Let’s have some serious talk about our health today, shall we?
You’ve probably heard of the term “Endometriosis“. Some women who have had severe menstrual pain have probably heard about this as it is one of the symptoms of this condition. It is a chronic condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women’s reproductive health.
Despite the fact that millions of women are currently living with the disease it’s not a well understood condition.
So, what is endometriosis? In brief: endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that normally grows inside the womb grows outside it – most commonly on the ovaries and fallopian tubes, inside the abdomen and on the bowl and bladder. This tissue responds to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleeds. This can cause pain, inflammation and the formation of scar tissue because there is no way for this blood to leave the body.
Endometriosis can manifest itself in lots of different ways and partly because we all still tend to dismiss ‘menstrual issues’ as the sort of pain women should put up with. We normalise ‘women’s pain’ to the extent that women often dismiss their own symptoms and delay seeking help.
When symptoms are present, they may include:
- Abdominal cramps or back pain during menstruation.
- Very painful menstrual cramps.
- Painful bowel movements.
- Painful urination, especially during menstruation.
- Abnormal or heavy bleeding during periods.
- Painful sex.
- Difficulty becoming pregnant.
So ladies, if you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms, please don’t keep it to yourself. Speak to your doctor about it immediately!
As we mark the Endometriosis Awareness Week, I’d like to share 10 important facts about the condition which I found HERE:
- Endometriosis can affect any woman of child-bearing age (it is rare in women who have been through the menopause)
- Symptoms include: pelvic pain, heavy periods, bladder and bowel problems, fatigue, depression, pain during or after sexual intercouse, problems conceiving and difficulty fulfilling professional and social commitments. (NB: some women don’t experience any symptoms at all).
- Any pain experienced often correlates to your menstrual cycle, but not always. Equally, the severity of pain experienced does not always correlate to the amount of scar tissue present, the pain is more dependent on where the abnormal tissue is located.
- There is currently no cure, no proven cause or known way of preventing endometriosis.
- There are some ways to manage symptoms. These include: pain relief, complementary therapies, hormone treatment and surgery. The best course of action will be recommended depending on the patient’s age, severity of the disease and desire to have children.
- The only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis is by a laparoscopy – a small operation that involves inserting a camera into the pelvis via the belly button.
- The disease can cause infertility. But 50% of women suffering from endometriosis will not experience any problems conceiving.
- Endometriosis is not an infection and it is not contagious.
- Some women experience relief from their symptoms during pregnancy but in many cases symptoms return along with a woman’s period. Pregnancy is not a cure for the disease.
- Having a hysterectomy does not always cure endometriosis. It only treats the disease on the organs that were removed.
Ladies, have you had any experience with this condition or its symptoms? What steps did you take to help yourself?