So, what actually is endometriosis?
Endometriosis by dictionary definition is “a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation”.
It is actually quite a common condition, affecting 1 in 10 women worldwide, so why is it so rarely heard of?!
Endometriosis is difficult to diagnose, with it being dismissed by medical professionals as “normal” period pain and something that will get better with the pill and some pain relief. The average time for a diagnosis to be formally given is 10 years! This is due to the lack of understanding and research into the condition. Diagnosis’s are few and far between, a lot of people have ultrasound scans that show up totally normal, but there is no way of formally diagnosing without laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis consists of a camera and light being inserted through keyhole incisions to find any endometriosis, then inserting surgical equipment to burn the endometriosis, in order to attempt to relieve symptoms.
Many women don’t know that they have endometriosis because they believe that their pain is normal and to be expected, in fact a lot of women with mild symptoms don’t discover that they have it until they try to conceive.
Symptoms vary from uterus to uterus. Some women with the condition have minimal pain and are able to go about their day to day life with little disruption, some are unable to conceive, and others are bed or even hospital bound with debilitating pains. Although symptoms vary, they are generally as followed:
- painful periods, or dysmenorrhea.
- pelvic, lower back and abdominal cramps and pains
- painful bowel movements during a period
- pain during or after sexual intercourse, or dyspareunia
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- specifically during the time of a period: constipation, bloating, sickness/nausea, fatigue and dizziness
- pain that stops you from doing your normal activities
- leg pain
Why is endometriosis even a thing?!
A question that I would love to be able to provide a solid answer to! There is no known “main” cause of endometriosis although it is thought to be, with supporting research, hereditary.
And a cure…?
You guessed it – there isn’t one! There are many ways to treat the symptoms of endometriosis, the contraceptive pill, the coil, laparoscopic surgery, strong pain killers, hot water bottles, hormone therapy, having treatment to put the body in a forced state of early menopause, and in some cases, a full hysterectomy.
Through funding, hopefully over time, there will be easily accessible, well researched treatment. Endometriosis UK, a charity based around the condition, are working so hard to provide help and support to those in need, whilst also raising money to make the future of endometriosis sufferers a whole lot brighter!
This Endometriosis Awareness Week, I will be asking for donations to the charity, in order to fund vital support services, so that they can continue to support the endometriosis community!
You can donate to the charity through my link here: