Todays post is all about Endometriosis. Last week was Endometriosis Awareness Week 2018 and I thought I would write a little post about Endometriosis and its symptoms. I also have a few stories from ladies who suffer from the disease also.
Endometriosis or as its known Endo is an invisible illness as the symptoms are not always visible from the outside.The symptoms of Endo can be said to be other illnesses such as IBS or other digestive conditions as the symptoms are so similar. Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body.It can appear in numerous places such as the bladder, fallopian tubes and on the bowel.
Here is a list of symptoms:
- pain in your lower tummy or back which is usually worse during your period
- Period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
- pain during or after sex
- pain when peeing or pooing during your period
- feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
- difficulty getting pregnant
Endo can only be truly diagnosed after a diagnostic laparoscopy as it does not always show up on a CT or MRI scan.
There is no cure for Endometriosis just treatments to help manage the symptoms and suppress the lining from growing outside the womb.
These treatments can include simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, hormonal treatments such as the mini pill, the combined pill or the Mirena Coil. More drastic treatments can include surgery to remove the Endometriosis but this does not stop it growing back again the future.
There is no known cause of Endometriosis some say it can be genetic.
Here are some stories of ladies that suffer from Endometriosis including starting with my own.
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in June 2016 aged 22 after an emergency laparoscopy while an inpatient at my local hospital, I was suffering from a kidney infection but having horrendous pain in my tummy so after a CT scan showing I had a bulky uterus I was seen by the gynaecologist that day who decided it would be beneficial to have the laparoscopy done urgently the next day, so on a Saturday morning I was prepped for surgery and taken to theatre. When I got back to the ward I was told I had stage 3 almost stage 4 Endo with it sticking my ovaries to the back of my uterus and to part of my bowel. They were able to free up my ovaries slightly so they were not so pulled back and was told this could be the reason that I was struggling to get pregnant. I was definitely feeling like someone had been moving my organs around as I was so uncomfortable, while under the general I had the Mirena coil inserted to see if this could help with my symptoms I was suffering from. I did have symptoms beforehand but it was put down to having ibs such as heavy painful periods, having bad diarrhoea, really bad pain when having sex and bleeding after sex. I managed to put up with having the coil until the September when the pain and the bleeding became too much and had it removed. now fast forward 18 months later I've been put on numerous pain medications to see if this helps while waiting for another operation to see why i am not getting pregnant. Having Endo also discovered i have a problem with my kidneys not working properly so I am also recieving treatment for that. The Endo has caused me to develop Depression and Anxiety which I take medication daily for. Without this medication, I would not get out of bed and try to tackle daily life like any normal 24-year-old lady would. I will keep fighting this Endo and not let it stop my life dreams of becoming a midwife.
The next two stories are from two ladies I have met on an Endometriosis support group,
The first story is from a 39-year-old lady called Mrs R:
"Diagnosed in July 2017 and still waiting for an operation which possibly maybe June time to remove severe endo from bowel and rectum. Some superficial endo was removed during my lap in July when they called the endo specialist in to diagnose (lap was a fast track one as had huge cysts) but the worst of it is on the bowel. Symptoms worsening all the time. Major bloating meaning I can’t eat much at a time and back pains that are horrendous"
The Second story is from 34 year old lady called Mrs G:
"My endo story... I'm.34 and was diagnosed properly in 2009. Had heavy painful periods since 16 but got to the point where i was collapsing and vomiting with the pain. I've had two operations and was found to have deep infiltrating Endo in the Bladder and pelvic area mainly. I've had 5 rounds of ivf in 2 years and still no baby. My endo symptoms are horrendous again and docs want me to try the coil but I can't because I haven't given up on having a baby. I'm in pain 2 weeks out of 4. And I lose 2 days a month to it basically bed bound, They won't operate again yet either as worried about scar tissue if I'm trying more IVF and Painkillers aren't doing anything."
As you can see all 3 stories are different but all have the same condition. Every day 1 in 10 women suffer from the debilitating Endo symptoms and it takes on average 7.5 years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis. Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological problem in the UK and costs the UK economy £8.2bn a year in treatment, loss of earnings and healthcare costs.
You can find more information about Endometriosis here at Endometriosis UK
You may also find it helpful to join these support groups on facebook:
A local group to me on facebook for if you are in Devon Devon Endometriosis UK Support
I really hope that you all find this post interesting and will share it so Everyone can see that Endo is real and not all made up in our heads.
Thank you for reading