In recognition of endometriosis awareness month March 2021.
Endometriosis is a condition affecting 1/10 women throughout the world. However, this number is not a true reflection of those afflicted by the condition, due to lack of diagnosis and awareness.
The average woman will wait 8-10 years before she receives an accurate diagnosis of her condition.
So what is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial cells that line the uterus grow in other areas, including the bowel, ovaries and outer uterine wall.
Due to the hormonal changes in a woman’s cycle, this tissue becomes inflamed causing scarring and thickening. As this tissue builds up it creates adhesions within the pelvis and surrounding organs. It is these adhesions and scar tissue, that are thought to be one of the main causes of endometriosis related pain.
What are some common signs and symptoms?
- Moderate to severe (often disabling) pain with;
- Bowel Motion
- Pain referring into the;
- Heavy periods + painful abdominal bloating
- Bowel changes (diarrhoea or constipation)
Can It Be Cured?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition. However, the symptoms can be managed with the help of healthcare practitioners. The current management strategies range from pain management and hormonal contraceptives to surgery.
Who Can Help Me?
Due to the mental health impact of the condition and associated chronic pain, having the right support network is essential.
This includes a gastroenterologist, general practitioner, women’s health physiotherapist, councillor or psychologist (if deemed necessary) and/or pain specialist.
The important thing to recognise is that you are not alone. There are many support groups and practitioners that specialise in this area.
Let’s continue to raise awareness of the impact of this condition, to help increase the research, recognition and support for women in need.