The beginning of March marks the start of endometriosis awareness month. 1 in 10 women worldwide suffer with endometriosis. However, despite the large percentile facing this struggle, there is little knowledge or information surrounding this condition, leaving many helpless or undiagnosed for a lengthy period of time. If you believe your period pain is causing you to take time off work or school, or stopping you from your daily activities, it is recommended you go to your GP.
We sat down and had a chat with Lauren - the woman behind @laurenwithendo to discuss all things living with endometriosis.
Can you give us a brief overview of what endometriosis is?
Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. With endometriosis, the tissue can be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the intestines. The most common symptoms are pain and menstrual irregularities. Effective treatments, such as hormones and excision surgery which is the gold star treatment for endometriosis.
What are some typical signs that a woman may suffer from endometriosis?
- Heavy periods
- Painful intercourse
- Stomach pain
- Painful periods
- Pain while ovulating
- Back pain
How did you come to be diagnosed with endometriosis – did you feel as if there was enough support and information available?
I was ignored for 10 years constantly at the hospital and going to my GP with pain that had me bed bound for many weeks I was constantly told it was all in my head, until I found a GP who listened to me and I was sent to a gyno who finally took me seriously and did a laparoscopy which found that my insides were covered in stage 4 endo.
"There is not enough support or information out there. I feel for younger girls who experience this."
What are some common misconceptions surrounding endometriosis?
- That a painful period is normal
- That when the pain is so high and we present to hospital we are drug seekers.
What do you do to manage your symptoms of endometriosis?
- Ice packs
- Pain medication
- Heat pack
- Regular visits with my gynaecologist.
Where can women go for support or information?
- QENDO has amazing information.
It can more often than not, take up to 10 years for someone to be correctly diagnosed with endometriosis, and once diagnosed it is a chronic illness, so there is no cure, only management solutions. Endometriosis awareness month, allows a space for open conversation, to promote more study in this area.