March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, so I thought I’d write up quickly some facts about the condition to shine a light on the condition and why it can be so debilitating.
What is Endo?
Let’s throw some facts down first:
- It’s a condition where tissue similar to the endometrium (the stuff that lines the uterus and sheds every month) is found in other areas of the body – mainly in the abdominal cavity.
- It affects 1 in 10 women every year
- According to Endometriosis.com it affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide, yet no one talks about it enough.
- The exact causes of it are unknown, but if a woman has a close relative with endo she’s up to 10 times more likely to develop the condition.
- It’s progressive, chronic and is often painful
Another fun fact: not everyone with endo will experience symptoms, and the amount of endo is not directly related to the pain and other symptoms you feel. A woman with a small lesion the size of a pinky finger nail can experience incredible pain, and a woman who’s abdominal cavity is riddled with it can be asymptomatic.
Why is it a B****?!
Endometriosis can be extremely debilitating.
Common symptoms include:
- Heavy bleeding or irregular periods
- Feeling bloated
- Being tired and moody – especially around the time of your periods
- Bleeding between periods
- It can cause changes in urination and bowel movements
- It can impact a woman’s ability to fall pregnant, and she can experience infertility
AND – it can cause next level pain
A woman can experience abdominal, pelvic or lower back pain before or during a period, when she goes to the toilet or even during sex.
If you tick some or all of those symptoms, I’d highly recommend getting a referral to a gynaecologist to check it out to help diagnose you and give you treatment options.