Endometriosis is a common health problem for many young girls and women.
Despite it being common it is widely under discussed and often women suffer in silence without realising they have the condition. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from Endometriosis. Similar to the number of women said to suffer from PCOS. In Ireland the number of women suffering from these reproductive health problems amounts to 155,000!
Keep reading to find out what the symptoms of Endometriosis are and what to do if you think you have it.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the name given to the condition where tissues, similar to the lining of the womb begin growing in other places such as the Fallopian tubes and ovaries.
What causes the condition?
Similar to PCOS, the exact cause for endometriosis is unknown. However, research suggests that retrograde menstrual flow is the likely cause of the condition.
Retrograde menstrual flow occurs when some of the blood that lines your womb during your period flows back up through your fallopian tubes and embeds itself on the organs of the pelvis, rather than leaving your body as your period.
Genetics is thought to be another cause of the condition. There appears to be a pattern of women in a family suffering from endometriosis passing it down to younger generations. This makes some women more likely to develop the condition than others. However this isn’t always the case.
What are the symptoms to look out for?
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Pain in your lower tummy or back (worse during your period)
- Severe period pain (enough to prevent you from performing normal daily tasks)
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain when peeing or pooping during your period
- Blood in your urine during your period
What to do if you think you have endometriosis?
If you feel l you are experiencing 3 or more of the symptoms of the list above, it might be worth your while paying a visit to your GP to discuss the possibility of you having endometriosis.
As symptoms vary so much between people it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose the condition. Your GP will have a talk with you about your symptoms and may do an examination of your tummy or vagina.
They may suggest treatments or even refer you to a specialist who can better diagnose your condition.
unfortunately there are no known cures for endometriosis as of yet. However, there are things you can do to help with your symptoms and make life a little bit easier!
- Painkillers (such as ibuprofen or paracetamol)
- Prescribed painkillers (often over the counter pain medication aren’t very effective at treating pain associated with endometriosis, if you find they aren’t doing anything for you, try talking to your doctor about getting pain medication prescribed)
- Hormone medications and contraceptives
- In severe cases: Surgery or operations may need to be considered.
Living with endometriosis
Endometriosis can be a difficult condition to deal with. It can take its toll on you physically and emotionally, that is why it is such a shame it isn’t talked about more. By taking steps you can still have good quality of life despite the condition.
If you are finding it is effecting your mental health, there are support groups you can go to and online forums you can join that allow you to share your experience and receive advice from others going through the same thing as you.
endometriosis.ie offer a wide range of support services and resources for those living with endometriosis.
If you are having a hard time with endometriosis know that there is help out there for you and there are steps you can take to help you live a full life despite your endometriosis.
Do you or anyone you know suffer from Endometriosis?