This week is Endometriosis awareness week(2nd March – 9th Of March)
What is Endometriosis? – For those of you who don’t know what Endo is, it’s a condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body, These cells react to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleed, just like a period but instead of the blood leaving the body this blood has no way to escape the body so it can lead to having lots of pain, inflammation and scar tissue. It can cause painful and heavy periods and may lead to other problems such as infertility, fatigue, bowel and bladder problems. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age. The only definitive way to diagnose Endometriosis is by a laparoscopy (an operation where a small camera is interested into the pelvis via a small incision near the navel.)
Don’t be alarmed this isn’t to scare you it’s just to build awareness The cause of Endometriosis is unknown but with the right treatment it can be made more manageable! It takes on average 7.5 years for women to receive a firm diagnosis; and with it being the second most common gynecological condition in the UK, it needs to be made more aware off and women and girls of a reproductive age need to be educated on it as well as Doctors and GPs because 1 in every 10 women suffer from Endometriosis.
My Sister-In-Law has stuffed from Endometriosis for many years and has decided to share her story on what life with Endo was like for her…
“6 weeks ago I has a total abdominal hysterectomy at the age of 36.. Everything taken womb, ovaries, fallopian tubes and cervix, not what I had imagined for my 30’s but after 17 years of numerous hormonal treatments and surgeries enough was enough. Why? Endometriosis… I was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis in my early 20’s after 5 years of going back and forth to my doctor. I am one of the lucky ladies that was able to conceive naturally after one of my surgeries and have a beautiful 4-year-old girl. As many doctors like to tell you getting pregnant will help your endometriosis or even prevent it from coming back…these’s doctors do not know enough about this disease to be telling patients this. Within 18 months it was back this time with polycystic ovaries and suspected Adenomyosis (A disease where endometrial tissue grows in the muscle layer of the way of the womb, bleeding and causing pain. This is not the same as Endometriosis)
Coming to the decision of a hysterectomy wasn’t an easy one but the thought of another 15-20 years of suffering was just not something I could go through.. So here I am 6 weeks later and recovering well-looking forward to what I hope will be my last surgery….Yes it’s true a hysterectomy is not always a cure but with all the endo taken away and my ovaries taken I’m praying that this for me will work, anything has to be better than the last 17 years of pain!” – Louise
Endometriosis needs shorter diagnosis, greater Education amongst the medical profession and more information made available to women from their GP on treatment options.
7.5 years is far too long for a woman to suffer, it should be one of the first things that should be looked at by a GP!
I have known about Endometriosis for many years and as someone who suffers from painful periods as well as other problems the one thing that my doctor has never brought up is Endometriosis, when I asked my doctor about Endo I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t showing Endo symptoms as I was having a really bad time I was in a lot of pain and had to see my doctor urgently but yet when asked about endo she wasn’t able to give me any information on it, I was sent to hospital that day to get checked out and was sent home with laxatives even though I didn’t need such a thing (T.M.I soz), Ended up back in A&E 2 days later with the same pain and nothing was done because I “wasn’t rolling around the bed screaming in agony” so I was fobbed off with a wait of 7 weeks to get a scan. I think when it comes down to things like that and you are suffering from pain you should at least get checked there and then to cancel out anything serious not wait 7 weeks!
Having just recently turned 25 means I am now officially the age to get a smear test done. Am I nervous? Yes but it saves lives!
If you ever think that there might be something wrong or something doesn’t feel right make sure you speak to your doctor and demand to get referred to see a specialist, it’s your body and life, you have the right to fight for your health!
Links for information on Endometriosis & Cervical Check
Ireland – http://www.endometriosis.ie/
United States – http://www.endofound.org/
Ireland – http://www.cervicalcheck.ie/
UK – http://www.patient.co.uk/
Hope you found this post helpful and remember it’s not to worry you or scare you it’s just to get some awareness for Endometriosis.