyosis. While going over her options (one of which included having a hysterectomy), her doctor told her that the likelihood of Endometriosis also being present was a possibility.

Joseph decided to have laparoscopic surgery in October of 2017 – she was diagnosed with Stage I Endometriosis.
Today, Joseph is focusing on what she’s learned on her Endo journey. Since her surgery, she’s finally finished with that stressful semester and made it out with top-notch grades – she even participated in an all-female 10k.
“It’s a mental and physical battle – eat healthily, work out, and keep yourself busy with things you love, but also make sure you give yourself time to rest,” Joseph said. “Sometimes, your body just needs to relax. Educate yourself, ask providers questions, read books and articles… if you don’t feel like your OBGYN is educated enough, get a second or third opinion. We know our bodies better than anyone else, so if you feel like something is wrong, don’t stop until you are content with what your doctor tells or shows you.”
Follow Joseph on her Endo journey on Instagram @ninamuahz.
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