March is Endometriosis awareness month. Here are some facts about the condition...
Endometriosis Association of Ireland define endometriosis as "Endometriosis is defined as the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. Endometriosis triggers a chronic inflammatory reaction resulting in pain and adhesions."
Symptoms of Endometriosis
The HSE website lists the main symptoms of endometriosis to be:
- pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
- 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
- Heavy periods that lead to bleeding through clothes or using a lot of pads and/or tampons
t has been reported on numerous occasions that there are large diagnostic delays in endometriosis. In Ireland the average delay is 9 years.
It is assumed that factors such as normalisation of symptoms by those suffering, their families and health care team, the use of the contraceptive pill (suppressing symptoms), the use of non discriminatory examinations and misdiagnosis with other conditions all lead to these long delays - Endometriosis Association of Ireland.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed you should see your GP and advocate for your menstrual health.
Write down your symtoms before you attend your appointment and give them to your doctor. If it helps, bring someone with you.
Your doctor might examine your stomach and vagina, and recommend treatment. If this treatment does not help your symptoms, follow up with your doctor who might refer you to a specialist for a laparoscopy.
There is still a lot of research to be done around endometriosis. In order to get quicker diagnoses and effective treatment. That's why Monthlies will be donating a percentage of profits to Endometriosis research.