Health Talk Thursday is back!!!!
March is Endometriosis awareness month and that makes it our pick for #HealthTalkThursdays this month.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects 1 in 10 women. That’s about 190 million women worldwide! Many women that have endometriosis haven’t been diagnosed yet, and a lot of women report delays in getting a diagnosis, and having to switch doctors several times before their symptoms are taken seriously and efforts are made to diagnose the issue.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where tissues and cells similar to the one in the lining of the uterus (Womb) grows outside it, and attaches to other parts of the body. These tissues known as endometrial tissues can attach to places like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other organs in the pelvic region. When hormonal changes associated with menstrual periods happen, these tissues also get affected causing them to become inflamed and painful. Sometimes they shed and bleed and may cause excessive bleeding.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Symptoms usually vary between persons and they may range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms include:
- Painful periods that affect day to day activities
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during and after sexual intercourse
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Painful urination
- Pain during or after bowel movements
- Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
- Headaches and migraines
- Back ache
- Fertility issues
Like many other health conditions, the exact cause of endometriosis is unknown. There are several theories about possible causes but none has been scientifically proven yet. There are however certain factors that put you at greater risk of developing endometriosis. These include:
- Having a direct relative with endometriosis (mom, aunt, sister)
- Starting your period at an early age, or going through menopause at a later age
- Never having children
- Heavy periods that last longer than 7 days
- Shorter menstrual cycle length
- Having other reproductive disorders
- One of the major complications of endometriosis is Infertility
- There is also a relationship between endometriosis and ovarian cancer
Right now, there is still no cure for endometriosis.
Discussion with your doctor is needed to determine the best course of treatment based on your specific symptoms.
Treatment usually involves medications which could include pain medications or hormone therapy including contraceptives and hormone regulators.
Surgical options can also be explored. Laparotomy is a minimally invasive surgery used to remove the displaced endometrial tissues. In severe cases, hysterectomy (Removal of the uterus) may be advised but recent studies have started to show that that might not be a permanent solution for endometriosis.
In conclusion, like a lot of conditions that are specific to women, a lot of research still has to go into understanding endometriosis and finding more treatment options and a cure to this debilitating disease. More awareness also needs to be raised, because like I said earlier, many women suffer through years of painful symptoms before eventually getting a diagnosis.
If there’s one thing you will take from this; know that painful periods that affect your daily plans and activities are not normal. It is not normal to miss days of school, work, or social events because you are in so much pain during your periods. If this is you, talk to an health care practitioner about your symptoms soon.
Thank you for reading this months edition of #HealthTalkThursday. Remember to like, share, comment and subscribe to the blog if you haven’t. Catch y’all on the next post!
PS: This post should in no way substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having any concerns, please speak to a medical practitioner