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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Endometriosis

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a disease that so many women struggle with, and yet there are so many things about it that people don't realize. Here are some.

Unless you have it or a family member has it, you probably haven’t heard of endometriosis. It’s a disease where tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside of it. This causes what look like blood blisters and sticky webbing to grow on other organs and also fuse your organs together. Here’s some facts about the disease you may or may not have known:

1. It effects 1 in 10 people

Anyone with a womb can have endometriosis. It’s not a commonly known condition but it effects so many people. It can only be diagnosed via laparoscopy, and you can only get a laparoscopy if you agree this with your gynaecologist.

2. There’s a huge range of symptoms

Extremely painful periods are one of the main symptoms of endometriosis, but it doesn’t stop there. Irregular bleeding, pain and bleeding during or after sex, constipation, and bloating are regular issues. Your stomach can feel very sensitive to the touch and you can experience pain when it’s pressed on. You can also experience deep pain in your shoulder if you have endometriosis on your diaphragm.

3. It can grow on any organ

While the tissue is most commonly found around and on the uterus and ovaries, it can grow on other areas, including lungs, diaphragm, pouch of Douglas, bowels, and the abdominal wall. The full extent of your endometriosis can also be confirmed with a laparoscopy.

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4. There’s no cure yet

There are a number of treatments for endometriosis to try and get it under control so you don’t need to struggle as much, but these treatments may only lessen the symptoms or provide relief temporarily. You can be prescribed birth control to release hormones into the body to hinder the growth of endometriosis. There is the option of surgery to try and burn the endometriosis or dig out the root of it. You may also be offered pain relief, stronger than over the counter medications, to ease the chronic pain caused by the lesions. All this can be discussed with your G.P., sexual health doctor, or gynaecologist, and sometimes there’s trial and error with each method.

5. It’s classed as a disability

Because it’s not fully understood by most people, including employers, it is not fully understood how debilitating it can be. It is a long-term health condition which can limit people being able to carry out day-to-day activities which, by definition, is a disability. People have varying degrees of discomfort and pain, so if it limits you on a regular basis, it may be worth discussing this when your employer.

6. It doesn’t just affect you during your time of the month

Sure, with endometriosis, periods can be devastatingly painful to the point you can’t really move. However, the fun doesn’t stop there. Cramps can come and go at any time, the occasional spot can become full-time acne, and back pain and bloating can be a permanent issue.

7. Having a hysterectomy won’t solve it

Made known by Lena Dunham, a hysterectomy can be an option for treatment. However, if you keep your ovaries and only remove the uterus, this may cause endometriosis to continue to be an issue. It’s also rare hysterectomies are an option offered to anyone who hasn’t had a child before or is under the age of 40, as having a hysterectomy will mean you can’t have a baby and even if you don’t want children now, you may want them in the future.

8. It can be genetic

If you think you might have endometriosis, you may want to check your family history. It’s been found the disease can be passed through genetics so if your mother or grandmother has had it, there’s a higher risk of you developing it.

9. It can coexist with other conditions

It’s a little-known fact that there’s a number of conditions which coexist with endometriosis. This includes chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, and polycystic ovary syndrome.  The fun never ends, huh?

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10. There’s support for you out there

You’re not alone if you are diagnosed with endometriosis. Endometriosis UK have a huge range of resources on their website, and they also have support groups set up throughout the United Kingdom. These groups also operate on Facebook where you can discuss your experiences and worries with people in the same situation as you. There’s also a helpline available if you don’t have access to Facebook. You can find all the information for support here

Do you suffer from endometriosis? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
Featured Image Source: https://www.westernalliance.org.au/2018/09/endometriosis
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