So I've blogged before about endometriosis, but what actually is it!? I've used the NHS website to help explain the condition. For more information go to: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/endometriosis/
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, over scar tissue and/or within the body.Endometriosis can affect women of any age. It's a long-term condition and it an have a significant impact on life.
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are badly affected, while others might not have any noticeable symptoms.
The main symptoms of endometriosis are:
pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
pain that stops you doing your normal activities
pain during or after sex
pain when peeing or pooing during your period
feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
difficulty getting pregnant
painful abdomen swelling and bloating
You may also have heavy periods. You might use lots of pads or tampons, or you may bleed through your clothes. For some women, endometriosis can have a big impact on their life and may sometimes lead to feelings of depression. To fully diagnose endometriosis you may be referred to a gynaecologist for some further tests, such as an ultrasound scan or laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is where a surgeon passes a thin tube through a small cut in your tummy so they can see any patches of endometriosis tissue. This is the only way to be certain you have endometriosis.
There's currently no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments that can help ease the symptoms. Treatments can include:
surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue
an operation to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis – such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy)
One of the main complications of endometriosis is difficulty getting pregnant or not being able to get pregnant at all (infertility). Surgery to remove endometriosis tissue can help improve your chances of getting pregnant, although there's no guarantee that you'll be able to get pregnant after treatment. Surgery for endometriosis can also sometimes cause further problems, such as infections, bleeding or damage to affected organs.
Endometriosis can be a difficult condition to deal with, both physically and emotionally.
As well as support from your doctor, you may find it helpful to contact a support group, such as Endometriosis UK, for information and advice. In addition to detailed information about endometriosis, Endometriosis UK has a directory of local support groups, a helpline on 0808 808 2227, and an online community for women affected by the condition.
The cause of endometriosis is not known. Several theories have been suggested, including:
genetics – the condition tends to run in families, and affects people of certain ethnic groups more than others
retrograde menstruation – when some of the womb lining flows up through the fallopian tubes and embeds itself on the organs of the pelvis, rather than leaving the body as a period
a problem with the immune system, the body's natural defence against illness and infection
endometrium cells spreading through the body in the bloodstream or lymphatic system, a series of tubes and glands that form part of the immune system
But none of these theories fully explain why endometriosis happens. It's likely the condition is caused by a combination of different factors.
Raising awareness of this condition is key, as a sufferer myself I would just like people to understand what i go through day after day and why I have had a major health overhaul. Changing my diet and exercise routine.