All around the world there are people not knowing they have endometriosus but are suffering without getting any treatment for it. That is why Endometriosus Month was created to get awareness out there that 1 in 9 women have what could be such a debilitating condition but suffer through it silently. It can, but not always, affect fertility if not treated early enough. Most women have a delay of 7 years before diagnosis.
Endometriosus is where the cells in your womb (uterus) are outside the womb so these cells bleed and can’t escape which can cause inflammation and scarring over the organs in which it contacts. It is characterised by pelvic pain when you have your period. Some people have pain strong enough to stop them from going to work or school. Having said that, the extent of the disease does not correlate with the amount of pain someone has. It can only be correctly diagnosed through surgery, usually keyhole. Many doctors may assume that someone has endometriosus looking at the symptoms and would treat it without surgery. To minimise the scarring people develop with endometriosus doctors may prescribe the pill to minimise the monthly bleeding but the only way to get rid of it is through surgery to cut the cells out. The pain with periods can also lead to muscle spasms linked to the fear and guarding of the pain from the pelvic floor muscles. Other symptoms can be bladder or bowel issues, bloating, bleeding that is irregular, prolonged or heavy bleeding outside of their regular period, lethargy. Exercise, stretching and seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist can help someone manage their pain better.
Help should be sought when:
1. The pain is affecting someone’s ability to function. For example, if they cannot go to work or school.
2. If they have to stay in bed because of the pain.
3. When they feel there are abnormal symptoms of bleeding or lethargy
4. If they are distressed by the symptoms they are experiencing.
So spread the news about this condition that can be so debilitating. It affects more women than we know. Do not be afraid to seek help when you have symptoms.