Recently I received feedback that my messages were great, but that I still hadn’t explained much about Endometriosis. And I thought holy crap, it’s time to get down to the point!
So here it is. What is Endometriosis? Endometriosis is defined as a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue (which usually hangs out inside the uterus where it’s meant to be) outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation.
To explain that further, this means that when a woman with Endometriosis menstruates, endometrial tissue sheds and grows in the pelvic region (like the bladder, bowel, ovaries and rectum. Or very rarely the abdomen, lungs or brain.) In short, it causes a whole lot of shitty widespread symptoms and pain, occasionally all month long if you’re really unlucky, like myself. In the later stages, it can cause infertility due to internal damage. It’s basically your body attacking itself during what should be a natural and harmless process for a woman.
I don’t know many people that are actually aware of Endometriosis, even women. Which surprises me because 1 in 10 women suffer from it, and that’s just confirmed cases! So many still go undiagnosed because women are brought up to believe that severe pain with their period is normal, or that they’re just bunging it on. Guess what, it’s NOT normal! And most definitely should not be tolerated.
There are 4 stages of Endometriosis. I myself suffer from stage 2, which is considered a mild form. It has spread far and wide, but hasn’t caused damage to any of the organs, but the implants are deeper into the tissue than stage 1. However, I do also suffer from scar tissue forming from the 5 surgeries I’ve gone through to treat the Endometriosis, which is also quite common. Guess how you fix that? More surgery! Fix one problem, cause another. *Face palm*
I’ll move on to stage 4. This is the most widespread. There are many deep implants and thick adhesions. There are also large cysts on one or both ovaries. In many cases, this takes a few invasive surgeries in one go to treat, and is likely to cause infertility without treatment. On many occasions, women with stage 4 Endometriosis don’t actually experience many symptoms apart from some period pain, so never realise they have it until they have difficulty having children. Whereas stage 1 & 2 Endometriosis could result in severe and debilitating symptoms. Who would have thought?!
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Endometriosis. Some doctors say having kids will rid you of the disease, while for some people, having kids brings on the disease. There is no rhyme or reason to how Endo acts or what brings it on and the symptoms are different in each and every person, so even doctors are still confused by this common condition. This causes huge delay in treatment. Which brings me to my next point…
Treatment for this disease is different in everyone. Some people fair quite well on the contraceptive pill, while others only respond to surgery. Some women even have one surgery and never have any problems with it again. In my experience, every hormonal treatment has caused nightmarish symptoms, including almost having a stroke. For now, surgery is my only go to – and because of the complexity of my condition, this happens almost yearly. For the future, after children, a hysterectomy has been placed on the table as the next form of treatment.
In conclusion, Endometriosis is a hellish condition that turns a woman’s life into a living nightmare simply from menstruation. I hope that sums it up well enough! Try to have compassion for a woman with this disease, they may be struggling more than they let on ❤